22 May 2006

Sex change in Saudi Arabia: pros and cons

Saudi sex-changes empower some, shock others. That's the take of Jordanian Albawaba on the subject.

A recent phenomenon in Saudi Arabia has raised eyebrows for many and calls for a closer look at the Kingdom's conservative society: sex-change operations. Reports reveal that in 2005, there were no less than five cases of women who underwent surgery to become men in the Kingdom, according to Al Watan.

If you look at the above picture (from the same article), it becomes immediately clear that the raised eyebrows are attached to the male half of the Saudis. It is impossible to glimpse the state of the eyebrow on the person dressed that way.

Though this may seem like a small number considering Saudi Arabia's population of more than 26 million, the figure comes as a shock to many in the conservative Muslim society, as Saudi Arabia remains one of the most traditional countries in the region, especially regarding sexuality and equal rights for men and women.

Some Saudi officials have reportedly laid blame for the shocking phenomenon on the blasphemous influences of the West, as well as on "psychological defects" of those who underwent the surgery.

Let's disregard for the moment what these male chauvinists of Saudi Arabia think and what they raise as a response to the wondrous transformation. Let's look at the pros and cons of the change in an objective way.


  • You can drive a car
  • You can marry four of your ex-colleagues. And they will actually listen to the orders you issue (well, in theory at least)
  • You can go out shopping by yourself
  • You wouldn't be stoned for adultery
  • You wouldn't be jailed after getting raped
  • Free of all this heavy clothing that makes you sweat in that infernal heat
  • Free of having to painfully deliver all these children
  • Who in his sane mind wants to drive a car in the Middle East if it could be avoided?
  • Who in his sane mind wants more trouble than one spouse can create?
  • The shopping will be much less attractive now, almost no point in it
  • When going for adultery, make sure it is with a person of a female gender, otherwise you will be declared gay with all the consequences
  • When being raped - same as above
  • Yeah, the extra clothing is off, but these additional er... extremities really do not like heat, I can tell you. And there is the issue of shrinkage in the pool and the problem of aiming...
  • Yes, no pain of giving birth to all these brood, but then one or more of them will smother you with a pillow to divide your earthly possessions...
All the above is the stuff headaches are made of, so I have decided to check with SWMBO. The answer was swift and simple:
  1. No way she is going to accept all these responsibilities with no visible rewards
  2. The women in question should fight for their liberation, instead of going for a doubtful surgery that will make them second class people


anali lopez said...

this doesnt make any since