I’ve been on the fence about going with Doug to the Laser Master Worlds in Oman in November. My bucket list has a lot of places I’d like to visit. Oman has not been one of them. In fact, when they announced the location I had to look it up and do some research and we even had a guest post about all the things to do and see in Oman. It sounded interesting. I was intrigued and leaning towards going.
Then we heard about MERS (Middle East respiratory syndrome) which is causing concern with a 50% mortality rate and I was back on the fence. Then Doug pointed out the lead story on CNN this weekend about a Norwegian woman who was jailed in Dubai for reporting a rape. It’s the most backwards story I’ve ever read and just to make sure tourists know it isn’t an isolated incident, they say it also happened to two British women and an Australian woman. And Dubai is supposed to be one of the more progressive Middle Eastern countries! I’m just not feeling the love for that part of the world.
Of course, I would have been traveling with Doug which isn’t comforting because he has a really odd sense of humor which some people don’t get. When I ask him to hold my purse so I can look at something in a clothes store, he gladly takes it and when I take it back, he feigns shock and loudly tells anyone nearby ‘that woman just stole my purse.’ Now how’s something like that going to go over in Oman? Heck, I don’t even have the same last name as Doug. We just didn’t bother with rings, name changes, or merging anything. I’d have a hard time proving I’m not a single woman and I don’t even know if they’d let us stay in the same hotel room.
Doug thinks it’s all quite backwards and pointed out a comment on the news post that said: No Arab country that has these types of laws should ever get world events. That means no Expo for Dubai, no world soccer, no Olympics. Nothing. They want to stay this backwards, they can forgo modern world recognition.
So, I remind him that in the United States former slaves were given the right to vote 50 years before women were. In Texas, in my lifetime, “women were considered affirmatively retarded” and a married women was classified with “infants, idiots and felons” and “could not buy or sell their own property, sign contracts, make decisions for their children, control their own paychecks, or open their own bank accounts,” until Louise Raggio changed all that in 1967.
So, the Middle East isn’t really all that backwards, but I live in the US and I don’t have a need to experience being anything but treated as an equal. I definitely won’t miss the Master Worlds in France in 2014 and Canada in 2015.