‘They said girls don’t ride bikes’: Iranian women defy the cycling fatwa

…. Yet although the city’s bike share system is one of the best, with staffed sheds and cheerful blue bikes, there’s still one problem: women are not allowed to rent them.

The guard on duty smiled apologetically and said it wasn’t him who introduced the ban, but remain unmoved by a plea to make an exception for a tourist.

Nevertheless, women can own a bicycle, and you do sometimes see girls cycling across Naqsh-e Jahan Square. “Cycling is really growing here,” said Mahnaz, 29, a female shopkeeper in Isfahan’s busy bazaar. “There are even local politicians who cycle to work to set an example.”

“The biggest problem is not the authorities,” said Negin from Tehran. “It’s the dress code. On warm days, it can get so hot wearing long sleeves and long pants. Even worse are the men who look at you and make remarks. Iranians really have to start getting used to women cycling.”

[TOP RATED COMMENT 160 votes] “This means they need to always wear long pants and long sleeves, a hijab under the helmet, and a skirt. As long as they adhere to these rules, I think there is no problem.”

Personally I think an old man being able to tell women he has never met what clothes they must wear is a problem.

But maybe that’s just me.

[2ND 119] I feel like I have entered another reality – this is bizarre and makes no sense.

What can possibly be wrong with riding a bike ? This is clearly one more way of men telling women what they can and cannot do. So much for all the hogwash we hear about women being equal in Islam and treated with respect. Treated with respect as long as they do as they are told. Even the proclamations and “laws” aren’t clear – how can you run a society on rumour and sound-bites?

We are often told we must respect other peoples’ cultures and religions.

When a religion makes such stupid rules – it deserves to be laughed at.

[3RD 99] Waking up every morning and remembering that you are a woman in an Islamic nation must be rather depressing.

[4TH 91] How come it’s always women who seem to be forbidden to do one thing or the other in these bizzare religious societies, never men? Delighted ro read the women themselves are telling these religious fruitcake to take a hike.

[5TH 88] How can any sane society treat it’s women like second classes citizens….? [The Guardian] Read more

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