JEDDAH — The picture of a man covering with his shumagh (headscarf) the window of a restaurant where he and his wife were having a meal went viral on social media websites with users divided over his action.
The man took off his headscarf and covered the window glass where his wife was sitting to shield her view from other male diners.
Some tweeters found excuses for the husband saying he was extremely jealous while others said the man was a male chauvinist obsessed by the chastity of women.
“The husband’s action was a violation of the mutual trust between couples and had distorted the general view of the place,” on tweet said.
Others looked at the matter from a different angle and said the photo was the evidence of a bigger problem from which Saudi society suffers from. They said photographing people in their intimate moments is a violation of their privacy.
The hashtag #husband-covers-wife-with-shumagh-in-a restaurant has crossed the barrier of 100,000 followers in just a few hours.
Muna Al-Sawwaf, a consultant psychologist, would not condemn or condone the husband’s behavior, saying it is not possible to judge a person from a single conduct. She said some families believe that restaurants do not usually conform with their customs and traditions as they do not like others watching them eating.
“The husband might be jealous or had fears for the safety of family. He might also have been keen to preserve the privacy of his wife,” she said.
Sawwaf said some men suffer from “sick jealousy” and will therefore try to keep their wives away from the eyes of other men.
“Such people do not usually take their wives with them to public places and they fence them off strong barriers,” she said.
She warned that such exaggerated jealousy might adversely be reflected on the women who will not hesitate to show their irritation.
Talal Al-Nashiri, a sociologist, said the husband’s behavior was a normal reflection of Saudi social habits.
He criticized the person who took the photograph and said if the woman was content why would he object by taking the picture?
But Al-Nashri jokingly said if the husband was concerned about the safety of his wife this much he should have taken her to a place where nobody would bother him.