Gender Inequality, by an Iranian American Female

In my Iranian-American family, there is a double standard. I have a younger brother who has been raised and treated rather differently from me. I love him but he gets away with things, I would’ve been buried for. Sometimes, this double standard exists because he’s younger. But sometimes it’s because he’s a male.

And I feel that to be an attack on my gender.

After growing up in a pretty traditional household and working in a male-dominated profession, I’ve picked up on some of the subtleties that create gender inequality. Gender roles are often reinforced by harmless words and attitudes, moreso than by laws and handbooks. The fact that my brother is never asked to wash a dish or set the table. The fact that women have to remain feminine and submissive at the office to be liked; because assertive and intimidating are qualities that are reserved for men. 

Inequality goes both ways.

My brother is expected to stunt his emotional growth and deny any feelings of fear or vulnerability. Men in the office often only express their dissatisfaction by shutting down or getting angry. While, as a woman, my emotional intelligence is emphasized and accounted for.

She cried because she’s a woman.” The statement is actually more liberating than discriminatory. Yes, my tear ducts are smaller than a man’s, and I will cry when I want. For men? If you cry, you better run for cover.

While inequality exists for both genders, I still believe that ‘male privilege’ is quite an oppressive factor that women face in today’s society. But as an Iranian-American woman, I’ve discovered that gender equality, to me, is a change of attitude and perspective. It is the acceptance that genders are different, but equal, and that none of the current gender roles rightly define what it is to be ‘male’ or ‘female’.

As a female, gender equality isn’t looking at a man and saying ‘me too! me too!’

It’s saying ‘I’m different but my differences do not make me worth any less’.

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xo,

SAAGHI ساقی

How I Feel Around White Girls

Hello there,

It dawned on me recently that I didn’t have many white girl friends (and by many I mean less than or equal to one). I can’t seem to get one to stick around for the long-friendship haul and I’ve been searching my soul to understand why?

When I’ve gone out with them, I just feel like its quickly turned… boring.

The conversations revolve around things I just don’t understand. Normal Things. Like cute dinner parties as told by DIY-Pinterest Gods. That I’ve never been invited to.

Or new Half-Marathons to run. Which make me think of running the mile in PE Class…unfortunate memories

image

Or new lifestyle diets. Paleo, Juicing, Gluten Free, Vegan— I can’t even keep up with what’s the latest. But if I brought that lifestyle home my Persian family would have a few choice words for me, “Ghormeh sabzi ya kooft bokhor” (Trans: or eat crap).

But honestly, JUICING? [Read more...]

Whips and Chains Excite Me

Joons.

Trying to keep it chill tonight because it’s f#cking Monday. Whatever I get it, you can’t stay in bed all day everyday. Cool.

I feel like talking about sex tonight. I know, gosh how many more times can I talk about it? Endless. I think I learn something new about sex everyday – for example, sometimes it’s not as great as the vampire sex on TV, but… that’s why we have drunk sex.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I prefer not being the boss in the bedroom (click here). I like when a man knows what he wants… because that’s when he really feels like a man. (sexist comment… it’s how I feel).

mam

Gender roles can be sexy in the bedroom (but leave them tied to the bed posts please).

Just to warn you all – this is about to be a deep dark secret kind of night. This has been a new thing for me – experimenting with sex and realizing that I suddenly have options that I’d never considered before – either from being too embarrassed to or just not being creative enough.

Missionary can be done like this too?!

I was trying something new with someone I was very attracted to. And that was that. There weren’t any emotions and I thought it was the perfect situation – no attachments, no embarrassment - no aberoo, ya feel me - and yes yes, same guy from previous posts.

It was really working out for awhile until things went too far. I showed up on his doorstep one night, after weeks of planning – I had finally forced myself to shave my legs, spray perfume where I generally don’t, and wear some uncomfortable, lacy g-string thing. [Read more...]

