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Oops, fundamentalism! An Iranian Woman Beats Up a Cleric

22 September 2012

Global Post:

According to a report by the semi-official Mehr News Agency, the unnamed woman beat a cleric so badly that he needed hospital treatment after he told her to cover up.


“‘She responded by telling me to cover my eyes, which was very insulting to me,’ Beheshti said. So he asked her a second time to cover up and also to put a lid on what he felt was verbal abuse.
She hit the man of the cloth, and he hit the ground.”

It’s great how he says it was insulting to him to tell him to cover his eyes when he was telling her to cover her body.  That statement is so perfect in its entitled, whiny stupidity that I can’t even comment on it.  Too bad her perspective is missing from all the reports.

Also, here’s a little game you can play at home: find this story on a few different sites and look at the language used to describe it.  She is called both a woman and a girl, making even her age range nebulous to us (or perhaps demonstrating once again that many people see ‘girl’ and ‘woman’ as synonymous).  Sometimes the cleric is said to have repeatedly “asked” her to cover up (1: doubtful; 2: if you ‘ask,’ and the person refuses, the conversation should be over; 3: it hardly seems like a request when there is a volunteer militia doing the exact same thing, and with the power to arrest women for how they dress).  Her responses were ‘snarky’ and ‘fierce,’ cutesy terms that suggest petulance and a sort of powerful, unhinged anger.  She hit “the man of the cloth,” not “the man who believed he had the right to control her.”  There is very little recognition of the fact that what was done to this woman–what’s probably been done to her dozens of times–is in itself an inherently hostile act.  Whether we believe that she reacted out of proportion or not, we must recognize that this physical violence was in response to pervasive, constant, systemic violence familiar to women throughout her society.

Food for thought, and all that.

(h/t Shakesville)


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