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Sitting In The Privileged Chair

Filed under: Middle East

Nancy Pelosi got a very interesting, symbolic, relatively meaningless privilege during her trip to Saudi Arabia.
Riyadh: US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi yesterday visited Saudi Arabia's unelected advisory council, the closest thing in the kingdom to a legislature, where she tried out her counterpart's chair - a privilege no Saudi woman can have because women cannot become legislators.

Pelosi, the first US woman house speaker, said she raised the issue of Saudi Arabia's lack of female politicians with Saudi government officials on the last stop of her Mideast tour, but she refrained from criticising the kingdom over it.

"It's a nice view from here," said Pelosi as she sat in the chair, facing the ornate chamber with its deep blue and yellow chairs and gilded ironwork.

I don't know why the Saudis would make such an exception. Perhaps that's the cause for the shocked expressions in the picture. Maybe it means that they think she's a man? I can imagine how they'd make the mistake since she wasn't wearing that hijab she picked up. . .

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