Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What's under the abaya? Sometimes, nothing.

From Bikya Masr:
Kuwaiti police have reportedly arrested three women for not wearing any clothes underneath their abayas at a cafe in the Salmiya commercial complex, the al-Rai daily newspaper reported.

Two of the women were from Gulf countries and are not Kuwaiti, police sources said.

The report said that a local boy told his mother that he had seen one of their naked bodies. The mother then called the police and they were arrested.

The newspaper added that the women, one of whom was a minor – allegedly told police that they had just had sex in an apartment, consumed alcohol and “had become drunk.” They had then gone to the cafe afterwards.

Police reported to have phoned the father of the two GCC girls, but he said he could not come to Kuwait as he was busy. The girls have been referred to the Criminal Investigations Department.

According to Marwa Tarek, a women’s rights activist and blogger in Kuwait, the women could face a number of criminal charges, especially if they are accused of being lesbians.

“The crime and penalty for being gay is not a nice one here and they could be facing years in prison if the accusations they had consensual sex are proven true,” she told Bikyamasr.com.

Tarek said that she questions how the boy saw any of them naked, as the abaya usually covers the entirety of the body and is difficult to see through.

“The boy was probably peeking underneath and then told his mother. It is the boy who should be in trouble, not the three women who did nothing wrong except be in public. I know a lot of women who often wear nothing underneath their abaya because it is so hot and nobody can see,” she added.

Remember this old controversial commercial featuring a 15-year old Brooke Shields?

I don't know how smart it is for a women's rights activist to tell Arab men that sometimes there is nothing underneath an abaya. Arab harassment of covered women was already sky-high.

(h/t CHA)