Persian Voices: Women's Secret Alliance
We should be proud that at least we have a sacred national Consultative Assembly…. We should be honored to be allowed in to sweep (the floor of) the majlis (parliament). How can we introduce security to the roads? How can we claim to uproot autocracy? How can we boast that we can retrieve the captives of Quchan? And all this in one month?… have you forgotten that you are but an illiterate and ignorant woman?
Our supposedly zealous men consider us mentally deficient. Have you forgotten that we are not free? Have you forgotten the kind of oppression visited upon us Iranian women? … Have you forgotten that …. Our men say, “these are women, we should act contrary to what they say,”…. That our religious leaders read our essays in the press, throw the newspaper and say,” “ what meddlesome women!”
—Letter from the anjoman, Women’s Secret Alliance
Najmabadi, Afsaneh. (2005). Woman with Mustaches and Men Without Beards: Gender and Sexual Anxieties. Berkeley, Los Angeles, London: University of California Press, pp.228, 229. Print