Feeling retrospective as I’ve been reading “Reading Lolita in Tehran” by Azar Nafisi. She tells of the oppression and suppression of women under the Ayatollahs and the pleasures of little rebellions, like wearing red nail polish under their black gloves. It reminded me of my “little rebellions” when I was a student at BYU. The dress code forbade the wearing of jeans on campus, so my roommate, Janine, made for each of us a jeans skirt made from our blue jeans, which we then wore to a dance. We were such mavericks! Our situation, of course, can’t compare to the cruelties of Islamic Iran, but…I thought of it again when I was at Parker Paints picking up the ugly orange paint that was mandated by Jubilee, our housing area, for the outsides of our fence that faces the public. I resented that we had no choice in the matter and “they” had picked such a horrible shade of stain. Agency is such a precious gift, any little seeming infringement feels offensive, even when it in reality is a consequence of our choices: I chose to attend BYU knowing full well of the dress code and happily signing on the dotted line; we chose to live in a Homeowner Association community specifically because there were rules that prevented people from painting their fences chartreuse and littering their front lawns with pink flamingoes…
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