It's been two weeks that I can't stop thinking about Mahasa Amini.
At first I thought I felt sadness for her cruel fate or perhaps compassion for being born into a fundamentalist regime, but the more I read about the case, about the demonstrations and protests in Iran, as well as reactions from various parties, the more I realized that we are all Mahasa Amini, even if in the conventional view we think she is and the situation to which Stuck thousands of light years away from us.
I will go ahead and say that a woman's right to wear whatever she wants should be preserved, whether it is a head covering or a hijab, or a complete swimsuit or a bikini.
She should not be forced to wear something, just as she should not be prevented from wearing something if it is her belief.
After all, the real problem starts long before it reaches our body.
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It won't happen to me
The human survival mechanism tends to keep stories of horrors and disasters away from us through actions such as repression or denial.
Our mind wants to tell us that it has nothing to do with us.
From this automaticity, well-known clichés like "it won't happen to me" were born.
Naturally, we put an imaginary wall between us and the one who is hurt, to tell ourselves that we are protected, immune and strong, much more than we really are.
History is full of stories of escape from hell, both general and personal.
In our family, for example, the story ran for years according to which my great-grandfather, my grandmother's father, got on a ship to Argentina and fled Poland shortly before Hitler closed this possibility to the Jews.
They belonged to a wealthy family that owned property and jewelry stores in pre-World War II Poland.
My great grandfather's brothers and his cousins laughed about him being hysterical, that he was making a mistake, why leave everything and run away with the family never to be known, just because of the small chance of a disaster?
Needless to say, this great-grandfather of mine is the only member of his family who was not exterminated in the camps, and thanks to him I am here and can even write this column.
Rationalization of repression
The exact same thing happened when I posted a video about the hijab protest this week.
Some people wrote to me "Do you really think that what changes is what is impressive or not impressive to wear? These regimes do much worse things than restricting clothing."
For me, the hijab is just a symbol, a metaphor for a bitter struggle involving identity, state and social status.
Wearing the hijab was made compulsory after the Islamic revolution in 1979.
This is an outgrowth of a system of control and oppression that is in use from Dana.
The hijab is just one ugly cog in a destructive machine.
I read that women in Iran receive text messages from the police when they get into the car to drive, reminding them to check that the hijab does not move while driving and accidentally exposes some area of skin on their body.
For the avoidance of doubt - the element of terrorism here is at all psychological: we are following you all the time, and don't you dare forget that.
Such an intimidation mechanism is the most fatal violation of a person's basic right to make their own choices, and therefore the hijab is only a symbol.
Such an intimidation mechanism finally leads the shackled under him to internalize the fear, to the point that he does not need to be reminded, he is anxious to follow the rules even without being threatened, out of habit.
Iran's modesty police are a very extreme sign in the spectrum of control over women's bodies, but discriminating between dress codes for boys and girls in high school in Israel is more of the same thing in a watered-down version, just like forbidding female soldiers to exercise in sports clothes so as not to distract the soldiers while they are running Lyden in shorts and a t-shirt.
Whose body is this?
Laws and rules that limit women's choices regarding their bodies all convey one message: your body is not really yours, and you cannot do with it what is right and suitable for you.
Your body is under the control of others, and we will decide what is convenient for us and what is not convenient for us to do with it.
do you want to breastfeed
Go hide yourself or stay home, we don't care that it's August, that the baby and you are sweating under the covers, just don't pollute our view of the cafe with a piece of demon skin.
When I dared to come in a tank top to the morning show, I received comments that I was disrespectful.
I immediately uploaded a post with examples of the most famous, popular and beloved TV presenters - all in tank tops.
None of them received a comment because they are all very thin and flat chested.
That is, society expects me to understand for myself that tank tops are only meant for certain, very certain women, according to a meticulous beauty model, that someone has determined.
You can like to wear tank tops, tight dresses or bikinis, but as long as something in your choice may arouse desires in men - your taste is irrelevant.
To ensure that you are not mistaken, we will also make it clear to you in a socially accepted way that you are "discounting yourself" when you dress this way.
Instead of men having to control themselves and their impulses, women should cover up and be modest.
This demand permeated so deeply that it is passed from generation to generation, from mother to daughter, without a break.
What is the connection?
It may be that some of you refuse to see the direct connection between a rule that requires women to hide their entire body except for their eyes and the other cases I have already mentioned.
So let me give you a glimpse into the most hidden emotions of women:
After every lecture on body image and self-worth, without exception, there will always be the single girl or woman who comes up and tells me that only now did she realize how much she doesn't respect her body and doesn't keep boundaries.
A few weeks ago, a 17.5-year-old girl told me that she went on a date with someone cute from another school, and after they talked and kissed, she felt uncomfortable and wanted to stop the touching, "but I didn't feel comfortable stopping him anymore, so I let him finish it and that's it."
I hear hundreds of such stories in slightly different versions, but the basis is the same.
The assumption that men cannot control themselves, as if they were 4 years old is eternal.
Here, too, we would like to make sure that you are not mistaken, with phrases like "giver", which remind you that you are a tool in the hands of others, an object.
The history of violence
Sexual violence does not begin with rape, violence in general does not begin with a slap or a kick.
Violence begins with coercion.
As long as women in Iran, Israel, Uganda, Denmark, the USA or Argentina receive comments from men and women about their clothing, their hair, the size of their clothes, the height of their heels, the length of their skirts or the color of their hair - we will not be able to stop and say "These Iranians, they have no limit."
Some time ago, one of my daughters' friends told me that the teacher took all the girls in the class to a conversation and told them, "Those who do not yet have breast buds can continue to come to school in shirts that are tighter, but those whose breasts have already started to develop, should take responsibility and buy shirts that are a little tighter wide, because it's not easy for boys to see you like that all day in class, and especially in gym classes."
In other words, we all wear hijab in one way or another, for some of us it can be seen and for others it is transparent, but that does not mean that it does not exist.
Not all of us will be beaten to death if we shed it, not all of us will have our heads slammed into the door of a police car until we are brain dead just because a few hairs of our heads popped out of the fabric that wraps it, no.
But show me one woman who does not suffer harassment on the street for her appearance, her clothing, her choices.
Show me a woman who isn't afraid or afraid of being considered promiscuous because of the number of men she's dated, show me one woman who feels safe to say what she feels without being considered bossy, domineering, beachy or worst of all - a feminist (is this the new "cheap"?) .
Dear mother, when you tell your daughter "this clothing will bring you trouble", you are actually telling her "men are not responsible for their behavior, you are responsible for their behavior".
Dear teacher, when you explain to your students that "boys and girls are different", you are perpetuating the restriction on girls of your own sex.
Studies unequivocally prove that modest clothing does not prevent rape or sexual harassment, so the reasoning that modest clothing is a way to prevent women from being attacked is also unfounded and unfounded.
What can save souls?
To teach every boy and girl, boy and girl, man and woman, that the responsibility for their behavior and their actions is first of all in their hands, and that controlling others is not a way to manage relationships, manage families or manage countries.
It is impossible to practice violence of any kind in the name of morality.
Modesty is not measured by clothing, but by human behavior, respect for others and their opinions, understanding that my belief is my full right just as it is the other's right to hold a different belief - as long as there is no harm to the other.
The fear of change
I will share with you that while writing the column, I also have to struggle with the beliefs ingrained in me from my childhood, that a good woman is modest, accommodating, smiling, conciliatory, who is content and happy with what she has.
I can't really shake off the education I received and the principles of the society I live in.
There is a part of me that is afraid that you will read the column and think that my request to treat me and other women out of respect for our bodies and our choices will annoy, irritate, cause controversy.
It is clear to me that some of you read these words and say "she exaggerated, she has no respect for anything, you have to respect tradition, what are you trying to change the world order?"
My answer is that I read once, twice and thrice what I wrote, and I could not find even one word that criticizes another's course of action as long as it does not hurt me and my girls.
And about the insolence: whenever someone tries to bring about a change, he will be considered insolent and provoke opposition.
If Rosa Parks was afraid to be sassy, black people might still be sent to sit in the back of the bus.
I don't pretend to be a hero, strong or smart like her, absolutely not.
My ambition is much smaller: to oppose it, in my little piece of God.
Yes, I do this while typing in my air-conditioned room, and there is no danger to my life.
The only danger is that some of you might get angry and not like me anymore, but this is the least I can do.
other people's troubles
Other responses to the video I uploaded were "We don't have any problems in Israel that you need to deal with Iran's problems?"
My answer is that it doesn't matter if a woman was murdered in Iran because of a hijab or if an entire country called a singer "insolent" because she kept her principles and didn't shake a man's hand, or if an entire country called another singer many other words because she dared to upload a picture in a bikini .
It is understood that murder is a much more serious act on a practical level, but we all experience different shades of this oppression and therefore we must not say "it's only in Iran".
Even in Iran before 1979, women could dress as they pleased.
I'm sure if we told them that in two or three years they won't be able to leave the house without a man's permission and without covering themselves from head to toe, they would laugh and say we're hysterical.
Just like my great grandfather's brothers told him.
Here I am, trying to change world orders, in my little section of Instagram.
Will you join me?
do it to me
Today I want to recommend to you the Instagram page "Psychotherapy in jeans", it is full of insights and concepts in psychology that are packaged in visuals that are fun to read and easy to understand.
were we wrong
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