So for the record, I do not support the use of violence to solve problems.

However, I will maintain that this is brave and awesome.

About Jill

Jill began blogging for Feministe in 2005. She has since written as a weekly columnist for the Guardian newspaper and in April 2014 she was appointed as senior political writer for Cosmopolitan magazine.
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127 Responses to So for the record, I do not support the use of violence to solve problems.

  1. SamBarge says:

    I agree that I don’t condone violence but I do condone that when he told her to cover up, she said:

    “You, cover your eyes.”

  2. EG says:

    I do condone violence in this case. The cleric has the coercive power of state violence as the unspoken background to his command. Let him realize that he is not immune to violence either.

    • Silenced Lamb says:

      Punish people on the basis of their privilege rather than what they themselves do?

      Interesting moral perspective.

      • mxe354 says:

        I think you just skimmed her post. She’s clearly not talking about simple social privilege:

        The cleric has the coercive power of state violence as the unspoken background to his command.

      • matlun says:

        Well, it could be read as claiming that violence against the police is Ok as a matter of principle.

        I would assume that EG is not condoning searching out and randomly assaulting police officers, and that unjust actions (trying to enforce “modesty” here) is critical in justifying violence. But in that case it is very unclear why the privilege of state power is relevant.

      • Silenced Lamb says:

        She’s clearly not talking about simple social privilege

        At what point did I say the cleric’s privilege was simple or social only? Getting beaten to a hospitalize bloody pulp for something your privilege could have allowed you to do is royally fucked up IMHO.

      • William says:

        At what point did I say the cleric’s privilege was simple or social only? Getting beaten to a hospitalize bloody pulp for something your privilege could have allowed you to do is royally fucked up IMHO.

        Beating an Iranian cleric to a pulp for telling you to cover up is no different from beating a cop to a pulp for arresting you for saying “fuck” in public or shooting an aggressive animal when you’re hiking in the woods. Its self defense because each both possesses not only the ability to harm you but the willingness to use that ability. This story is only objectionable if you somehow believe that a government has the right to police the clothing and bodies of it’s citizens in order to maintain and perpetuate violent religiously-based oppression. Either human beings have a right to be left unmolested and the right to protect themselves from such violent intrusions or they do not. The price of liberty is that sometimes a tyrant gets hurt.

      • William says:

        Punish people on the basis of their privilege rather than what they themselves do?

        Interesting moral perspective.

        Its punishing someone for precisely what they did do as a result of the power their privilege allows them to wield. The cleric attempted to excercise coercive power against the body of another. Once that line is crossed violence isn’t only acceptable and justifiable but downright noble.

      • Silenced Lamb says:

        Again, so you think the guy has SO much privilege that his verbal disapproval is deserving of a trip to the hospital. Cus ya know, there is no way possible he wasn’t just making a comment, he must have been attempting to threaten her with physical violence.

        what’s the punishment for a cat calling cop, a taser blast, a face full of mace, and a couple of gun shot wounds to the chest? Cus you know he’s a cop, his privilege magically turns all disapproving comments from him into threats of violence.

      • EG says:

        It has nothing to do with privilege. It has to do with the fact that his words carry with them the threat of state-sponsored violence. This woman defended herself against such a threat.

        what’s the punishment for a cat calling cop, a taser blast, a face full of mace, and a couple of gun shot wounds to the chest? Cus you know he’s a cop, his privilege magically turns all disapproving comments from him into threats of violence.

        When a man who carries a gun, has a whole slew of buddies on his side, and has the power to arrest me and beat me up starts making sexual threats–and don’t delude yourself into thinking that a catcall is anything but a threat–then I will defend myself however I see fit. Just as this woman defended herself against a man who has the power to have her arrested and abused. Your inability to distinguish between unconscious privilege and active threat is not my problem.

      • EG says:

        As Pheeno says further down:

        How many women has he gotten into trouble because he didn’t approve of their clothes? How many women got worse than a 3 day stint in the hospital? How many women have his words terrified? And, he says he’ll still continue to do it. He’ll still continue to endanger women’s lives openly.

      • William says:

        Again, so you think the guy has SO much privilege that his verbal disapproval is deserving of a trip to the hospital.

