Saudi sheikh: When women drive it “rolls up the pelvis,” causes birth defects

Saudi Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Luhaydan says that women should not be permitted to drive cars because driving hurts a woman’s pelvis and ovaries, thus causing children with birth defects.

And for all those anti-gays who claim that we only beat up on “Christian” countries like Russia, and never hold the Saudis to a higher standard, read on.

Yes, well, one challenge at a time.  (Muslim woman driving via Shutterstock.)

Yes, well, one challenge at a time. (Muslim woman driving via Shutterstock.)

The Sheikh revealed this amazing discovery during an interview with the Saudi news site,  While the interview is in Arabic, and Google translate doesn’t do a terribly good job with that language, Al Arabiya translated some of the interview for us:

Driving “could have a reverse physiological impact. Physiological science and functional medicine studied this side [and found] that it automatically affects ovaries and rolls up the pelvis.

This is why we find for women who continuously drive cars their children are born with clinical disorders of varying degrees,” Sheikh al-Luhaydan said.

Per Riyadh Connect, there’s another reason the Sheikh thinks women shouldn’t be permitted to drive.  Apparently, the sheikh has “statitics” showing that 9% of men, and 33% of women, get into car accidents.

Of course, the Sheikh failed to note that the 9% of men are probably crashing their cars into the 33% of women because they’re ticked the women aren’t back home slaving over a pot of Barilla pasta.

Child driving via Shutterstock.

Child driving via Shutterstock.

And in all fairness to Saudi men, before anyone calls the Sheikh’s comments sexist, 8 year old wives really are crappy drivers.

On a happier note, the Sheikh did admit that it’s okay for women to drive if the husband is injured and needs to go to a hospital. Yes, how convenient for him.

And I’m pretty sure there’s a second exception to the rule: Saudi women are permitted to drive if they refuse to have sex with their husbands until he hands over the damn keys.

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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25 Responses to “Saudi sheikh: When women drive it “rolls up the pelvis,” causes birth defects”

  1. CancerDefect says:

    mm… not sure about this one.

  2. chris10858 says:

    Let’s have some fun… let’s replace the name “Saudi Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Luhaydan” with (insert name of tea party congressman or senator) in the article and see how close to home this really is. LOL

  3. Badgerite says:

    Oh, excellent point.

  4. Monoceros Forth says:

    Phew, it’s always grisly when some right-wing nut tries to pretend that his sexist claptrap is meant to help. I’m reminded of Newtie Gingrich’s assertion that women shouldn’t serve in the armed forces in order to protect them from getting “infections”, or the Catholic assertions that the use of contraceptives actually demeans women.

  5. Butch1 says:

    Ha! That makes more sense that the baloney he’s pedaling.

  6. BeccaM says:

    I know exactly what you’re talking about.

  7. BeccaM says:

    I’d love to get a viral meme going: “Women who are oppressed and under constant stress are at risk of developing the rare but serious condition known as ‘vagina dentata.'”

  8. pappyvet says:

    Roll up the pelvis,we’ll hava pelvis of fun….Sorry Sis,sometimes the insanity is so all encompassing I have to break the tension or go mad.

  9. discus_sucks_ass says:

    oh FFS!

  10. silas1898 says:

    The accelerator pedal transmits the demonic fire spirit from the engine into the driver and the women are just not equipped to handle such a powerful force like the men. Or something.

  11. UncleBucky says:

    So, you are saying that ignorant bagghers sound like that idiot Sheik and his buddies?

    I’d say so, too! Hahahaha.

  12. Bill_Perdue says:

    Religion is the enemy.

    Religion is humankind’s greatest tragedy. That includes all the cults, big and small and not just the baby rapers, mormons and evangelists.

    Priests, imams, rabbis, ministers and pastors of all cults are the enemy.

    Religion is one of the main props, along with right wing and centrist parties of a backward, for profit, patriarchal society.

    It’s time to get real and get mean. We’ll have to do it ourselves by campaigning for things like taxing the cults, secularizing their schools, hospitals and universities (without compensation) and closing their seminaries. It’s time to create laws and regulations that forbid priests, imams, preachers, rabbis, mullahs or pastors to be near children. The risk for rape and abuse is just too great.

  13. heimaey says:

    When men drive their balls get too hot and squished and it’s harder to make sperm.

  14. Indigo says:

    I was searching for something rational to say about crazy-talk anatomy theories but you beat me to it. It’s Republican-jabber.

  15. karmanot says:

    Ah, the Saudis, those dear friends of the Bush family and engineers of 9/11 now bring us vagina terrorism,

  16. SkippyFlipjack says:

    Pretty sure the Muslim woman in the picture is a dude.

  17. dcinsider says:

    Oh, so THAT’s what causes birth defects.

  18. Butch1 says:

    Really? But just sitting in the car as a passenger will not cause the same effects? Bwaaahaaaaaa! Just how stupid are these buffoons? Do try, try again; that one is just too weak of an excuse to deny women the right to drive.

  19. pappyvet says:

    Yep,he’s a moron. Just convince the idiots that when women drive it restricts the reproductive system in such a way that they can only have male children. Every woman will be given a car immediately then they can drive themselves out of those miserable places.

  20. The_Fixer says:

    And yet the government of these people are one of our “strategic allies.”


    I really feel for Saudi women. These religious zealots suppressing these women will find that their unwillingness to embrace modernity will not serve them well. There is no excuse in this day and age to relegate women to the role of property of a man.

    And this moron really knows his stuff about anatomy, huh? Gee, do Saudi women have a special anatomy that the rest of the world’s women don’t share? And furthermore, women of the world have no role other than childbearing?

    This guy is sick.

  21. BeccaM says:

    Saudi women are permitted to drive if they refuse to have sex with their husbands until he hands over the damn keys.

    Unfortunately, Saudi men are permitted to rape their wives. There also is no Saudi law banning statutory rape.

    And if a man chooses to rape his daughter to death, he may only be subject to a small fine.

    If a woman is raped while she is in violation of “purdah” — the laws that say women may not be in the company of a man who is not her husband or male family guardian — she can be punished, including a sentence of prison and public lashing.

    Saudi Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Luhaydan’s remarks are humorous and absurd, but they reflect the cultural mores of a society that has legally classified women as ‘minors.’

  22. milli2 says:

    Yeah, blame it on “driving”. I think the sheikh just doesn’t know how to “unroll” a pelvis properly.

  23. Naja pallida says:

    I loved how they made a big deal not that long ago about how women in Saudi Arabia could now report incidences of domestic abuse. Yeah, they can hop right in their car and drive down to the police station to report that, right? Oh, wait, not allowed to drive. So, okay, they can walk down. Oh, wait, by law they have to be in the company of a male relative at all times – most likely their abuser. So yeah, that strategy will work out so well. So you can report your abuse… somehow. Maybe the police will make house calls?

  24. Badgerite says:

    “Rolls up the pelvis”? WTF They sound a lot like the GOP these days in their theories of female anatomy.

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