Because they're sitting above a sea of oil. If that weren't the case, well, they'd probably be just another podunk third-world goat-herding shit hole. "Feminist" Israel, on the other hand, is a cultural and technological powerhouse despite their acceptance of 'atraditional' gender roles. Why? because they have a strong sense of national identity and a culture that promotes excellence, not because they force women into motherhood.
Two can play that game. If Saudi Arabia is influential ONLY because of the circumstances of their existence, then Israel is likewise only a powerhouse because of the circumstances of ITS existence - namely, massive financial and military support from the one and only nation that can truly be called a world power. Israel's success is definitely not due to feminism. What a ridiculous notion. If this were true, Canada, France, and Sweden would be at the top of the list instead of the relative nobodies that they are today. You even seem to understand this with the last sentence, so any reason you have for mentioning feminism in this context in the first place remains a mystery. It is irrelevant. Saudi Arabia's society works, and no, you cannot dismiss this fact away by pointing out their circumstances. Plenty of sub-Saharan nations are sitting on top of vast fields of natural resources as well; regardless, they remain a collective joke. Their societies don't work, Saudi Arabia's does.
Divorce rates are just a number and do not bespeak of the most important aspect: quality of offspring. I don't have any studies to back this up, but it seems to me that children raised in a household where the parents voluntarily chose to live with one another would be more well-rounded than those raised in a household where the only thing keeping the marriage together is the threat of shame and ostracism. Besides, would you marry just any girl, or would you like to have a choice? How this isn't common sense is beyond me.
It isn't common sense to you because you've been fed the idea that choice is your right as a human being. Rights do not exist, and if they do, every man is born with only one: the right to die. Other than this, every concept of what we deserve is a societal invention. Happiness is not found in getting what you want; it's found in accepting what you have. I suggest you actually find and socialize with some of the people in your town who still practice arranged marriage - there's bound to be some old-school Indians or Pakistanis enrolled in your local colleges' language courses. Go in without the blinders shrill harpies have put over your eyes and you'll find far more contentment than in couples who have to tread carefully lest the other consider divorce for reasons as trivial as "he's not the same person he was when we got married."
Also, nice ninja move - at one point you decry arranged marriage because it's not "true love,"(in itself a fallacious claim, as ACTUAL love has more to do with dedication and sacrifice than it does with emotional pleasure) and now you're saying you dislike it because of the children. Of course, children in societies that practice arranged marriage are unquestionably better-behaved than those in liberal ones. Unquestionably. You will NEVER see a child throwing a fit in the dirt of an African mud hut. Nor will you see such children growing up to be drug-addled losers. Here's a dose of common sense: some of this is because they are given responsibilities and expectations from a young age. Such as the knowledge that they are already betrothed, and had better find some manner in which to make the investment that other people put into them well worth it. Just as in our societies, children respond to structure and discipline a million times better than they do to the freedom to do as they please.
Strawman on both counts.
Men are perfectly capable of sticking an IV in a patient; that is but one side of nursing. However, women, being naturally more empathetic and extroverted, excel at the social aspect of patient care, which is what separates a good nurse from a great one, assuming that nurse is competent in the scientific aspect.
(I will admit that my post was hastily written. Women do in fact work as nurses and school teachers in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the middle-east.)
LOL it wasn't a straw man. It was what you said. The Middle East suffers because it doesn't let women fill said positions. That means that it either doesn't have anyone fill those positions, or that men are inept at filling them. Those are the argumentative prerequisites necessary to arrive at that position. It wasn't "hastily written," it was just plain wrong.
I'm not a "left wing creationist". I realize that males and females differ biologically, psychologically, and spiritually. However, these differences do not need to be institutionalized as they are in the middle-east; instead, gender specific roles should exist as 'cultural recommendations', not laws. Furthermore, just as a man is free to choose whether or not to produce offspring (in which case he will hopefully devote his life to his career, religion, cause, etc; rather than hedonistic pursuits), so too should a woman be able to do the same. This is what is meant by equality. The pursuit of intellectual, political, or economic endeavors by women should, however, be seen a "special calling", rather than the de facto course of action as is promulgated by liberal sources.
