We have a friendly conversation, when she finally interrupts to ask why I continue to wear a hijab and chador. She cuts me off to ask another question before I can answer.
What is it like to live in a Muslim dominant country like Iran?
I tell her that I had moved here from Iran after earning my degree.
I said that when my mother was growing up, she fought against the SAVAK, which were the secret police of Iran during the time of the rallies. Because of her, I had earned the right to go to school and make a living out of my career.
I told her that out of respect of my country, my family, and my religion, I continue to wear the clothes I am accustomed to because it shows a sense of power women should feel. They should walk the streets with confidence, and fight against the oppression of women around the world.
This is the danger of the single story. The woman I had discussed with assumed that living in Iran as a woman was horrible, but instead I had earned my degree, made a career, and pursued my dream in a country full of opportunity. Women in Iran are powerful, and now, more than ever, are they willing to speak out for what is right.