Sick of Male Domination, Saudi Women Become Men
At first I thought this article was a joke. Then I did some searching and sure enough, it's true. This is hard to comprehend, especially as I contemplate going to South Dakota to cover the movement to ensure the state's extreme abortion ban dies. Meantime, Saudi women still can't drive.
Reports reveal that in 2005, there were no less than five cases of women who underwent surgery to become men in the Kingdom, according to Al Watan.
Though this may seem like a small number considering Saudi Arabia's population of more than 26 million, the figure comes as a shock to many in the ultra-conservative Muslim society, as Saudi Arabia remains one of the most traditional countries in the region, especially regarding sexuality and equal rights for men and women.
Some Saudi officials have reportedly laid blame for the shocking phenomenon on the blasphemous influences of the West, as well as on "psychological defects" of those who underwent the surgery.
However, according to a source close to the sex-change patients, the women embarked on the painful and dangerous transformation as a way to overcome the severe oppression and inequality that they reportedly encountered in Saudi society.
By becoming men, the women said, they would have the opportunity to enjoy those privileges denied them as Saudi females but allowed to Saudi males, including rights taken for granted in other societies, such as driving a car.
A new black market for such operations is reportedly flourishing, and those interested in undergoing a sex-change operation are transported to another country (usually India) where the operation is preformed.
The entire process, including departure from Saudi Arabia, the operation in a foreign land, and return to the Kingdom under an assumed identity, reportedly takes all but two weeks.