Kurd Men for Equality take to Facebook for justice
On April 15 an Iranian judge sentenced a man to be “publicly humiliated” by being displayed in the streets dressed as a woman. This misogynistic punishment has caused many Kurdish men to protest by cross-dressing and posting photos of themselves online.
A Facebook group, Kurd Men for Equality, was started on April 18, on which hundreds of photos of men dressed in women’s clothing have been posted. The group’s “about” section reads, “Being a woman is not a tool to humiliate or punish anyone” and part of their biography reads, “So overall what the text of all pictures are saying is to support the Kurdish women and show them that being a women is nothing to be ashamed of.”
According to The Independent, a feminist group from the area held protests and deemed the punishment “misogynistic.” The Independent also reported that 17 Iranian Members of Parliament wrote to the justice ministry and called the punishment “humiliating to Muslim women.”
Support for the project has been widespread and the Facebook group has already accrued over 13,000 “likes” and has nearly 200 photos of men and women showing their support. It is inspiring to see such a bold protest in support of equality and respect.
According the Kurdistan Tribune, one man involved with the project named Sasan Amjadi has declared this message to men: “There can be no free society without free women. It is in the responsibility of men to end this culture of male hegemony.”
It is not acceptable that it be deemed a punishment to be dressed as a woman. This punishment is essentially declaring it humiliating and shameful to be a woman. This protest demonstrates just how unacceptable the so-called punishment truly is.
The men and women who have shown their support for this demonstration are illustrating that it is not just for any society to deem femininity shameful.
The Iranian Tribune reported that “The Islamic Republic of Iran has executed at least 56 Kurds in the past year… While the misogynist regime forces women to cover in black cloth, traditional Kurdish (and of course traditional Persian) women’s clothes are very colorful and beautifully embroidered pieces of detailed handwork.” The men in the photos wear the colorful clothing that the regime has tried to do away with.
While every culture continues to be confronted with issues of gender equality, the protest in Iran demonstrates not only a discontent with the sexist punishment, but also the oppression of Kurdish culture.
Their protest has been an effective way of demonstrating support for not only women in their country, but everywhere else in the world as well. As long as women in any part of the world are being oppressed, there needs to be an attempt to bring about equality.
It is only when individuals stand together to support equality that any change can be made. What this group has brought the world’s attention to the oppression of women in Iran. What this protest should also serve as is a message to the everyone that oppression of women, by any means, cannot be accepted by any society.