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Sep-29-2011 23:45printcomments

Stop On Red Go On Green

Saudi Arabia, America's friend, sure has some nasty policies for women.

Shaima Jastaina

(CLEVELAND) - A sentence of 10 lashes for Shaima Jastaina, a Saudi woman convicted of driving a car, was overturned by King Abdullah this week. This oil rich ally of the Americans has extraordinarily laws against women that not only keep them from legally being able to drive and vote, but also forces them to wear tent like garments known as burqas, popular in other Middle eastern countries, like Afghanistan.

Saudi women began driving in increasing numbers last June, in a united effort to push women's rights into the world spotlight and end the archaic practice of relegating women to a lesser citizen role.

In an effort to crack down on the new liberation movement, Saudi traffic police stepped up their enforcement against women driving which in the past, generally only led to a warning and a woman's promise to not drive again in the future.

The seemingly barbaric punishment was the first handed out since female activists began their campaign in June to change they way they are regarded in this ultraconservative Muslim nation.

It came only one day after Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah made a promise to protect the rights of women, declaring that they would be allowed to participate in municipal elections in 2015, (95 years after the U.S. granted women the right to vote) a Saudi court found Shaima Jastaina guilty of violating the driving ban, sentencing the woman to 10 lashes.

Women in this Middle eastern oil nation were shocked over the unexpected verdict, coming just a day after the announcement over women voting, and another promise by Abdullah - that was to appoint women to the Shura Council which is currently only comprised of men.

Stop On Red Go On Green A Saudi Court sentenced a woman to be lashed ten times,
Undercover spy, harboring a terrorist, what kind of crime?
Well it is none of the above, for which she would be shot,
Neither was this guilty female part of an assignation plot.

Her crime wasn’t sinister in nature but was still against the law,
And for this dastardly deed her skin was soon to become raw,
Nor did she rob a bank or from the local clothing store steal,
Saudi traffic police caught her red handed behind the wheel.

A court found Shaima Jastaina guilty, violating a driving ban,
As over there it’s against the law to drive if you’re not a man,
King Abdullah made promises, now many didn’t understand,
Claiming these women could vote by 2015 part of a new plan.

Whereas, the painful bloody sentence was quickly overturned,
Question: Was this possible because the outside had learned?
If all these changes are in place and eventually along the way,
Then what made the court rule like that thinking it was okay?

Promising to protect women’s rights the ruler has also decreed,
They’d be appointed to the all male Shura Council soon indeed,
Actually there are no written laws it’s rooted in religious views,
Unlike America for women preach from the pulpit to the pews.

Granting freedom of movement makes women vulnerable to sins,
Well in that case the whole world better go back to horses again,
Since the economy is screwed up due mainly to the greed of men,
Why not start punishing the guys throwing them in the lion’s den?

They're the only country banning women foreign & domestic you see,
Except during Desert Storm when female soldiers drove Humvees,
So, fighting against Saddam is different from cook, wash & clean,
Our woman carry guns but theirs can’t stop on red & go on green?

By Luke Easter


Luke Easter is a poet who writes about things that are very close to the heart of Another former U.S. Marine, Luke heals the world with an approach that reaches people on a different level, one known for centuries, yet too often forgotten in the one we live in.

We live in a world of social & economic injustice. The main reason for founding America in the first place was to relieve the oppression of the King of England. Patrick Henry said it best, “give me liberty or give me death.” And yet, all too often death seems to be the only way out. Why is there such a high suicide rate especially among teens, in the land of the free & the home of the brave? What makes headlines? Good news? Ha! More depressing stories than anything else. I feel poetry takes an edge off the hurt of bad news while still delivering it but in a, “glitzy” sort of way. Giving a different perspective. Kind of like slap in the face as opposed to a knife in the back. At least with the slap you’ll live to see another day and you will know whom it’s from. I wasn’t here for the beginning of the world but at 59, I just might be here for the end.

Even though it’s still a knife, rhyme poetry helps to dull the blade. And that’s my job. You can write to Luke Easter at:

Special thanks to Time Magazine for information contained in this article.

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