more oppressed iranian women - Copy - Copy

The myth of patriarchal oppression in Iran

Note: This article is also available in French, Farsi, Swedish, Portuguese, Romanian and German.

From the second feminists started spawning their “patriarchy” baby, women’s issues in less-developed countries such as middle-eastern ones were presented as proof of “oppression of women as long as human beings have lived.” Western media and feminists in particular look at a society in a difficult condition and do not see people suffering; they see women suffering.

Western media and in fact eastern media’s handling of the state of affairs is one of adamantly illustrating women as slaves and cunningly displaying men as cruel slave owners. This of course has been only responded to, so far, by some people in these cultures who, in an effort to defend those cultures, usually come up with religious statements explaining the rights of women in Islam and Islamic philosophy, which causes some confusing problems. Among the more evident of the problems lies the question: What if somebody is not religious and does not choose to live with codes of Islamic philosophy?

Iran, for instance, seems to have the least religious people among middle-eastern countries. Rejection of long-ingrained religious doctrines invariably leads to less and less obligation. And for the many who dump religious doctrines, it seems like most are keen to consent to any criticism of the culture – even an unfair one. That is why, for many, the ridding of old cultural norms comes as a package deal with feminism. This is the perfect time for feminism to ride on a mind, repelled of the old restrictions.

However something is amiss here. Are those restrictions all on women? It is fascinating how from a nonreligious viewpoint, the western eyes have only been catching glimpses of some woman in misery while being completely indifferent to the large and ubiquitous pain of men. Feminists are quick to shout “patriarchy!” and others are quick to find faith in it and judge.

Today we pay a little visit to Iran, in hope of finding patriarchy in a highly misandric, feminist-infested culture. This view of Iranian women as oppressed by men, which has been the bread and butter of Western media and feminists, has been served to the public as a patriarchal feast.

Over the past few decades, eyes and ears were bombarded by the media about Iran’s patriarchy and the slavery of women. Unfortunately, that is a joke nobody is laughing at. Each feminist movie was rewarded by Western festivals and film awards up to a level where feminism is now an element of film-making for every director who is desperate for Western attention. Iranians were told billions of times about women’s issues, usually in a lying propagandist manner, and were fed the lies enough times that they actually started believing in them.

So, for any blue-pill readers out there, before your reflexive defensive outburst impairs your judgment and reduces you to a shrill screaming feminist or white knight, crying “women’s issues in Iran!”: let me clarify that I am the last person to discard some issues faced by some women in Iran. I do think some of those issues are legitimate causes about which something must be done. In fact, I wouldn’t discard the notion that any class of people might have some issues.

Having said that, if you bear several paragraphs and put aside the beliefs hammered into your head, you will see how the supposed “Patriarchy” has increased the Quality of Life of women much higher relative to that of most men. In fact, in this part of the world, infantilizing and spoiling women is done to a level possibly unmatched anywhere else. Bear in mind the fact that all the local media, operating under the guidance of their Western counterparts, along with Iranian feminism, are injecting a significant dose of misandry into this society.

We start by examining the basic rights of men and women in Iran, point out some forms of discrimination against both sexes–and then blow your mind about how the media is misrepresenting this whole matter. Although misandry can be easily spotted under the law, it can in no way express cultural norms and expectations of the gender roles which shoot this country right among the top misandric ones.

Keeping in mind that when moving one step away from the law and into the culture, misandry gets much more evident; this article only gives a fair examination of the laws and leaves the cultural misandry for other writings.

Some forms of discrimination against your average woman in Iran include the following.

