When Iran was burning inside in the aftermath of the Islamic Revolution,
When Iranians were kept hostage by their own government but isolated in the world,
When we suddenly woke up to a country where religion ruled the state,
When our people were massacred for the smallest gesture of protest,
When families began to be separated for good,
When the West decided to take revenge and its embargo hit us hard, collapsing our economy and our medical services,
When our government deprived us of the basic human right, the freedom of expression,
When artists and intellectuals regularly became harassed, arrested and at times executed,
Our artists began to respond."
— Artist Shirin Neshat, addressing Iranian President Rouhani and other global leaders at the 2014 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Artist Kamrooz Aram
— Catherine A. Lutz and Jane L. Collins, Reading National Geographic
— Patricia Hill Collins (via brownbodied)
"While Americans were experiencing the effects of American feminism, Iran’s post-revolutionary Islamic identity was being rigidly defined by perceptions about women and their appropriate social and sexual conduct. While Iran expressed its post-revolutionary ideology in part through it’s policies toward women, Americans became fixated on the veil as an icon of the essential identity of Iranian women. While women in Iran were limited in their opportunities and in their ability to vocalize dissent, Americans too participated in their silencing by assuming that they had little or no agency and were involved in dissent." - Persis M. Karim Let Me Tell You Where I’ve Been
The veil, and the unnecessary attention Americans focus upon it, is merely a symbolic freedom created through Americans’ own perceptions of feminism. By viewing the veil through this lens, Americans not only participate in women’s silencing, but also in the perpetuation of Iran as an oppressive country, disregarding its political and social history, including specifically, its involvement with the “Western” world.