Archive for the ‘Twitpic’ Category

More images of revolt in Iran: Fashion from women who are heroes

June 17, 2009

Does fashion precede freedom for some women?

We’re seeing freedom (and fashion) statements — from the nailpolish worn by individual women in some of the photos of the revolt in Tehran to designer handbags on display — also partial face masking plus  improperly worn head scarves, a punishable offense against women by the men who run political Islam. Images from Tehran suggest that forward progress of women’s global liberation may include steps through stages of self-actualization within the framework of what global culture currently supplies.

For women living under a religio-politico system of subordination by dress code (and chronic behind-closed-doors violence nobody witnesses),  any woman in public improperly wearing her male-required head scarf provides a  brave act of defiance in our world of cell-phone cameras and Twitter.    Some of the women pictured can afford Twitpic, they may Twitter.  They could probably afford (or somebody in their family afforded it for them) an education.  They can afford nail polish and designer bags.  When they revolt against the male-imposed veil, they revolt for women around the world who are required to comply by economic deprivation, threat and actual violence with their second-class gender caste status.

[Images from Wikipedia under “Hijab,”  “Abaya” and “Niqab” topics … there’s much more in the realm of imagery about political Islam’s dress code for women around the world, but why bum you out?]

[Woman with her son in Afghanistan, above, followed by two women under dress-code requirements on the Arabian peninsula  and a woman in Monterey, CA, USA]

In the facade for misogyny political Islam provides, it cannot advance anybody’s liberation to see a woman wearing political Islam’s required headdress — admittedly by the religion itself a symbol of male subordination of what men have dubbed as an “impure” womanhood redeemed through being masked in public.  That said, perhaps we outside Iran should consider whether we want to support women’s right to be free from religion, when every woman in question not only has no independent voice in the public sphere but we also cannot so much as see her face.

Maybe in some way of progression I do not fully understand as a guy with global male privilege —  maybe when teens outside political Islam “sext” their boyfriends with technology, when a woman in Tehran streaks her hair and improperly wears the head scarf in public, when women try to own the agency as actors of being “hot” — it advances women’s global liberation.

Maybe any fashion chosen by a woman — even if the available manufactured options tend still to objectify women as women, as a gender class — is still a  little closer really to being free.

Maybe it’s all steps of progress.  All necessary as part of the process of woman and women getting out of the male-dominance of being male-objectified targets in the longest war.

Twitpic Update: Twittering Today’s Iconic Images of the Spirit of Freedom in Iran

June 15, 2009

At Twitpic you can find a photo being billed on the proprietary site as iconic depiction of today’s protest in Tehran, green banner unfurled in the streets filled with a largely male crowd.
In the vast people’s outpouring of the Iranian revolt, wonder why you can see an injured girl attended by a male, a woman mixed in with male crowds, or a woman standing alone in defiance, among the  throngs  of  mainly men — but few groups of women among thousands (maybe more) of men who have taken to the streets in protest? See photos in Twitter, Tweetdeck post below, and these additional images:
Iranian Protest Election Results

Conflict between Musavi and Ahmadinejad Fans

Peaceful Demonstration after 2 Day Clash

Peaceful Demonstration after 2 Day Clash

Peaceful Demonstration after 2 Day Clash

Iranian women’s peaceful activist actions have, in recent months before the election, been fragmented by mullah-militarist men roughing them up and jailing them with a release condition that they be isolated from each other and no longer able to assemble.  It’s not being widely reported, but google Delaram Ali, Iranian Women’s Movement, One Million Signatures Campaign, Delara Darabi and Shirin Ebadi … and you may get the story.

Under the oppression directed against Iranian women by Ahmadenijad sympathizers, the women who are activists may believe this current uprising is their last chance — but because they cannot organize to tell us, and because Ahmadenijad is curtailing news from Iran, we receive no direct appeal from them.  Meanwhile, men are largely carrying most of the green banners without aid of women who have inspired the call to freedom in Iran over the past three decades.

The unreported story of today’s revolt is that Iranian freedom-loving women have been attempting — marching in the streets, singing and chanting slogans, organizing for freedom — for over thirty years to join with Iranian men to bring about social respect for individualism in community of the type most Americans take for granted. In those earlier years American feminist Kate Millett went to Iran and, before the Iranian government expelled her, gathered compelling material and with old-media (paper) photographic help from Sophie Keir wrote a book about Iran.

If the best of Kate Millett’s books weren’t currently out of print (no big surprise in a big-oil global mass-media world also run on the backs of women), we’d better understand political Islam (as compared to reformist efforts) and the dominator politics of what’s happening today in Iran.  Twitter and related apps provide excellent technology for showing what’s now (at least when a government doesn’t block tech egress) — but if we depart from the collective wisdom of where we’ve been, even a Twitpic won’t show the way to where we’re going.