Uncovering a Social Phenomenon or Unleashing a Testosterone Fest?

Thousands of viewers watching unsuspecting individuals in their private moments, grading it as “bad, incompetent, inept, unskilled, epileptic, nervous tic, mentally retarded” or simply as “erotic,” leaves something to be desired for standards of human decency. That some people have found a way to videotape and broadcast these private moments unbeknownst to most of the unsuspecting victims of this illegal and immoral act pales when compared to the audacity and shamelessness of those who casually provide links to it, go watch it, and then report on its significance as a “social phenomenon” in seemingly analytical tones, some attempting to grade which one is a worse lover, Iranian men or Iranian women.

Gentlemen, you must stop behaving badly and justifying it on the basis of “freedom of information and expression!” Just because something illegal and illicit happens doesn’t make it O.K. to advertise is existence and to make access to it easier. There are many controversial or sickening things happening in this world. Do we really have to have visual proof of them all? News Flash: Of course we all know that sex happens in Iran! For those sad excited souls, it would be good to know that sex has happened for a few thousands years in Iran, or we wouldn’t be around, would we?! Do we have to put faces to the “rumors” to believe that they are happening? I would oblige all to get over the testosterone rush Iranian.com seems to be running on these days and to pay attention to what a responsible citizen of the world must do when faced with other people’s deviations and immoral behavior in videotaping people’s private moments without their knowledge or consent.

Let me ask Jahanshah a question. Pedophilia is, unfortunately, a lifestyle for many people in the world. We all know it happens and there have been numerous cases of arrests and prosecutions of individuals involved in the act and in promoting pornography associated with this mental illness. If Jahanshah receives three letters from another deranged individual asking him to link his website where videotapes of these acts are available, would he finally break down and provide a link for that, too? No? Why not? Oh, because pedophilia and its related porn industry are illegal and a reputable site would never engage in something illegal? But, wouldn’t that fall in the realm of a “social phenomenon” for some? Especially if the site only showed Iranian men and children in the act, in the “Land of God,” no less? Still not? Why not? Because there are standards that Iranian.com would observe in providing links? Well, that’s alright. Is it too much to ask that the same standards be observed in dealing with this case, as well?

The referenced website may have had ten, twenty, or fifty thousand visitors so far. Showing Iranian.com’s 150,000 daily visitors the way to access this site is a responsibility Iranian.com has now fully assumed. For your information, sex between unmarried individuals is an illegal activity in Iran. Videotaping it and broadcasting it without the involved individuals’ consent is illegal, too, even in this country. Except in this country nobody persecutes the victims. In Iran these victims have to pay over and over again through loss of privacy, reputation, and their freedom.

If Jahanshah really wanted to talk about the “social phenomenon” aspect of the site, he could have written an article about it, telling us about it and deriving his conclusions about it. We would have believed him if he told us that such a site existed. The whole way in which the subject was approached was shallow, irresponsible, and unsupportable, rendering very disappointing results. To write his blog post, he copied and pasted the contents of an email and a link, and he augmented it with a few filler words. In my opinion that is not a very responsible approach to trying to uncover a “social phenomenon.” It is sickening and degrading and indecent.

I would rather watch another thousand photographs of Berkeley streets and homes, taken by the Jahanshah I know and respect, than to see him involved in promoting something so sinister and irresponsible. Along with thousands of photo essays and articles about Iran and by Iranians, it may arguably appear as acceptable for Iranian.com to show the “hidden corners” of modern Iranian life and realities, but nothing can change the fact that this was an action in extremely poor taste, changing the landscape of Iranian.com in irreparable ways.

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