  • In case there is no will documented by a deceased person and no agreement on the part of the deceased’s family members, the sons will receive twice as much inheritance as daughters.
  • Married women need their husband’s signature to get a passport.
  • Women must wear rousari (veil) when appearing in public and no, it is nothing like what they showed you on TV (if this is what you saw):

oppressive iranian patriarchs

This is what they actually look like when you walk the streets:

oppressed iranian women - Copy - Copy

more oppressed iranian women - Copy - Copy

Here are some forms of discrimination against men:

  • Conscription. All males are mandated to do at least two years of service in the military or armed forces. The conscription is not a draft that one may not attend in case there are enough volunteers. The time to join the forces is as soon as males come of age (18 years old) and is allowed to be postponed to after graduation, if they manage to get accepted in Iran’s university entrance exam system within a 1 year period. Unless their full time in the military is served, no adult male is allowed to leave the country, buy or sell anything in their names, get a license to work, use their university degree, etc. The punishment for not enrolling on time, aside from being reduced to a person with no rights, is that the person is to be taken into the military by force wherever he is spotted, with added service time. The mandate of the service is lifted in case a boy is confirmed to have severe disabilities or he is an only son in a fatherless household where he claims to be the provider.The law forbids women from the service, which is a bit different from what it sounds because it is not necessarily about military training per se. Many of the very important, highly dangerous jobs are done by soldiers. Doing extreme specialized and physical work in 120 Fahrenheit degrees in islands with no supply of fresh water (and void of any women), or in -22 Fahrenheit degrees, is a part of service. This especially poses a big problem on athletes. They have to shun their athletic careers for two years at the peak of fitness in their early twenties. Omid Noruzi for instance, the gold medal winner of the 2012 Olympics, was forced to leave his career and not compete in the 2008 Olympics, despite being qualified as he was the world champion in 2007, in order to join the military – which made him suicidal.
  • “Free” (paid by men) health insurance for women only. Should a single woman choose not to work, she will be covered under her parent’s medical insurance for life even after the death of her parents. Males are covered only up to the age of 21. Married women are automatically covered under their husband’s medical insurance plan (even after the death of the husband). Husbands, on the other hand, are not covered under the wife’s insurance plan if they find themselves out of job. This of course is in a country where medical costs are so unbelievably high that the government subsidizes insurance for medical care. Should an employed woman with her own insurance get fired or choose to leave her job; she will be covered automatically again under her live/deceased father/husband.
  • Pensions for women. Should a husband die, his occupational insurance (his highest salary per day multiplied by the years he worked) will be monthly paid to his wife as a salary for life, regardless of her being employed or not. No such law for men. Just FYI: occupational insurance is mandatory for all jobs.
  • Support for divorced women. Should a woman get divorced, in addition to what she gets out of her husband (called Mehrieh – this will be discussed in more detail in another article), her provider is considered to be her father and in case her father is dead, she will get from the government an equal share of her father’s occupational insurance as her salary for as long as she lives. This way, most divorced women do not have to work.
  • No compensation for surviving husbands. There is insurance for housewives who choose not to work so that after a certain age they will be paid a salary. The husband who pays for the insurance is not compensated in case of the woman’s death, but the woman’s siblings and parents will receive the lion’s share of the money the husband paid for.
  • Welfare for women. When it comes to the poor sectors of the society, any woman who claims not to have a providing father and husband and a state-paying job receives monthly paid wages from an association called Kommiteye Imdad that, aside from women of any age, only registers men who in addition to not having any sort of income are severely disabled or are aged.
  • Inheritance after divorce. If a woman divorces an ill husband who dies as a result of that illness within a year from the date of the divorce, his ex-wife still inherits as if they were never divorced.

Iran’s other marriage and divorce laws, as well as misandry in education,  are left for future articles.

