It has been hard to follow the Iran protests via twitter – because there is so much noise. As usual, Wikipedia provides an excellent summary of events / timeline.
But one important part of the story that has not been widely covered is the leading role played by Iranian women.
Here is what one student wrote in a letter to the Jerusalem Post:
Girls are extremely active in all these rallies (a little less in night riots where patches of young men are more visible). They courageously charge anti-riot police, chant slogans in front of them, lead the crowd, etc., but they are equally beaten too.
And here is what Roger Cohen of the New York Times has to say about the topic:
I also know that Iran’s women stand in the vanguard. For days now, I’ve seen them urging less courageous men on. I’ve seen them get beaten and return to the fray. “Why are you sitting there?” one shouted at a couple of men perched on the sidewalk on Saturday. “Get up! Get up!”
Another green-eyed woman, Mahin, aged 52, staggered into an alley clutching her face and in tears. Then, against the urging of those around her, she limped back into the crowd moving west toward Freedom Square. Cries of “Death to the dictator!” and “We want liberty!” accompanied her.
Women of Iran, if any suffragettes are watching, you must be making them proud!
Watching Barack Obama play identity politics in a supposedly post-racial, post gender world kind of makes me sick. But seeing the bravery of women in Iran, now that is the kind of feminism that I can believe in.