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Sehaty Foreign Exchange

    Pressure cooker

March 31, 2000

Vicious self-loathing

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
* Two and two
* Dealing with Ali Akbar
* Bring on the future
* Our own worst enemy


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