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In Middle East, Social Media Campaign Challenges Judge’s Use of Femininity to Punish Men

In April 2013, an Iranian court sentenced a male convict to wear a traditional Kurdish woman’s dress in public. This was supposed to be a degrading punishment for the man. Soon after, men from Marivan, a city in Iran’s Kurdistan Province, began to protest this punishment by purposely dressing in Kurdish women’s robes and posting pictures on social media to show their respect towards their women, Iqbal Tamimi reports for Womens E News. The article goes on to tell about additional degrading punishments enforced in other countries such as Palestine and Egypt.

These punishments show the misogynistic views of some Middle Eastern and Arab governments. In Jordan, if a man catches his wife with another man and kills her, it is ruled as an act of temporary insanity that “drove him to defend his honor”, and he usually only serves a few months in prison. But if a woman catches her husband with another woman and she kills him, she is judged as a murderer and will serve many years in prison. As Tamimi writes, “This grave injustice insinuates that women’s honor, safety and dignity are not equal to those of men.”

Source: Iqbal Tamimi, “In Middle East, Femininity Used to Punish Men,” Womens E News, September 11, 2013, http://womensenews.org/story/traditions/130910/in-middle-east-femininity-used-punish-men.

Student Researcher: Alicia Lynch (Fitchburg State University)

Faculty Evaluator: Elise Takehana (Fitchburg State University)

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