As American women prepare to put on their pink hats for a second time to protest President Donald Trump on the anniversary of his inauguration, women in Iran are taking off their hijabs, protesting an oppressive theocratic regime.
For nearly 40 years since the 1979 revolution, Iranian women have been forced to follow the country’s mandatory dress code, which includes long, loose garments and headscarves known as hijabs. While wearing a hijab here in the United States is a sign of female empowerment, taking them off in Iran is the ultimate sign of defiance.
The anti-regime protests in Iran ignited days after the American press declared 2017 the “Year of the Woman,” where women here in the United States took to the streets by the millions to protest Trump, and shared their #MeToo moments of sexual harassment and assault. Given this, you’d think it’d be a no-brainer to align themselves with women reportedly leading their protests in search of freedom in cities like Isfahan.
But no. The Women’s March along with celebrity feminists have been silent, instead, choosing to tweet about their own happenings here in the First World.
According to Human Rights Watch, women in Iran are routinely and systematically discriminated against and oppressed. They’re banned from sports stadiums, even when their husbands, brothers, or sons are playing in the game. If they’re married, they can’t leave the country without their husband’s permission. And according to the BBC, they can’t even be “Happy.”
In 2014, three men and three women were reportedly arrested for the crime of dancing on camera to Pharrell Williams’ song “Happy.” They were sentenced up to 91 lashes and one year in jail.
And yet, liberal feminists in America such as Joy Behar think it’s us that have the problem. Speaking on “The View,” Behar compared what’s happening in Iran’s oppressive autocratic regime to protests against Trump.
Here’s a wake-up call for American women who can’t seem to open their eyes to the true intolerances against women worldwide. In America, when men and women take to the streets to protest a democratically-elected president who they don’t like, they have police putting their lives on the line to protect them.
In Iran, when men and women dare to speak out against their government, they’re suppressed and sent to jail. Seven days into these rallies, at least 20 people are dead.
So let’s be clear: The uprise happening in Iran is far more important for women’s rights than any of our First World problems here in the United States. Instead of being silent—or worse, trying to draw parallels between Iranian women and ourselves—American women should support them. Because in Iran, unlike the United States, women’s lives may actually depend on it.