Well, it’s official, folks, The Iranian Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance has declared our favorite ironic hairstyle, the mullet, illegal. But not because it’s a heinous fashion violation—it’s considered an un-Islamic Western ‘do and an example of the Western Cultural Invasion. Also forbidden for men are “the rooster,” a ponytail with spikey front and a close relative of the mullet. All other “decadent Western cuts” are off limits, too. The punishment for the crime of engaging in mulletry? First time violators get a buzz cut. Serial hair offenders face stiff fines. And barber shops offering decadent cuts will get shut down.
The Iranian government must be getting their fashion news via carrier pigeon because mullets and roosters stopped being in vogue, well, 30 years ago. Maybe we should tell them to get a head start on banning “The Pauly D”? “Jersey Shore” style and Islam definitely don’t mix. [NY Daily News, Slate] Keep reading »
Here’s a story that will warm your heart just a little. Shane Bauer and Sarah Shourd have been imprisoned in Iran for 10 months because they strayed illegally into Iranian territory while hiking. But their love has continued to grow while they’re living this prison nightmare — so much so that they became engaged. Bauer proposed to Shourd using a ring he made from his shirt threads in the yard of the prison on Jan. 6, according to their mothers who recently visited them. And even though it’s impossible to know when the wedding will take place, their unbreakable bond is what’s keeping Shourd going, says her mother. A third hiker, Josh Fattal, will serve as best man.
Let’s hope their married years pleasantly outweigh their time in prison. [People] Keep reading »
Remember in 2007 when the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, visited the U.S. and told a crowd at Columbia University that there weren’t any homosexuals in Iran? And everyone laughed? Yeah, that was entertaining.
Ahmadinejad hasn’t met the Iranian actress Kiana Firouz and if she is extremely lucky, he never will. Firouz, 27, is a lesbian who was studying in Britain for two years and working on a documentary about homosexuals in Iran when she landed on the radar of Iranian authorities. As the punishment for homosexuality in Iran can be flogging, imprisonment or death, Kiana Firouz appealed to Britian’s Home Office to seek asylum. The Home Office rejected her appeal and told her she could just conceal her homosexuality if she went back to Iran — basically suggesting she stay inside the closet to avoid those niggling little human rights abuses. Keep reading »
Though millions of Iranian women wear makeup daily, the state television channel has officially banned its use by female presenters. In a perplexing effort to explain the decision, the station’s top manager told The Washington Post that, technically, it’s illegal. We get that things like makeup and overly sexy mannequins are big “issues” in Iran, but give a girl a break. Intense TV lighting and multi-angle shots don’t exactly make it easy to look good. Keep reading »
It’s hard for us to look at a mannequin’s uncovered, plastic head and keep our pants on. They’re just that hot. The synthetic and/or sculpted hair, the fake, vacant eyes, and the total lack of resemblance to a real live woman just gets the blood flowing in our nether regions. Aww, yeah.
OK, so obviously that’s not true. They are mannequins. They are inanimate. We do not have a lady boner for them. But apparently the Iranian government is very concerned about the power of the mannequin to seduce and corrupt. Keep reading »
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has nominated three women to serve in his cabinet. This sounds amazing on the first read, but don’t get too excited—many people believe this move is totally self-serving. Ahmadinejad is likely trying to take support away from his rival, relatively liberal and pro-women candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi, who most likely actually won the contested June election that spawned many violent protests. Although the nominations may make Ahmadinejad seem more moderate and less like a holdover from the Stone Age, female activists say the appointments will hurt, not help, their cause and think that the three women Ahmadinejad picked will basically serve as his puppets. Keep reading »
Remember that horrific video of an Iranian woman being shot to death during the post-election violence in Iran? Well, her name was Neda Agha-Soltan and today hundreds of people gathered by her grave to mourn the 40th day since her death, an important Shiite mourning tradition. The Iranian government didn’t want any services to be held for the girl, and when mourners showed up, things got out of hand. Riot police ordered Iranian opposition leader Mir Hussein Moussavi to leave the ceremony, and then two prominent filmmakers were taken to task for laying flowers by the girl’s grave. When the mourners got angry, the cops busted out wooden batons and tear gas. Iranians moved outdoors, but police were out in force there as well. The government has told people they aren’t allowed to have any formal ceremonies for this poor girl. Which makes me so crazy angry, I don’t know what to say. Let people mourn in peace! [NY Times] Keep reading »
Warning: This story is not for the faint of heart. Under Iranian leader Ali Khamenei’s ruthless regime, Iranian women are being forcibly married and raped before they are executed because, according to Islamic religious law, it is illegal to execute women who are virgins. Oddly enough, this despicable regime actually cares about religious law? It seems to me that torturing and killing women is bad enough but, oh no. This crazy Iranian death squad thinks it’s OK as long as the gals have been deflowered first. So, the night before the execution women are forced to get married. They are then raped by their new “husband.” Many women allegedly fear their “wedding” night more than their execution and are given sleeping pills because they are so hysterical.
Keep reading »
There is no doubt that women in Iran are at the forefront of the post-election protests. Now, the Iranian intelligence agency has finally given a name to these fierce females. On a website linked to Iran’s intelligence ministry, “women commandoes” is the term used to describe this strong female force. Apparently “woman commando #1” heading the women’s election protest for the “Green Movement” is said to be Zahra Rahnarvard, Mir Hossein Mousavi’s wife and popular activist. But a panel recently held at the Woodrow Wilson Center in DC about Iranian women’s role in election protests explained that the strong female outpouring the world is seeing now has always been around—cleverly hidden before through education and quiet organization. While many of these women in Iran are not part of the military the military-ish term “women commandoes” only shows just how powerful a force these women are. [The Nation] Keep reading »
The title is actually not the beginning of a joke. As unlikely as it may sound, this was gist of my most of my weekend. A little bit of background is necessary. Three years ago an Israeli is sitting in his room in Jerusalem getting ready to attend college in the US. He receives an email notifying him of the name and address of his freshman year roommate. To his surprise, the name and address are Iranian. What does he do: nothing. Despite the tensions in the region and possible conflicts, he decides not to complain to the college (whether this was out of cultural curiosity, tolerance, or extreme laziness remains a mystery). Simultaneously in another part of the world an Iranian receives his notification and pretty quickly surmises that his roommate is a Jew from Israel. He also decides to do nothing. Whether the college intentionally put two students from opposing countries together to foster international relations or some admissions director thought it would be a grand joke also remains a mystery. More likely than not it was just a screw up as both students later received an email inquiring as to their level of “comfortableness.” Both were comfortable and were now roommates. The unlikely combination of an Israeli and Iranian choosing to live together became more unlikely when the Iranian started dating a Palestinian. The unlikely group became an inseparable one. Keep reading »