DO NOT INSULT NASREEN SOTOUDEH

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DO NOT INSULT NASREEN SOTOUDEH
by Azadeh Azad
07-Nov-2012
 

Those who are running the site "khodrahagaran" have written the follwoing insulting sentence beside the picture of Nasreen Sotoudeh.

IRANIAN MEN: LET'S LEARN HONOUR AND MASCULINITY FROM NASRIN.

hodrahagaran.org/Fa/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Slide111-448x336.jpg

It's like saying to white people: "White folks: Learn whiteness from this black man." Absurd, yes? Insulting, yes?

The whole respect and solidarity . I have with Nasreen Sotoudeh is because she has an admirable Femininity, which historically have been used for peace, resistance, common sense and justice. What have men with this stupid "Mardaanegi" have done?" Throughout history, they have created wars, raped women and children,
massacred villages and towns. So, I needed to enlighten some Iranian men.

I am telling them:.please stop insulting our best women by declaring that they have more masculinity than
men; implying that their struggle, resistance, going through tortures and humiliations is because of her Masculinity and honour. Do you even know what masculinity in psychology and sociology mean?

I am sure you don't.

In the tribal male chauvinistic Iranian culture, everything good is part of this so-called masculinity, which we haven’t seen and don’t see anywhere but from the 10th, 11th, 13th centuries' writings. Or are you sticking to the LUMPEN meaning of masculinity and gheirat that leads to the honour-killing of women and girls?

As an Iranian woman I am telling you to STOP INSULTING NASREEN SOTOUDEH BY STICKING HER BRAVE STRUGGLE AGAINST THE FASCISTS IN IRAN TO THE STUPID NOTION OF MARDAANEGI, WHICH ONLY EXISTS ON PAPERS, IN SOME BACKWARD Iranian MINDS, HAS NO REALITY, AND IS USED AS GLORIFICATION OF MEN WHO CREATE WAR AND MILITARISM, torture and rape women and children and order some sick women to participate in their savage masculinity.

NO, IRANIAN MEN NEED TO LEARN FEMININITY FROM NASRIN SOTOUDEH AND WIPE FROM THEIR MINDS THE LUMPANIST IDEA OF MASCULINITY TO BE ABLE TO COME TO THE 20TH AND 21ST CENTURIES.

I will soon be publishing articles on IC about masculinities and femininities in Persian, as I see that you Manouchehr and many other Iranians could not read or understand my series of article on "Conceptualizing Gender" in English.

Stay tuned and meanwhile stop insulting Nasreen's BRAVE FEMININITY.

Dr. A. Azad, Sociologist

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more from Azadeh Azad
 
Esfand Aashena

bparhami what is wrong has to be identified.

by Esfand Aashena on

Yes I have heard of some women who have said in response to something that this is "naa-mardi" or some men saying mardaanegi in response to something a woman has done.  So what?  Does that make it right and we should forget about the wrong in it?

As I said two men lost their US Senate campaigns in the last weeks and days because they said absurd things about rape and abortion.  Did they say it to lose their campaign?  Did people who voted for them condone rape and incest?  No but they were all wrong to begin with!

So here you are admitting that you yourself have tried to correct some woman who have used the term inappropriately, yet you are arguing here in this cyber space that it's ok and don't worry about it?  Well as a minimum we should say it is offensive and announce our displeasure.  That doesn't mean that those same people will change their tune or attitude but at least they'll be on notice that it is wrong.  Just like what happened to those two US Senate candidates. 

Everything is sacred


Azadeh Azad

bparhami

by Azadeh Azad on

I have said, several times on this site and in other places, that I do not follow the unilateral, illogical and silly "rule" that writing on the Internet in all-caps is like talking down to the readers or shouting at them. I am not a follower and for me, writing in all-caps signifies emphasis and not anything else.

 

If all the Iranian women use the word Mardaanegi in the sense of courage or selflessness for women, all of them are wrong and sexist. It is expected that patriarchal values affect both males and females. So, the fact that so many Iranian women are alienated and male-identified (in Iran the interesting term "Mard-navaazi" is used) does not mean that the use of this sexist terms is part of the traditions and need to be tolerated.

 

I do not agree that in 2012, some men use the sexist words without having the intention of being disrespectful or offend women. Those who use sexist words without knowing they are sexist probably live under the rock. The effect of the media of all kinds during the last 30 years that Iranians have found themselves in the West make it impossible to accept their ignorance as a defense. This applies to the magazines and websites that consider themselves part of the opposition. If opposition to the IRI is to topple it so that another backward group of people take power and perpetrate male-dominated language, then this opposition is no better than the IRI.

 

It is true that progressive intellectuals are the first ones who find all the male-centered and offensive words about women. However, in the age of Internet and Facebook "ordinary" individuals have complete access to all criticisms and all new words that feminist intellectuals suggest. In most writings even ordinary people don't use HE for both a man and a woman as in the past. People use the term salesperson instead of salesman. The woman who brings my letters is not a post-man but a post-woman. All these sounded odd in the beginning, but they feel quite normal now.

