The last word
On the state of the Iranian male
By Lilly Ghahremani
April 2, 2004
My mother always says that I have to have the last
word. Indeed, perhaps I do. Particularly when it comes to the across-the-board
generalizations of Iranian men that are becoming all too prevalent.
They can be positive (oh, they're all so haaaaaaaaaaaaandsome!")
or negative ("they are all mama's boys"), but
they are all, certainly, ridiculous.
I read Mitra's recently-published article with interest
are stupid]. By now I am familiar with where my family
and friends stand on the State of the Iranian Male. So the opportunity
to hear a
person's opinion intrigued me. I fought my way through the
jungle of her foul language, slicing away at vines of "suck
this" and "ass" that. I was wondering, first
and foremost, what Iranian.com's male readers must have been
thinking! But I was able to find my way around the forest of her
distress and see a girl who has, simply, had a bad experience.
And you can't fault her for that.
I should confess here that I am a reformed Iranian-male
basher. I, too, have been tempted to attribute one bad dating experience
to a general chromosomal defect particular to the Iranian male.
This is unfortunately what seems to happen in Iranian dating
circles. It's hit or miss. One good experience, and Iranian
validated. One bad one, and they are shunned for years. The
certainly goes for how men feel about women. Particularly after
"doing time" living in Vestvooood, I have fielded my share
comments from male friends about how "difficult and shallow
and boring" Iranian women are.
So, what caused the change in me? Why wasn't "I
Hate Iranian Men" penned by Lilly Ghahremani? Because over the
years and over the chances I've had to really get to know
a range of Iranian people, I have realized the validity to
my father's observation that "the good Iranians are very
bad Iranians are very bad." Perhaps there is no in-between.
But there is definitely variation.
After having dated Iranians
and others, the truth appears to be that there are kind
people and unkind people. I hate to break it to Mitra (and any
our female readers), but any honest guy will tell you that
about sex all the time. Your Iranian beau was just being
crass about it. And it is his crass-ness, his lack of tact and
lame personality that upset you. Not the country stamped
on his birth certificate.
The possibilities are infinite, but many Iranians
begin their quest for a soul mate with the familiar. Perhaps we
been told about
the Iroonis For Iroonis Code that rules the cosmos (or
just the rule that exists under our parents' roof?). But it
seems that we are all making generalizations about what it means
be Iranian, and what we believe we should be able to
another. As my old teacher said, and to use one of Mitra's
favorite words: "to assume makes an 'ass' out
of 'u' and 'me'."
I have met Iranian men who, not identifying Persian
features in my face, made sexual comments about me - and of course,
in front of me - that required me to snap back "khejaalat
bekesh!" But I have also dated Iranian men who treated
me with the utmost respect, and made me proud to be
again, I have dated Americans and men of other nationalities;
again, personalities fell on both sides off the coin.
Respect and maturity
in a relationship have nothing to do with ethnicity.
They have everything to do with upbringing, morals,
I felt obligated to whip up a response on behalf
of the legions of Iranian women who I know have read
Mitra's article and
did not agree, but went on with their busy days.
And certainly because I felt that the article ignored my
friends, who are each and every one well-spoken,
and thoughtful. (Don't worry guys, here I'll state
the benefit of the ladies that they're also extremely
handsome and straight). Honestly, deleh dokhtaraa
bekhaad to be
The world is a sea, people. Other fish in it, and
all that. If what pops says is right and "the
bad are very bad," Mitra, there could very well
be an amazing Persian guy right around the next
Lilly Ghahremani is a literary agent in San Diego.
She has recently launched Full Circle Literary,
a haven for aspiring Middle Eastern authors
and others. Please see www.fullcircleliterary.com for more information.
goodbye to spam!