I don’t like men

For the longest time I’ve been wanting to talk about my problem with men. I mentioned something about it in my very first blog a year ago [“Hello“]. I had promised myself that as soon as the blogging tool got installed here, I would start writing about men and every other subject that fascinates or bothers me. But it’s been a lot harder than I imagined. Here I am, a journalist (masalan), and I can’t even talk about things that matter to me. So I’m going to take my own advice: I always tell people that when they want to write something, they should imagine they are writing a letter to their best friend, confident, lover, or whoever they feel most comfortable with.


I get a negative vibe from men. The more manly they are, the less appealing they get. I get along fine with the fatherly types, or those who are in touch with their “feminine side” (for lack of better expression) but the rest I can’t stand. They have nothing to talk about, have no sense of humor, don’t appreciate beauty, aren’t open-minded…


Someone recently asked me why I never mention my father. It made me think. It’s true: I often mention my mother, but rarely my father.

My father, Manoochehr, died when I was about to turn 15 (1977). I was in boarding school in the U.S. at the time. Ninth grade. I was pulled from class and told to go to the assistant principal’s office. I don’t remember his words. He was brief and to the point. I didn’t break down and cry. I didn’t ask any questions, like how my father had died (his heart had finally collapsed. He had a history of heart trouble and was frequently hospitalized all during his relatively short life. He was 52.) I didn’t know how to react. “Passed away”? Dead? What does that mean?

Hours later I was standing around outside the cafeteria. Our principal, a tall gentle cowboy of sorts, walked over to me, opened his arms and held me without saying a word. I started bawling.

My father knew he was dying. A couple of months before he and my older brother Roger visited me at the school. It was surreal. My father was wearing an orange suede suit, looking very cool and relaxed. Was that a mustache he was growing? I think so. And smoking a cigarette?! He wouldn’t swallow the smoke. Probably didn’t know how. I guess he was just experiencing things he never had before leaving this world.

I looked up to him and had great respect for him. I could see that he was good and kind with people and had many close friends. And he was immensely adored by his family. Even today when his brothers and sisters, my aunts and uncles, see me, they see Manoochehr’s son. When they introduce me to his old friends and acquaintances, I’m “pesar-e Manoochehr-e khoda biyaamorz.”

We watched the landing on the moon together, and Mohammad Ali capturing the World Heavyweight championship — and of course the incredible Brazilian squad led by Pele in the 1970 World Cup, thanks to the arrival of live TV. But we weren’t exactly “buddies”. I think he held my hand twice and I only remember one occasion: We were walking home from the movies one night. It was so unusual, and meant so much to me, that it stuck in my mind.

I watched him, mostly, reading books, listening to classical music, entertaining friends and visiting foreign dignitaries as head of the oil company public relations.

Like many fathers of his generation, he would give me a good beating when I misbehaved. I used to tease the hell out of my little sister, and was generally a major trouble maker. And my grades deteriorated year after year and I was terrified of showing him my report card.

The longest conversation we had was about sex and that didn’t last more than a few minutes. I had found an unused condom in the yard when I was 13 or so. I showed it to my mother and told her I had found a strange looking “balloon”. It was time for my father to have a talk with me. We went to my room and sat on the bed. All he said was that I should use a condom when with a girl so that she wouldn’t get pregnant. There was no explanation about how to use the condom or even sex itself.  


I still dream about my father, maybe 2-3 times a year. The situation is always similar: He suddenly appears out of the blue. I’m shocked, and thrilled, that he’s not dead, but he doesn’t seem to be bothered. And he doesn’t really clarify where he has been all this time or what he’s doing right now or where he lives.

The last dream was about three months ago and this is how I remember it: I was in Los Angeles watching TV in a college girl’s apartment. The girl was coming on to me heavily. My father was sitting on the couch next to me. Like all the other dreams about him, I was amazed he was alive. Again he was evasive about why he didn’t tell anyone he was not dead. The TV was showing a film and he was playing a part in it. It was so weird that I had to tell a bunch of guy friends as we walked in a park. I interrupted one of them. I knew the story would blow their mind. I told them: Get this! My dead father is not only alive, but I watched him acting in a movie!

In another part of the same dream, I wanted to go and see my father. I went to the apartment building where he supposedly lived. The sign on the wall said “Santa Monica Apartments”. But I didn’t ring his bell. I thought maybe he had a guest and didn’t want to be disturbed. I didn’t want to show up unannounced.

Now I’m curious if there really is a place called Santa Monica Apartments. I’m sure it exists. If anyone in LA sees it by chance, let me know. I don’t believe in ghosts or reincarnation or any of that stuff, but I would definitely pay a visit :o)


I’m so glad I have a daughter. If I had a son, I wouldn’t know how to treat the poor kid. I haven’t been a great father to my daughter either, but I could have been a lot worse with a son.


I’m not very comfortable around my two older brothers either. They are 10 years older and we didn’t grow up with each other. But I think it mostly has to do with the fact that they are men :o)

I grew up with three sisters and a mother who was very much the center of the family. I remember when the two older sisters left home in Abadan to go to boarding school in England. I was 8? 9? It felt like the end of the world. I hid in one of the rooms when they were leaving for the airport. I couldn’t say goodbye. I cried my heart out.


I didn’t think it was THAT big of a deal until I told my mother and younger sister. I was 28 and going to college in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We were driving in a car, going somewhere. Those two were talking it up. Mostly gossip. I didn’t say much, as usual. I listen and observe. A lot of times when I do talk, it’s without thinking. Maybe I need practice. Anyhow, I decided to share something too.

“You remember my first private tutor when I was a kid? That jerk would sit me on his lap and feel my nuts!”

There was a long silence.

“What?! What did he do? Which tutor?!…” My mother was particularly shocked.

I still hadn’t realized the gravity of what I had revealed.

“Yeah! A few minutes before the end of our study sessions, he would tell me stories as he rubbed me down there. I was just a kid in elementary school. I didn’t understand what he was doing. I didn’t feel threatened or anything. It wasn’t a big deal.”

Well, apparently it was a big deal. So big that we didn’t talk about it ever again.


I want to say that I would kick the shit out of that pathetic man if he was standing in front of me right now. But I couldn’t.


It was Charshanbeh Soori. A few of my male junior high school friends and I were wearing chadors and doing “ghaashogh zani”, going door to door banging on our pot with a  spoon, asking for ajil and candy — just like kids in costume during Halloween in the U.S.  When the night was over, I stood on the side of the street to get a taxi to go home. A car stopped and the driver offered a ride. The exclusive oil company community in Abadan was as safe as you could imagine. Parents didn’t worry about their kids’ safety, the way you normally would. I got in the back seat. There was another man sitting in front. He kept saying how cute I looked with the chador. It was so creepy.  “Should we let him go home?” one of them said to the other. I was so scared, petrified. I was sure they were going to rape or even kill me. It was only a five-minute drive to our home but it felt like eternity. Nothing happened and I got home safe — but not sound.


I blame men for all the wars and violence in the world. Although their terrible reign is fading, slowly but surely. Women are on the rise everywhere and thanks to them we are all getting kinder and gentler. It takes time, effort and lots of love. Do your part.

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Meet your Persian Love Today!
Meet your Persian Love Today!