Personal Revolutions

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Nora Abdulkarim:

From my own observation and experience as a Saudi woman, each is born with a theoretical price tag, i.e. social reputation, and an actual price tag, i.e. her dowry amount. The higher the price, the more prestige and self-worth she can claim for herself socially as a woman. The price is initially dictated by arbitrary factors: what economic class she is born into, the standing of her family name, and the degree of her natural beauty, to name a few. These factors will in themselves allocate an initial range for her price tag. The price will then go up or down based on how she conducts herself in public and whether she decides to maintain and/or improve her appearance. For this reason, public appearances can sometimes take on a whole other, inauthentic dimension: that of selling herself.

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