Melli, a state-owned Iranian bank, has opened its first women-only branch. Why? To “safeguard women’s virtue,” or at least that’s what the bank’s (male) director says. Because, you know, Men + Women + Money = Bad Shit Is Gonna Go Down.
The aim is “to protect women’s virtue in the social sphere,” said Mahmoud-Reza Khavari, the bank’s managing director. “Facilitating banking and financial services to the economy’s influential women is one of the reasons for opening this branch.”
Not content that such influential women will just follow along with any cheap-ass effort, Iran has put $1.5 billion to the the effort of promoting “moral conduct.” That means dress code enforcing, among other things. An Iranian university, for example, has just issued a code of conduct banning “loud laughter, nail polish, high heels, and immodest clothing.”
Interestingly, these were some of the same things that Debrahlee Lorenzana said Citibank urged her not to wear because she was too “distracting.” Yet we don’t think working at an all-women bank would necessarily help her cause. And, yes, we’re pretty damn glad we don’t live in Iran, and we’re not even laughing quietly about that.