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Imagined Heroism of the Saudi 'Nail Polish Girl'

Madawi Al-Rasheed weighs in on the viral video of a Saudi woman confronting religious police and says that as long as Saudi women remain unorganized, Saudis and the rest of the world will continue to watch YouTube clips of futile disconnected incidents, grounded in sensationalism and imagined heroism.
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YouTube has become a vibrant alternative to traditional visual media like TV and has broken the monopoly the monotonous and boring Saudi official sources had over media in the country. Young Saudis have become freelance journalists producing their own video clips. A couple of years ago, it became common for Saudis to post video clips of young men and women being dragged away and detained by members of the state-appointed religious police, the Committee for the Prevention of Vice and Promotion of Virtue, known as the Haya, which means "committee." Most often, the victim was shown in the video as submissive and silent. 

This is no longer the case in present-day Saudi Arabia. On May 23, a Saudi woman posted a video of her heated and animated encounter with a member of the religious police who had asked her to leave a shopping center.

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