Kiarostami: Impossible to understand women

Interviewed by Nazy Biglari in Cannes about his latest film "Certified Copy"

Part 1:

Part 2:


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more from Ghormeh Sabzi

I posted a link to your report in a collection of related items

by Anonymouse on

I posted a link to your blog in a collection of related items in  Chauvinists vs. Shadi Sadr: invitation to write

Everything is sacred.

Darius Kadivar

For those who care ...

by Darius Kadivar on


truce between women and men

by humanbeing on

a vital step for all other forms of freedom. 


Doctor Yourself!

by Arthimis on

Very interesting and truthful view of women and men:



Working against one's own agenda!

by Mehman on


It is definitely good to thrive for the equality of rights between men and women. To pave the way for uprooting negative beliefs about women in a society, to purge the many thousand-years of beliefs of a nation from misogynistic ideas, and to change the mentality of a nation towards the belief that men and women are existentially equal; that they have basically the same human rights, albeit their physiological differences.

Yet it is equally unproductive and unhelpful to start a hate campaign against men! It is absurd and unhelpful because you can only uproot discrimination by convincing the opposite side, not by humiliating and insulting them!

Once you do that you have not only failed in convincing them to overcome their prejudices and join your (our) cause, but also you have alienated them from your (our) agenda!

A couple of weeks ago Sheema Kalbasi had a very good discussion on this topic and warned the extremists against the effects of their claims.





by jamshid on

You stated that your field of expertise is sociology. So you must reazlie that most of the backwarded views regarding men and women in Iran are taught to people, and in a way imposed on them, since their childhood by none other than the soceity. And the backwardedness that is imposed on Iranian society comes from the views of backwarfed Islamic scholars.

So it has nothing to do with Iranian men's DNA nor with even Islam, which like many other religions could be interpreted a thousand ways.

Shadi Sadr's statement (All Iranian men are chauvinists to some degree) can be countered by saying: "All Iranian women feel they are inferior to different degrees"

So in a way, both men and women are inflicted by the same problem, not just men. 

Also, let's take a look at the kaar naameh of some Iranian men and some Iranian women:

It was an Iranian man who set the stage for the freedom of women in Iran, which indirectly led to more favorable grounds to breed progressive views among our women (which could include yours.) And he did so under much opposing pressure.

Then there were many Iranian men who although had favorable conditions to keep their wives or daughters at bay, instead chose to empower them. They did so despite having been raised in a culture which demanded them to do otherwise. They did so despite being called a pimp or "bi gheyrat" or other similar names.

Now for Iranian women, I don't know your age, but you might still remember the times of the previous regime when women could wear what they want, but still some chose to wear chaador or roosari, despite their husbands' protest. Or those women who were wearing skirts but wrapped themselves in chaador and chanted "long live khomeini!" Or Mousavi's wife who writes about virtues of hejaab.

By categorically putting all Iranian men in the same basket, you are undermining many good Iranian men's pure and benevolent intentions and efforts. This would be similar to putting all Iraninan women, for example you and Mousavi's wife included, in the same basket, something that I think you would strongly object to.

Our whole country, both men and women included, was and still is the victim of backwarded views. The only way to correct this is education and for both men and women to work together and set good examples and also raise children that would follow their path. A progressive government would definitely help as well. Therefore, women's plight in Iran has no choice but to take a political dimension.

Let's also not forget that American women couldn't vote until well into the 20th century, this despite being in a progressive and well educated country. So American men, in fact all men, could then be considered chauvinist to some degree.

Your aggressive approach, fueled by your dislike of Iranian men, is not healthy and will not lead to optimum results. It could sabotage your efforts and your time spent in successfully expanding your views and maximizing the results among Iranian women in Iran. I therefore recommend that you separate your feelings from your actual goals. It is a sacrifice you'd have to make for a good cause.

(An analogy would be the dislike of Islam and mixing that dislike with our political goals, which could sabotage our efforts for democracy.)

Anahid Hojjati

Hamsade, no I don't agree with all Azadeh' statements

by Anahid Hojjati on

I have read many great blogs and comments from Azadeh Azad but no I don't agree with all her statements on this thread. She does still have some good points for instance regarding reasons women sometimes leave their jobs and some others.

hamsade ghadimi


by hamsade ghadimi on

don't worry about the animals.  the emphasis is on the word "all."  but if you're interested, it was a reference to an age-old philosophical discussion on scientific assertions. 


Hamsade Ghadimi

by Marjaneh on

What's with all the cute animals? 

