The Iranian


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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


January 19, 2001

Feminism for dummies

Like many readers of The Iranian I have been a witness to the controversy that started from a simple black and white picture posted in this webzine and rose to unexpected (or maybe quite expected) heights. I haven't got a chance to read every single one of the letters exchanged, and the ones I have "read" I have only looked through. Some of the remarks made by the writers of the letters were so amusing and made me laugh ghah-ghah, and some were somewhat depressing or made me noch-noch or let out sighs!

But all the ones I saw were written passionately, and especially after reading one of the rather passionate ones, an idea hit me which I thought I would share with other readers of The Iranian. The idea is roughly as follows: writing a book about feminism for Iranian men and thus putting an end to the Daryl-Maryam saga and similar stories once and for all. This could make a really nice project, even perhaps some sort of dissertation!

The title I would certainly choose for this book would be "Feminism for Dummies" and hereunder is how the table of contents of this book could look like:


-Acknowledgments [Don't forget to mention my name in the acknowledgments!]


-Definition of Feminism [This would be quite necessary, since most of us, Iranian men, have no clue whatsoever what this word means.]

-A brief history of feminism movement and how it made Americans a happy nation

-Feminism's achievements: pluses and minuses

-What great feminists of the 20th century have said about cooking, cleaning, ironing, and other house chores. [Although one quotation at the beginning of each chapter would probably be more than enough.]

-Successful feminists' view about bearing, tending, and raising children

-Why Gloria Steinem succumbed to "the institution" [This chapter may start with her famous quote about fish needing bicycle, or maybe the whole book should start with this timeless no-brainer.]

-A Persian version of feminism specifically designed and developed for the Iranian community and logically derived from a Zoroastrian motto

-Why traditional subservient women do not make good wives and mothers and how a girlfriend can be transformed to a wife in three easy steps

-The ideology of virginity [whatever it means] and the taboo of promiscuity and how to get over them overnight

-Definition of love and how a real feminist follows your heart everywhere: marriage, then divorce, then marriage, ad infinitum

-A solution to the Madonna/Whore complex, an awfully prevalent disease: a challenge facing modern Iranian man

-Examining a whole spectrum of parameters shaping the fate of women all over the world, from ugliness to higher education

-How wearing hijab betrays the feminist ideal of equality of the sexes

-How Iranian fathers, brothers, and husbands can help make the feminist movement's progress smoother



I leave it to the creativity of the lady who is going to take up this much needed task to come up with new items, as the above list is a random one that was jotted down while I was sipping hot tea in a noisy coffee shop.

I also strongly recommend her to take some tranquilizer pills before rolling up her sleeves (in case she wears anything with sleeves) before starting to write each chapter.

Ataollah Togha


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