I finished Reading Lolita in Tehran and can't shake the dread. I can't imagine going from right now to losing all my rights, money, property ... everything that religious fundamentalists unabashedly stole from women after the Iranian revolution. This happened not so long ago in a country just on the other side of Europe.
After the revolution, religious fundamentalists forced women to wear veils over their hair, no makeup, no ankles showing. Even the women who chose to follow these rules before the revolution were upset. Because now they were not wearing a veil to honor their god, but wearing a veil so they wouldn’t get thrown in jail by the secret police.
Iran's leadership not only robbed women of their independence and dignity, but also of their ability to worship their chosen god. Because you can’t call it worship if you’re doing it because you have to. Bowing your head for any reason beyond free choice is a mockery. I’d assume any god involved has the wherewithal to notice.
Thus my dread every time I turn on the television. Some politicians don't appear to respect the separation of church and state, or understand the difference between a pulpit and a podium. These politicians legislate to force their personal religious views on me. Maybe these politicians assume they are doing me a favor and saving my soul, but here’s news: Forced obedience turns love, light and spiritual beauty into dark webs of control and subjugation.
I think about this when I see any bulgy-eyed politician screaming at me. I watch his lips screech endlessly about how he and his church should control and constrain us all.
I shudder and see not a savior, but a man who invokes the name of his lord as his ticket to power at my expense.
What can I do to hang onto my rights? How can I safeguard my just reward from freely choosing the way I consider right?
What an amazing girl: