#MeToo in Iran: Women break their long silence

first_imgSociety blamed  Three years after the #MeToo movement spread globally, Iranian women have broken their silence on sexual violence, raising awareness about a subject that’s taboo in the Islamic republic.For the past week, many mostly anonymous internet users in Iran have come forward with allegations of falling unconscious and being raped after having their drinks spiked, all by the same man.The method used by the alleged rapist has provoked outrage on social media, encouraging others to reveal cases of sexual assault experienced when they were still youths. ‘Weapon’ for justice “They expose the suffering they have endured for years by expressing themselves in order to remedy a long-hidden trauma,” said Azar Tashakor, a sociologist.The scope of the controversy was unexpected, and even the government has reacted.One of Iran’s vice presidents on Friday praised women for speaking out and called on the judiciary to “confront” sex offenders.”In the absence of a legal structure in Iran to systematically prosecute rapes, victims use disclosure as a weapon to obtain justice,” Tashakor said.But she expressed concerns that such disclosures “will not lead to profound social change”.On social media, internet users have raised many concerns of their own, including over the tendency to blame and mistreat victims.”It’s hard to know if people are telling the truth or not,” said Samaneh Rostami, a graphic designer in the Iranian capital.”But talking about this issue is still a good thing, to be able to focus the public on what’s happening, what’s been happening for years,” she said.For the journalist Qodussi, it is crucial that the polemical issue has been brought to the public’s attention.”Many people have gained knowledge of the subject” for the first time, she said, adding that that was a “great achievement for Iranian women”. They have taken to Twitter to air their allegations, although they have done so without using the #MeToo hashtag.Other Iranians, including a school teacher, an academic, a novelist, a renowned painter, a prominent singer, an actor and a tech executive are among the others to have faced accusations of rape and sexual assault.center_img Topics : The majority of the testimonies date back more than a decade.This has caused some to deplore the lack of support in the face of such sexual violence that has been ignored for many years.They have pointed the finger at society, the Iranian intelligentsia and even families as accomplices of the perpetrators of violence against women.”This movement should have started much earlier,” said Hana Jalali, a 25-year-old accountant in Tehran.”I believe talking about these issues, them being publicized, is a great thing,” she told AFP.Somayeh Qodussi, a journalist with the monthly magazine Zanan [“Women” in Farsi], said the issue is highly sensitive in Iran.”Rape is a taboo subject in Iran’s society and it is difficult to talk about it even in one’s own family,” she said.But “now we are seeing girls who seem willing to stand in the central square of the city” and make such allegations, she told AFP.At least 20 women have come forward with accusations of having had their drinks spiked in the case that sparked Iran’s #MeToo movement.The anonymous Twitter users in Iran have adapted the #Rape hashtag to draw attention to their cause.The police have called on the accusers to file a complaint against the alleged offender, Keyvan Emamverdi, a former bookshop owner who studied archaeology.They have sought to assure women that they can do so anonymously and without fear of being accused of drinking alcohol or having extramarital affairs, both of which are illegal in Iran.last_img read more

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MLB owners agree to plan for July start to season, according to reports

first_imgPlayers already agreed to be paid their regular salaries on a pro-rated basis — if 50 percent of the schedule is played, players would receive 50 percent of their salaries. If many of those games are played in empty ballparks, the players salaries would be reduced even further.Tony Clark, head of the union, told the Athletic on Monday that they would not agree to revenue sharing.“A system that restricts player pay based on revenues is a salary cap, period,” Clark said. “This is not the first salary cap proposal our union has received. It probably won’t be the last.“That the league is trying to take advantage of a global health crisis to get what they’ve failed to achieve in the past — and to anonymously negotiate through the media for the last several days — suggests they know exactly how this will be received.“None of this is beneficial to the process of finding a way for us to safely get back on the field and resume the 2020 season — which continues to be our sole focus.”If there is no agreement and the season isn’t played at all, players would receive a total of $170 million in April and May, and nothing else. That’s about 4 percent of the salary they would earn for a full season.The hope is that later in the season teams could begin selling tickets, perhaps not to the full capacities of their ballparks.California Gov. Gavin Newsom, who has said that he doesn’t foresee games in this state with fans in the near future, said on Monday that any return for baseball will be contingent on state-mandated safety precautions.“I talked to the Commissioner of Major League Baseball and he said we won’t do anything that’s not consistent with state guidelines, so I’m not concerned about what they do, as long as it’s consistent with state guidelines,” Newsom said. “We’ll see where we will be in July.“We certainly look forward to Major League Baseball and all sports resuming, but again the question is when, and that will be determined on the basis of public health and public safety.”The owners’ proposal also reportedly calls for a new schedule, which would limit teams to games within their division and the corresponding division in the other league. The Angels and Dodgers would then play only games within the AL West and NL West.According to a report in the Athletic, teams would play four three-game series against the other four teams in their division and two three-game series against each of the five teams in the corresponding division in the other league. That totals 78 games, although a few extra games could be added with four-game series.The playoffs reportedly would be expanded to include seven teams in each league, with the team with the best record getting a bye, and the other six playing best-of-three series to determine the four teams advancing to the best-of-five division series.Both leagues would also adopt the designated hitter for the 2020 season, according to reports.Under the proposal, teams would begin a modified reboot of spring training in early to mid June, with teams able to work out either in their home city or returning to Arizona or Florida.Teams would also have rosters expanded to 30, instead of 26, which would help account for pitchers not being prepared as thoroughly after a shortened training period. The teams would also keep a squad of inactive players to replace injured players, because there would likely be no minor league games. Minor league baseball can’t function financially without fans.The additional roster spots certainly provide the players with one incentive to accept ownership’s proposal, even with the possibility of having their salaries reduced further. Plans for Major League Baseball’s return cleared one hurdle on Monday morning, but the most difficult may still be ahead.MLB officials are reportedly scheduled to meet on Tuesday with representatives of the MLB Players Association, who will certainly have concerns about precautions to ensure their health and plans to further reduce their salaries, the latter of which could be a deal-breaker for the union.MLB owners on Monday morning approved the framework for an 82-game season that would begin around the weekend of July 4, according to multiple reports. Games would initially be played in empty ballparks, but in the teams’ home cities when possible, according to the reports.The proposal for a start to the season in early July would also likely mean the cancellation of the All-Star Game, which was scheduled for July 14 at Dodger Stadium. As players weigh the proposal, they will no doubt want to know about how the sport will function with regard to the coronavirus. Earlier public ideas called for players to be quarantined away from their families to protect them from the virus. It’s unclear what measures are in the current proposal, and also what would happen if a player tests positive.Washington Nationals reliever Sean Doolittle said via Twitter that the “most important” parts of a plan are “health protections for players, families, staff, stadium workers and the workforce it would require to resume a season.”The financial implications for players are also significant.The proposal reportedly includes a 50-50 revenue split between owners and players. Major League Baseball has never had a similar revenue-sharing plan before, with players having set salaries regardless of the sport’s revenue.However, the coronavirus pandemic has limited the sport’s ability to play games in front of fans, which would slash the sport’s revenue. Television revenue from playing games in empty ballparks would account for only a portion of the teams’ normal income.center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

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