Chimps, pigs and now swans!


I don't know what sounds to make anymore!


Every fascism is an index of a failed revolution - Walter Benjamin

hamsade ghadimi


by hamsade ghadimi on

thanks for the support but it's unnecessary.  i've heard these type of hateful speech before as in "all jews are stingy and untrustworthy," "all blacks are lazy," "all italians are gangsters", "all women are weak and emotional," and so on.  now "all iranian men are pigs."  my skin is much thicker to be affected by these schoolyard name-callings.  it's unusal for me to hear such hateful generalizations from seemingly intelligent people.  as arthimis noted, these are the projections of her own reality.

if you agree with her statements, you should not stand for me even if you had agreed with my previous statements.  if you don't agree with her statements, still you should not vouch for my character as it's not an issue in this disussion.  i know who i am and comfortable in my skin and i know that all swans are not white.


Oink Oink!

by Marjaneh on

I think I must have too much testosterone.

'Would love to be a lady of leisure -my kind of leisure though; in pursuit of specific vocational fields - if paid for unconditionally.

Oi! Oinky people, wanna pay?

Every fascism is an index of a failed revolution - Walter Benjamin



by KouroshS on

Re-read the comments and ask yourself that in all honesty, Who Started out with Bullying and insults!!

Anahid Hojjati

this thread is not bringing out the best in some IC writers

by Anahid Hojjati on

Maybe I should not write this but sadly this thread has not brought out the best in some of my favorite bloggers/commentators.



by KouroshS on

Frankly. i would not have cared one bit about your reply.

Just like I thought, You are too arrogant and self-centered to be talking to.

PS. I do not your brand of education. thank god i have access to various itelletual and open sources, that would leave your kinda education in dust.

Wallow in your self-pity and ignorance.


Azadeh Azad


by Azadeh Azad on

After posting my comment to my civilised friend, Ali P. and while strolling down, I saw your stupid phrase "Shame on you Azadeh" at the end of your comment and decided that my time was too precious to read JUNK! If you want to learn something valuable from a sociologist (myself,) read my comment to Ali P and educate yourself!

I'm out of here!


Azadeh Azad

To Ali

by Azadeh Azad on

Beloved Ali P,

What you call Work is an unpaid Job. Period. Patriarchy and androcracy (male domination) have exploited the work force of women at home for 3000 years and continues to do so.

Kiarostami says, "Marriage for women is a vital matter!" That’s sheer 19th century stereotype or a stereotype coming from someone who lives in a faraway village in Iran. It simply is not true and thousands upon thousands of books have been written about that. Marriage is vital only for uneducated women who have no way to survive, but to sell themselves to one man once for all in exchange for a living! However, Kiarostami believes that this is a natural tendency in women! I'm sure you know that he is wrong.

The reason why women leave their jobs (paid works) for taking care of their children is because of lack of Free and Universal Day Cares. Men don’t do it because they are more interested in themselves than in their children – although many fathers do quit their jobs to take care of their children these days, especially when they are kind or bring less money than their wives.. And both reasons for women quitting their Paid Work have their origin in androcracy (male domination.)

As for men and women being different, while I agree that they are different, it does not mean that they cannot understand each other – unless they are dumb or full of prejudices when it comes to the other gender.

Research and life experiences have shown that women are MORE relationship-oriented while men are MORE object-oriented, etc. However, I do not believe that their different ways of understanding the world has anything to do with the social differences Kiarostami is talking about (, which are differences that existed in previous centuries.)

 For KIarostami, the “hormones”, the nature, determine these differences, while for sociological research shows that in fact they have their roots in the male-dominated social structures.. Do American or Canadian middle-class women prefer to quit their jobs and stay home for “putting their feet on the wall and do femininity??!! (such a stupid statement by Kiarostami.) Of course not.

Women, being GENERALLY relationship-oriented, are better at handling Human Relationships, which encompasses POLITICS! Are women dominating the politics? No, they are not! So, you see that jobs and social positions are not distributed among people and genders according to their personality traits. For the same reasons that higher positions in societies are not given to the most qualified individuals.

Every time we think of the male-female relationships or the differences between the 2-3 sexes we know, we should think of a social structure called Patriarchy and androcracy.




Azadeh Azad

by KouroshS on

Has shadi Sadr Really made that Shallow and Stupid statement?? Have women in iran decided to sink that low and grant "roshanfekr" status to someone who comes up with That crappy line?? I sure hope They will withdraw their support SOON.



