Mood: crushed out
Topic: "Classified Ads are Cool"
Imagine that you are a young Southern woman from someplace called Louisville Alabama; that you find yourself at the end of a failed marriage, out of work, and hanging out in Jacksonville, Florida. Add in the fact that you have very long blonde hair, and that your dimensions are somewhat akin to Dolly Parton. What would you do if you read a classified ad for a position in your field in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and the year was 1978? Honey, in six weeks you have a visa, and you are doing Medical Transcription in the Royal Hospital.
Frodo has just described Jean Sasson, author of "Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia," and "Mayada, Daughter of Iraq."
Frodo has read the first of the books cited above, and has his autographed copy of the second beside him as he writes. The very dynamic author chronicles what life has been like for an extremely assertive American woman living and working in a feudalistic male-dominated society. Seriously, imagine Dolly Parton living in Saudi society for more than a dozen years, and you can imagine what Ms. Sasson experienced.
There were gifts of floral arrangements with diamonds as the calyx of the flower. If she would merely agree to have tea with some dude who already had a wife or two, the diamonds were hers.
There were men who threatened to take their lives because they found themselves dreaming about a woman, presumably the knee-length blonde hair was more than the Koran would allow.
But the stories are not all about the men who seem so alien and barbaric to those of us, including George W. Bush, who have no clue about that society. The women, the married ones, are sex machines for their husbands, doing anything to curry favor, and to retain their position as the ONLY wife. The women are usually aghast at the status of American women, who are not protected their whole lives, and who have to "prostitute" themselves to get a husband, or to obtain power in society.
Frodo listened to the words of First Lady Laura Bush this past weekend as she toured three countries in the Middle East. It was clear that she had not read any of Jean Sasson's books. They were probably still waiting to be classified under the Dewey Decimal System in Crawford.
Jean Sasson writes about women, not about policy. Frodo was pleased to have made her acquaintance, and the lengthy discussion we had. It is two-and-one-half hours from Louisville to Monroeville, Alabama. Given the writers from those two little towns, there must be something in the water.