Saudi Arabia: Perspectives from a Western Female Comedienne


Whitney Cummings is a Western female comedienne who talks about her impression of women in the Middle East.  Her views are direct and to the point.


While this video only shared the impressions of Whitney, it does make me wonder whether humor could be a successful mechanism in orienting Saudi students to the US on culture shock?  Or expatriates to Saudi Arabia on culture shock?  hmmm…I think that could be fun!


18 Responses

  1. Which planet is THIS Whitney from? :)-

  2. I am curious as to where this video was shot, it was certainly not shot in Saudi Arabia. The women she met spoke English (in the video very good English). Those are the upper classes and as members of that upper class they are given quite a bit of freedom (do you think that woman learned to speak that way in an Arab country? probably not.). The working class woman does not have that kind of freedom of choice and in Saudi Arabia they don’t even have freedom of movement since they cannot drive and there is no public transportation.

    Ignorance in this case is truly bliss.

  3. Yes, my opinion is that most Muslim women are anything but oppressed. Those who live in places like Afghanistan are not Muslims in my opinion.

    I have heard that Mormon women are oppressed too, but if anything, we are on pedestal.

  4. What noted muslim feminist, activist, and journalist -Asra Nomani- has to say about women’s rights in Islam on Faith Complex.

  5. Stupid video, I always thought that to be a comedian you have to be intelligent, but she is apparently a person who swallows everything and doesn’t look further than the length of her nose. (As we say in Dutch)

    It’s quite funny Gwendolyn how you swallow hook line and sinker every bit of oppression in every new religion you join. I can see how swapping your religion every few years is not that much of an effort for you, you keep to the really misogynist ones, keep your blinders on and fantasize about being put on a pedestal.
    Maybe you have this urge to flit from one religion to the next because you really know you are not on a pedestal but under the heel of a boot and so you move on to the next religion.
    And as there are quite a few of misogynist religions around you still have many religions to join in the future.

    btw, as an apostate from the religion of peace you should be killed. Doesn’t that bother you?

  6. Gwendolyn, so women in the Islamic world are not oppressed?
    I wonder what planet you are from.
    Not all women are masochist and actually enjoy being lifestock you know? I fully understand that if somebody has the IQ of a cow they like to be treated like a cow, and no doubt these women exist in the Islamic countries too and are enjoying their abasement, but the majority of women consider themselves to be sentient, intelligent human beings and would like to have basic human rights and equality.

  7. @ Jerry: If you watched the video, she said she is Dubai, not Saudi Arabia. And everyone speaks English in Dubai, you don’t need to be “upper class” LOL

    & The use of the word “burka” gets on my nerves lol. I don’t know why she would book herself to do a comedy show in “The Midde East” if she was expecting it to be something like Afghanistan and then be so surprised it’s not. She knew prior…

  8. *in Dubai

  9. Gwendolyn,

    Here’s an interesting article about Mormons and Mormonism:

  10. Whitney has a new show on TV (quite funny too, at times). This video was shot in Dubai and I can say everything she says in the video is pretty true. In the West we like to think that women in the Arab lands have it worse, but having lived in UAE for a long time, I can tell you it’s not true. Women there are every much as empowered (in some cases even more, in some less) as women in the West.

    Those who carry on about oppressed women in the East need to open their minds. Yes there are issues (most of them legal) but for the most part, UAE, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar are pretty good when it comes to looking after women.

  11. I agree with Mezba’s comments.

  12. I am not surprised by this comedian’s view on the Middle Eastern world. The only thing I will say is that in many places in the region, it is preferred (if not expected) that the woman will stay at home while her children are young. In many places (if the husband can afford it), the husband will offer to pay the woman what she was making in her job so she can stay home with the children. This is a cultural issue and not a religious one.

    That said, as an American (or other Western) wife of an Arab man, it may be more acceptable for his family if she works than if she was from the region. The expectations for an American wife (due to culture) may be different from that of an Arab wife.

    “While this video only shared the impressions of Whitney, it does make me wonder whether humor could be a successful mechanism in orienting Saudi students to the US on culture shock? Or expatriates to Saudi Arabia on culture shock? hmmm…I think that could be fun!”

    I can already picture comedy pieces depicting things like the following situations:
    1) Americans/other Western societies sitting with their foot pointed at an Arab person without realizing what that means in the other person’s culture.

    2) If a group of friends from an Arab culture are busy talking and you don’t want to disturb them or you’re busy (as an American) so you go to another room. -OR- when offered coffee or tea, the American just takes the cup, says thank you, and walks off.

    3) Other differences in ideas of hospitality.

    4) Differences in how women -and Muslim women in particular- dress in different cultures and how men respond to it. Also, views on women dancing in public.

    5) How household chores are divided (such as taking out the trash) between a husband and wife.

    “Yes, my opinion is that most Muslim women are anything but oppressed. Those who live in places like Afghanistan are not Muslims in my opinion.”

    Just because someone is an Afghani and is Muslim does not automatically mean that the women in their family are oppressed. Politics and large mafia gangs of religious extremists are what cause oppression in places like these. Can you blame a family for being more protective of women in such an environment?

    I have seen religious extremists in the US also oppress the women in their families. It’s kinda creepy and sad all at the same time.

    That said, educated people seem to be less oppressed. My advice? Get educated. Additionally, if you have self-esteem problems, see a therapist.

  13. […] Saudi Arabia: Perspectives from a Western Female Comedienne: AMERICAN BEDU […]

  14. In a number of Saudi organizations a new mother can get up to one year off with pay.

  15. […] Saudi Arabia: Perspectives from a Western Female Comedienne: AMERICAN BEDU […]

  16. That’s remind me of the low GPA students who could not enter competitive specialities and instead they end up in geriatric medicine, after sometime they start to convince themselves they like the speciality and start saying that plastic surgeons are immoral and useless doctors :p . there is really good analogy here, Muhjabbat usually have peer/social pressure and they are rated good if they began to wear it (I am talking about the lucky ones in liberal saudi muslim families), after sometime they convince or make up some positives. and then they degrade all other women as immoral.

  17. […] Saudi Arabia: Perspectives from a Western Female Comedienne: AMERICAN BEDU […]

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