Tuesday, May 12, 2009

If You Can't Slap Your Own Wife, Who Can You Slap?

So apparently, a Saudi judge has tried to explain the rise in domestic violence in that birthplace of femisim bt saying that women shared some of the blame.

And the comment that got everyone to brush off their copies of Ms. Magazine and stop shaving their legs as that, according to a CNN report
Arab News, a Saudi English-language daily newspaper based in Riyadh, reported that Judge Hamad Al-Razine said that "if a person gives SR 1,200 [$320] to his wife and she spends 900 riyals [$240] to purchase an abaya [the black cover that women in Saudi Arabia must wear] from a brand shop and if her husband slaps her on the face as a reaction to her action, she deserves that punishment."

If you're like me, you're in shock that an abaya could cost so much money! I mean, $240? That's a lot of Victoria Secret thongs right there, bitches. For $240, I'd totally expect that abaya to be bedazzled to the nines. I want to be able to walk into a room and have everyone be all over that abaya.

The thing about the slap is the humiliation. It's the Alexis Carrington maneuver that says "I can do with you what I will, because I am fiery and I can get away with it". And as humiliation goes, how different is it from the I Love Lucy maneuver that so many wives (even in the USA!) go through of hiding their purchases from their husband? Sure, he may never lay a hand on them, and that's certainly a big plus, but isn't there an implicit humiliation in that power struggle?

To be clear--slapping women is bad. Very bad. But so is feeling like you have to keep your purchases away from your husband. And the lack of economic autonomy that it implies.

Or am I just in one of those moods?


Blogger rachel... said...

The way I see it is that the husband should totally be kissing the wife's ass. He GAVE her $320, and she got the abaya for only $240! Hello? Bargain shopper! She can still spend $80 on VS thongs!

May 12, 2009 at 5:44 PM  
Anonymous Kristine said...

I'm with Rachel. He should be glad she didn't spend the whole $320.

May 12, 2009 at 5:50 PM  
Blogger Lynn C Mama to 3 said...

Aren't you morally high horsey today! I like it. Slapping = bad... thongs = good. And hiding shit from husband = stupid. I have never understood that kind of thing, and would say thanks for the hubs that doesn't make it and issue, but really... I would marry anyone who would have it any other way. I may not earn the dinero these days, but my shift has been going for 12 hours now and I don't get overtime. So, we'll just call it a partnership and be on with our shopping.

May 12, 2009 at 6:03 PM  
Blogger Sandi said...

I have the freedom to buy what I want and spend what I want, and I still feel like I need to carry in the bags after Brandon leaves the room. BUT, if he ever slapped me because of what I spent, I would be in jail for kicking the the shit out of him until he couldn't dial 911. you know what I'm saying? I know there are woman even in our country that get slapped and beat, but it will never be me, and never over a shopping spree!

May 12, 2009 at 6:04 PM  
Blogger blognut said...

I'm not really a violent person, but I'd probably would've thrown my $240 abaya over his head and lit it on fire.

Then I'd take my $80 and go buy a thong.

May 12, 2009 at 6:05 PM  
Blogger Marinka said...

Sandi--that's sort of my point. Why do we feel the need to sneak in our purchases? You're certainly not alone, and I have some theories. Like we (as in women) feel like it's not really our money, especially if we are stay at home moms and don't earn a paycheck. Or is it that we buy things that are not within our family budget and hope to "slip it by"? Either way, it's interesting to me, because I think it speaks to what is happening in many marriages/relationships.

May 12, 2009 at 6:09 PM  
Anonymous Inna said...

I use my own well-earned stipend to buy my purchases but I also hide them from my fiance when I get home. I think the reason is that I don't want to have to justify why I bought anything. Like, why I neeeded another shirt, or sweater, or pair of jeans... I'd rather just buy it and enjoy it and not get all the questions... especially since its MY money. Granted the fiance rarely shops and I think that's why he always wonders why I need to buy something. He doesn't ask to nag, but mostly wondering why I thought I needed or wanted to spend money.

May 12, 2009 at 6:27 PM  
Blogger Roshni said...