"Cultural recommendations" and "laws" are exactly the same thing. Laws do not exist divorced from the culture in which they emerge. In fact, it is exactly in those societies without "laws" as we know them where the consequences for going against them is the MOST severe. If Nagwa the spear-chucker's wife decides she doesn't want to have children anymore, and in fact deserves the same opportunity to be a spear-chucker too, that represents a severe cost to her husband, her children, and by extension to her tribe at large. She would be completely cut off if necessary, but of course it never is, because people accept their roles in places like this.
The middle east never conquered the world (they had their chance in the middle ages but they fell to the Mongols), unlike Western Europe, which has typically had a more 'liberal' stance on woman's place in society, and even has a longstanding tradition of queens, empresses, and duchesses.
I agree that this modern feminism has to be reeled back in, but there is such a thing as a healthy feminism.
First, Muslim societies didn't "almost" conquer the world. Whether in the form of Moors, Turks, or what have you, they were THE power in the Mediterranean until after the Renaissance was well under way. The Franks (as they collectively referred to Europeans) were seen as not only culturally inferior, but also technologically inferior; this attitude existed from the so-called Dark Ages well through the 15th century. The main reason they didn't completely conquer Europe was because they didn't see much reason to do so. The Byzantines did provide a small buffer, but you don't need much of one when you're not being pushed against particularly hard; they had plenty of wealth due to their geographic location, which allowed them to control all trade to and from the European continent. The reason for Europe's eventual success was, again, not feminism. It was Columbus' stupidity. He thought the world was a lot smaller than it was (everybody else knew he was wrong) and lucked out by finding a brand new continent - bingo, new source of wealth. Since the Muslim lands had no way of interfering with this new-found trade route, they began to shrivel up.
And longstanding tradition my ass. There is a longstanding tradition of male rule, with rare exceptions to this rule sprinkled here and there, which are remembered only BECAUSE they are rare exceptions. Get real. I bet you couldn't give me more than five seriously competitive female rulers off the top of your head without making justifications for their inclusion.
There is no such thing as healthy feminism. It is literally sick. It is a perversion of what is real. Here is what is real: men and women are different. Why should I treat different things as if they are the same? I'm not going to try to make an apple pie out of asparagus just because the asparagus is fickle and wants to be apples.
Actually, a capable woman is the whole reason for feminism's existence. Early feminist movements were more about not treating women as second class citizens, not the third wave feminist man-hating drek you see today.
fallot is absolutely correct. A capable woman IS an argument against feminism. Feminism does not exist to empower those women that are rare exceptions, are you kidding? If a woman is capable enough to fill the same position as a man, AND actually desires that position for reasons beyond wanting access to the no-girls-allows treehouse, she will prove that capability and be accepted on her own merits. The idea that a system is necessary to achieve this is nonsense. She will prove herself or she will not - that's it. Feminism exists to satiate the desires of those women who want more than they can get on their own merits. This is so obviously true that it bewilders me to see otherwise-intelligent people, such as yourself, stating otherwise. Capable people don't need help. Helpless people need help.
Actually, allow me to correct myself. Feminism does not exists to satiate women's desires. It exists to make people in power feel less guilty about their position. We live in a world where obedience is seen as weakness, authority is automatically considered suspicious, and faith is little more than a way to be criticized. Choice reigns supreme, and post-modern attitudes of "my choice is as valid as yours" is the natural consequence, even when that "my choice" is joining a LARP club and working as a gas station attendant because it's easier than having actual goals. So there is currently an immense push to force anybody who achieves more than this, and anyone who lives by the standards of strict masculine power, to feel guilty. Some succumb. Feminism emerges. If you think this is false, just ask yourself who gave women the vote. It wasn't women.