Thursday, October 16, 2008
Intro to The Ayatollah Begs to Differ
Haven't read the book, but that does not stop me from enjoying the intro. Found via the blog: Fudzail. UPDATE: Just realized that the well-written commentary on Fudzail's site was from Iran Writes.
Now that you've seen it, I have 2 comments:
1. Only a man could claim to be "sometimes" reminded that he is living under Islamic rule. For women, the reminder is relentless.
2. I agree that the lack of fear is surprising in Iran; that there *can* be no palpable sense of secret police. I do, however, think that if he were to stay for a really extended time, say a year or two, he would have a different view. (If he had an American wife staying with him, I'm positive he would have a different view.)
I would also argue, that if he were a woman, he would think differently as well. Every woman I know who returned to Iran after spending a significant amount of time abroad, had the sense of being watched. Many of the Iranian women I met, who had become accustomed to life in the UK or the US or the Netherlands or any number of other places, had lost much of their ability to maneuver easily in the society. It wasn't even an issue of "ability," it was an issue of willingness.
It was so much easier for me than for my expat Iranian friends. My taarof mishaps were excused, my aggressiveness accepted... People expected me to be inflexible, selfish, and miserly. With those kinds of expectations, it's easy to impress. I was treated like a full grown child: spoiled and doted upon. Trust me, had I been culturally Iranian I would have been taken to task for every misstep: whether perceived or purposeful.
I would love to hear from expat Iranian women out there who want to chime in and tell me how wrong/right I am.
I'll even tag a few:
Pedestrian at Sidewalk Lyrics
Homeyra at Forever Under Construction
Beja at A Voice of Two Cities
Ava at Love Jihadi
(I hope commenters will add to this list and chime in with their own experiences)