In Saudi Arabia, the U.S.'s favorite oil buddy, women are not allowed to drive. But Manal al Sharif, a 32-year-old Saudi woman took to the road last week, posted a video of her driving (http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/24/saudi-womans-driving-video-preserved-online/, which the Saudis are trying to censor. She was detained briefly, but continues to organize via the web a protest that puts Saudi women behind the wheel en masse. The protest is scheduled to take place on June 17th in Saudi Arabia.
Apparently there is a campaign afoot among Saudi men to beat women who drive. But as with the Arab spring, it is unlikely that the women will be intimidated or stopped. Spread the word. Lend support.
Saudi women can't take public transportation because of the separation of men and women in the culture. That leaves them twiddling their thumbs unless they can afford a driver. Says Sharif, "It's too expensive. Many women can't afford it."
This may on the surface be about culture, but right underneath it's about control. Go Manal.