July 08, 2007

Iranian Women: Quiet Protests

A BBC correspondent in Iran, Frances Harrison pens some thoughts on what she found in Iran as she departs. She found that despite the heavy hand of the authorities, the women have their ways to protest the injustice of the current government.

Subtle opposition

But let me tell you about the subtle ways in which Iranians articulate their opposition.

This is not a culture where anyone says anything directly - and it can sometimes be infuriating for a foreigner.

But it has nuance, subtlety and a playfulness that is lost in the one-dimensional views you see in news reports.

The other night I was at a private party and two young Iranian women performed a song about a bird. It was indescribably sad and beautiful and had many of the women in the audience in tears.

Women are not allowed to sing in public in Iran - it is considered un-Islamic for men to hear them.

These women - who in today's Iran can only perform in houses of friends - sang about a bird, a crane, whose wings had been clipped and whose mouth had been covered.

It was a poetic symbol of censorship and the restrictions imposed on women. It moved the audience far more than any feminist speech or political agitation because it drew on their tradition and the Iranian love of poetry.

Via Laura Rozen.

Posted by Mary at July 8, 2007 11:23 PM | Iran | Technorati links |