September 15, 2019   10:57pm
A A A

Text Size

 

Women force change …

I’ve been watching the pictures — the women picking up the stones and encouraging the men to throw … the women shielding the injured … the women in their headscarves and dark glasses raising fists and holding signs … You can only watch and be struck by their passion, power, beauty (yes, that, too) and bravery.

Anne Applebaum in her Op-Ed, An Overlooked Force in Iran in The Washington Post reminds us:

“Not Obama, not Bush and not Twitter, in other words, but years of work and effort lie behind the public display of defiance and, in particular, the number of women on the streets — and their presence matters. Their presence could strike the deepest blow against the regime. For at the heart of the ideology of the Islamic Republic is its claim to divine inspiration: Its leadership is legitimate, as is its harsh repression of women, because God has decreed that it is so. The outright rejection of this creed by tens of thousands of women, not just over the past weekend but over the past decade, has to weaken the Islamic Republic’s claim to invincibility, in Iran and across the Middle East.  The regime’s political elite knows this well: It is no accident that the two main challengers to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the Iranian presidential campaign promised to repeal some of the laws that discriminate against women, and it is no accident that the leading challenger, Mir Hossein Mousavi, used his wife, a political scientist and former university chancellor, in his campaign appearances and posters. ” …

“The regime may succeed. Violence usually succeeds, at least in the short term, in intimidating people. In the long term, however, the links, structures, organizations and groups set up by Iranian women, not to mention the photographs of the past week, will continue to gnaw away at the Iranian regime’s legitimacy — and we should take note. I cannot count how many times I’ve been told in recent years that “women’s issues” in the Islamic world are a secondary subject: Whether the discussion is of the Afghan constitution or the Saudi government, the standard line among most commentators has always been that other things — stability, security, oil — matter more. But regimes that repress the civil and human rights of half their population are inherently unstable. Sooner or later, there has to be a backlash. In Iran, we’re watching one unfold.”

As we know only to well, it’s usually the women — sometimes in front of the men; often inconspiculously behind them — that make for change.

Harriett@snoety.com

Snoety symbol
 
 
Have a comment, question or story to tell? Send it here.

Required and will be published (first, last, or both)

Required (will NOT be published)