Saddening is the fact that nobody even thinks about these issues – to which must be added some other conditions:

  • There are currently 1.7 million children laboring (ages 5 to 15), 92% of whom are boys.
  • 95% of children living in the streets are boys.[1] (Curiously enough this statistic was very hard to find because almost none of the sources concerning child labor mentioned the disparity between the sexes.)
  • Males make 85% of the homeless.[2] (Interestingly enough you will find that newspaper titles are: 15% of the homeless are women and address concerns regarding that, implying that the goal should be that 100% of the homeless are male. Also, numerous articles, investigations and organizations exist in regards to homeless women.)
  • 100% of battlefield deaths have been and will be men.
  • 100% of battlefield injuries are men.
  • 98.5% of workplace injuries in 2005 were men[3]. (In 2004, 2003 and 2002 respectively 98.5%, 98.7% and 98.7%)
  • 60% of rape victims are male[4] (excluding prison rapes).
  • Males also make up 81.7% of suicides.[5] (Interestingly, it is a piece of cake to find many media outlets openly lying that women have higher rates of suicide.)

This might give you a general idea for starters as to the state of affairs in Iran. But these so far only deal with discrimination under the law and not cultural standards to which men and women are held. The same cultural inclinations that create a society wherein 67% of university students are female, but most will not have jobs. This is not because they are discriminated against, as feminists will tell you, but because the majority won’t even fill out one job application form during a lifetime. University and jobs are hobbies and ego-boosters to many Iranian women.

There is a joke going around the country about how women mostly go to universities to have a diploma in their dowry! Their husbands are held responsible and should they not get married, the father is responsible.

Before I end, here is a typical effort of media at representing Iran as truly proof of gynocentrism rather than patriarchy[6]. This is actually one of the least misandric pieces I have read which does not explicitly attack men, rather it solely concentrates on women. That is why this article you are reading is not tackling the extreme, but rather the typical world we are living in:

The comparison between modern British girls and modern Iranian girls living less than 3,000 miles apart could hardly be more stark.

In Britain, a young woman can wear pretty clothes and makeup in public, talk on her mobile, smoke, go for a drink and have a boyfriend. If she gets pregnant, the state will look after her. If she commits a crime, the worst that can happen to her is imprisonment in a humanely run prison.

In Iran, she must cover her head at all times and may not wear makeup or do anything to display her femininity in public. She may not drink alcohol or associate with boys and if she gets caught, she will be flogged. If she gets caught having sex or gets pregnant outside marriage, she can be sentenced to death for adultery or moral crimes. If she commits murder or is involved in drug trafficking, she can expect to feel the hangman’s noose, perhaps in public. It is claimed by feminist and human rights groups that Iran is one big prison for women.”

Now let’s comment on this. Starting with the last sentence is nice to get the perspective of why to criticize:

It is claimed by feminist and human rights groups that Iran is one big prison for women.

There goes your typical gynocentrism; one big prison for women, but for men it is nothing but blow jobs every second of every day. That way it is also implied that men are the prison guards. Getting back to the beginning:

The comparison between modern British girls and modern Iranian girls living less than 3,000 miles apart could hardly be more stark. In Britain, a young woman can wear pretty clothes and makeup in public, talk on her mobile, smoke, go for a drink and have a boyfriend.

Except for the drink, a young woman does all of that in Iran.

In Iran, she must cover her head at all times and may not wear makeup or do anything to display her femininity in public.

Actually Iranian women are among the largest consumers of makeup in the world, along with Iran having the highest rate of nose jobs for women in the world, and being among the countries with highest rates of cosmetic surgery fr women. These exceedingly expensive nose jobs and other cosmetic surgeries are – as you guessed it – almost always paid for by men. Even most women in the rather poor sectors of society force their men to pay for cosmetic surgeries usually by exercising guilt trips and shaming. This article provides some insight into this:

http://www.theguardian.com/world/iran-blog/2013/mar/01/beauty-obsession-iran-cosmetic-surgery

Quoting from the article:

“…Iranian obsession with physical beauty. Far from focusing on internal spiritual values, young people – some aged 14 – are having cosmetic surgery in the hope of attaining “doll faces” to make them look like the actors they see in Hollywood films and satellite television programmes from the west.”

still more oppressed iranian women - Copy

Back to the gyno-minded article:

She may not drink alcohol…

Boys cannot drink alcohol either; it is illegal in Iran for anybody to drink. It is called prohibition, not oppression of women.

still more more oppressed iranian women - Copy (2)

or associate with boys and if she gets caught, she will be flogged.

