Are the Kurds Feeling the Power of Drag?

The Iranian city of Marivan is located near the border of Iran’s favorite neighbor Iraq. From the articles I read mentioning this city it seems to be clear that Marivan’s population is infamously known to be disobedient. Marivan is not the only city located in this area of Iran that has been known to have a disobedient population, the other is Mehran.  These two cities demographic is mainly comprised of Kurds, this makes sense because the two cities are located in Iran’s province Kurdistan.

The Kurdistan Tribune’s article “Kurdish Men for Gender Equality” and the Global Post’s article “Kurd Men Dress in Drag to Support Equality” discuss the controversial happenings that resulted from a Marivan criminal being punished by the Iranian local court this year on April 15th. The male criminal was given the punishment of having to dress as a Kurdish woman and to be escorted around town by local officials in the attire. The articles state that two more men are awaiting the same punishment.

Besides the majority of the population being extremely offended by this unusual, insulting, and  humiliating punishment the population did not only rise up in street protests but many men decided to either post pictures of themselves wearing Kurdish women clothing or go out into public in their cross-dressing attire.

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The communities of Marivan and Mehran are protesting for gender equality and are using their slogan in protest as “Being a woman is not a way for humiliation or punishment.” The protests for gender equality met violent police forces attempting to settle the uproar.

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A quote given by Masoud Fathi in reaction and his personal experience with the controversial punishment resonated with a lot of my recent thoughts on gender equality… it’s a very femmy so beware…. Masoud states,

When I wore that dress, I suddenly realized how much evil the chauvinist thinking of men, male-dominated religions, ideologies, and systems have caused. I understood that masculine culture has destroyed the world”.

In my last blog entry I mentioned that I believe culture does not oppress women but it is the force behind the culture… before reading this quote I never thought of masculinity nor femininity as a culture. So I still believe that regional cultures do not oppress women but maybe there is an underlying masculine culture within all cultures that are causing this inequality…? I hope I am making some kind of sense to whoever is reading this… please give me your thoughts I’d love to have more clarity on this issue.

 

-Natalie

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