I thought it a very "womens lib" story
Yeah, but not really, though, because it ignored what the athletes themselves were saying...from the link above:
how much innuendo, exaggeration, or outright lying are we to tolerate from the press?...One athlete complained that being dubbed assassins harms their chances to compete internationally: “We want the whole world to know that Reuters has lied about us.” The athletes claim that the Reuters journalist asked them what they would do if their country was attacked and then reported their responses out of context...The Guardian produced a slideshow of the Retuers photographs with a caption, “Iran’s female ninjas: fighting for sexual equality.” In the accompanying article, Lucy Managan quipped:
For those times when Betty Friedan just isn’t enough…ninjutsu is here to help. …It turns out that when you’re denied basic human rights, restricted in your ability to dress how you want and mix with the people you choose, and when your legal testimony is officially recognized as being worth exactly half that of a man’s, you develop—if these images are anything to go by—a lot of rage.
Unfortunately, Managan herself took a decidedly non-feminist stance in her reporting by completely ignoring the women athletes’ own comments. And it may be news to Managan, but feminism is hardly the exclusive purview of middle class white women like Friedan. Iranian women searching for feminist inspiration are more likely to read Simin Daneshvar’s novels, recite Forugh Farrokhzad’s poetry, watch Rakhshan Bani-Etemad’s films, or contemplate Shirin Neshat’s art.iii This is a common double-bind of Iranian women. Even as they are denied important rights in Iran, too often they become reduced to voiceless, mindless symbols with no agency of their own by Western writers, journalists, and academics.