She cannot associate with boys? She will be flogged? Really? Pffffffffftt. Victim mentality and propaganda is one thing but this is a new low, even for feminists.

Ask yourself, what kind of a lunatic tells these kinds of lies? Or worse, why did these liars have everybody convinced that there is a heinous patriarchy in Iran ripping women apart? Or worse, why have people believed them? Male-domination, my patriarchal ass – I assure you, articles won’t stop until this whole pathetic charade comes to light.

She cannot associate with boys? Iranian girls don’t have boyfriends? Pffftt and pfffft. Perhaps they also think that Iranian boys all have girlfriends. It must be nice to have no logic and be given a platform to dance on the truth. Their key to success is to conflate religionism with sexism. Much more to be said on this later.

If she gets caught having sex or gets pregnant outside marriage, she can be sentenced to death for adultery or moral crimes.

This is an outright lie which is constantly repeated all over the western media; here is the truth:

If a girl has consensual vaginal sex outside marriage in Iran, she can sue the boy and force him to marry her and she will be legally paid Mehrieh, which for now think of it as 150,000 US$. Trust your eyes; you read it right. This will be discussed in another article. Do not miss the upcoming article about Iran’s marriage and divorce laws and again how the media is presenting it.

If she commits murder or is involved in drug trafficking, she can expect to feel the hangman’s noose, perhaps in public.”

The rest of that article is dedicated to the death penalties of women over the past several decades, but wait a second.

Yes, hanging criminals in public does happen in Iran but here are some facts for you:

In 2012, 580 people were sentenced to death – some of whom were hanged in public. 9 were women, 571 were men.[7]

Actually, it is highly unlikely that Iranian judges make this kind of sentence for women. 76% of the aforementioned hanged cases were sentenced due to drug trafficking – only 3 of whom were women. The bias is too obvious to need further explanation.

Media’s distorted representations can be traced everywhere:

So Hitchens says and I quote: “You insult your sisters in Tehran who are being beaten and raped every day when you say they have rights.” When exposing feminist lies and propaganda you just know that rape would come up. Come to think of it, as rape is considered to be a crime of patriarchy; let us study rape statistics in Iran:

900 cases of rape were handled by the police last year in Iran. 60% of victims of rape were men, 40% were women.[8] This shocking fact hides inside it some cultural difficulties that Iranian men and boys face. Also chances of being raped in Iran is pretty much lower than most countries. Suffice it for now to say that in this supposed patriarchy, the punishment for rape is being hanged in public. Same goes for child molestation and being a gay man. Yes, a gay man, not a lesbian.

To sum up, the (western) Mainstream Media is a mess of gynocentrism and feminism. Gynocentric in that you might find 100 articles in English about the extremely few female taxi drivers in Iran, but not one article in any language about the 2076 male taxi drivers only in Tehran who are aged 71 to 80 (also 234 male taxi drivers in Tehran who are over 81)[9] who still work to provide for their thirty-some year old single daughters – daughters who are confused whether they have yoga class or English class today, whether they tell their boyfriends to get out of work early so as to give them a ride home, or if they should go shopping after class. Go figure.


[3] Mahmood Bakhtiyari, Ali Delpisheh, Sayyed Mohammad Riahi, Arman Latifi, Farid Zayeri, Masoud Salehi, Hamid Soori; “Epidemiology of occupational accidents among Iranian insured workers”; Safety Science 50; 2012

[4]Editorial note: after publication the original reference to this was questioned, so please see http://salamatnews.com/interview.aspx?ID=692, as well as the original reference that follows. –DE Original ref: http://ahar91.blogfa.com/category/4

About Ali Mehraspand

Ali Mehraspand is an Iranian engineer, published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. He is also a musician and an avid challenger of the garbage rhetoric around the sexes. He is the editor of AVfM-Farsi.

