Hwages: “If only God would rid us of men”.
Two disapproving men cruise past in an American saloon. What are they grimacing at?
The joy-filled antics of Saudi Arabian women as they skateboard, play basketball, and ride bumper karts.
They probably don’t like the lyrics of the song Hwages either, which translate to:
“If only God would rid us of men”.
Or the scene where the singers knock down bowling pins that have male faces stuck on them.
A feminist hit in full-force, Hwages (which loosely means “Concerns”) has now been viewed over 2.5m times on YouTube.
It’s not just an attack on the misogyny in Saudi culture though (where women often face scrutiny over travelling alone, participating in sports, wearing makeup or fashionable clothes, and are forbidden to drive).
The viral video also takes a dig at the Middle East’s chauvinistic relationship with the West – featuring a suitably jowly Donald Trump puppet flanked by Saudi men.
Before anyone says ‘not all men’, we’re going to cut cut in and point out that the politically-motivated piece was created by Majed Alesa (the male Saudi producer also behind the controversial Barbs hip-hop dance craze).
Clearly the rumbling call for equality (that also saw Saudi women given the vote for the first time in recent years), is something that now appeals to all kinds of people.
But campaigning for change comes with a cost: women who flout bans on acts like driving are still jailed – just last week a Saudi man was sentenced to a year behind bars and fined £6,500 for a poster campaign that called for the end to male guardianship.
While many have praised the hit on Twitter, others have been outraged, labelling it “disgusting” and “extremely inappropriate”.
Fantastically colourful and catchy – and with powerful synchronised dance moves – we think this is a video of which Majedalesa should be truly proud.
“May men go extinct, they cause us to have mental illnesses,” the girls sing, referencing the lyrics of a 2014 protest song in Saudi Arabia.
“May they all go crazy, they seem to be possessed.”
Watch the full video below…
Kitty Knowles is a Senior Features Writer at The Memo. Kitty previously worked as an online journalist for GQ. She can be found tweeting @KittyGKnowles.