The Iranian


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Sehaty Foreign Exchange


November 9, 2000

Trivial squabbling

Regarding Banafsheh Pirasteh's "Happy without you", there is now infamous phrase in one of Radiohead's songs from their 1996 album. It said something like this: "If I am ever the king, you'd be the first against the wall." Prasteh's repl,y

Well if I am ever the king the first people against the wall would be those who can NEVER stop themselves from using words such "you all" and "generally" without understanding the meaning behind those words.

Ms. Pirasteh's complaint is full of such remarks. Here are some examples:

-- "you (men) are all a joke."
-- "you (men) all thrive for money and status"
-- "we (women) are focused on our careers which you fear"
-- "We (women) are intelligent and sophisticated"
-- "generally speaking, that Iranian men just assume that Iranian women are shopping for husbands"
-- "Most Iranian men can't differentiate between a friend and a lover."

Ms. Pirasteh has reduced the level of her discourse to that of trivial squabbling. By reducing women to either Madonnas or Whores and reducing Men to either Abusive Machos or Pious Geeks all that is achieved is a banal stereotyping, that's all. Let me point out some obvious phenomena out there:

1- ALL men are NOT jokes. Most are considerate sons, loving husbands and very good fathers. I think you can find the same among your own family.

2- NOT all men, but some specific group, thrive for money and status. This is not a sign that Iranian men somehow are socially and culturally mutated into monsters, rather it is because seeking money and status is socially commended in both Oriental and Western societies.

3- There are some people of both genders who are STUPID.

4- Most Iranian women are not shopping for husbands, and I cannot assume any of them ever would. But under some circumstances, social mobility is gained by marrying the right spouse, therefore, some women, under some circumstances, do shop for husbands. Men sometimes do the same. For example, by joining the military, many economically backward men can achieve social and economic mobility. People DO sometimes marry themselves to a system (Military or A rich husband or any other ladder) which allows them to raise socially.

5- Many of us, years ago, learned to differentiate between friends and lovers, it is a sign of nominal intelligence. Prasteh's repl,y

Ramin Tabib


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