So What We Go Out

Joon bugs,

On May 14 2013, Minnesota governor Mark Dayton signed into effect the Marriage Equality Bill, which gives same-sex couples the right to marry starting August 1, 2013. Minnesota became the 12th state in the country to sign into effect such a law. There had been a lot of passionate tension, vehement disagreements, and touching tales leading up to this moment, and it was a joyous and historic day in our state’s capitol.

I realize there are probably dissenters among the S&F audience who perhaps do not share the same happy sentiments I have, and that’s totally okay. The actual point of my post this month is less about same sex marriage and more about marriage in general, but the occasion made for a good segue.

mack

Some time ago in my younger 20s, I totally wanted to get married, meaning I foresaw myself getting hitched maybe in my later 20s to Mr. Right, getting some rad pad in a cool city, and hunkering down to spend the rest of our lives together making beautiful racially ambiguous children, working really cool, well paying jobs to support our hip family.

As I’ve gotten older, my thoughts on marriage have changed.

Somewhere between 24 and 24.6, the thought of marriage started to make me feel unsettled and I was less gung-ho about the idea than I was when I was a slightly more starry eyed 21YO.

I’m not entirely opposed – maybe I’m just feeling jaded and more guarded with my wantonly romantic daydreams. [Read more...]

Do I Have It All?

Holly Dagres – Middle East commentator, world traveler, and joooon. Here’s what she has to say: 

You know the song, “Independent Woman” by Destiny’s Child?  The likes of those kind of lyrics are what I live by.  Even better, the unknowing feminist, Margaret Thatcher had a good line (I’m not a Thatcherite by the way),

I will never be one of those women, who stays silent and pretty on the arm of her husband. Or remote and alone in the kitchen doing the washing up for that matter. One’s life must matter. Beyond all the cleaning, cooking and the children – one’s life must matter more than that… I will not die washing a teacup.

Ironically, Lady Gaga had an even more concise quote,  “Some women choose to follow men, and some women choose to follow their dreams. If you’re wondering which way to go, remember that your career will never wake up and tell you that it doesn’t love you anymore.”

gaga

Point being, that’s the kind of motto I live by.

I don’t want to be a pushover; I don’t want to be just somebody’s wife. I don’t want to be left stranded if the man I love decides to get up and leave, cheat, or God forbid dies on me. [Read more...]

Not thug life, but the Double Life.

Happy Tuezday.

Here’s something that made my week: the fact that my friends want me to dress up as Bert for Halloween. My question is,

Which Persian girl puts on a unibrow, voluntarily?

image

I thought bad eyebrows were like bad noses, you get rid of them and deny deny deny you ever had one? Or is the UNI in now? Someone fill me in.

Anyway, my grandparents were in town for awhile, all the way from eeRAN, and aside from lots of lavashak and pistachios, they bring a suitcase full of “Naseehat” (guidance from elders).

The problem with that is, I hate NASEEHAT. I’m comfortable enough with my parents to stop them before they get ahead with all their ‘guidance’ lectures–’Dad, the decibel level of your voice annoys me‘. But with my grandparents, I can’t be so direct. I have to swallow my pride, and smile, and nod–as if I’m actually going to take what they say into consideration.

Do you see how immature and stubborn I am?

But, in my defense, as I’ve… aged… I’ve gotten better at identifiying the ‘GOOD Naseehat‘ from the ‘OBNOXIOUS Naseehat’. Especially now that I’m out on my own, with my own bills and finances and Adult-ness,

I know I can’t learn everything the hard way– cause if I do, it’ll end with bad credit, a mug shot, and an ‘I TOLD YOU SO’. [Read more...]

Last Name Ever, First Name Fakest.

JOONS,

I’m making a very big effort to not start off this post bitching about the fact that it’s Monday.  Seriously…

It was the freakin’ weekend and weekends are bomb because it involves no work and all play- unless you do work on the weekends, then I feel for you #madrespect.

My weekends usually consist of a lot of food and good friends.

Good friends are hard to come by – especially ones who know what the real meaning of friendship is.

Saaghi and I say this everyday – but she’s my wife #sorryboys

I’ve had a lot of bad friends. Friends who think it’s okay to call my mom a bitch, just because I do.  Or friends who think it’s okay to tell me what to do rather than to support my decisions and let me make my own mistakes.

