Feminism In Iran Is Going Strong

Sometimes, I think we assume that women who live in super-sexist countries are helpless while we—the almighty Americans—are enlightened and free. We look at gals in countries like Iran and feel pity, or the need to rush in and save them from having to wear burkas. But I think we’re being way too presumptive. Women everywhere can confront difficult circumstances and overcome obstacles, no matter what their race, economic background, or living situation. We aren’t stronger because we don’t have to wear floor-length skirts or look down when a man walks by. We’re just lucky.

Hear me out, I’m not saying that women in Iran are treated as well as women in the United States. They aren’t, by a long shot. But just because a woman is in an oppressive situation doesn’t mean she’s helpless or hopeless—believing that is an insult to women everywhere. Women in Iran don’t just passively take their treatment. Believe it or not, there is a strong feminist movement in Iran. Women aren’t exactly burning their bras (and did that even happen/work?), but they’re trying hard to force change.On June 12, Iran had a presidential election between incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Mir-Hossein Mousavi. Ahmadinejad has really effed things up for women in Iran. He’s all about polygamy and has even said it’s the solution to unemployment. Huh? He also advocated “temporary marriages” which allow men to engage in consequence-free sex with prostitutes. In response, gals formed a coalition and successfully lobbied against this stupid measure.

The other guy, Mousavi, is a way better choice for women. He vowed to review laws that discriminate against chicks and said he would seek to disband the so called “morality police.” Yeah, dude, because that is sooo 1984. He wants gals to earn money on their own, rather than be dependent on their hubbies.

But, alas, the election was rigged and Ahmadinejad was declared the winner in a landslide. Naturally, women were pissed and let everyone know it. Women, alongside men, have been protesting in Tehran ever since. At least one woman has been killed, and many more have been beaten by crazy Iranian authorities. Woman were so vocal in their views Sanam Anderlini, a consultant on international women’s issues said, “I would say women were the turning point for the election.”

And this definitely isn’t the first time woman have voiced their opinions about Iranian policy. In 1996, women started the One Million Signatures Campaign, an attempt to get women equality under Iranian law, after police violently attacked a women’s rights demonstration in Tehran. Actually, Iranian feminism has been going strong since the 1970s. If it weren’t for misogynists like Ahmadinejad, women would have made a lot more progress there. Despite the consequences, Iranian women are fighting back. [The Daily Beast]

If you’re still interested check out this video.