Reflections on Gender and Rights: the Tbilisi Georgia Protests Against Execution on International Sakineh Ashtiani Day

From Mission Free Iran

A Guest Contribution by Tiko Japaridze, co-organizer of the Tbilisi Georgia protests.

Once, on the way back from an Esfahan excursion to Tehran, the organizers from Tarbiat Modares University divided the group of 60 foreign students in two buses: one bus for female students and the other for male students and Japanese girls. The organizers, [whose racism prevented them from recognizing that Japanese women also have a sexuality*], thought that there was no threat coming from Japanese girls to excite men on the bus, so they were allowed to sit in a bus full with men and enjoy the same privileges that men had. Shortly, the buses stopped near the “Atashkadeh” (Zoroastrian place of worship), and I saw men and Japanese girls taking photos and having smoke breaks outside. We girls were waiting for the bus door to be opened, and suddenly I realized that the organizers were not going to open a door for us, saying that it was not necessary to go out. While the men and Japanese girls were enjoying their “little freedoms” outside, the majority of the girls stood up and started shouting simultaneously: “BIRUN! BIRUN! BIRUN!” (“Out!”); the organizers thought it could trigger a serious protest and opened a door. That moment, I realized that if we remained silent, they would continue demeaning our dignity!


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