The gassing and beating of women was still considered bad manners in those days, and the media focused on several of the victims, particularly a leggy spokeswoman in short shorts who the television crews selected as their poster girl for college rebels. Once given her voice, and speaking with the backing of several other eloquent activists, she became a visual and vocal symbol of what rapidly morphed into women’s factions within the overall “movement” and later the stand-alone feminist movement that forced the pace of social change for the next two decades.
Without painting it with too broad a brush, it can be said that women have, indeed, come a long way. There are nearly no limits on careers for women and the number of top executives in skirts is truly amazing considering the “glass ceiling” problems of only a few years past. In politics women are the core progressive movement in the Democratic party, organizing most of the campaign and media efforts and increasingly running for and winning offices on their own. Grass-roots organizing has long been the province of women in their communities, and major demonstration is likely to be led and largely made up of angry femmes focused on their single issues with a fervor that local poll have learned to fear.
So, now comes the video footage — raw and unedited — from Teheran, where the Islamic republican law has oppressed women with archaic codes of conduct and dress, brutally enforced, even to stoning to death. The crowds in the streets and squares are mostly women, many in modern dress. As the police crack heads and make mass arrests of demonstrators, the crowds shrink daily and
only women and girls are left in the vanguard. To the degree that the Iran situation results in anything but police state repression, the credit for change will go to the women, and deservedly so.
The future, whatever it may become, will feature a degree of equality for women unseen in human societies, nearly all of which have practiced gender tyranny over the centuries. The result, I believe, will be a major step away from the primitive past, toward a gentler, more peaceful world.
Or else we will be ruled by harridans of a new ferocity, bent on revenge for millennia of mistreatment.
“Travus T. Hipp” is a 40-year veteran radio commentator with six stations in California carrying his daily version of the news and opinions. "The Poor Hippy’s Paul Harvey,” Travus is a member of the Nevada Broadcasters Hall of Fame, but unemployable in the Silver State due to his eclectic political views.