This is going to be a controversial post. I know it as I write this. But, it has been on my mind forever, and three things happened recently that prompted me to be braver to talk about it.
- As you know, it was my birthday recently, my 34th. every year as I approach the day when I was born, I make resolutions that I adhere to for the next 364 days. Mostly! on my 33rd, I decided to start eating healthy and working out which resulted in me losing 20kg of weight and gaining some muscles. I loved myself when I was overweight but I also think that we are in charge of taking care of our bodies. That was my main reason for doing it, not peer pressure, nor fashion nor even a boyfriend (I was single at the time and also during the past year). I learned long ago that I would not tolerate being in a relationship with someone who would not accept me the way I am and that will always stay true no matter what. So on my birthday this year, I decided that I will start the foundations for a headstand so that by the time I am 35, I will be able to do it. I just love the core strength that comes with it. I was talking to a guy friend (this guy is pretty much your classic patriarchal and chauvinistic guy) but he and I are not sexually involved (this is important in the story, just hold on). So I told him about my resolution and he said without any prompt or being asked: “but it won’t work, your neck will break if I try to f*** you in that position!” I was speechless. I was talking about an activity for my health and my benefit only, talking about my resolutions and here he was just seeing it from his point of view. Me as an object to be had sex with. I did not have any humanity or personality other than him being intimate with me in NEW positions!
- Yesterday, I was watching an Instagram live of a Farsi speaking feminist. she was explaining what the pyramid of misogyny is and how it starts from the slightest ignorance of women’s feelings and lack of empathy, to dehumanizing them and rape and it ends with physical removal of women that is called murder. She was talking about the things that have been happening in Iran for decades but especially the last three months (since before I immigrated to Canada), several girls were killed by their dads (in Iran, a man can kill his wife or children with no consequence as he owns them). and then they removed the picture of schoolgirls from math books, they condemned and threatened women who came forward with their #metoo stories, and to top it off they portrayed the 80th birthday of Shajarian (our beloved classical music artist) with no women in the picture! So you can see why she was talking about the basics of woman hating and at the same time getting bullied on her live so hard that she had to disconnect and start from the beginning with the comments off!
- And last but not least, last night I was browsing on Tik Tok as per usual, when this lady that I didn’t know (she was not from Iran or the middle east) came up in a video in which she was explaining that women’s arousal equals them not being tight (which is a good thing), but she had to make another video to reply to a MAN saying that and I quote “your wrong lady, we know when its not tight, pomegranate juice might help”. I did not have to read the name to know the signature phrase of pomegranate juice coming from Iranian male suffering like most Iranian men from micropenis.
So, these things brought me to the verbal objectification of women that is a common daily occurrence happening to all women everyday. If you are a woman in Iran and have contact with men, there is a high probability of you hearing this phrase: “don’t pretend to be tight”. Yes, you read that right. Do NOT PRETEND TO BE TIGHT WHEN YOU ARE NOT BECAUSE THAT IS A HUGE FAUX PAS ALMOST PUNISHABLE BY LAW! well not yet, at least. But leave it to the average Iranian man to try and pass it up as law sooner or later. In a society where being tight is the only virtue you can bring to a relationship, pretending to suffer from it while you are not actually it, is a no no. You can only have a say, if and only if you are tight. You can only be serious if you can make a man feel big enough by hurting when they are inside of you. You can have terms and conditions only if you have that quality. If you are not tight or tight enough, you cannot disagree with a man, or ask for your basic human rights, because you do not have anything to offer, nothing to bargain with. It is only by virtue of tightness that you can have a semblance of being treated with a shred of respect. And in this world, when you prove your tightness through the physical act of intercourse, you will go up on the list of the women that can be called human, which is only his mother and now it can include you, until you stop being tight, that is.
Iranian men love traveling to Thailand to feel the tightness. Iranian men think that being tight when they are intimate with you is a sign of virtue. They refuse to believe that it is a sign of their inadequacy in making us feel comfortable enough to actually be aroused while being intimate with them. And if you have the misfortune of not being tight enough, you can always sit in a pool of pomegranate juice overnight to make yourself ready for your owner (aka husband/fiancé/boyfriend).
In a country where your only job is being a sexual object and your only value, tightness, in a country that ranks 140 out of 144 countries in the gender gap, there are still people who tell us that feminism is redundant and feminists are ISIS members and pornographers! The only thing that Iran can rank lower in, other that its currency, would be its male genitalia size (sigh of relief from Iranian men when they realize there is no such ranking)!
I recently figured out that the reason you have to ask permission from your husband to leave the country is, if you leave you will see other men and compare them with Iranian men and will definitely see the many things wrong with them and will most probably not want to be with an Iranian men. I love how innovative and smart, men are being with their patriarchy. They are true geniuses.
We as feminists have to learn to utilize the same evil genius against patriarchy. We have to stop playing by the rules of a society whose argument is your tightness. We have to as Mona Eltahawy says: “F*** the Patriarchy!”