Earlier in April, police in the Kurdish province of Marivan, Iran paraded a convicted criminal around the streets dressed in women’s clothing as a form of public humiliation. The episode outraged men and women throughout the area – not over the gender reversal in itself, but rather because femininity was being equated to shame and punishment.
Thus launched the “Kurd Men for Equality” campaign on Facebook, in which men began posting photos of themselves dressed in women’s garb with the caption, “Being a woman is not a way for humiliation or punishment.” Seventeen members of Iran’s parliament also signed a petition against this form of punishment, saying it was “humiliating to Muslim women.”
This comes from a part of the world where dress codes are strictly enforced according to conventional gender norms, which makes the campaign all the more impressive. Here are some of the quotes the men have posted on Facebook along with their photos:
Hoping for the day that sexuality, gender will not be a way of evaluating humanity.
“Woman” means “life”.
We should gather together and condemn this stupidity, brutality and inhumanity against women. This is the least I can do to support women.
Disgracing Kurdish women is disgracing an international community. Women are mothers, sisters, and life partners.
There lies such sanctity in woman’s clothing that not every man deserves to wear one.
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