A few weeks back, I was spending a quiet Saturday evening at a friend’s place, with a couple of her friends. The talk turned to weddings, or what to wear at weddings, or something like that, and somebody got up to show pictures of their brother’s wedding which took place in north Ontario (if you don’t know, a cold wild and woolly place, made up of farming lands and small universities).
We grouped round the computer as the the photos were dug out of facebook. The kindly, smiling faces, dressed in their best. And the bride and groom…”they’re both men!” I screamed, internally. Yes. It was a gay wedding. And nothing was wrong with it. The families. The catering. The clothes. Everything was ok. There was no apparent problem that the bride and groom were both of the same seks, and both wore tuxedos.
Why, oh why? Fortunately, I had seen the first 30 minutes of “SEKS AND THE CITY 2” last summer, on one of the interminable flights back or to from home, and knew the answer. Because a high profile gay wedding had already been displayed by a high-profile Hollywood film. People had been reassured by Hollywood that it was perfectly ok to hold lavish, fancy, consumerist gay weddings, and it was chic and elegant and ok. Hollywood had showed them how. And so they went and did it.
Reams and reams of critical blah has been written on the role of media (and indeed, Hollywood specifically) in shaping society, in what is termed “normalizing” certain actions and activities. People see the lifestyle, and they want it, and they do it. And so that it why you see gay weddings held with perfect normality in a small, provincial, almost rural, conservative area in Canada, where barely half a generation ago, such a thing would have been unheard-of.
So, I have my neat argument in place. Fancy celebrity gay wedding in “Seks and the City 2” –> ordinary bourgois gay wedding in North Ontario.
But as usual, everything happens back-assward in the poor I.R.I., and the contrary Iranian people. The state-controlled media puts all its efforts in promoting a certain set of values, and the people rush and do the opposite thing. The media makes hundreds of films and tv shows about people dying of AIDS under bridges in Western countries, and everyone queues outside foreign embassies to leave asap. They show virtuous women sacrficing their lives for their families and the divorce rate soars. They say white, everyone screams black.
So, maybe, Iran state TV should contract these women to promote what they want. Apparently, people listen to them- they are far more effective at promoting certain lifestyles and values than Iranian state TV. And everyone would get some peace.