Reminiscing Soccer and Women in Saudi Arabia

I truly disliked soccer. During those times, soccer to me rhymed very well with “sucker” and was a symbol of the society’s boredom. Our only option as boys to express our creativity. There, in that country, everything was forbidden, everything was a no no. I basically couldn’t be grateful for anything more than for being male, as I saw that if I were on the other end of gender, my life would have been (even more) boring. As a little boy, I felt privileged by my masculinity, for having short hair and not having to cover it. For wearing white instead of black. For being able to “go out” and play in the street with the other boys, if I ever wanted to, and I hardly ever wanted to. I grew in a culture that glorified men to the beard, while completely marginalised women. I didn’t know what that even meant back then, I just saw it when my mother had to cover her evil hair and her ‘evil’ body in black, every time she leaves the house. She couldn’t really leave the house, without the company of my father, or a family male figure in exceptional cases because she presumably attracts evil if she was left alone. I saw it when she never attempted at the driver seat, because of course not! I saw it when she wouldn’t go buy her own grocery, but she would send me to the store numerous times, till I got her the right evil tampons! I saw women marginalisation on different levels during that time, but I don’t think it was as horribly boring as participating in a male dominated soccer game in the dusty streets of the old town or looking at one on the TV screen.

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