The news out of Iran is terrifying. You can die, totally entirely by accident on purpose, for defying the authority of those whose entire raison d’être is to control what women, girls, and basically anyone who’s not a cis-het man, do, think and feel.
You can also be sentenced to death, perfectly legally, for being what the characters in Margaret Atwood’s novels call gender traitors. Because in Iran, according to the people who run it, there shall be traditional sexuality and morals, or death.
The protests are terrifying, too. All these people putting their life on the line.
And it makes you think. Not just about what’s happening in Iran but about what’s happening here in North America. And I don’t just mean the same gang of retrograde conservative white men (but I repeat myself) plotting to reverse Roe v Wade and set their sights on marriage equality with a side dose of trans-bashing. I mean the quiet tyranny of an evangelical movement that seeks to control what you — yes, you — do with the one precious life you were given.
Yesterday I drove all night and all day from Ottawa to Nashville. Along those roads are countless billboards. I was making a game with Eldest of spotting the Jesus ones. We lost count somewhere east of Buffalo. We had a good laugh at the one that said, in huge fiery letters, that hell indeed so totally exists. It looked stupid in an Ohio cornfield, you have no idea.
One I encountered that did not make me laugh at all showed wedding bands and a message saying that holy matrimony was one man and one woman. I didn’t laugh because that one is not funny at all.
You believe in a god or in heaven or sin or whatever floats your boat. You are perfectly free to find people who are weird in exactly the same way as you and worship the same rubber boots for all I care.
You do not get to dictate how other people live their life. That is where religion ends and tyranny begins.
I have no opinion on whether anyone should or should not wear a hijab or any other religious or cultural symbol. But I have a hell of a lot to say about anyone trying to control what other humans do with their one wild and precious life.
All I have is my voice. To the protesters in Iran and elsewhere, I say I am with you. To the tyrants and would-be mollahs, here, there and everywhere, I say, sit the fuck back down.