From what we can tell about what is going on in Iran, women are central to the demonstrations, the protests, the revolution -- whatever it is that is happening over there.
Maybe they are the leaders of it, maybe not. But they are its icons. And its participants, in what seems to be massive numbers.
Reports coming out of Iran today seem to indicate that the Basiji and others are specifically targeting women for the more extreme ends of violence. There have been reports of limbs hacked off with machetes, amputations due to severe beatings, murders, shootings and more.
We, the West, we romanticize this, all these brave and bloody girls.
We talk about how beautiful they are. We talk about the timbre of their voices. We talk about their hair. I think it is nearly impossible to avoid this, as a Westerner, no matter how hard we try.
We talk about how they pick up rocks and hand them to those with better arms to throw at the Basiji.
The rocks are all that are available, but I've become fixated on them; unruly women are so often stoned.
My father told me, when I was a little girl and like to watch Private Benjamin on the television, that a country that sends its women into war has lost its will to be civilized.
I was no more than eight years old and very angry with him.
I wonder what he thinks about the women in Iran.
My mother always used to tell me that because I was Jewish, I could not lash out at those who bullied me as a child, for we who were once treated as animals must not act as animals.
To be a woman, I think, is to always be some sort of animal: roaring or butchered.