While American teenagers have to be warned against eating Tide Pods and American college students are demanding safe spaces in case they are traumatized by conservative speakers on campus, people in other parts of the world are genuinely struggling against true and horrific oppression.
The recent Iranian protests erupted during the same time as the #MeToo movement in Hollywood. While millionaire actresses were (not unjustifiably) bucking against a lopsided industry that paid millionaire actors more millions than millionaire actresses, women in Iran were putting their lives at risk just to be seen in public.
One woman in particular became the face of the Iranian protest for freedom as she removed her hijab and waved it in front of the crowd and cameras. The image became a sort of rallying cry.
Since that time, many have wondered what happened to the woman who so publicly defied Iranian authorities. A hashtag in Persian – #WhereIsShe – has been used tens of thousands just in the month of January.
Now comes word from the BBC that the defiant woman – who is 31 years old and is the mother of a toddler – has indeed been arrested.
On Monday, earlier reports that the female protester was arrested on 27 December were confirmed to BBC Persian by human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who added the protester is 31 years old and mother to a 20-month-old child.
Mrs Sotoudeh, herself a former political prisoner, was the first rights activist to reveal more information about the young woman.
“Our investigations confirm that the young woman, whose name we still do not know, was arrested on that very same day,” she wrote on Facebook on Sunday, along with a picture from the same location where the woman was first arrested.
“She was released shortly afterwards but was arrested once again,” Mrs Sotoudeh added.
That’s pretty shady. Knowing the outrage that would follow her arrest, authorities released her and then went back for her after the media frenzy died down.
I don’t begrudge feminist celebrities fighting against abuse and unequal pay, but it does seem indicative of the self-centered nature of Hollywood to be spending so much energy and money on their own experiences while virtually ignoring the truly horrific oppression of women in other parts of the world. They don’t need to take on every cause, but something with such a high profile like this seems like a wonderful place to put their considerable influence and funding.
Is there a reason Hollywood has been exhausting #MeToo while refusing to acknowledge #WhereIsShe?
Is it political? Or is it that they just don’t know, being in an inherently self-interested industry bubble?
Thankfully others like Sotoudeh and the BBC are keeping up with the story. This woman deserves to be as famous as any #MeToo actress. So let’s do it…#WhereIsShe?