The idea is that, since an Iranian cleric blamed earthquakes on women who dress immodestly, that a bunch of women would show their cleavage and dress as provocatively as possible on Monday as part of “testing” this theory and proving it wrong. Some people seem to think – since I am an atheist and someone who rejects the view that women’s bodies are shameful and dirty – that I am going to be thrilled with this so-called act of defiance against Islamic fundamentalist ignorance and misogyny.
"Many women who do not dress modestly ... lead young men astray, corrupt their chastity and spread adultery in society, which (consequently) increases earthquakes," HojatoleslamKazemSedighi was quoted as saying by Iranian media. Sedighi is Tehran's acting Friday prayer leader.
Um… but isn’t this “theory” already being tested every day? Isn’t this the fucked up world we already live in? Did the earth rumble – and I somehow missed it – during Spring Break? Do volcanoes go off every year as hundreds of thousands women are sold or bartered or tricked into the sex industry each year? Does the sky break open every time the Girls Gone Wild videos are promoted on late-night television or porn is downloaded millions of times a day on the internet? What about when the soldiers in the Congo strip the clothes off women before shoving rifles up their vaginas and pulling the trigger? Is the sea rising up every time a woman on a college campus in this country is drugged and raped and the guy, getting away with it, understands he can go ahead and do this again… and again… and again… and again… and again… and again? (That’s right, folks, the latest study reveals that the men who rape on college campuses do so on an average of six times during their “college career.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/12/AR2010031201792.html)
Look, the Islamic Republic of Iran is totally fucked. They count the testimony of women as half that of a man. They arrest and torture young women if a wisp of their hair falls out from behind their chador. They have their “virtue police” grope women on their way into school. I’ve heard stories from Iranians about women being caught with lipstick where the police wiped it off with napkins filled with broken glass. Of the calculation being made that the entire female body is worth the only one testicle of a man.
So, let there be no mistake. The Islamic Republic of Iran is deserving of fierce opposition and ought to be resisted and overturned.
But the whole point is, the Islamic Republic does these things because they view women fundamentally as objects, as things, as possessions of men.
Getting women to show off their breasts is really just the mirror opposite – reinforcing another form of reducing women to things, to objects, to something that exists for the sexual gratification of men.
How bout we do something really radical? Declare that women are fully human. Combat ignorance with science, combat misogyny with women’s liberation, combat all the outmoded systems of oppression (be they semi-feudal and dominated by imperialism or be they imperialism itself) with revolution for a whole different world?
Sunsara Taylor is a writer for Revolution Newspaper, a host of WBAI's Equal Time for
Freethought, and sits on the Advisory Board of World Can't Wait. She has written on the
rise of theocracy, wars and repression in the U.S., led in building resistance to these
crimes, and contributed to the movement for revolution to put an end to all this. She takes
as her foundation the new synthesis on revolution and communism developed by Bob
Avakian. You can find her impressive verbal battles with Bill O'Reilly and various
political commentary on things from abortion to religion to cultural relativism by searching “Sunsara Taylor”