        Yes, yes he does. He exists within a system in which he has the authority to use physical force, or to summon those who will use physical force, to police the bodies of others. Anytime someone like that decides to excercise that power, even if its just a comment which they know carries the implicit threat of violence, they deserve whatever response they get. That people like him, and like the abusive police many of us suffer through in the US, do not die on a daily basis is unfortunate. I will not appologize for holding the basic belief that one has a right to defend onesself with violent force in the face of violent oppression.

      • miga says:

        Cus you know he’s a cop, his privilege magically turns all disapproving comments from him into threats of violence.

        Actually, yes. This is why U.S. police officers are a) effective, and b) largely distrusted in communities of color: Because their words have the threat of state-sponsored violence behind them if you don’t do what they say.

        I was brought up to have a distrust of police- their negligence concerning assaults on men and women of color, and their sometimes perpetration of these assaults. For example, a black teenage boy who was arrested for marijuana possession magically managed to shoot himself in the head in the back of a police car a little while ago. This despite being searched twice for weapons (they found none on him) AND being handcuffed with his hands behind his back.

        And let’s not forget how “rape cop” has become a depressingly common meme these days.

        This kind of stuff happens often, not just in our parents’ generation. I know that when I head home I am in danger not just of the men who harass me, but the police I might run to to escape these attacks. At the least they’ll ignore my pleas for help, at the most they’ll perpetrate crimes themselves.

      • Silenced Lamb says:

        @all

        OK, so in the cleric’s position, does a method even exist for him to express his view without it being so overtly threatening that its totally OK to beat the ever loving shit out of him?

        because if “cover up!” is a threat worthy of violence, I’m not so sure “IMHO you should cover up” is any safer of a comment. Or how he could have expressed his opinion so as not to convey a threat serious enough to warrant a trip to the hospital.

        Can these threats be made non verbally? is there a place I can stand or move to where my dude privilege is so vast that I could be “justifiably” assaulted for proclaiming a threat by standing or sitting or looking certian way?

      • pheenobarbidoll says:

        OK, so in the cleric’s position, does a method even exist for him to express his view without it being so overtly threatening that its totally OK to beat the ever loving shit out of him?

        Not in a place where his opinion of covering up gets women murdered in the street.

        Sorry, context actually matters.

        He contributes to that environment. That there are consequences that can apply to him is his own fault. Shouldn’t create an environment where male opinions result in dead women, therefore male opinions are, by default, threats. BY THEIR OWN DESIGN.

        He didn’t just “make a suggestion”. Non compliance to his “opinion” has violent consequences for her. Now, they have violent consequences for him, too.

        Tough shit for him.

      • EG says:

        Are you seriously asking how a cleric can safely sexually harass a woman on the street? Not my problem.

        When harassed, we women are always told not to respond in any way, lest we anger the harasser. Maybe harassers should think twice too.

      • William says:

        OK, so in the cleric’s position, does a method even exist for him to express his view without it being so overtly threatening that its totally OK to beat the ever loving shit out of him?

        Probably not. The downside of having an enormous amount of power over other human beings that stems only from your access to violence and lack of accountability is that your actions are generally likely to be perceived as having an implicit threat of violence by those you spend your days violently threatening. Tragic, I know. Terribly unfair and oppressive to the agents of violent oppression.

        because if “cover up!” is a threat worthy of violence, I’m not so sure “IMHO you should cover up” is any safer of a comment.

        Nope. Perhaps the cleric in question should consider keeping his goddamn mouth shut and his opinion to himself. Or maybe he should move to a society in which his words do not carry the weight of coercive force. He can’t have both, though, if he wants a scintilla of compassion from me.

        Can these threats be made non verbally? is there a place I can stand or move to where my dude privilege is so vast that I could be “justifiably” assaulted for proclaiming a threat by standing or sitting or looking certian way?

        Inside of a police car while eyeballing a black kid in a neighborhood where the police tend to be predatory thugs.

        Really, though, the fact that you cannot comprehend of a threat posed by gaze or nonverbal aggression is a pretty significant display of the same privilege you seem to somehow think makes you oppressed.

      • Silenced Lamb says:

        @all

        OK, so dude’s privilege is so high that it’s impossible for him to be nonthreatening when telling a woman to do something. As such, him giving any instruction was threatening and she responded accordingly.

