Male domination and the
October 11, 2006
A couple of recent Iranian male writers of Iranian.com have graciously
voiced their concerns about the rising number of Iranian women
claiming their rights as equal partners [See: " What
has happened to Iranian men?" and "I'm
the boss"]. Of course, no narcissist wants to lose his
position in a power/control game;
a narcissist always acts to his own detriment. Take the myth
of Narcissus for instance: a beautiful man gazing at his own
celestial image in the reflecting waters, frozen, immobile, eternally
unaware of all other possibilities within himself. This is the
death of the human soul: the rigidity and inflexibility of the
As we observe in any patriarchal society, including the
Iranian diaspora, we can always feel this air of perturbed unreality,
self-mortification of the Narcissus, the unrealized disease of
many of our male counterparts. So you think you need to reclaim
your generational throne because you are an Iranian male? Let’s
talk about the natural disasters of this sinister dynasty. What
is really the true cost of patriarchal chauvinism?
on the rise in Iran. Also read the stories of some of these
on the Amnesty International site.
a criminologist in Iran, performed a conclusive research in 2003
on the topic of “spouse-killings”.
These were her findings:
“From her interviews, Moazami found a clear and common pattern
in the stories of the female killers. The women married young,
12-14 years old, and they had from 5 to 7 children. At the time
of the murder their average age was 29 years old. Many of them
tell that their husband had lost interest in them, and they felt
that their beauty was fading.
When a new man takes an interest
in them, they fall easily for him. The law gives women few possibilities
to get a divorce, and the murder of the husband is planned and
done together with the new boyfriend. Only 33% of the women did
the killing on their own. Moazami also found cases where women,
sometimes with the assistance of their daughters, killed a violent
Moazami thinks there are several structural causes to spouse
killing. She mentions poverty, illiteracy, traditional opinions
women’s position in marriage and society. Young marriage
age is also important. Moazami thinks that the women were too young
to understand marriage when they married at 12-14 years old, and
it was difficult for them make their own demands.” Source:
Norwegian Information and Documentation Centre for Women's Studies
and Gender Research.
Let’s tackle the first issue: marrying
young. Who decides for a girl to marry young in the first place?
Every one knows in
traditionally male-dominated households, nothing takes place without
the Father’s permission. So, the answer is a “Male”.
Who decides for women’s divorce? A male judge based on religious
and patriarchal interpretations of family laws.
In 67% of the cases, who carries out the murder? A male lover.
illiteracy is indicated as one of the cultural triggers to spousal
killing, in a traditionally male-dominated society, who
decides when and why and how a young girl should go to school or
if she needs to go to school at all? The Father; or any other empowered
Isn’t it crucially striking that the Father,
the Judge, the Killer, and the Murder Victim are all Males?
course, this is not to condone any form of killing! (as some of
the opponents may love to conclude by reading this article);
this is only to delineate the fact that male-domination is the
first and foremost enemy of itself; patriarchy is its own foe.
An insightful male effortlessly knows that holding an ax above
a woman’s head ought to be a suicidal act; a will to self-mutilation.
before you intend to get blinded by the false ideology of reenacting
your forefathers’ mistakes; understand that the male psyche
can not subsist without its female half-core; a stifled female
Always means a Defeated Male. A Defeated Male means the endangered
world we live in now. Comment
Leila Farjami is a poet, translator,
child and family therapist, and art therapist residing in Southern
California. Her recent book
of poems entitled “E’terafnameye Dokhatarane Bad” can
be purchased at http://www.ferdosi.com.