 

Regarding men and war (more correctly many men and war - not all men), I am writing a series of articles concerning a type of masculinity (as they are many kinds) that is called Hegemonic or dominant masculinity, without which no war will be possible. In patriarchal societies, there is a close relationship between Dominant and sexist /macho masculinity, which is considered the real masculinity, even if it is not practiced by most men (but is idealized by them) on the one hand and violence against women on the other. There is also a close relationship between hegemonic (sexist and violent) masculinity, manly states (composed mostly of power-thirsty men) and violence against humanity in the form of wars and militarism.

 

I don't know if you have read a series of articles I have begun writing a few months ago titled "Conceptualizing Gender". I have now decided to write it in Persian as well, as I'd like it to be read by most Iranians and because I am trying to define the Hegemonic masculinity and then describe how destructive it is for both men and women; and that men can choose their own masculinities without falling into the trap of "real man" BS that has so many men collaborators of war-mongers and Multi-national corporations. I invite you to begin reading the Persian version of this series, as eventually I intend to apply my theoretical positions on the masculinities of Iranian men during the Pahlavi era and the present Islamic State, in order to better understand their role during the Shah's period, the so-called Revolution and the subsequent fascist State.

 

Anyway, I must stop here; I've got to go to bed now. Good night.

 

Azadeh


bparhami

In response to Ms. Azad

by bparhami on

I have encountered multiple women in the past couple of years (since I have been on Facebook) who attributed the “mardaanegui” trait to a woman they considered brave or selfless. One of them even complained when I called her attention to the inappropriate use of words. So the problem is not unique to men, although it is certainly more prevalent among men.

On the other hand, not all men who use the word in this manner do it with intent to disrespect or offend women. For many, it is just a habit resulting from years of living in societies that celebrate manhood and masculinity. Bear in mind that only professional writers or people who write a lot (as part of their work or as a hobby) pay close attention to how they use words or to the roots and connotations of their chosen words. Most ordinary people focus on simple communication, without giving much thought to every word they choose.

Such habits can be more readily reversed through reasoned dialog than via name-calling and counter-insults. You chose to write parts of your article in all-caps, which is often viewed as talking down to the readers or shouting at them. Saying that men have to learn femininity isn't any better than demanding masculinity of women. Yes, many men started wars, not because they were men but because they possessed absolute power. Other men preached peaceful protest or civil disobedience and abhored violence, even after they came to power.

Let me end my comment with a couple of anecdotes. one anecdote from the Persian language is the praise some give an independent or self-supporting woman by branding her “as capable as a man” (“ye paa mardeh” or “mesl-e ye mard kaar mikohneh”). I have also heard “he is a better housekeeper/cook than a woman” (“az zan ham behtar khooneh-daari mikoneh”) from some older Iranian women whose (divorced) sons do housekeeping and cooking at home. So, we have a long way to go before such stereotypes are set aside. Success in this domain is more probable through education and respectful dialog.


Azadeh Azad

Comment by Goudarz Garmroudi on Facebook

by Azadeh Azad on

صد در صد موافقم .. فرهنکِ غلط و غیر انسانی مقدار زیادی بر شانه و در پناهِ کلام و کلمه ای که بارِ غلط داره، باقی می مونه و به زندگیش ادامه میده .. کسانی حتی در گروه روشنفکران و مبارزین علیه نافهمی و کج فهمی های فرهنگی هم، می بینم که هنوز جمله ها و ترکیب هایی از این دست در گفتار و نوشته هاشون استفاده می کنن ، مثل ؛ .. از سگ کمتره ... اگه مَردی این کار را ...اینا تو مملکت مَرد باقی نذاشتن .. یارو حرامزاده است ... تُخمِ حرام ... الخ .. شرم داره استفاده از این کلمات مخصوصا توسط طبقۀ نُخبۀ جامعه .. چندی پیش در برنامۀ تلویزیونیِ یکی از روشنفکران بسار فعال برای حقوق بشر، بیننده ای رویِ خط آمد و داشت می گفت این آخوندها وعدۀ دختر باکره در بهشت میدن به مرد ها که تشویقشون کنند که .. و این مبارز روشنفکرِ ما جواب داد؛ .. تازه لابد برای مردهای خراب! هم پسرای خوشگل میارن ... اینها همه دوباره اندیشی می خواد دوستان .. مرد خراب را وقتی یک روشنفکر امروزی تو کلامش به کار ببره، آیا آب به آسیابِ که ریخته ؟!! ...


Azadeh Azad

For and against this article :-)

by Azadeh Azad on

In favour of my article:

Thank you Albaloo and Esfand for your support, which is based on your own intelligence and especially insight.
There are also hundreds of people on Facebook, both men and women, who sare upporting my anti-sexist opinion.

