In this article in The Atlantic, Max Fisher notes a growing trend among Iranian women -- living in a society that regards them as nothing more than children -- who are training to become ninjas, among their many achievements.
The laws and official practices of Iran place enormous restrictions on its women. They are considered inferior to men in almost all legal matters, especially family laws such as marriage or child custody, and their testimony is officially equal to half of a man's. Clothing restrictions and fierce segregation laws marginalize women in the public sector, making participation in society arduous and painful. Those who try anyway are often singled out for harassment and punishment.
But the Iranian regime's 33-year quest to make Iranian women weak and helpless, to force them into child-like subservience, has failed. Though we in the West often perceive them this way because the hijab and the chador are all we see on the surface, women in Iran are stronger collectively and more assertive individually than the Islamic Republic would have us believe. After all, its laws and restrictions would not be necessary if Iranian women were as powerless as the religious leaders hoped. It is precisely because Iranian women do wield power in their society and homes that the country's reactionary leaders feel compelled to imbalance the playing field, to pass laws taking that dignity and influence away. And one of the places where their failure becomes clear is in the surprisingly vibrant arena of women's sports.
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