Because of restrictions on women working in Saudi Arabia, men hold nearly all sales positions in this country, which means that men sell women’s undergarments and lingerie. This is yet another example of the contradictions that abound in this strictly religious and segregated society where women are mainly allowed to work only in the education and medical fields. In a country where black marker is applied to women’s images in magazines before they can be sold, and where men and women are not supposed to mix together socially, a Saudi woman in need of panties or bras must purchase them from a man. Despite the fact that a law was approved about three years ago permitting women to step in to sale positions for women’s undergarments, this has still not happened yet. Making this problem even worse and more embarassing is the fact that women cannot try on articles of clothing before purchasing them because dressing rooms for women are virtually banned within the kingdom. I especially like to try on bras before I purchase them because sizes and fit can vary greatly from one manufacturer to another. The reason for the ban on women’s dressing rooms is that the religious rulers consider dressing rooms too potentially dangerous for women – a sex-starved male salesclerk might not be able to control himself if he knows there is a woman undressing in the back, or it would present too tempting of an easy opportunity for a willing woman customer who is attracted to the lowly salesman. Only in Saudi Arabia…
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About This Blog, and About Me: Susie of Arabia
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, is KSA's 2nd largest city and is located on its west coast, right on the Red Sea. I moved here in 2007 with my Saudi hubby. This journal reflects the things that I see here, life through my eyes, my lens.
Please be sure to also visit my other blog, SUSIE OF ARABIA (formerly SUSIE'S BIG ADVENTURE), which relates my experiences, thoughts, and observations about living in Saudi Arabia.
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