Women, Life & Freedom

 We are in the 21st century, yet millions of women worldwide are living like second-class citizens and have had to fight for their rights. Recently, two critical incidents rocked the world. Although these two incidents are from two diverse countries with vastly different cultures and political societies, it shows that we have a long way to go before we can say that 50% of our population has equal rights and freedom compared to men. We are talking about Roe v. Wade and the Iranian incident - the death of 22-years old Masha Amini. Both these incidents might seem unrelated. But, when you look closely, you can find many commonalities - particularly the oppression of women that has been going around for thousands of years in the name of religion and rights. The root cause of the issue is a patriarchal society that dictates how women should live and behave.

Feminism is the need of the hour - many opponents dismiss the ideology by saying things like they have equal rights, and they highlight only the worst. These incidents are unfortunate - they make a mountain out of a mole. However, we must define and achieve political, economic, personal, and social rights. It must include the right to wear per their wish and the right to choose what they want to do with their bodies.


The Iranian Incident

Morality Police of Iran took Mahsa Amini into custody in September for not appropriately wearing her hijab; she later died in custody. It shook the ultra-conservative society, and women and girls started protesting against the government. The authorities unleashed a brutal crackdown on the peaceful demonstrators. It resulted in the killing of over 185 people, including 23 children, in September alone. The protest has grown and is getting massive support from women from various countries. Now, women have cut their hair to support the protesters. They want to show they do not care about their standards and definition of beauty and are angry. It is a historical, cultural practice - hair plucking as an act of mourning when the fury is stronger than the power of the oppressors and against injustice.

Hijab is clothing or scarf that Muslim women use to cover their hair to maintain privacy and modesty from unrelated males in public or at home. The tradition of hijab-wearing is rooted in the Islamic religion. However, historical evidence suggests that it is not an introduction from Arabia. It existed there long before, and people used it with high social status. The custom influenced other societies as the religion propagated through the Middle East to parts of Africa and Central Asia. However, it was not compulsory, and it gained momentum only after male scriptural and legal scholars used their political and religious authority to regain their lost dominance because of reforms.

Soon, upper-class Arabic women started wearing hijabs; the poor were slow to adopt them because it interfered with their fieldwork. In 1979, when Iran introduced the hijab law, it led to widespread demonstrations. The law stated that women must wear scarves to leave their houses. People - feminists and reformists - question whether it is a choice of women or whether it pressurized them to wear it despite their unwillingness.


Roe v. Wade

Widespread protests began in the US when the Supreme Court overturned the 1973 abortion decision, i.e., Roe v. Wade. It now allows the states to make their abortions law. Activists took to the streets across the nation to make their voices heard. My body, my choice, has become a slogan against the ruling and social media hashtags.

Jane Roe, an unmarried pregnant woman, sued on her and behalf of others to challenge the Texas abortion laws. Abortion was illegal in Texas at the time, and they did only it to save the mother’s life. It was a crime to attempt or get an abortion. Our Constitution provides a fundamental right to privacy and protects a person’s right to choose abortion. Opponents argue that the Constitution does not explicitly talk about abortion and that states should be free to regulate. The case got little coverage in the beginning. However, as time went on, it became a political tool.


A Long Way to Go

We understand that achieving women’s equality is still a pipe dream and will require a lasting commitment and dedication from everyone. However, it is a vital goal for everyone's advancement. Dismantling cultural, social, and gender-based discrimination and norms requires continuous awareness, effort, and active participation. It is our responsibility to make ourselves count. Remaining silent makes us weak, and we all have the potential to change.


We at MSS believe in equality for everyone and like to do our part. We honor women and people who helped to make the world a better place for good. We dedicate our Roe v. Wade gloves, socks, and patches to people fighting for the cause. We stand with them; you can also participate in the movement by dawning them. Come, and be a part of something meaningful with MSS.

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