One of the quotes under the subheading "The System Works for Some" in "'I Live in a Lie': Saudi Women Speak Up," a collection of quotes responding to a call from the NYT for stories from Saudi women. The call triggered a Twitter hashtag لاـ تقولون ـ للنيويورك ـ تايمز (“Don’t tell The New York Times”) and that lead to things like: "#don’t_tell_theNewYork_times that if your father rapes you and you run away, then you will go to prison, and if they let you out, then they will send you back to him."
I found it very interesting to think about the problem of the subordination of women from the perspective of those who have to operate within "the guardianship" and who therefore devote effort to speaking to their male relatives in private and influencing them to become more "enlightened" and supportive of women's freedom and independence. From the collection of quotes:
I am one of the lucky women who had an amazing and enlightened father and wonderful brothers, who do not interfere in my choices and support me all the way... — Abeer Abdul Hamid, 50, LondonRules require interpretation, and within a group, such as a family, there is a lot of room for interpretation and arrival at the conviction that you've found the correct interpretation. The process of finding meaning — good, beneficent meaning — within a traditional system can work much better than throwing it off and starting from scratch or taking on somebody else's tradition.
The guardianship thing hasn’t affected my life because I’m not facing any problems with it due to my dad is a very cooperative man and he’s open-minded. — Latifah, 22, Riyadh
I have the best father in the whole world. He understands what Islamic rules are, and he applies them correctly. For example, I have a goal of building my own early-intervention center for children with disabilities. My dad encouraged me to follow that dream and sent me to study here in the U.S. I know how much hard it’s been on him and my family to let me go, but he came with me first and helped me finding an apartment and all the stuff I needed. Then, when everything was going smoothly, he returned to Saudi. Therefore, I need a guardianship in my life.— D.A., 26, New York