        Not so sure I agree with the premise but I understand where people are coming from now at least, thanks for
        being honest with me without biting my head off TOO bad.

        But just to outline where I was coming from, ill respond to @William

        Inside of a police car while eyeballing a black kid in a neighborhood where the police tend to be predatory thugs.

        I am that kid, on a daily basis. I usually try to ditch them by cutting through a park or something, but I sure as hell don’t feel justified in running over to the cop car and putting them in the hospital because of it. Personally I need a bit more to go on before I put some poor kids dad in a coma “because some cops are sketch and he looked at me funny”.

        And for the record, no I don’t really see a situation where somebody could look at me SO hard that id feel justified in clockin em one without them saying but a word, but I guess that’s just me.

        … oh, and I never made any references to myself being oppressed.

      • EG says:

        And for the record, no I don’t really see a situation where somebody could look at me SO hard that id feel justified in clockin em one without them saying but a word, but I guess that’s just me.

        Nice for you. I’ve been followed around and leered at to such an extent that I hid in the ladies’ room for half an hour so that I could find one place where I didn’t feel threatened. If he hadn’t been twice my size I would’ve felt totally justified in clocking him.

      • Silenced Lamb says:

        @EG

        Like I said, apparently that’s just me.

    • ARB says:

      hear, hear!

    • Henry says:

      Agreed. Iran isn’t a democracy where you can vote for a political party that will stop Iran’s version of the religious right from assaulting the population and imposing its moral views with violence. The only way Iran will be liberated is by violence. These brave people attacked an instrument of state authority that daily commits various acts of violence on its population and that is supported by heavily armed “revolutionary guards”.

      Freedom is not free.

      They and their families may very well pay for this with lengthy jail sentences or their lives once the media spotlight moves on.

  3. Shoggoth says:

    Violence has a place and a useful function sometimes, and this is definitely one of them. Another one was Neil Armstrong decking a Moon Denier.

  4. Fat Steve says:

    I have to say that knowing Iran’s record on both the death penalty and women’s rights, the fact that article doesn’t mention the fate of the woman is a bit chilling.

  5. Dear gods, somebody please give me a macro of a woman in a burqa with V’s mask on! Please!

    I’ve had a shit day with shitsauce on top. My anxiety’s through the roof, an obnoxious drama-queen of a friend is about to visit (love her, but obnoxious drama queen is obnoxious and a drama queen) which means I’m going to spend the next several hours wanting to stab someone in the eye. And I’ve been getting automated calls all day, i nearly threw up on the bus home because I got horribly motion sick, and I had an exam on top of it all. Please can I have this macro, if someone has the time/inclination to make one?

    • EG says:

      Damn, Mac. That’s one lousy day. I hope tomorrow’s better!

      • Safiya Outlines says:

        Stop, please stop. Muslim women are not dollies for your entertainment. Photographs of women in hijab/niqab/burqas are posted around enough, often without the permission of the women themselves and it’s really dehumanising.

        You’re talking about this photo like it’s of a cute cat and considering how Muslim women are so often treated as voiceless anyway, this sort of objectification seems crass.

      • . Muslim women are not dollies for your entertainment.

        Um, excuse me? Do you not realise that’s an explicitly empowering image…? Or did you not see that pheeno put V’s mask on that woman, which is a revolutionary thing? And that she was referring to the image as being smaller because it’s icon-sized rather than macro-sized? I mean…what?

      • William says:

        Just an observation but…everyone is aware that the Guy-Fawkes-mask-as-revolutionary-symbol-outside-of-comic-books is an Anonymous (meaning, despite all the obfuscation, 4chan’s /b/) thing, right? It strikes me as just a tad problematic to pair an image of a muslim women with a tongue-in-cheek symbol strongly associated with upper-middle-class western white dudes who spend a great deal of the time trying to out shock one another with racism and misogyny.

      • Whaaaaat? I did not know that. Fuck me, that’s a whole other light on it. Sorry!

      • pheenobarbidoll says:

        Sorry for the late reply, I hadn’t read this til now.

        You’re right. I didn’t even put any thought behind it when Mac requested this as a macro and I’m sorry.

