Please help Saudi women: send them panties

Just before Valentine's Day, a Facebook group called "Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and ForwardPanty
Women" urged people to send pink underwear to the head of Sri Ram Sena, a right-wing group in India that had viciously attacked women drinking in a bar.

In the same spirit, I'm urging everyone to send panties to any Saudi women they know. I'm also urging President Obama to order the Air Force to drop thousands of panty packages on Saudia Arabia. Each package would carry a letter:

Dear Friend:

Please find enclosed panties of various sizes and colors. Keep the ones you like and pass the others to your friends and relatives. This is a gift from me, Michelle Obama, to the women of Saudi Arabia (and only the women!).

I recently learned how difficult it is for you to buy underwear, how you're forced to deal with men working in lingerie shops. As a 20-year-old Saudi woman told BBC News, "Girls don't feel very comfortable when males are selling them
lingerie, telling them what size they need, and saying 'I think this is
small on you, I think this is large on you'." To be honest, I don't even like it when Barack tells me that my panties are too small for me.

"What do you know about bras and panties?" I said to him. "Just worry about your stimulus package."

"I am," he said.

He thinks he knows everything, but he doesn't. I've had to correct him so many times. I'm sure you know what that's like. Men in Saudi Arabia seem to think they know what's best for women. They tell you what to wear, whether you can work and how you can travel. It's a wonder they don't tell you when you should have your period.

Freedom comes in small steps, so consider these panties a small step. You didn't have to buy them from men. In fact, the planes that dropped them on you were being flown by female pilots. I made sure of that. I wanted you to get a bunch of panties, but not get your panties in a bunch.

Michelle Obama, First Lady


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If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. What a great take on this story! As an American living in Saudi, I’m only too aware of the awkwardness of buying intimate apparel from guys who – frankly – haven’t been with women from years! Eww. Thanks for adding some humor to a not-so-funny situation!

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