And as a result, I’m blunt.

I say what I mean and I mean what I say.

I think “being fake” or being “nice” to someone who doesn’t deserve it is a waste of time. And I have more respect for people who can tell me how they really feel about me versus the people who pretend to like me to my face.

I have a tendency to believe people until proven otherwise — so me and fake [Iranian] girls usually aren’t the best combination.  I believe them, they talk shit, and I end up slapping them with my words. It’s the never-ending cycle or I’m just a lot bitchier than I like to admit (doubtful).

News flash: people aren’t stupid and if you’re bullshitting someone, chances are… they know.

And let’s be honest, many Iranian girls have a tendency to be the sweetest, most loving person to your face – but behind your back, all hell breaks loose.

Our culture produces the epitome of “poz-dadan.” Translation: uhhh fake mother f#ckers.

And why is that?

We’re taught from early on that we need to create an image.  An image that somehow proves we are better, that we are superior to our peers.

The image we create of ourselves somehow leads to our “survival” in the Iranian community. [Read more...]

Yeah, She’s D for D.

ayy JOONAMS

Hope we made the early week a little more bearable  for you guys with a little humor on the tumbLOLr (tumble here).  As for myself, I’ve been putting this song on REPEAT…mourning over the fun/careless summer I never had #firstworldproblems #momoneymoproblems

hit play if you feel like your summer was unjustly cut short, too.

Do you know what’s great about speaking another language a.k.a Persian/Farsi?

The sh!t talking.

Yes, we’re all guilty of being mean in our mother tongue. It’s a privilege we use and abuse.

And its not just Iranians– anyone with the advantage of a second language can and does do it. I swear my nail lady is always talking smack about me in a voice that’s barely above a whisper.  However, for my friends and I- Farsi doesn’t cut it anymore.

In California: Talk Shit, Get Hit. Especially if its in Persian. The chance that someone in the room understands you is more than 50%, and the chance that you’re talking about a Persian is even higher.

So when all else fails, we use acronyms. And this was a long-winded introduction for our most meaningful one yet:

D for D = Desperate for D!CK [Read more...]

Something I Never Want to be a Part Of

Joons,

It’s been awhile since we’ve had a guest post and we all know you get a little tired of us from time to time– plus, there’s only so much sex we can have… at once… (joke).  Please meet Holly Dagres- Iranian American- Aslan Media Columnist- Researcher for Cairo Review- World Traveler- Bad Ass of All Things Middle East – this list could really go on for an entire post so check out her website (click here).  

Joonies, I like to pride myself on being an Iranian-American with having the unique opportunity to grow up in Iran during my teenage years. It’s definitely given me a nuanced perspective of things people don’t often look profoundly into. Coming from divorced parents, the idea of marriage has always been approached with caution. It’s no wonder that when the topic of “khastegaris” (marriage proposals) comes up, I tend to cringe at how simple people choose their significant others.

Ever since I could remember, I’ve had mothers running up to me on street corners, asking if I had not wed yet. This is just based off of my not so Iranian features, which consists of fair skin (you’ll learn why that’s important in a moment).

Then there was the one neighbor who offered my mother a ‘business deal’– my hand in marriage for her son.

[Read more...]

Gotta Let It Go

Hellohello jooonies,

Tonight’s topic is dedicated to several of our wonderful jooooons who have emailed/commented and asked for a post on this (thank you for that):

DATING IRANIAN BOYS… IN IRAN.

I’ve talked about this particular experience before (click here), but I left out all the real details: the drama, cheating and sex at grandma’s.  Because let’s be real:

Persian girls aren’t the only ones that bring on the drama.

It’s not always romance and butterflies

We’ve all had summer/vacation flings– and sometimes they’re the best relationships because you leave before anything gets “too complicated.”  Most importantly, you only remember the good times… all those unreturned phone calls are quickly forgotten.

Unless your fling lasted six years like mine did.  

[Read more...]

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