Against my article: 

There is one single person, Roozbeh_Guilani, who believes I am working against the opposition. I understand that after the defeat of ALL communist regimes of the world, people like him would feel devastated and fall into some kind of psychosis, but in response to his question, I display many of my political cartoons , as I express my politics mainly through the art of collage and cartoon, and not yet by articles.
Now after looking through my works in support of individuals in the opposition and against the IRI criminals, if this devastated communist continues to accuse me of “hiding” behind feminism in an insane conspiracy to undermine the opposition, then I’m afraid I and others can do nothing to help him get mentally well.  

Interestingly, it happens that my last collage/cartoon is about Nasreen Sotoudeh.

http://iranian.com/main/blog/azadeh-azad/colla...

http://iranian.com/main/2012/apr/molesters-spe...

http://iranian.com/main/2012/jun/ultimate-sacr...

http://iranian.com/main/2012/may/wanted-alive

http://iranian.com/main/blog/azadeh-azad/graph...

http://iranian.com/main/blog/azadeh-azad/polit...


Azadeh Azad

For Elham57

by Azadeh Azad on

I never met  Sohrab Sepehri, but I consider him a "latif " man, even with his beard and moustache. But as you know, this issue is about a concept, "Masculinity" which embraces many characteritic imagined by traditionalists as innate to males only. So, when this traditiuonalists face a woman of the 21st century from their own homeland their House of Cards collapses and they begin uttering what today we rightfully consider stupid, but in the 19th century (even in the 20th century Iran) if you had said this about a woman, everyone would have reacted positively.

Cheers,

Azadeh


Roozbeh_Gilani

You are the only one here Insulting nasrin Sotoudeh.

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

By dragging this brave lady's name into your petty cyber arguments with other site members, hiding behind a "feminist" agenda. When was the last time you wrote a blog or a comment in support of any political prisoner in Iran?

I genuinly question your motives, given almost every blog you write is nothing but implicit or explicit personal attack on an individual or an opposition group. Islamist Regime has already done a great job dividing Iranians along the lines of ethnicity, religion and now gender. They do not need your help.

I'm outa here.....


"Personal business must yield to collective interest."


Albaloo

Azadeh Khanum, very good observation.

by Albaloo on

Azadeh Khanum, very good observation.


Elham57

What about "lateef"?

by Elham57 on

This article made a lot of sense, but made me think:

 

If "honor" belongs to both, men and women, how about "letafat"?

Can 'letafat' be described as a masculine, as well as a feminine' characteristic?


Esfand Aashena

bparhami your "teaching" of Farsi is wrong and misguided.

by Esfand Aashena on

Even under your own traditional defintion of "mardanegi" it dictates that mistakes be admitted.  This is wrong from the beginning to the end and your general statement that you disagree with "passages" of this write-up is anything but mardanegi! 

Everything is sacred


Esfand Aashena

I agree. Indeed it's offensive like no other.

by Esfand Aashena on

During this election in America we heard about "legitimate rape" that a woman body can reject and pregnancy upon rape is "God's will" and now this.  You hear something absurd every day!

Nasreen Sotoudeh is manly man and men should learn from her?  Indeed offensive.

BTW just a note that Nasreen Sotoudeh is a Reformist, or at least she was when she was arrested.   

Everything is sacred


Azadeh Azad

For bparhami

by Azadeh Azad on

Thank you so much for reading and commenting.

  Please let me know which part of my article you do not agree with and develop your idea if possible. What are some of the wordingy ou do not agree with and where are my generalizations.

Your critique will be most appreciated, as that is the only way I can improve and deepen my understanding of the Iranian patriarchy.

 

Cheers,

Azadeh


bparhami

I agree with the gist of your article

by bparhami on

While I endorse the main message, I take issue with some of the wording and generalizations. Anyway, I liked it enough to make a Facebook post about it. Here it is, with a minor correction.

Masculinity, manliness, courage, and valor: A deplorable part of the Iranian culture, which is a direct result of its deep-rooted patriarchal nature, is the use of the terms “mardi” (manhood) and “mardaanegui” (manliness) as synonyms for “courage” and “valor.” This unfortunate situation sometimes manifests itself in a bizarre way: Some men praise particularly courageous or selfless women by ascribing to them the traits of “mardi” and/or “mardaanegui.” Another aspect of the same problem has to do with the word “gheirat” (honor), which is often invoked in keeping women under wraps and in justifying “honor” killings. Ms. Azadeh Azad found such ascriptions particularly offensive when a political group supporting the plight of political prisoners in Iran produced a poster imploring men to learn “gheirat” and “mardaanegui” from Nasreen Sotoudeh. Here is Ms. Azad’s article which makes the point forcefully, although there are passages in her write-up that I do not endorse.