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.
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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 »
Yesterday, we showed you the extremely disturbing video of an Iranian woman, Neda, being shot at a protest in Tehran. At the time, not much was known about her—who she was, why she was at the protest, or even if her name was really Neda. But today, the details are emerging. We now know that Neda’s last name was Agha-Soltan, and that she was only 26 years old. She majored in philosophy, but even though women in Iran aren’t allowed to sing in public, she secretly took lessons and wanted to be a pop singer. In fact, she was with her voice coach when she died. The two had gone to the protest, but as it started to turn violent, headed back to their car. When Neda stepped out to get a breath of fresh air (the car had been roasting in the sun all day) she was shot, most likely by a sniper on top of a building. [NY Times] Keep reading »
Yesterday we posted about Neda, the Iranian woman who was gunned down during protests in Tehran this weekend. Her brutal death was caught on camera and posted on YouTube, and many websites, including The Frisky, have posted it. She’s been deemed the “face” of the opposition movement in Iran, particularly representative of the women who have been at the forefront of the protests against the results of the corrupt presidential election. But some are wondering if Neda’s martrydom is appropriate and just. Keep reading »
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. Keep reading »