This refers to the article by Sabria Jawhar, “When outrage over a changing Saudi society turns ugly,” published on Dec. 6.
She has touched the issue of women employment in sectors, which involve interaction with men. It was very painful to know the manner in which some sections of the society treat women who work in the fast food restaurants. It is not only an unethical and very indecent act, but a sin to point finger at a woman or see her as promiscuous. It is indeed much graver a vice to label someone as a whore or align a decent profession with flesh trade. How would the same menfolk allow maids to work, stay and live in their houses where there is much larger an interaction and potential of getting intimate with them?
Although, the writer must be trying to lay emphasis on the purity of workers in the restaurant business, it was a bit preposterous on her part to state that she did not find anyone in fast food restaurants in England to be engaged in prostitution. Whether it is England or India, the situation remains the same.
Further, the writer has tried to emphasize the point that the women at Hardees just take orders and do not serve the customers as waitresses. It is understandable that each community has certain customs and cultural issues. However, it will be unfair and against the principle of dignity of human work to view the position of waitresses as lowly or undesirable.
One must also bear in mind that many women are forced to take up works against their will to earn livelihood for themselves and their families after being abandoned by their fathers or husbands or even children. From that perspective, one has to be more sympathetic and considerate towards their hardship and avoid affixing undesirable labels and indulging in reckless slander. — Safi H. Jannaty, Dammam