Essay 'Saudis In Bikinis' By Nicholas Kristof

Decent Essays
Westerners often hear of how oppressed women are in Saudi Arabia. As a result, one might expect these women to be vocal about their challenges living in such a country. However, contrary to the assumption that they are unhappy, they are quick to defend their country, saying that their often overbearing abayas are parts of their tradition. These women say that they still enjoy freedoms and that “[i]t is Western women… who have been manipulated into becoming the toys of men” (Kristof 272). Even so, they still receive unequal treatment from men. Saudi women journalists must stay in their own rooms when they work while men do not. Because of these types of segregated and deleterious practices, Nicholas Kristof argues in his essay “Saudis in Bikinis” that the West is not being paternalistic in trying to advocate for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia; they are trying to free women who have never tasted true liberty. It is…show more content…
That is evidenced by when he asks if “[i]t is paternalistic of us in the West to try to liberate women…”(272). He uses the word “us” to refer to those in the West who try to shed light on the subject. In addition, he attempts to convince those who think that they do not understand other cultures and should not judge that they must condemn the treatment of women in Saudi Arabia because he uses strong diction to imply that if the West does not intervene, they are not trying to “liberate women,” which is not something someone would not want to do. He also uses negative connotations to describe Saudi Arabia’s practices when he writes that those in the country “kill their economic development and sacrifice international respect by clinging to the 15th century” (273). By using the word “clinging,” he makes it seem as if Saudi Arabians are afraid of change and desperately stick to their traditions, no matter how outdated they
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