In the uncertain and ever-changing geopolitical order of our time, in the midst of a global political agenda that from right to left forgets women, betraying, albeit in different ways, female exclusivity and the richness of sexual difference, the struggle of Iranian women has something epic, something moving. The killing of Mahsa Amini shows how much the issue of the 'veil as freedom' is the epitome of intellectual dishonesty, of logical fallacy, of an age-old lie.
To 22-year-old Mahsa the desire to 'feel the wind in your hair'- to quote the thought of Salwa Salem and Masih Alinejad, recently taken up in the work "Deceived Women. The veil as religion, identity and freedom'. by Giuliana Sgrena- it cost a lot of money: and yet For so many intellectuals, politicians, academics, it is simply cultural relativism, the infamous 'diversity that enriches'. But a question must necessarily knock at the doors of our consciences:
Why must every cause always take precedence over the life, safety and rights of women? Why is it accepted that our rights are the 'expendable commodity' par excellence?
Protests in the streets of Iran continue and the revolt claims victims dailyHadis Najafi, another girl involved in the front line of demonstrations, also lost her life in the name of women's freedom. The oppression of Iranian women, like that suffered by women in every geographical latitude, is strictly related to their biological sex, condemnation: a self-declaration of gender, it will not be enough for them to call themselves 'men' to stop suffering violence and discrimination, including the obligation to wear the Islamic veil. Education is in some cases a mirage (for example, for Afghan girls, studying is a right forcibly obstructed by the Taliban: more than thirty victims of a terrorist attack carried out in a school in Kabul that also accepted female students); sentimental and sexual freedom a crime to be redeemed in blood (recently discovered wiretaps nailing the father of Saman Abbas, the young Pakistani girl who was killed by her family because she wanted to escape an arranged marriage and 'live the Western way'): these girls were violated to death as women, as adult female human beings, and we must not forget that.
While here in Italy we are hopelessly blinded by the political correctness disease (which would like to prevent any kind of critical debate on pain of being accused of racism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia, and that would like to turn the feminist movement into a dramatic and constant compromise with the whims of others) Iran has recently turned (or rather, re-transformed) into a battlefield that I hope will spread far and wide, all over the world: Iranian women are fighting for themselves and for all of us, and we must listen to their cry, without betraying them. Their struggle for liberation must also become ours, like their pride and courage.
Cut the hair and break the chains, writing once and for all, in stone, that no: oppression is not glamorous and never will be.
illustration by Giuliana Maldini