The fury of women scorned
For three long days now, I have been riveted by the Iran election results, rallies, riots and revolution that are happening in real-time on Twitter, with videos on YouTube. Millions of people all over the world are spreading the news and showing their support to the young people who reject the current Islamic fundamentalist government and who bravely have taken to the streets and, in some case, to their computers.
Many of us, me included, have turned our profile pictures green to show our solidarity. We're determined to keep this story alive. And we've been doing a far better job of it than most of the mainstream media who were either jammed or shut down by the authorities, or just out of the loop while chasing trivia such as the David Letterman-vs-Sarah Palin nonsense.
Eerily, some of the defiant voices from Iran have grown quiet, as the government cracks down, storming universities, searching houses, making arrests. I am haunted by the photo of the smashed computer in this collection of images.
As one of my Tweeps said, it's playing a giant game of ''Whack-a-mole'' with those who defy the law and keep SOSing the world.
Mr. Ahmadinejad, on the other hand, has a strong record against women. He changed the name of the government's "Center for Women's Participation" to the "Center for Women and Family Affairs." He limited women's access to higher education and proposed laws that would allow men to divorce their wives without informing them and not to pay alimony.
Most of all, the regime has jailed dozens of women involved in the One Million Signatures Campaign, a grass-roots movement that began in 2006 to reform the legal system and to end gender discrimination. The group has been harassed in their homes and branded as illegal.
It is of little surprise, then, to see images of women, only slightly veiled, confronting the regime in postelection protests. While Ahmadinejad's false victory may have toughened the clerics' foreign posture with the West, they've only exposed their weakness at home.
Eventually, Iran's women will not be denied.
Maybe they will make all the difference.