-Oh – you’re from Iran. Sorry, this is off-topic here, but can I ask you what life is like for a woman in Iran?
I must have heard this question in various situations (interviewing for a job as office admin, on the phone asking about college places, borrowing a book from the library) several times, and judging from the vivid interest I see other women (never men) display in the life of their ”sisters” in Iran, I believe I will hear it again and again.
What has the media done- what are they doing? They ONLY thing some people know about women in Iran (and not dumb ignoramuses) is “Not Without My Daughter”- come on- all you Iranian writers, filmpeople, mediapeople- shame on you all! Why hasn’t somebody written an answer to that book? Why doesn’t somebody show the other citizens of the world that being a woman in Iran is not just about “Not Without My Daughter”? And come on, you Iranian intellectuals, liberals, you hypocrites, you who like to claim the West is dying of AIDS after colonizing the world, why don’t you admit “Not Without My Daughter” contains a TRUE premise? And admit it to yourselves and the West? Instead of going on about our cultural traditions and the place of women in Zoroaster and Islam, and how the West degrades women by using them in soap ads.
Yes, it is true, I told the kind-eyed lady who was testing my Word and MS Office skills, in Iran the father and his family have full guardianship rights over children. If he dies, his f*** brother (and his wife!!!!) will have more control over my children’s future, education, place of living, decision to marry, than I would! No, it is not true that women cannot work or go to university. They do work and study. But yes, they have to cover their hair at all times in public places. No- not the faces (do you think we are Arabs!)- just the hair. I don’t know why -it’s just the law. No- if you don’t believe in the religious edict then you do NOT get used to it, even if you are doing it for every single day of your life. Yes, Arabic is different from Farsi. Yes (I swear!) Iraq is different from Iran- being an Iranian does not mean that I know Arabic. I would say Farsi and Arabic are roughly similar- in the sense that French and English are similar. Knowing one does not mean you automatically understand the other. Which is a pity, yes.
Go, Marjan Satrapi! Go! At least one person had heard of her here. Come on out of hiding, all you Iranian women bloggers! Blog in English, people want to know about you! I can’t answer for all of you! What are your daily lives like?