Sarah Irving

I do things with words, mainly English and Arabic

Religion or patriarchy? Iran and higher education

Western fear of Iran is largely framed in terms of religious extremism: as this interesting report from MERIP suggests, maybe some of the regime’s policies are more about undisguised patriarchy than about faith – and are therefore frighteningly close to the ideologies of their supposed enemies in the American Republican Party. This should not, of course, be a surprise.

“Meanwhile, the evidence from the Iranian press and the statements of public officials suggests that the fresh turn toward gender segregation policies, while its costs are paid mainly by women, is more about an escalating concern with a crisis of masculinity, embodied in sexually frustrated, under-educated men who are confronting a bleak future. The state wants to give an impotent masculinity the kiss of life rather than kiss a potent femininity goodbye. And it is not about men’s feelings. Iran is in economic crisis, squeezed by sanctions, reeling from devaluation of the rial and worn down by a high unemployment rate. The hardliners in control of the Iranian state are employing all measures possible to stave off social unrest led by jobless men, whom their assumptions lead them to fear the most”.

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This entry was posted on October 18, 2012 by in Middle East, Politics, Women and Feminism and tagged , , , , , , .
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