While everyone is certainly breathing a sigh of relief that King Abdullah canceled the lashing of a woman for driving, the fact remains that it is still illegal for women to drive in Saudi Arabia... and perhaps the next woman won't be so lucky.
Furthermore, while the King did recently announce that women will be given the right to vote in municipal elections, that isn't until 2015 -- and these municipal councils are simply advisory; the King isn't bound by their decisions.
Which brings to mind a question that should have been asked long ago: Is it right that oil is treated as a commodity, meaning that when you go to the pump you have no idea what country the oil to make the gasoline you are filling your car with came from?
Or should you have the ability to go to a station where you know that you aren't supporting a country that so oppresses women (and most men have no real political power)?
(Or, for that matter, comes from other sources you might not approve of, perhaps for environmental reasons, even in America?)
Such a system would mean paying a bit more at the pump in order to implement a system that keeps track of where all oil comes from, is refined, and is transported. The oil industry and the United States government have always assumed that nobody cares about these issues, they just want their oil as cheaply as possible and don't want to think about where it comes from.
Are they right? Or would you be willing to pay a bit more in order to make a social statement with the thousands of dollars you spend on gas each year? Certainly Americans have the power to effect change if they want to. The question is, do we?
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