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  • alex brown3

    Why do Iranian girls want nose jobs? I find the big noses of Iranian girls very attractive!

    • Graham Strouse

      Same here, actually.

  • Star Seed

    It’s extremely disturbing that someone from the Academic world would misled readers that the rest of the world is silent when the rights of men in countries such as Iran are violated. It’s well known in the Academic world that the majority of rape victims in Middle Eastern regions are little boys and men. There are also numerous media reports of Iran’s infamous use of capital punishment and the majority of the photos are of the MEN that were hanged. However, let’s ignore any violation of human rights committed against women. Let’s disregard a humanist approach for standing up against human rights violations against men, women and children. In fact, it’s so much easier to disregard a humanistic approach with a convenient scapegoat that is somehow responsible for every evil committed against a man – feminists.

  • Ali Mehraspand

    I agree that misandric laws cannot begin to describe the level of cultural misandry in Iran. Women controlling and manipulating men like they are slaves on leash, is a very common cultural reality. It can be easily seen that those married women who cheat on their husbands while he’s at work to pay for her expenses (and there is a huge number of them,) almost always feel what they are doing is justified. The rationalization hamster is relentless. “He’s not paying me enough money” said one of these women while spending her husband’s hard-earned money on a young boyfriend. But you cannot come out and say that to a deceived world when there is no hard evidence except your word.
    What can help is for more men to come out and tell the truth about what is going on. Until then, the very well crafted narrative that you are a bunch of wife-beating misogynists, is going to continue. Just how many male victims of domestic violence have you seen who are attacked by these supposedly victim women? Did you notice that you only hear of male victims when what happened to them is so horrible that it couldn’t be hidden anymore? Try telling that to the world without having any statistics and watch their reaction.
    Just how many men have been beaten by other men because a princess wanted to shake him off by saying he hassled me?
    So I suggest that you start with AVFM Farsi, tweet it, share it, put links to it, do anything you can:
    fas.avoiceformen.com

  • Ali Mehraspand

    Who won’t allow women to remove their veils? WHO?

    I got the answer right here. To understand that however, you’ve got to spend a bit of time reading the article I will link you. You’ve got to understand why traditional women do not just want the veil for themselves, but also for every other woman. This is a form of suppression of women’s sexuality. I get why YOU don’t want your sexuality to be suppressed, but you should also get why traditional women want collectively to suppress all women’s sexuality. It’s a matriarchal force. Many women in Iran support it. Many women in the state support it and will punish other women for not complying by it.

    This theory is counter-intuitive because all the states in the history have been mostly comprised of men, but the answer to that one is also in the article that follows. So if you really want the answer, here it goes:

    http://www.femininebeauty.info/suppression.pdf

  • Astrokid

    If you care about the planet and stand for any kind of morality these days, you are put into the category of activist. Ok. I guess I will accept. Next, I care about women’s problems.

    You care about the planet AND women’s problems? Then perhaps you can attend to some rather pressing problems rather than some trivial shit like the veil. for e.g my native city in India currently has at least 6-hours power cuts every day. I am sure Indian Muslim women will appreciate getting uninterrupted power in hot summers lot more than a goddamn veil vast majority anyway dont wear, esp since they prefer to stay home while men have no option but work.. many in the hot outdoors. How do you feel about US consuming per-capita more energy than most of the world put together? Perhaps American women can sacrifice some of their comforts and spread the comforts to 3rd world women?

    When men are asked what is most important to them in America, they usually say something about their careers or their finances. You ask a woman that, especially in private, she always says her man and her family. BIG DIFFERENCE. You guys are the apple of our eye.

    Damn.. is that why you women are willing to go down on one knee and ask a man to marry you? I love how women marry-down i.e marry men of status lower than you. I especially love how the feminist movement doesnt care that vast majority of people in top careers (CEOs, politicians, etc) are men. BIG DIFFERENCE, indeed.