March 31, 2000
By Banafsheh Zand
I'm really nauseated by the judgments that Iranian men and women pass
on each other. As I've said many times before in my never-ending rants,
the fact is that there's something predominantly negative and judgmental
about our culture. Women have attitude problems with other women, families
have inexplicably contrary dispositions toward each other, and men hold
dim views of other men and so on. Somehow we are a culture of suspicious
minds AND YET, we seem to bask in the splendor of ourselves!
there are plenty of brilliant Iranian women out there and I'm mortified
by these painfully broad and sweeping generalizations that I hear over
and over again. How can anyone, in all fairness [Mr. Rafaat in his "Real
Iranian girls"] make such claims and sleep comfortably at night?
If I were to disclose a few of my nightmarish accounts of interactions
involving Iranian men nightmarish being the key word here
you'd head for the hills! But I don't care to pigeonhole and label the
situation as something that stemmed from cultural issues.
I also have Iranian men friends whom I adore and hold in extremely
high esteem as individuals. Believe me, the American, British, French,
Malaysian, Zambian and Chilean guys/girls are capable of being just as
devious as the Iranians.
I could be wrong but it seems to me that this vicious circle of self-loathing
that we espoused generations ago, appears to be the mindset of a culture
that's been/felt conquered time and time again. The Mongols rode in and
pillaged; the Arabs attacked and imposed their dominion. The British, the
Russians, The Americans and now our own turn on us! Enough said.
In these hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades of exile we've been
given the respit, however costly but nonetheless, a respit anyway, to
reflect and reconsider our collective consciousness. We need to look
at the glass as half full as opposed to half empty and begin to put the
wheels of democratic mindedness in motion. As we say in Iran: "Kerm
az khodeh derakhteh!"
Do you have a different opinion? Write!
Also by Banfsheh Zand
with Ali Akbar
on the future
own worst enemy