Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Two women stories in Islamic societies, one bizarre, the other, too:

First, via Mick, is one of those by-now bizarrely predictable kerfuffles involving the "Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, bringing morality to the mean streets " of Saudi Arabia.

Second, from my Internet friend Selma of Tehran:

Two interesting posts:

I. An Iranian woman's Adventures in an Iranian polling station:

And I’m looking for a seat to write a list of 30 reformist candidates. The few that were not announced disqualified and barred.

...What if the things others say are true… what if my vote really doesn’t count? What if those who are getting in for the parliament are already chosen?

Am I really free to choose when my choice has been limited like this? Is it true that if voting really made a change they would ban it? (Now where did I read that?)

… I am proud that I am voting! My vote WILL make a difference …it SHOULD make a difference.

Then she witnesses this exchange:

A man and woman sit right next to me. A few more names down my list I hear something that I can not believe!
Man – ok here is your pen and your form. Write!
Woman – alright! Give me a minute.
She adjusted her Chador and put her hand bag down.

*
I stopped writing and sat straight listening to the man dictate and the women fill her form. He is reading the list of fundamentalist candidates for her. I look at her from the corner of my eye.
She doesn’t look like she really knows what’s going on. She doesn’t sound like she knows any of these people as she stops and ask him to repeat a few of the names again.


She is discouraged:

I feel useless. Now I know that my vote isn’t worth anything.

Tehran -20 minutes later- outside the polling station... Have you ever wanted to strangle someone with your own hands, because of their utter stupidity?

Instead of indulging in a life of crime, I suggest reading Martha Nussbaum's "Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach"

(Here is something I once wrote about it. It is an excerpt of a longer presentation)


II. About women and education in Iran: Found on a Persian blog, translated by Selma:

Sometime ago the ministry of education in Iran announced that it is necessary to change and separate the school textbooks for boys and girls and adjust them with their different needs in life and society.

Here are a few suggestions for adjustments of course topics for girls
.
Religious teaching courses:
The laws of Shari’a for Ladies
.
Art:
The art of cooking
The art of keeping a husband
The art of giving birth
.
Physics:
Chapters on Core and fission including discussions on:
Apple-core, Cherry-core and reactors and reactions (based on magnitude)
Light and reflection including discussions on:
The limits and rules for female flesh exposed to light.
Thermodynamics:
Heat and family life
Keeping elections hot
Fossil fuels and warmth in the house
.
Logic:
Since this branch of science is unsuitable for the natural structure of female mind, it is highly advised to exclude this topic from their coursebooks.
.
Literature:
Kitchen terminology
Newborn’s linguistics, baby talk and burp grammar structure
.
.
Towards an ever increasing respect for the status of our nation’s women to the skies and beyond!


Oy, Selma!




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