By Sean Carroll
That’s the punishment you get in Saudi Arabia for being a woman and riding in a car with a man who is not in your family. Oh, after your gang rape.
A court in the ultra-conservative kingdom of Saudi Arabia is punishing a female victim of gang rape with 200 lashes and six months in jail..
The 19-year-old woman — whose six armed attackers have been sentenced to jail terms — was initially ordered to undergo 90 lashes for “being in the car of an unrelated male at the time of the rape,” the Arab News reported.
But in a new verdict issued after Saudi Arabia’s Higher Judicial Council ordered a retrial, the court in the eastern town of Al-Qatif more than doubled the number of lashes to 200.
A court source told the English-language Arab News that the judges had decided to punish the woman further for “her attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media.”
But, lest you jump to conclusions, understand that it’s not only women who have to feel the occasional lash to be kept in line. It’s gay men, too!
About 50 people picketed Saudi Arabia’s embassy in London on in protest against the nation’s reported floggings and executions of gay men.
Two Saudi men convicted of sodomy in the city of Al Bahah received the first of their 7,000 lashes in punishment, the Okaz daily newspaper reported. The whippings took place in public
I presume that the strong connections between totalitarian impulses, religious fundamentalism, and sexual repression have already been the subject of dozens of Ph.D. theses. There is a truly ugly part of human nature that feels a need to control the lives of others, and theocracy serves as a mechanism for amplifying those impulses into public actions.