Quote of the week, winners can’t be champions

“Women are speaking highly of themselves and that causes men who sacrifice their lives in this sport disappointment. Women are not champions in this sport, they are only participants. If they observed Islamic regulations more they would not have such problems.”

These words are, sadly, not part of a comedy routine. They are the words of Iran’s racing federation vice-president Hossein Shahryari. He’s referring to a 29 year old champion of the race track who previously won the national rally championship, called Laleh Seddigh. She became a poster girl for feminism in Iran and became known as the Little Schumacher after defeating an all-male field. And she planned to do it again.


Laleh Seddigh

And Islamic people wonder why they have a reputation for medieval modes of thought. Shahryari suggests that women are not champions in the sport of racing, merely participants. Way to mangle words there, Hossein. Any participant that wins a championship is a champion, by definition. Seddigh proved that once already. However, as she approached her Peugeot at Azadi Stadium in Tehran recently, her way was blocked by officials. Any number of reasons were given, including “security problems” and officials being unable to obtain permission to let her race. I think the only security problem was the insecurity of Iran’s misogynistic and extremist religious ruling class.

Still, it gives us a marvellous quote in the words of Hossein Shahryari. Have another look at that three sentence gem. The first sentence makes no sense at all; how can men who have sacrificed their lives be disappointed? Aren’t they dead?

The second sentence is equally nonsensical, as mentioned above.

And the third sentence sums it all up. If these annoying women, that are actually better than the men at some things, would cower before the oppressive rules of a theocratic male-dominated regime, they would not have “such problems”. What problems? Ah, of course; he’s referring to the problems of being oppressed by a theocratic male-dominated regime.

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