When a "Woman Power" Tattoo Incites an Uproar in Iran

At a press conference in Tehran on Wednesday for an award-winning film "The Salesman," Iranian actress Taraneh Alidoosti reached for a microphone and revealed a "woman power" tattoo under her left sleeve.

The brief display of the tattoo — a raised fist combined with the Venus symbol — incited a huge backlash against Alidoosti, known as Iran's Natalie Portman. Social media users have been questioning whether Alidoosti is actually a feminist as her tattoo is often associated with radical feminism.

Alidoosti quickly took to Twitter to respond to the speculation.

In a subsequent tweet she explains, "Feminism doesn't mean antiman or antifamily. Feminism means that each human aside from his or her gender has the right to an individuality and according to that, to choose the life that she or he wants."

Iran faces a poor record in women's rights and gender equality. According to Human Rights Watch, in Iran women are even forbidden from watching men's sports in stadiums, including the nation's sport of volleyball. 

And just a few weeks ago, the nation's authorities were reported to publicly shame and arrest models for posting photos without a hijab on social media sites.

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