You have obviously made it your mission to harbor Unconditional resentment towards non-related men in your life. This is not your first time. That is so sad and whether you like it or not, HG's is So on the mark when he expresses his sentiments regarding your terrible misfortune. That is where the root of the problem is and Really and Truly such line of thinking is the kind that Ought to be screened by a very well-experienced Psycotherapist. Marriage, If you Set Aside your "fatmeh Komandoyi" ideas and look at it objectively is A vital Matter if the woman and man  want and intend to benefit from it. It becomes Vital.  So Really, If you think of it as a dark age satement and claim that well, If kiarostami thinks this way Vay be hale Baghie IS Defeinitely what qualifies you as a Hate-monger.

Were you not the one who claimed that if one gave you a few minutes with any iranian men you will let them know just how f..up and chauvinist those men are? And you allow yourself to make comments on Marriage?

It is really Funny, Because those who always think others need therapy, In all likelihood are the ones who need it themselves THE MOST. To themit is a case of denial, That we are mentally and intellectually healthier than others, While all oneneeds to do is take a look at their writings.

You say You avoided Iranian men Like pest in your life. Are you sure It was not the other way around? Females make up stories at times to cover their mess ups and make the other party look undeservedly Guilty.  Collectively speaking, Famels have created more problems througout the history of Mankind and broken up more families, than males.

Please Refrainn from delegating authority on Who is and who is not Eligible to care and advocate for women's right. You have already demonstrated that you are Utterly unqualified to make that decision. Another dirty trick that some Females utilize is When They Realized they have embarrassed themselves enough But don't have the Balls to Retract the statement SO they say instead: YOU are Humorless! Yeah right.

Yeah HG jan . Get used To getting called that. The leadership committee of Liberal league of women has determined that all iranian men are Pigs and all the Western Lovers are cool.

 Shame on you Azadeh, Shame on you for so Declaratively calling all iranian men to be chauvinists. You go ahead and overcome any damn thing you want to. Men will be there, Waiting for ya.

Ali p Jan and HG jan

Now we can clearly see The issues our women today in iran are facing. It really is worst than I thought. Feel bad for the poor ones who get brainwashed by the likes of This azadeh.


The Four Agreements!

by Arthimis on

After reading few very serious comments here, I thought of sharing this with you all, irrespective of your Gender, Thoughts and Opinions:



Love and Peace



by Darveesh on

is that why he turned out like that? he could not understand 50% of population?


As Sigmund jun said once, this dude must have been in love with his maman joon


Ali P jaan why are you making a negative comment?!

by Anonymouse on

Everything is sacred.

Ali P.

To: Azadeh

by Ali P. on

I listened to his comments again.

He said something about "shoghl", as in "job", being important to men. He didn't say "work".

We view women who quit their job, to work- as caring for their children- with respect, but look at fathers, left left, who quit their job to work, as fathers, for the same purpose, don't we?

I don't think there is any question, men and women see the world differently. Is there?

None is, certainly, superior to the other one, but there are differences.

Men are just naturally drawn to certain activities, and professions,( and who knows, values?) and women to others, even if you remove all the discriminations.


Pardon my ignorance. Are the above fair statements?


another Iranian pig ,


Ali P.

Anahid Hojjati

Azadeh jan,I agree with you about Ghormeh Chic but Hamsade too?

by Anahid Hojjati on


 Azadeh jan, I agree with you 100% where you wrote to Ghormeh Chic:

You are the IC's new Village Idiot.

However, the comments that I remember from Hamsade Ghadimi are not bad. So I hope you have read enough of his comments to be writing such strong statements.

Azadeh Azad


by Azadeh Azad on

You obviously don't have  a sense of humour when it comes to chimpanzees! That must come from "wounded male ego!!!"

Don't be "too glad," because I DO represent the progressive Iranian woman. You simply don't know about my works, nor about other Iranian feminists. You live in the dark!

Don't be sorry about my "experience with Iranian men in my life." I avoided them like pest all my life, had Western lovers and married a progressive Englishman. Be sorry for having been one of the Iranian men who caused "bad experiences" for Iranian women. I know that, based on your condescending and very ignorant comments.

"Hamsadeh" (or is it Hamsayeh for the educated people!): You do not defend the Iranian women's rights.  It is now fashionable that the most backward men verbalise this sentence, while continue to be backward about the male-female relationships in practice.

You are a narrow-minded, humourless male chauvinist! Get used to be called that. If you don't like it, I can call you a Chauvi-Nazi.  Either one is appropriate for the likes of you.

Now, put the pretend "defence of women" in your pocket! 

