I got an email from a friend in Poland, commenting on the enormous change in style following the fall of communism. Everyone was in black and gray in the bad old days, but that went out with the Soviet Empire, and people started to wear colorful clothes.
It was the same in Spain. Under Franco, the women were all in black and gray, but within a couple of months they were in red, yellow and orange. Wonderful!
It’s not just the Muslims who dread free women. Dictators always do, regardless of the official ideology. This discussion always gets distorted by those who think that women should be “free” to wear anything they wish, thereby missing the point that the misogynists are the ones calling for burkas etc. But the apologists for the Islamists find positive things to say about the women who cover themselves up. I remember a leading American female journalist, at the time of the 1979 Revolution, saying that she felt sexier in a chador than in a miniskirt. Believe me, she wasn’t. And those anti-female dress codes are not canonical, by the way. It’s not the Koran that says women have to cover themselves, it’s imams and mullahs and sheikhs, giving their own interpretations.
All of which is a long introduction to the revolutionary nature of Mousavi’s wife, Zahra Rahnavard. She’s religious and wears a head covering, but during the campaign she said that, while she thought women should cover their heads, if any women chose not to, that was fine with her.
That sort of freedom strikes at the dark misogynistic heart of the Islamic Republic, as women in colors threaten dictators everywhere.
And the failure to defend Iranian women is a very black spot on the honor of our three female secretaries of state, and of the so-called feminists, who for the most part have thrown in with the misogynists. Why? Because defending women’s freedom would have been “good for Bush,” and now would be “bad for Obama,” who famously swore to throw his support to school girls who wanted to wear a hijab to class.
UPDATE: There’s a very brave female journalist in Sudan who was arrested for wearing pants (Freud would have fun with this one, eh?), and refuses to (even) pay a fine. Al-AP is so excited they even screwed up the headline, which itself is worth some free association (they confused “flogging” with “fogging,” and I hope they are careful about the pronunciation).
And with regard to Nazi Germany, remember that the Fuhrer was quite insistent that women know their place: Kirche, Kuchen, Kinder…”church, kitchen and children.”
UPDATE II: Thanks to Prayer, News & Action for linking. There are other interesting links about “Women in Gray” etc.