        If the mods can delete the 2 inappropriate icons, I would appreciate it.

        The 3rd one is an avatar for mac that has nothing to do with anything but kitsune anime stuff.

      • Sid says:

        What Safiyyah said. The objectification is unfreakingbelievable. Everytime this site posts anything Muslim-related even liberal commenters unveil ridiculous prejudice.

      • Safiya Outlines says:

        Mac – Pheeno (AFAIK) isn’t a Muslim woman, so my point still stands. If, as your comment implies, Pheeno doctored the photograph to put a V mask on it, that’s even worse, and no, it’s not revolutionary at all for non-Muslims to treat Muslim women’s bodies as something to use to make a point and then expect Muslim women to be grateful/happy/uncomplaining about it.

        Sid – Thanks, I appreciate you saying that.

      • If, as your comment implies, Pheeno doctored the photograph to put a V mask on it, that’s even worse, and no, it’s not revolutionary at all for non-Muslims to treat Muslim women’s bodies as something to use to make a point

        Safiya, I hadn’t considered that, and given the religious framework of Islam I suppose it would be disrespectful to do that, in a way that portraying a Hindu or a Christian woman wouldn’t be. Sorry for the off-centred view. I needed until now to think about this, because my first reaction was to get angrier, which made me go “huh, possibly internalised stuff?”, and I thought about it for a while and came to the conclusion that you’re absolutely right and I’m absolutely wrong on this. Thanks for the call-out, and I’ll delete the macros off my computer!

      • Sid says:

        “Do you not realise that’s an explicitly empowering image…? Or did you not see that pheeno put V’s mask on that woman, which is a revolutionary thing?”

        Seriously? You’re doing the projecting here, assuming that its “empowering” and “revolutionary.” In any other context, this would be stark and obvious, but large swathes of “progressives” and “liberals” put up huge blinders when it comes to Muslim women asserting themselves without their assistance.

  6. bleh says:

    I fear that violence may be the only thing that men understand. If they can abuse us with no consequence they. will. never. stop.

  7. igglanova says:

    My reaction to this is basically ‘cry harder plz.’ What a drip.

  8. mxe354 says:

    That the cleric was beaten up so badly that he had to be hospitalized for three days makes me feel bad for him a little bit, but if I were that woman, I’d probably react in a similar way.

    • matlun says:

      My sympathy for misogynistic religious extremists is very limited, so I am having a hard time even summoning up a little bit of sympathy.

      That being said, in this case the violence does seem to have been excessive and over the top. However, living as a woman in Iran, it is understandable that in the long run, sooner or later this type of harassment could make you snap.

    • William says:

      Why? The man is a supporter of a violent, totalitarian regime which has empowered him to to use shame, social opprobrium, and actual physical violence in order to oppress women for being women. People like that don’t warrant pity. That he was able to tell his story at all is more than he deserved.

      • mxe354 says:

        I didn’t mean to sound like I’m crying about how he was treated. It’s just that I have a tendency to feel bad for the one receiving violence, regardless of who that person is. But ultimately it doesn’t really matter because even though I personally would, for instance, feel bad about hurting someone in self-defense, I’m all for self-defense.

      • William says:

        Fair enough. I suppose I do sometimes shut down my empathy when it’s application would cause too much cognitive dissonance.

  9. deadleaf says:

    Sigh, this is why I only speak to women when spoken too…

    • gratuitous_violet says:

      Damn, and I bet my roommate that the whiny MRA comment would be in before the 10 comment mark.

      But seriously, if you regularly go around telling strange women that they are dressed like harlots, maybe you should reconsider speaking to them.

      • Mike says:

        I thought that was a reference to the fact that fundamentalist clerics seem to think that women should only speak when spoken to by a man…That said, I don’t think anyone should be sent to the hospital for what amounts to a public exercise of offensive and harassing speech (That said, I don’t know if this particular cleric had the power to get this woman in trouble with the authorities or otherwise bring violence against her. If his speech carried a threat of violence, that would make me feel differently about her response. If not, then I feel like a cleric shouting at passing women to “cover up” is similar to the case of a Westboro Baptist Church member shouting hateful statements at passersby. Both are examples of individuals delivering hurtful, oppressive speech, but I believe that neither of these individuals should be silenced violently).

        However, the fact that he called the incident “the worst day of my life” made me LOL IRL.

      • karak says:

        There’s an enormous threat of violence behind his admonition to cover up, and it’s national law that women must be so covered, with serious social and legal punishments.

        He very much speaks from a position of power installed by violence.

      • PrettyAmiable says:

        However, the fact that he called the incident “the worst day of my life” made me LOL IRL.

        Totally not defending this guy, but I would think it’s a pretty shitty day when you get your ass kicked so hard that you end up in the hospital for three days, right?

      • king ten butts says:

        @PrettyAmiable

        I would think it’s a pretty shitty day when you get your ass kicked so hard that you end up in the hospital for three days, right?

        It’s not that this ISN’T the worst day of his life – I wouldn’t doubt that it is – it’s just that this pales in comparison to what women in Iran face on a daily basis. He’s free to cry about it, but to do so in the shadow of the state, which protects him and punishes all sorts of women, is just painfully ironic.

  10. helen says:

    The woman made the world a better place through violence. YAY! One jerk down, several million left to go.

  11. PrettyAmiable says:

    Read this during work yesterday, and it felt like Christmas. I’m okay with the fact that sometimes I condone violence.

  12. Angie unduplicated says:

    I hope that she has a huge family, and that they are all like her. Send that lady a green card and give her political asylum if she needs it.
    And feed the mullah to the gators.

  13. Brennan says:

    Hmm, another article I read about this said there were two women. Might be a simple reporting flub . . . but I can’t help but wonder if by next week it’ll be ten women, all built like rugby players. ;)

    • William says:

      I’d buy a pay-per-view of the US Women’s Rugby team forming up and circle stomping a couple of ersatz holy men…

    • Tracey says:

      I can envision a skit for this guy explaining it to authorities and the story getting bigger and bigger to justify him getting beat up by, *gasp*, a woman. And it might end with accusations of witchcraft to explain increased strength which resulted from her brazen hussy attire.

  14. A4 says:

    I call slayer.

  15. pheenobarbidoll says:

    I don’t feel bad for him. He earned that beat down. How many women has he gotten into trouble because he didn’t approve of their clothes? How many women got worse than a 3 day stint in the hospital? How many women have his words terrified? And, he says he’ll still continue to do it. He’ll still continue to endanger women’s lives openly. As if he’s the righteous victim and not the instigator.

    She managed to catch him off guard by shoving him. That only happened because he felt safe from retaliation and she did not.

    • deadleaf says:

      what happened to “having privilege does not make you a bad person”? So being a cleric in a Muslim country means taking responsibility for the actions of your entire government when you speak because?

      • EG says:

        When your words have the force of state-sponsored violence behind them, and you are perfectly happy using the threat of that force to intimidate women, you are a bad person, and you are indeed responsible for that force and violence. And when a woman uses force to defend herself against that threat, I have no sympathy whatsoever.

      • what happened to “having privilege does not make you a bad person”?

        Lol your analogies. He doesn’t just have privilege, he’s an enforcer and a spokesperson for that privilege. Kind of like how I wouldn’t recommend beating white people in the streets, but I’d be applauding and hooting if some black lady gave a white supremacist an epic beatdown.

      • Silenced Lamb says:

        in response to some action on behalf of the white supremacist, or just for BEING one?

      • For fuck’s sake, how is calling out and insulting a woman for being “poorly covered” not behaving in a way that explicitly enforces such privilege?

        Also, I would approve of someone chucking large spoonfuls of mayonnaise at a guy covered with racist tattoos. Probably not an actual beatdown for Existing While Racist, though, if only because that would just reinforce their bullshit.

      • Silenced Lamb says:

        Ill buy threats and insults but the idea that walking down the street with a tat somebody else doesn’t like entitled you to public assault is a bit much for my taste.

      • EG says:

        It’s not a tat that I just don’t like. There are plenty of those. It’s a tat that explicitly threatens me. A swastika explicitly threatens me. A KKK tat explicitly threatens black people.

      • William says:

        what happened to “having privilege does not make you a bad person”? So being a cleric in a Muslim country means taking responsibility for the actions of your entire government when you speak because?

        The difference, here, is that some privilege is sought whereas other privilege is not and that some privilege is actively excercised whereas other privilege is mitigated or shelved as best one can. I’m white and male, that grants me a lot of privelege. Because I’m white and male I could get away with a lot of pretty ugly things from telling racist jokes at parties to being a rapist. I choose not to do those things because I don’t want to be a monster. The privilege is still there, its something I was born with and cannot get rid of, but it is also something I am aware of and attempt to avoid using to hurt others.

        Being a cleric, however, is a choice (as is giving orders from a position of authority). To continue the analogy of my white duditude, were I to join the Ku Klux Klan and start making suggestions to people of color about their conduct (perhaps using a word like “uppity”) the context of my white dudeness would change. I would no longer be a person aware of my privilege who attempts (and sometimes fails) to mitigate it but would instead be someone who consciously uses my privilege to access oppressive power. Being a white guy doesn’t make me a bad person, actively using the things that come with being white and male to oppress those who are not white or male would.

        It ain’t that fucking hard.

      • A4 says:

        I feel pretty strongly that white male privilege is not “I could tell a racist joke but I won’t”. I feel like it extends to places that you cannot and will not attempt to mitigate. Things like your boss taking your suggestions with a particularly serious attitude, or always feeling as though one’s opinion is worth hearing and being treated that way.

        These are not things that anyone will want to mitigate for themselves, but they are very much a big part of white male privilege in many parts of the world.

      • EG says:

        That’s certainly true, but since everybody should have their ideas taken seriously at work, unless their ideas are stupid, I don’t see that as a problem.

      • DP says:

        You can mitigate them for yourself, to some degree, if you notice that your suggestions/input are being taken more seriously than (equally valid) suggestions from, say, a female or black colleague.

        More to the point, the key here is that no one deserves a beating for their privilege, or even from benefiting from it. We all gotta hustle. However, consciously using your privilege to actively impinge on another’s freedom, happiness and autonomy – well, that’s when we start thinking about revolution.

      • Silenced Lamb says:

        so in this case, by simply choosing to be a cleric, this man has chosen to “support an oppressive government” and thus deserves to be violently punished for enforcing the law, since in this case the law is oppressive?

        If you choose to be a police officer in the US, does that mean you also choose to put yourself in a position where everything you say carries with it the threat of violence?

        so its like, impossible to be a “moral police officer” and do your job, even if your trying NOT to be overtly threatening because the leadership is “immoral” and therefore everything you say is a threat?

      • EG says:

        By choosing to be a cleric who helps to enforce the edicts of an oppressive regime, yes, he deserves to be violently punished.

        If he were to go about his cleric-y business without harassing women on the street or maybe even speak out against an oppressive regime, then, no.

      • William says:

        so in this case, by simply choosing to be a cleric, this man has chosen to “support an oppressive government”

        Yes, in the same way that by simply choosing to be a Catholic priest one has chosen to support an oppressive institution which has a fifteen hundred year history of crimes against humanity and whose latest claim to fame is an organized and international conspiracy to cover up the systematic rape of children. If you choose sleep with swine you can’t really expect not to wake up covered in shit.

        and thus deserves to be violently punished for enforcing the law, since in this case the law is oppressive?

        So…you’re arguing that agents of an oppressive government who actively oppress others should be protected from the wrath of their victims because the oppressive government in question has given it’s seal of approval to it’s own oppression?

        If you choose to be a police officer in the US, does that mean you also choose to put yourself in a position where everything you say carries with it the threat of violence?

        Ever been to a large urban area? Ever…I dunno…known a black person? Are you really unaware of the systematic and endemic problem of police brutality? Asking if a cop chooses to be in a position where their actions carry the threat of violence is like asking if someone who signs up for a combat MOS in the military chooses to be in a position where they might shoot people. Its the job description.

        so its like, impossible to be a “moral police officer” and do your job, even if your trying NOT to be overtly threatening because the leadership is “immoral” and therefore everything you say is a threat?

        To be a “moral police officer” one would not only have to avoid enforcing patently immoral laws but also consistently call out the abuses of fellow officers. They don’t tend to last long.

