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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Sometimes It's Not So Great Having Tits and Ovaries.



The sexism I faced in my homeland doesn't hold a candle to the outright brutality faced by our Iranian sisters (and Egyptian sisters too, but I'll save that for another time). This article and this story make me all the more grateful and guilty at the same time. Being half British made me a bit of an oddity and source of amusement with my fanciful ideas of how women should be allowed to run their own lives and my Western clothing, and so I was basically left to my own devices in the hopes that I would eventually realize the error of my ways and come crying home to marry a nice Arab boy.


I mean absolutely no disrespect to women who wish to wear the veil, marry a nice Muslim boy, follow the tenets of the Qur'an etc. but I have a problem with double standards and people who stand idly by while innocent people are being punished beyond all reason.


Take the case of Zeinab Peyqambarzadeh, the women rights advocate who is currently imprisoned for her participation in student protests. Regardless of what court of law her actions are being weighed by, depriving her of her much needed heart medication is an indicator of the injustice being meted out. Or Zehra's story of an Iranian-Canadian journalist who was brutally raped and beaten to death for taking pictures outside of the notorious Evin prison in which so many political activists have been tortured, raped, and murdered.
I'd be willing to give more credence and respect to the leaders of the Middle East if they didn't always immediately give themselves away to be irrational, bigoted, self-serving boors. Apart from a few countries in the Gulf region, I have yet to see Middle Eastern leaders truly protect their people from themselves, or even put basic human rights above sexist, outdated boy's club, self-preserving misogynist ideals.
Yet again, I'm grateful for the equality I have been afforded here in the States. It may not be perfect, but show me better and I'll give you a Twinkie. No, not really. I'm not a cruel person.

5 comments:

Realm Of Dreams said...

Actually a Twinkie sounds really good right now as I sit here eating my diet lunch...

ra said...

welcome to the land that spews out hypocrisy with intense portions. i sit at my desk everyday, staring at my computer screen. my thoughts are "a donut would be great right now."

when i left the middle east, i planned never to come back. fate is so cruel. conspiracy.

listenin to motherlove bone as i write this.

now they plan on taxing all the expats and the locals pay nothing. i don't mind paying taxes, if they'd only increase my salary by 650%.

woe is me. the cursed earth still spins aimlessly or so it seems.

the men who do these things to a woman MUST be castrated, no anesthetic. and i'm a guy. the very thought of castration makes the family jewels want to scramble up into my body.

then the "men" should be put in a class with some of the students you encounter.

kRasH! said...

it's not so great having the goolies either. in Uttar Pradesh (a state in central India), if you are a bachelor, you might just get picked up by armed people and, before long, will be married off to a girl. of course, against your wishes. why, you think? well, they don't deem it necessary to answer such trivial questions, as long as the girl's father has paid them money to find a suitable groom.

TeacherLady said...

Krash, that's just bizarre... With the shortage of women in some Indian villages due to female infanticide, you'd think it would make marriage to daughter far easier... But I guess that only applies to rural villages... I guess you just have to dress like a bum and try to not look at all eligible! Feigning insanity may work in your favor too...

kRasH! said...

true, it only happens in the rural areas. it'd be an art that i'd need to perfect to look like a classified bum amongst other bums. it's the land of bums, you know. however, living in bombay, i'm far, far from those bum-kins. and, yes, in rural india they don't illtreat women, they simply kill them at birth. no, it's not a phallocentric nation. it's simply eccentric.