As long as she gets to kick his ass publicly after that, I have no problem!!
I too can't believe that this abaya is worth so much!! Sure she didn't get a matching pair of shoes with it??

May 12, 2009 at 6:42 PM  
Blogger Jeanne Estridge said...

Every once in a while, your feminist roots show up!

May 12, 2009 at 8:02 PM  
Blogger ShallowGal said...

If my husband ever slapped me I would totally cuckold him, and not in the good way with the antlers.

May 12, 2009 at 8:16 PM  
Blogger Teacher Mommy said...

Nope. I'm with you. Men seem to be free to purchase those latest games and that flat-screen-HD TV they wanted and all that without really blinking an eye, whereas we squirrel away the shoe boxes and hide the tags off the clothes and shred the receipts.

Cuz our stuff is frivolous, while theirs is necessary--or at least just really cool.

Not that I've ever hidden shoe boxes or anything. *ahem*

May 12, 2009 at 8:18 PM  
Blogger Marinka said...

Le Shallow Gal--If I did "Comment of the Day", you'd totally win. But, sadly, I don't. Mostly because I can't figure out how to publish it. Maybe I should take an ad in the NYT? Or on Dooce?

May 12, 2009 at 8:22 PM  
Blogger Beth said...

My mother once bought 11 pairs of shoes and planned on sneaking them into the house one at a time (the shoes were hidden in her trunk). On the way home, the credit card company called my dad to confirm the card wasn't stolen.

The amount was more than their house payment and he didn't slap her.

She may have deserved it for acting like Imelda.

May 12, 2009 at 8:23 PM  
Blogger Carolyn...Online said...

Sorry I know I'm supposed to have a feminist bent to my comment but all I can think is Alexis Carrington... brings back memories. All I wanted in the 80's was to figure out how to get my blue eye shadow to look like Krystle Carrington's.

May 12, 2009 at 8:40 PM  
Blogger OneZenMom said...

I've never understood the hiding-purchases-from-the-husband thing. If you need to hide it you either: 1) Didn't need to buy it and are having guilt issues of your own or, 2) married and controlling asshole. Or both. I'll pass, thanks.

May 12, 2009 at 9:02 PM  
Anonymous peajaye said...

i feel like i need to defend the lucy/ricky dynamic, because it was the beginning of a dialogue we take for granted nowadays.

please don't forget that a husband OWNED his wife (or wives) not so long ago [and still does in many parts of the world]. you were chattel. slaves. property. like the car. or ipod. or beef jerky.

this is something that also gets lost in all this "traditional marriage" debate that's so popular these days. now if you're a rich man who can afford many wives, i can understand you wanting to go back to the good old days. but when i hear women longing for those days, i just don't get it. (and i know you're not saying that here.) modern marriage is a joining of equals, which is why so many of the gays want in. traditional marriage was a man's version of shopping spree - buying something new for the house that made him feel good.

and remember, too, you didn't even get to vote in america until 1920 - less than 90 years ago.

so i do think there's a BIG difference between a slap in the face and a verbal negotiation. and remember, ricky almost always came around to lucy's way of thinking - on the show, at least. he wanted her to look good and be happy, and always ended up learning that what she did had REAL value and that he and fred could never do it, no matter how hard they tried. so the men were becoming feminists as well, even if there was shouting and fist shaking before they got there.

so sorry, i still love lucy.

May 12, 2009 at 10:11 PM  
Anonymous Yvette said...

Wow hon, this one really hit home with me.

As a card carrying feminist (I know, I know, I just like the sound of it), the whole story makes my blood boil.

Having said that...there have been times in our (28 year?) marriage that I haven't been terribly forthcoming in disclosing certain purchases.

Why? Was I oppressed? No, I usually felt a little guilty that I was buying yet another Coach when he had been brown bagging it for a while. Does this mean I didn't deserve the Coach...need the Coach? No. Just, since my DH really never paid attention to my handbags, I just never really told him about it.