      • Nyara says:

        If you choose to be a police officer in the US, does that mean you also choose to put yourself in a position where everything you say carries with it the threat of violence?

        Um…yes. Everything a US police officer says carries a potential threat. Especially towards women, POC, and other groups often targeted by police violence. Because they have power, and have a history of using it in violent and abusive ways.

        Why is this so hard for people to grasp?

      • William says:

        Why is this so hard for people to grasp?

        Because the people who are well served by systemic state violence against the disenfranchised suffer from primary narcissism?

        …wait…that was a rhetorical question, wasn’t it?

      • mxe354 says:

        what happened to “having privilege does not make you a bad person”? So being a cleric in a Muslim country means taking responsibility for the actions of your entire government when you speak because?

        Do you even know what power clerics have? This is not about social privilege derived from social status. In other words, it’s not merely because he’s a cleric, but because, as a cleric, he has the threat of violence behind his words. Your post reeks of being disingenuous.

      • pheenobarbidoll says:

        So being a cleric in a Muslim country means taking responsibility for the actions of your entire government when you speak because?

        Because he was enforcing the actions of the government through his words. Openly. Publicly. In an atmosphere he damn well knows could lead to her death.

        What he did was the equivalent of shouting ” That person is a terrorist” on an airplane, the day after passengers gave a beat down on an assumed terrorist.
        The very least? The person will be slammed to the floor, cuffed and detained. The worst? The person will be killed violently by enraged passengers. Over words.

        So don’t pretend words have no threat.

      • Silenced Lamb says:

        do ALL words have threat?

      • EG says:

        Obviously. Of course. All words, all the time, no matter what they are, what their context is, who’s saying them, to whom they’re being said, they’re all threats. That is totally logical.

      • Bagelsan says:

        Aaah EG used words! Run!!

      • tinfoil hattie says:

        Silenced Lamb, do you know that any man in any country governed by Muslims is free to physically assault (via “rapping” with a stick, or worse) ANY woman whom he deems as improperly covered? So this guy doesn’t have symbolic power, or power of privilege, or religious power – he has actual, state sanctioned (state required) power of violence over this and any woman.

        Shock of shocks, he was beaten up by an oppressed person. Gee.

        Yeah, I condone it. 100 fucking percent.

      • William says:

        Yeah, I condone it. 100 fucking percent.

        You’re a monster, Tinfoil Hattie. How can you be so self centered and immoral to condone violence against someone who was just following the laws and rules of their state/culture/cult/convenient-excuse-for-being-shit?

      • Rhoanna says:

        “Silenced Lamb, do you know that any man in any country governed by Muslims is free to physically assault (via “rapping” with a stick, or worse) ANY woman whom he deems as improperly covered?”

        This is obviously factually true and not in any way an overly-broad, stereotyped generalization. Obviously.

      • tinfoil hattie says:

        Rhoanna, which part is untrue? Countries under Muslim RULE (not all countries in which Muslims live) absolutely give men the responsibility to police any woman’s behavior. “Stereotype” has nothing to do with it.

      • chava says:

        TH, all of what you said is untrue. Tunisia doesn’t give random men on the street the right to hit women they feel are insufficiently covered, neither does Morocco, neither do (I think) Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Tajikistan, Algeria, or Egypt. And that’s just off the top of my head, so I’m probably missing some.

        That doesn’t mean women’s rights in those countries is super-awesome and dandy, but there are plenty of non-Muslim governments right now who are treating women worse than large chunks of the Middle East.

        I have no idea where you got the idea that it’s all sharia law, all the time, but yes, Virginia, the Middle East is not a legal monolith.

      • king ten butts says:

        I don’t know why my comment did not escape moderation but I’m going to say it again: what Tinfoil Hattie said reeks of racism and an astounding ignorance. It’s hard to imagine why you would comment when you clearly know so little about the topic at hand.

    • EG says:

      How many women has he gotten into trouble because he didn’t approve of their clothes? How many women got worse than a 3 day stint in the hospital? How many women have his words terrified? And, he says he’ll still continue to do it. He’ll still continue to endanger women’s lives openly.

      Beautifully said.

  16. Chataya says:

    AHAHAHAHAHA

    asshole deserved it

  17. Jennifer says:

    I wonder if this is some kind of made-up story to (further) justify violence against women who aren’t “appropriately covered,” especially if they are anything but submissive when warned. I would like the effect of this to be that oppressive forces reconsider their oppressive behavior, but is that what will happen, or will women just feel even more nervous about being seen as out of line?

    None of this is a judgment about the woman’s behavior if it is a real story.

  18. Unree says:

    Totally agree with “brave and awesome” and that what this fighter did was self-defense. Women get beaten all the time on the streets of Iran when some dude thinks they’re not covered enough. Cops do it. Random guys do it. Perfectly reasonable to think that a dude starting up with you is about to go violent, and literally kick him to the curb before he kicks you.

    Mandatory hijab has been forced on Iranian women for 33 years. What else can they do if violence is off the table?

  19. Mike says:

    Nice, except the cleric probably beat the snot out of her and now makes up all kinds of stuff, to further chastise her through the courts.

  20. pillowinhell says:

    Ah, I see that perhaps the government and religous leaders have in fact gone to far.

    Given what the laws there do to women, I feel no pity for the cleric. He got paid a little bit of karma. And what I find funny is that becAuse of their laws, its possible they will never find the woman responsible because there is nothing but a brief glimpse of her eyes to go by. On the other hand. There’s absolutely NOTHING stopping the government from rounding up random women to punish or from creating even more draconian laws. There will be a lot of finger pointing now, and men will use it as an excuse to further hurt the women in their families or to deprive them of what little freedom they have.

    The coverings women are forced to wear is a resource to be exploited if they chose to remind their men of what justice really is.

    • DonnaL says:

      its possible they will never find the woman responsible because there is nothing but a brief glimpse of her eyes to go by

      Wait, do you seriously believe that every single woman in Iran dresses in that way? The reason the cleric harassed this woman in the first place was that she wasn’t covered up to his satisfaction!

      • tinfoil hattie says:

        DonnaL, since the shah was deposed in 1979, women in Iran absolutely are required to cover their faces and “body curves.” “Inadequate” covering can mean an ankle or wrist was showing, or that a covering outfit was not loose enough for this cleric’s liking.

      • chava says:

        Yeah, but most of the Iranian-American women I know say that younger women there push the boundaries as far as they can. Doesn’t make it any less oppressive, but no, not everyone dresses with the full-on niqab + abaya + no makeup etc, etc

      • matlun says:

        DonnaL, since the shah was deposed in 1979, women in Iran absolutely are required to cover their faces and “body curves.”

        Not true when it comes to faces. The Iranian chador leaves the face visible. The face covering niqab is not an Iranian thing.

      • Past my expiration date says:

        DonnaL, since the shah was deposed in 1979, women in Iran absolutely are required to cover their faces and “body curves.”

        No. Not their faces.

      • tinfoil hattie says:

        Right! I meant HEADS. Heads, not faces.

        Thanks for the corrections, and sorry for my error.

  21. More_Human_Than_Hugh_Downs says:

    Shorter feministe — unprovoked brutality against a man is perfectly fine. In fact, it should be celebrated!

  22. Tony says:

    I hope these women are OK.

  23. Raja says:

    She should have done more than just beat him. I would have

  24. Omar says:

    In the end, everyone’s a neo-conservative at heart.

    • Donna L says:

      You mean, because empathizing with this woman and approving of her actions is exactly the same as advocating bombing Iraq, Afghanistan, and Iran?

      • Omar says:

        If that’s what you think being a neo-conservative actually means.

      • Shoggoth says:

        Don’t you folks remember when Cheney rocked that Bash the Fash shirt?

      • EG says:

        See, unless you’re a pacifist who turns the other cheek, you must be some kind of conservative. Goodness knows no progressive movements have ever even considered the use of violence.

      • Omar says:

        You made the same mistake as Donna in implying neo-conservative =violence. That’s overly simplistic.

      • EG says:

        Would you like to share your super-secret definition of “neo-conservative” with the rest of the class?

      • king ten butts says:

        Omar’s definition of “neo-conservative”, whatever that may be, is the only over-simplification I can see. There is just too little information in the article linked and even in the comments to say anyone adheres to a major worldview without some really vague terms or some very grand assumptions.

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