Hellhole (n.) A place of extreme wretchedness or squalor. “Saudi Arabia is a theocratic hellhole.”

CNN clarifies:

Husbands are allowed to slap their wives if they spend lavishly, a Saudi judge said recently during a seminar on domestic violence, Saudi media reported Sunday.

And this is followed by allusions to the usual local attitude that women, being dim, inferior copies of men, cannot contain their lasciviousness and fractiousness alone — though “nobody puts even a fraction of blame” on women! — so of course men, wiser and sterner, need to step in, hit them a few times, arrange a marriage for them, pull a hijab over their heads, and generally treat them like high-class pets. (Oh! And no going outside without a leash… err, a male escort. No, not that kind of an escort. A male relative; a son or someone else less prone to temptation than the woman.)

In my understanding of the world, the greatest evil (or close) is telling people “you can’t do this” or “you must do this” without a very, very good reason. And given that the reasons for these Saudi shenanigans — bullying of women and general turban-tied-too-tight behavior — are ancient prejudices and a book of lies plus associated commentary, this travesty of a social system they have is what makes their country, as it currently is, as said above, a hellhole.

Soapbox over.

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