A musical video of women wearing burqa while doing all sorts of “forbidden” things has been trending on You tube and causing lots of concerns for the strict government of Saudi Arabia. This piece puts things in perspective.
Under normal circumstances, a music video with girls skating, driving, playing basketball or just bowling may not have attracted many views unless the music is a hit but when it features women in burqas from what is possibly the most oppressive regime for women, you do sit up and take note.
The pop song Hwages, created by director Majed al-Esa from Saudi Arabia has clocked 2.7 million (and counting) views on YouTube already. The lyrics are provocative, with the women singing, “Men make us mentally ill”, while in another scene, women are riding in cars and go bowling, knocking down bowling pins around the men’s faces. One of the scene shows White House press room, as a cardboard cut-out of president-elect Donald Trump emerges behind the podium. The sign on the lectern reads, “House of Men.”
In one scene in the video, the seemingly adult women are seen getting in the back of a car, with a child at the wheel. This is an incisive comment on the status of women in Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia women’s rights are limited as compared to other Islamic nations. All women need to have a male guardian, regardless of their age. They are largely prohibited from driving or getting driving licences. Last year in May #IwilldrivemycarJune15th, trended across social media, which gave women in Saudi Arabia the opportunity to express their will to drive.
‘Hwages’ is based on an old Bedouin folk song and roughly means ‘concerns’ in English, reports Elle UK. The song and the video are severe indictments of the patriarchal Saudi society where women are treated like chattel.
In 2015, women were allowed to vote for the first time. In 2016, Saudis praised ‘Barbs dance’, a highly addictive dance, which was seen as provocative and immoral by conservative Saudi leaders.
Saudi pop song ‘Hwages’ even earned high praise from some part of the Saudi establishment, reports say.
See the video below: