On Fire For The Revolution
Roya and her sister were young college students when the Islamic Revolution swept their country. They had been part of history, rallying alongside their brothers for the overthrow of the Shah. On the day of victory, they took flowers to the Ministry of Justice where they interned. That’s when they were chided about covering their hair.
The invitation to show respect was the first warning. Women weren’t encouraged to simply modify how they dress. Unknowingly they had embraced a regime that would shroud them in inequality and oppression so heavy that their whole bodies would stoop from the weight of their diminished personhood. Their head scarves were no longer symbols of modesty but opportunities to assault and punish them.
No veil could contain the rage that threatened to consume them though. Laws could require wives to be obedient but some women like Roya’s sister could not go on in an abusive marriage that she could not leave without losing her children so like the growing number of women before her, one afternoon she returned to Ministry of Justice, pulled a liter of gasoline from her bag, doused herself and lit a match.
She cried out only once. Women in the square surrounded her, refusing to allow authorities to extinguish her final protest.
Every Wednesday Thom posts 3 words. Participants are free to interpret the words any way they choose. Find more entries at 3WW. This piece is based on my reading of Iran Awakening which I read for the Women Unbound Challenge.