Saturday, 11 February 2012

Chain Hits My Chest

Before I headed off to Iceland, this video was posted online of M.I.A.'s new song Bad Girls, directed by Romain Gavras, who also directed M.I.A.'s controversial video for Born Free. The video for Bad Girls has one simple to-the-point message - a massive middle finger to the laws and culture of Saudi Arabia where it is illegal and socially unacceptable for a woman to drive. The video has M.I.A in blinged up Saudi dress with lots of chains, sitting comfortably on a car being driven on its side, whilst there are also long shots of woman doing car stunts that make Fast and Furious look dull. 

Saudi Arabia's culture has been scrutinized by many for being too behind the times, with it being the only country to ban women from driving as well as woman having to acquire written approval from a particular male guardian [eg father, husband, brother or son] to leave the country, work or go abroad. Well done M.I.A and Roman Gavras for keeping this ridiculous sexist ban in the public eye.

Manal Al-Sharif being filmed as she drives around with a license that she acquired in America. She was later arrested, held for ten days and signed an agreement not to talk to the press or drive again. In June 2011, a number of women, thought to be between 30-40, all drove out in protest of the laws through the streets of the Saudi capital, and none of them were reported to have been stopped. See article from the Guardian.


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