When a Woman Mistreats a Maid, All Women Fall from Grace

August 30, 2010  |  

Given a chance to nail Christ to a cross again, everyone but the devil might say no.

Yet, a ruthless Saudi Arabian couple eagerly hammered nails through the body of their former maid, a Sri Lankan woman, who’d been working for them since March 25.

According to CNN reports Monday, Sri Lankan doctors pulled nails ranging from about one to three inches from the maid’s body.

The maid, Lahadapurage Daneris Ariyawathie, had complained that she was being overworked, and the couple thought, ‘hey, here’s how we can solve that problem: let’s hammer some heated nails into her body!’

What’s worse, it was the woman of the house who held the maid down while her husband hammered the nails into the maid’s body.

Time and again, it has become obvious that while our sexist society has revealed men to have deep-seated issues of power that cause them to treat women in disturbing ways, women too can be the worst offenders of human progress.

Did it not—even once—occur to the woman of the house to put herself in the shoes of the near penniless maid who was being burned by the hot nails driven into her body?

Was this woman so aligned with her husband that she had no allegiance to her fellow woman? (Pardon the irony in the use of the word, “fellow”).

Human rights groups have already reported that maids in Saudi Arabia suffer widespread abuse, including sexual violence, forced labor, and trafficking.

Armed with these reports, one must wonder why the women have not launched a deliberate movement to protect the women who help run their households. Instead of creating pathways for healthier communities, it seems that women accept—and maybe even create—the ills that oppress other women.

Jobs that require women to live with other women should be opportunities for community and empowerment, not opportunities to compound the already taxed fates of female maids in male-dominant societies.

Shame on the man, and shame on the woman of the house.

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