A Happy Song to Remind Women That They Shouldn’t Drive

As you know, Saudi Arabia doesn’t want women to drive because… ovaries.

Which was the motivation for this simplistic and downright-catchy song:

The comedian, Hisham Fageeh, is smiling when he sings, so the cleric’s warning can’t possibly be misogynistic.

(Thanks to Zuzanna for the link!)

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • mobathome

    “[Hisham Fageeh] is smiling when he sings, so the cleric’s warning can’t possibly be misogynistic.”

    Hisham Fageeh (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hisham_Fageeh) is a cleric?

  • Eliot Parulidae

    Did anyone else notice that he was using his beard as an instrument?

  • moose

    Well, he IS a comedian, as Hemant points out. I have to admit, I’m not sure what this article is saying. Maybe it’s because I’ve had a long day and I’m really tired, but it sounds like Hemant is assuming the video is a sincere effort to tell women not to drive. But it’s a satire–it’s gone viral precisely because it pokes fun at the misogyny and sheer idiocy of the Saudi theocracy (in a fun, catchy way). I apologize in advance if I’ve misread Hemant’s intent.

  • TravellingBeard

    Judging by the videos in his channel, I would definitely say he’s not conservative (the slumdog milionaire one is pretty good)

  • Rain

    I don’t think clerics are allowed to be happy. If they don’t take themselves seriously, how are people going to bring them money and gifts? I’m calling poe’s law on this one.

  • Rain

    Also they wouldn’t be able to make fatwaaaaaaaahs and have people take them seriously. Wahhhh.

  • Feral Dog

    I’m pretty sure he’s making fun of clerics that are saying women shouldn’t drive because it affects the ovaries and women’s role as servant by dressing as a cleric and singing that song, and that Hemant understood that but his own sarcasm was lost.

  • http://www.persephonespath.com/ PersephoneK

    I’m honestly confused. Is this satire or for reals?

  • Jayne Cravens

    He’s a comedian. Wonderful interview on CNN with him. You have to be SO careful criticizing anything in Saudi, hence why the smiles, no instruments, etc. So brilliant. These guys are such typical young educated Saudis – they would so love to see their country change for women (and, well, everyone), but have to be oh-so-careful in how they express it.

  • Paula M Marshall

    “No woman, no drive”?? That means if you’re not a woman, you don’t drive. So the men are screwed.

  • moose

    I know the comedian was dressing as a cleric to make fun of the law and the bizarre statements clerics make…I just wasn’t sure Hemant knew that. You’re probably right, Hemant’s own sarcasm didn’t come through, but he certainly understood the point of the video. I guess I’m sensitive to it because where I live, there are plenty pf people who would assume this video is a legit, Saudi-sponsored video and use it to gloat about their religious superiority. Of course, come to think of it, I’m sure there are Islamists who don’t get the satire and think it’s a perfect way of justifying their idiocy.

  • moose

    It’s a satire–the singer is an Arab-American (Saudi-born) comedian. Saudi women have been taking to the streets (driving) recently and this video has been “adopted” by people supporting them.

  • islandbrewer

    Ah the Catholic Church. What? Did I get the religion wrong? Let’s see, overwhelming desire to limit women’s rights, concern about what happens to their ovaries, concern over controlling women’s reproductive choices.

    Yeah, he’s singing about Catholics, isn’t he?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

    Yes, I knew it was satire. No, I didn’t overtly say that. Oh well :)

  • Wally Weaksauce

    Why am I feeling nervous we’re going to read about him being beheaded or something in a few weeks….:(

  • webtraveler2

    Ironically men have a worse driving record and pay more in car insurance premiums…

  • Taneli Huuskonen


  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    Dude, pass the doobie!

  • JohnnieCanuck

    You have to admit, not letting women drive does prevent them from showing Saudi men up as poor drivers.

  • benanov

    As soon as I saw that the signer was a comedian, I immediately assumed it was satire. Hemant left enough clues, IMO.

    There are two kinds of people in this world – those that can extrapolate information, and…

  • KMR

    Damn. That song is gonna be in my head all day. Catchy little bugger isn’t it ;)

  • baal

    Think Colbert Report. He’s meeting the needs of the official line but means it as a satire. To do otherwise (or fail to succeed at it) is risky.

  • guest 1

    More specifically, Catholic Republicans!

  • raerants

    Yeah, the punctuation really matters here. What they mean to say is:

    No, woman, no drive.

  • Randay

    On Youtube, you would be surprised–or maybe not–by the number of people who don’t realize that he is doing satire. The ovaries mention is in response to a Saudi cleric that said that woman driving would be bad for them.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    Well, Wiki says…

    The title and main refrain, “No Woman, No Cry” is rendered “No, woman, nuh cry” in Jamaican Patois. The “nuh” is pronounced with a short schwa vowel (a “mumbled” vowel, often represented as “uh” in spelling) and represents a clitic (“weakened”) form of “no”. It is the equivalent to the contraction “don’t”. The song is about growing up in the ghetto and persuading a woman that things will get better, entreating her not to cry.[5]