Living in Jeddah I find what they call "cat fights" to be a common occurrence in the female Saudi community. It seems that women here like to get involved in disputes (I'm generalizing now, please don't get all defensive). Catfights are defined in the dictionary as: noun - a dispute carried out with intense hostility. This I have experienced myself directly or indirectly several times without even knowing that I was involved.
A woman may wake up one morning to a friend's phone call and suddenly find herself in the middle of a social crisis of rumors, accusations, and assaults. She wouldn't know where it came from. Disoriented, she might begin to call other friends to investigate the origin only making the matter worse, framing her as a gossip. She may have, at a point in the past, casually and unintentionally mentioned an incident or observation about a friend to another friend. Those casual words would have been carried from ear to ear creating a false monster out of her. She, being the true victim is accused of spreading rumors about that friend ruining their valuable friendship forever. NOTHING is taken lightly here. Gradually, she will be excised from the group because other common friends will begin to be cautious around her not including her in social functions "just incase". Unfortunately, the true culprit may be another woman who decided at one point in their acquaintance that this presumable attractive woman is a threat to her marriage, that may be because her husband mentioned briefly how intelligent he thought she was. This comment by the husband has stirred up a storm within the wife's heart creating a wicked strategy that will scar that intelligent woman's social life forever.
Lately, these pictures have been shared though Facebook and Blackberry indicating to me that this is a true social issue. I wish that the women in this community saw each other as compatriots, protecting and sharing instead of competing and destroying. Women are strong beings and in Saudi we are at a dire state where national transformation and growth are forcing us into professional roles and more productive positions that need us to be on our best behavior. However if we can not support each-other socially as sisters and friends how can we support ourselves in our changing society.
If you've ever been a victim of this kind of social catastrophe such as the fictional woman in the example above I recommend repeating the following positive self affirmation. It will help you build your internal self esteem.
"I don’t care. I really don’t care. People can say whatever they want to say about me because I know in my heart that if I suddenly dropped dead the only One I would answer to is happy with me. I have a clean heart and a good intention. I give everyone and anyone that crosses my path my fullest attention and with all sincerity. I give from the depths of my heart, I am earnest, I believe in transparency, and I really care. I care for myself enough to be truthful to anyone and everyone. I am strong enough to be myself. I am strong enough to show myself for what I am. I don’t hide my past, my present, or my future.
Those of you who fear this transparency see it as a threat because you have so much to hide. You have so many skeletons in your closets, so much dirt under your carpets. My transparency scares you because it makes you feel bad. You feel bad because you can’t be like me. My strength of self threatens you. You have no self confidence and no self value.The only way to make you feel better is to talk about me. To bring me down, to scratch on my image and make it ugly, just like you. However, the brutal truth is “You can’t”. You can never turn a diamond into stone. You can never bring me down. You can never do anything to me."
It is very crucial to keep your mouth shut, isolate yourself socially, or learn the creative and conniving ways of the Saudi Woman in order to survive this society (again I'm generalizing, please don't get hostile on me and I would appreciate it if you didn't accuse me of mental instability. Im just saying). Best of luck to all you Saudi Ladies. I would like to send a special thank you to those of you who have been good friends, and sisters to me. We would not be able to survive if we didn't have each-other.