All Iranian men are male chauvinists to different degrees, and we women shall overcome despite of them!


Ghormeh Chick

azordeh del

by Ghormeh Chick on

gar hakimi.....


No body is perfect!

by Arthimis on

And neither is Kiarostami! However in my humble view, his "understanding and opinion of women" should not be judged as "Old Fashion" and "Serious Weakness". Could he be weak? Of course, he could be, Like everybody else on so many levels ...

Having said that, I believe most Iranian women and all the other ones who have been oppressed by an Islamic dictating culture such as S.R.O.I are extremely sensetive about opinions/comments like Kiarostami's and RIGHTFULLY SO!

However, If one can think and see relationship between men and women from a more neutral, non judgemetal, FREE and independent perspective, kind of like how French do, then he/she may have a different opinion on Kiarostami and his likes!



hamsade ghadimi


by hamsade ghadimi on

just as kiarostami does not speak for all iranian men, i'm glad that you don't represent the progressive iranian woman.  with this post, you've not only made a stereotype of all iranian men of being chauvanist to some degree, likened them to chimpanzees and pigs, and prescribed psychotherapy for all of them, and wished for them to be granted "some brains" [sic], but you've managed to make a fool out of yourself.  i'm truly sorry of the experience that you've had with iranian men in your life.

no worries though, posts like this won't deter me from defending iranian women's rights.

Azadeh Azad

Another male chauvinist, the one whose films I love

by Azadeh Azad on

Once again Shadi Sadr's statement and mine that "all Iranian men are male chauvinists to different degrees" are proved.

And I thank you, dear Princess, for making this truthful statement:

"I find it staggering how such a beautifully creative and sensitive mind can have such an old-fashion and cliche understanding of women and gender issues in general. Good to discover that even such god-like artists have serious weaknesses." (Well, I wouldn't call him God-like!)

However, I'm not surprised to hear Kiarostami, whose films I love, making such an ass of himself in front of intelligent and progressive women!

He states that men and women do not have a common world.

Well, men have 99% of their world in common with women, the same way as Chimpanzees have 99% of the Human DNA :-)).

He states that maybe because of our hormones, men's dependence on their work is like breathing for them, while women's dependence on their work is by choice! Also, he makes this so very original and never-heard-before statement that "Marriage for women is a vital matter!" Yeah, we had never heard that one!!!

These are the Dark-AgesType statements of an Iranian artist and intellectual. So, imagine how other Iranian men think.

In reality, during human history, women have always worked. They worked hard to bring up the new generation without whom the humanity would perish. They worked hard at home so that men would write books and music and invent all sorts of things. However, they were never paid for their work. Just because their works were/still are unpaid (like slaves), it does not mean that they do not depend on their work or love to place their feet up on the wall and "DO FEMININITY" - as Kiarostami says!

In the modern world, women work outside of home, are paid for it and LOVE IT. More and more women are drawing their identities out of their careers and jobs and not from their marriage to this or that male chauvinist! And this new identity of women is not an exception, as Kiarostami imagines!

I think ALL Iranian men need psychotherapy! Their view of women is completely detached from their whole outlook. This is a schizoid state, a National Male Illness!

I shall write about this Male Illness, in the future with an in-depth analysis.

Oh, Goddess, please give Iranian men some brains in order to become healthy and NORMAL in their views of women! Amen!




by Arthimis on

He is an extremely profound man. He thinks, talks and acts independently! (That's why Islamists feel inferior to him and his likes...) He is a quintessential High Class Iranian man (NOT TALKING ABOUT MONEY & MATERIAL THINGS...) with a bit of ego which is fine because he does it naturally and without any pretentions (unlike some others like Ghobadi!) That is exactly why he is so famous and popular in France because he mirrors that same quintessential French attitude and culture which again is very much similar to TRUE PERSIAN/IRANIAN culture, philosophy and attitude...

As he said in second part himself, he is NOT a pessimist (Bad Been), He is a Realist (Vaaghe Been) = Very Persian = Very French , hence all his deep ties with Juliette Binoche, French Cinema and Culture. My ex partner in life most favorite film was taste of cherry by Kiarostami and she too was/is a quintessential French...

hamsade ghadimi

great news on panahi

by hamsade ghadimi on

what was his crime again?  and why the bail is so low ($200k)?

bahari's bail was $300k (forfeit)

reiss's fine was $285k + vakili rad + military electronics smuggler


Long live Panahi! Viva revolutionaries in Cannes!

by Anonymouse on

Everything is sacred.