Re: Sexism in the World
And I find it simply laughable!!! For goodness` sake, how ignorant should be those people who believe in the supremacy of their values and lifestyles and the unhappiness of those who differ!!
No less than President Bush in his strife to share "democratic values" of his with the rest of the world!!
I too have lived in Iran and elsewhere, enough to understand how much concepts like rights and oppression depend on your angle of view with which you were brought up.
It is a matter of perception of every single individual, whether they feel that they are oppressed and restricted in their rights, nothing more. The concept of oppression can only exist alongside the concept of rights and duties.
It is like trying to compare who is more oppressed: a housewife having to care for a bunch of children and not having time to leave her house or a business woman who is working day and night trying to save her company and never getting any sleep - Both if they are unhappy with their present situation and cannot change it and neither of they are happy with their choice. But again it is a matter of perception, not standards set from the outside.
And do you seriously believe that Irani women are more miserable than American or European women?!! They may well be far happier on average(that depends but...). Now what an honour: to live in the way the Western society is offering!! They would rather opt for performing their much more "natural" duties like cooking, getting married, caring for your husband. And as for some unpleasant practices, I am sure, one can find so much of it within our culture if one looks at it from the outside and sees the things we do not notice because we are no less accustomed to them than Afghan women to having to wear a burqa or stay indoors. Irani women are miserable when abused just in the same way as Western women, no more no less, and happy when loved just in the same way.
And this is the only possible way to evaluate the situation of women probably: by the detriment cause to their health by the lifestyle of the community or by their self-evaluation. Do you know where the most optimistic peole live? According to doctors, the first positions are held not by the First-World countries.
I have to stress: I am not speaking in defence of the Irani way of life or Afghanistani over the Western way of life or vice-versa and I am not being pro-Western or ani-Western!! I am only saying that we should stop being so narrow-minded and judge the whole world in its diversity with our own token as the only measure. Such a thing as oppression exists only in the case when people feel that their natural rights and opportunities are restricted and that they are treated unfairly. Otherwise, the whole matter makes no sense. I can quite imagine that somebody from Mars is looking down on us and thinking: oh poor things! They are so oppressed, they are living with these conditions and know no other and that is why they are feeling that they are free, content and at their right place...
And the main goal is that people, men,women, children, may be happy and content in whichever way they choose and not in making them conform to the standards of happiness and equality held by a particular culture. This "pity" for the "oppressed" women always sounds very much like the eternal religious: oh these poor things! They do not know the truth, they are not as happy as us because they are not living like us, let us go and save them (teach them)....(that may refer to any religious group)
It takes great courage to speak out loud about things which on the quiet are known to everybody.