"No Woman, No Drive", an a cappella parody of Bob Marley's "No Woman, No Cry", has racked up over 5 million views since it was posted on YouTube on Saturday. It's drawn a lot of attention to women in Saudi Arabia who are protesting the ban on woman drivers. On Saturday, many Saudi women defied the ban, posting web videos in what is reportedly the largest protest of its kind ever to occur in the Kingdom.
"We just wanted to do something relevant and funny," Hisham Fageeh, the 26-year-old, Riyadh-based comedian/actor, tells Mother Jones. "The lyrics happened a while back in New York City while I was taking a shower, just playing on words."
Fageeh insists that, despite the acclaim the video is receiving as social commentary and satire, his project is strictly comedy and was not politically motivated.
I'm not sure if I buy that or not. If Fageeh openly declared his work was intended as social criticism, he risks being censored or otherwise rebuked in Saudi Arabia and in other similarly hostile countries. But presented as light-hearted fun-- ostensibly at the expense of the women he seeks to aid-- it's the perfect subversion.
In the final measure, it probably doesn't matter anymore how Fageeh intended his video. It's taken on a meaning and purpose of its own: calling attention to the shameful treatment of women in theocratic Saudi Arabia.
No sex, then beating, then yes sex. The Islamic way to romance a woman.
Old joke: How does a Texan define "foreplay"? "Git in the truck, bitch!"
Saudi male chauvinism seems to have some recent defectors. It is irritating that physical dominance continues to trump cranial ability in some parts of the world. That their fairness sensibilities in a theocratic state are so skewed only serves to illuminate the outdated policies of Sharia Law.
I hope it continues to draw attention.
The number of views jumped by half a million in the last 20 hours alone. That's about 7 people watching it every second. Mission accomplished, I'd say.