And then there’s this news from Tehran, by Thomas Erdbrink at the NYT: When Freedom Is the Right to Stay Under Wraps – NYTimes.com. It begins:
TEHRAN — Cars honked frantically, their drivers in despair as separate columns of Iranian men and women in black chadors fist-pumped their way through the capital’s afternoon rush on Wednesday, shouting for the government to arrest all women who are improperly veiled.
“Corruption and immorality have engulfed the nation,” Shala Mousavi, a round-faced conservative woman, told an eager reporter for Iran’s state television. “We are forced to act.”
Tehran’s governor had said in an extremely polite statement that there would be no permit issued for the protest. But here the protesters were, descending on Fatemi Square, right in the middle of this city of 12 million and a stone’s throw from the Interior Ministry building, casually defying a government ban on rallies conducted without permits.
Nervous police officers stood by as the protesters blocked traffic in the square to deliver their demand for harsher measures against women who flout Iran’s obligatory Islamic dress code, especially now that the hot Tehran summer is approaching.
So let’s analyze this story. First thing that struck me: men were dressed in chadors, along with the women. Is this good news about equal rights (to suffer)? Are men insisting themselves on dressing in what sounds like the world’s second most stifling native dress? With Louboutins underneath? Good for them.
Or maybe this is a protest on behalf of Iranian cross-dressers, or trannies?
But of course I’m being sarcastic. So the second thought I had was, is this actually a sardonic protest group, a sort of Iranian Billionaires for Bush?
Ah, this is what comes of being both an optimist and a satirist. And let us all note that woman like Shala Mousavi, quoted in this article as saying, “Corruption and immorality have engulfed the nation,” were part of this “protest.” How could this be? Let me suggest you take a glance at my previous post about caning an Indonesian woman for the crime of being gang-raped.
Do you think Ms. Mousavi’s closest male relatives had some influence in getting her and her chador out there in protest? (That’s a rhetorical question.)
REALLY HELPFUL UPDATE 5/13/2014. Jerry Coyne’s Why Evolution Is True just published a great blessing for me, and anybody else who gets muddled over the variety of coverings Muslims demand women to wear in public. (I barely know the difference between a chador and a burkha.) Here it is: not only the names of the awful garments, but pictures of them, as well: Ditching the hijab in Iran « Why Evolution Is True.