The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia announced today that it was leaning towards taking a step forward for women's rights and finally allow its female population to use forks. The highly anticipated move comes as the autocratic Islamic regime faces calls to be banned from the 2012 Olympic Games in London over its refusal to field women athletes and ongoing criticism around the world for its overall record on women's rights.
A spokesperson for the Saudi government says "We hope this gesture of goodwill today will assure our critics that the Kingdom is open to reform on all issues and is sensitive to the needs of its female population."
"There is something very unclean about a woman putting four long hard things into her mouth at once"
The Saudi government has banned women from using forks since its formation in 1932 over fears that the utensil represented a threat to the kingdom's conservative sexual mores.
"There is something very unclean about a woman putting four long hard things into her mouth at once," explains a leading Islamic cleric close to government policymakers "When a man sees a woman putting metal with such shapes into her sacred orifice, he cannot help but think the most unnatural thoughts. This measure exists to prevent sexual chaos between men and women."
However Mario Santerelli, an Italian ex-patriot who runs an upscale Italian restaurant in Riyadh, has a different view "I can't wait for the ban to be lifted. Its frustrating having to watch women eat pasta with a knife and spoon. Many of my customers are couples looking for a romantic night out. Being unable to properly eat your food kinda kills the mood."
Once the ban on female fork use is lifted women will still face a variety restrictions unique to the kingdom, where the status of women is arguably analogous to that of blacks in Apartheid South Africa. All women in Saudi Arabia are required to have a legal male guardian, barred from mixing with the opposite sex in public, forced to use separate entrances to most buildings, and are most notoriously banned from driving automobiles.
A recent fatwa has even called for women to be required to provide breast milk to any man on demand.
- Retweet this article to Saudi Arabia's Embassy in the United States: