Woman, life, freedom | Humanity

While our Iranian sisters continue to fight for their lives, we French feminist activists seem to be reminded only too little that the tool of domination they denounce, the veil, cannot be claimed as a symbol of emancipation. Whether we guarantee, in the name of individual freedoms, the possibility of wearing it or not will never make the veil a banner of autonomy. All religious practices are sources of oppression for women. To channel us, to hide us, to lock us up: that is their goal.

But we live in a time when “appearance” no longer embodies “being”. Also, we gladly decorrelate the essence of the concepts from the way we think we can dress them. The dictates disguise beings, they disguise them. Their blows are so internalized that some now claim that they can be synonymous with freedom. However, in essence, certain “choices” correspond to the continuum of enslavement, the opposite of emancipation, and are heavily conditioned. You can’t simply pretend to reclaim religious symbols to suddenly turn them into a fantastic haven of freedom.

The same goes for institutional customs, like marriage, whether secular or not. Whether we recognize it or not, to marry is to lock oneself into patriarchal patterns, it is to institutionalize love in a narrow box that will end up emptying it of its essence, of its magic, of its raison d’etre. ‘to exist. Everything that is state is carceral and aims to be stamped compliant by and for others. We have arrived in a society of appearing-all-equal: from wearing a veil to parading for beauty contests, everything is labeled 100% equality. However, not all choices are, in essence, liberating because-choice-of-women. Being a woman does not make us creatures perfectly above all conditioning, quite the contrary.

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Patriarchy, understood as a system of organization where men exercise power, cannot contain within it matrix elements allowing real freedom for women. In its continuum, from its smallest expression to its highest, in different parts of the globe, it follows a guideline: to control women. To be a woman and to claim elements of this system of domination as a tool of freedom is neither more nor less than an admission of failure, coated with a drain of the spirit to make it more surmountable. Iranian women, with their courage and unfailing determination, teach us a lesson. The least of respect is not to relativize their sufferings and their struggles, by claiming that the veil can be a symbol of emancipation. Woman, life, freedom!


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