An upbeat pop song from Saudi Arabia that lashes out at the Gulf kingdom’s oppressive women’s rights record has gone viral shortly after its late December upload to social media.
The catchy hit entitled ”Hwages,” which roughly translates as ”concerns” in English, has garnered more than 2.5 million views on YouTube since it December 23 inception.
However, hardliners have lambasted the song and its music video that features veiled female vocalists striking out at the male-dominated Saudi society and singing lyrics such as ”If only God would rid us of men,” as ”disgusting.”
The nearly three-minute clip also features women dress in traditional Islamic garb taking part in various activities that are forbidden to Saudi women such as dancing, skateboarding and playing basketball in public.
The music video for the song produced by Saudi director Majed Alesa also takes a hit at Saudi Arabia’s strict dress code and moral code for women as the actresses are seen wearing colorful, print dresses underneath the traditional black ”abaya,” or cloak.
The video’s opening scene references controversial Saudi laws that ban women from driving and requires them to be accompanied by a male companion.
In other scenes, the women are scene knocking down bowling pins decorated with photographs of men’s face. The video also raps US President-elect Donald Trump, who was criticized for comments he made about women and Muslims in his presidential campaign.
According to British media, hardline Islamists have taken to social media to rant against the pop song, decrying it as ”cheap,” ”inappropriate” and ”disgusting.”
“The director offends the Muslim women in our country. Where are our preachers to deny this?” one Saudi citizen, Hassan al-Ghamdi, was quoted as saying.
Recently, however, activists have employed the power of social media to call for an end to oppressive laws and the issue of male guardianship in Saudi Arabia with hashtags such as #StopEnslavingSaudiWomen taking Twitter by storm.