I do not envy Michelle Obama’s (pictured) position. No matter how innocuous her actions are — say, simply tackling childhood obesity with exercise and carrots — they are overly politicized. So many exploit her for their agendas even when she does not. The First Lady’s choice to forgo wearing a headscarf during an impromptu visit to Saudi Arabia following the death of King Abdullah is the latest example of such antics.
Initially, there were reports that Obama’s face was blurred out by the government-controlled Saudi TV stations in response to her refusal to wear a headscarf or veil to the kingdom. Sure, there was a tweet criticizing Obama’s “immodesty” that was retweeted some 2,500 times, but Saudi Arabia has more than 5 million Twitter users. It’s a paltry sum that was exploited for dubious reasons.
And yes, Obama wore a headscarf in Indonesia in 2010, though she was visiting a mosque at the time. The bottom line is, as a foreign-born woman in Saudi Arabia, Michelle Obama is not bound to Saudi Arabia’s oppressive laws that treat native women like children.