Power struggle? Not really.
Even though he is a retired SgtMaj of the Marine Corps, I always to this day handled everything. And ladies and gentleman, I mean everything; from finances to play dates. Pretty common in military households. Ironically, it continues to this day; even though he is now a civilian, I still figure he could go out of town any day, and I need to control everything.

BTW, the night before we were wed I warned him that the day he hit me...he would not only find his crap on the lawn, I would kick his ass........just sayin'

May 12, 2009 at 10:49 PM  
Blogger MommyTime said...

I think we both hide the purchases in our house. I, despite calling myself a feminist, do the stupid cut off the tags sneak around, while he does most of his purchasing online or of video games, so that there less "trail" of tags lying around. I don't really know exactly what he's buying and vice versa, though I don't think either of us would make a major purchase without checking with the other first. Does that make us equal-opportunity slappers/sneakers? Or just weird?

May 12, 2009 at 11:07 PM  
Blogger kimberly said...

I'm just sayin' ... how many thongs would fit in an abaya? A LOT. Girl got a bargain as far as I can tell. Her husband should be praising her thrifty ways.


May 13, 2009 at 12:25 AM  
Blogger Liz Wilkey (a.k.a. A Mom on Spin) said...

It's my daughters hiding the purchases in our household. . .

Just the other day I gave her $280 to go to the city buy a prom dress. The dress was $180 and she spent the rest of the money at Free People.

I'd slap her if I didn't think someone would call DYFS on me. . .

May 13, 2009 at 7:00 AM  
Blogger Marinka said...

Peajaye--I love Lucy, too, but I'm unclear why we still have women in this day and age, sneaking their purchases in past their husbands.

And of course, there is a difference between a slap and sneaking the packages to avoid a verbal chiding, but I don't think it's a very big difference. Both imply that if a woman is not chattel, she's certainly not an equal economic partner.

And I don't think that Ricky came around to Lucy's way of thinking so much as he ay-yia-yiay! resigned to it.

I hate Ricky.

May 13, 2009 at 9:27 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

You are correct. That is an insane amount for an abaya, it's the humiliation, and the hiding purchases thing (which I totally do) is an economic imbalance and shouldn't be necessary.

May 13, 2009 at 10:27 AM  
Blogger Petra a.k.a The Wise (*Young*) Mommy said...

Yes, slapping is bad. Unless it is done in the heat of passion and you enjoy it. Sometimes that's good. Right?

May 13, 2009 at 11:06 AM  
Anonymous Andrea's Sweet Life said...

Does this mean I can put my foot up my husband's ass for buying himself a motorcycle for his birthday without "permission"?

Eh, it's alright. At least he bought me a helmet while he was at it.

May 13, 2009 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger Pseudo said...

According to the karmic cycle of balance, within 100 years, women will have the right to cut off one testicle of any man who is prick enough to think he can slap a woman.

Men who punch a woman with a closed fist? We will call them eunichs.

May 13, 2009 at 12:13 PM  
Blogger Mx said...

I pray to whatever diety that will keep me from being a woman in Islam....in my next life....

May 13, 2009 at 12:14 PM  
Blogger Mx said...

oops...... d.e.i.t.y.... 'i' before 'e' except after 'c' and deity....and foreign and all those other things

May 13, 2009 at 12:17 PM  
Anonymous Alison @ Cluck and Tweet said...

I think I'll start selling abayas on our website. I mean, how much can the fabric cost? I think that's some serious markup.

May 13, 2009 at 12:44 PM  
Anonymous Maureen at IslandRoar said...

My mom always used to give us the speech in the car on the way home from shopping, "Don't tell your father..." It was like a game. He once told me he knew what she bought; she worked hard and deserved it.
I've never (well, close to never) bought in secret, but if I had to cover my head with a black scarf, I'd definitely want to go high end!

May 13, 2009 at 1:26 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

Not only do I not hide my purchases, but I usually parade them about. Clearly I wear the thongs in this family.

May 13, 2009 at 2:24 PM  
Blogger Loukia said...

I always hide my purchases from my husband! (On a daily basis, it seems!)

May 13, 2009 at 3:30 PM  

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