Iranian Blogger Compares Definitions of Freedom
|March 26, 2012|
Nesvan is an Iranian group blog that is comprised of a number of online activists who write under pseudonyms. They write on a variety of topics, the majority concern issues related to women’s rights. The following article comes from a recent post:
“In my parents’ home, my family was like a democracy. My father would encourage my siblings and I to express our opinions. We would even vote on the furniture with which we decorated our home. My parents never prohibited us from wearing some particular clothing or from going to some party. We were only prohibited from lying.
My father had a friend whom we would call ‘uncle.’ He had a daughter who was my age. His method of raising his children was the complete opposite of my parents’. The girl’s parents would interrogate her about who she called or met. When she was 18 years-old, her parents married her off to somebody that she didn’t choose; they still live together and seem happy.
The definition of freedom can be different for every individual. Family life, personal experiences, thoughts, and spirit define freedom for us. My definition of freedom could not be confined to the kind of freedom that my friend experienced. That’s why when I couldn’t find freedom in my country, I had to leave. She came to the airport to say goodbye and she innocently asked me, ‘Why are you leaving?’ It was as if she didn’t live in the same country and hadn’t faced that same problems as I had. As if she was never bothered by our society. She never knew freedom so she never missed it.
The same is true for nations. Some nations see freedom in throwing tomatoes at the President and others see freedom in being shot in the streets. For some nations, freedom is the ability to openly criticize everything in the country, but for other nations, it means reopening newspapers that had been shut down by the government or welcoming a political prisoner who had just been released. Privacy and freedom in some nations means wearing bikinis on the beach, but for others it means simply wearing shorter dresses (above the knee).
When you limit freedom, you put a ceiling above a nation. ‘Tall’ people don’t feel comfortable but ‘short’ people feel just fine.”