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’.

facebook us

tweet me: @saaghi_joon

xo,

SAAGHI ساقی

Riding Unicorns

I recently happened to watch the romantic comedy, Guess Who for the first time when the following scene ensued.

“Would you open your mind, Percy Jones? Dante is a metrosexual.”

“A what?”

“He’s a straight man with taste.”

“No such thing. You might as well tell me he rode over here on a unicorn.”

I suppose most people watching the film took the scene lightly. Yet it got me thinking:

how many times do we insult or comment on personality traits of other people using sexuality and gender references?

At some point, we have all partook or grown accustomed to some comment to a man exclaiming, “don’t be a little bitch” or “you’re a pussy.”

Worse still, I have heard women in conversation complain that their potential dates had been “too gay.” Nobody knows just exactly what that means, but most guesses usually include quite a delusional perception of how men and women should “naturally” act.

And so it is really important to consider the real meaning behind these comments. First of all, no decent woman should accept that her anatomy becomes a tool of insult.

Being a woman is NOT an insult. [Read more...]

There’s a Person Under This Beard

So I have a beard. No, I had a beard. Let me explain. I play around with my facial hair. It’s a way for me to change it up and have a good time. Girls do things with their hair. I recently heard the term “side bangs”. Me, I like to change it up on my face from time to time.

While I enjoy sporting my mustache in different manners, I decided to grow my beard back out. Being as I am a Persian man, and I have more hair on my buttocks than most people on their head, before the week’s end I was looking like the Oxi clean guy.

oxi That’s when the recurring issue happened every time I grow my beard.

“You look like a terrorist.” In a span of about 21 days, I heard dozens of alterations of that sentence.

“You look dangerous,” 

“You look scary,”

“You look like you’re going to blow something up.”

I tell you it is non-conditional.

My friend, who happens to be sefeed (Trans: vaait. Trans: white) also has a pretty thick set beard. What comments does he get?

“Sick beard bro!” “You look like a lumberjack!” “What a hipster beard”.

I asked him what’s the worst thing someone told you. He said someone told him he looked like a “bum.” [Read more...]

Spending Nights in Tehran

Hi JOONAMS,

Thought I might dial it back tonight and just relive some great memories.  Somethings you just never want to forget because it plays a pivotal role in developing your personality… your ideals… and that’s what my trips to Iran were for me.

Going to Iran was something I looked forward to the second I stepped off the plane back in the United States.  Leaving my grandparents, cousins and other relatives/friends behind was always one of the hardest things I ever had to do (and still to this day nothing compares).

Tehran, Iran

I always left with this gut wrenching thought, “What if I can’t come back next year and see them again? What if this is goodbye for good?”

I’ve been back once since I graduated from college and even though, it’s only been two years– I feel like I’m gripping onto the memories in fear that one day, they just might leave me.  Because now more than ever, it is unlikely I can go back for sometime.

And now there is all this talk of war and harsher sanctions — there is still the endless imprisonment of bloggers, political thinkers, and human rights defenders –

Yet all the focus remains on Iran’s deteriorating relationship with Israel and their nuclear program, which causes people outside of Iran to forget that Iranians are regular people.

[Read more...]

%d bloggers like this: