Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

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Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby The Reaper » Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:29 pm UTC

So they set about correcting that.
http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id ... _article=1
Alternate title: "Iran issues warning to 62,000 'badly veiled' women".
Iranian police have issued warnings to 62,000 women who were "badly veiled" in the Shiite holy province of Qom as part of a clampdown on dress and behaviour, a newspaper said on Monday.
Around "62,000 women were warned for being badly veiled" in the province of Qom, Tehran Emrouz newspaper quoted provincial police chief Colonel Mehdi Khorasani as saying.

It was unclear whether all the women issued with warnings were from Qom or the tally included travellers passing through the province.

Khorasani said police had also confiscated around 100 cars for carrying improperly dressed women, adding that "encouraging such relaxations are among the objectives of the enemy."

The newspaper did not say during which period the warnings were issued.

The population of Qom is more than one million, with most of them concentrated in the city itself which is Shiite Iran's clerical nerve-centre.

By law, women in the Islamic republic must be covered from head to foot, with their hair completely veiled, and social interaction is banned between men and women who are not related.

Iran is known particularly for summer-time crackdowns on improperly dressed women but the issue has sparked debate after hardline President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he "firmly" opposed the clampdown.

In a televised interview earlier this month, he said he was "firmly against such actions. It is impossible for such actions to be successful."

His remarks have drawn the wrath of fellow hardliners and several top clerics who have criticised him for opposing the police crackdown.

Iran's morality police have returned to the streets in past weeks, confiscating cars whose male drivers harass women, local media say, without clarifying what amounts to harassment.

The reports say the police or hardline militiamen have been stopping cars with young men or women inside to question their relationship.

The Islamic dress code for women is also being more strictly enforced.
What's that sir? your wife isn't wearing a completely opaque airtight box around her person? Guess we gotta confiscate your car.

As per the bolded part: does that mean that he isn't as nutters as we're led to believe? or does that just mean he's saying that to get moral support from his countrymen, while at the same time, encouraging it behind the scenes?

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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby meatyochre » Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:43 pm UTC

I don't like passing judgment on the culture of others. Since I'm from America, I'm fairly liberal. I think it should be OK for women to go out topless (since men can, here). But I wonder if it isn't more appropriate to draw an analogy between allowing women out without burquas in Iran to allowing women out topless in America, as opposed to trying to impose American rules of behavior on the Iranian people (which fyi never works). The cultural dress norm in America is that female boobs must be covered. The cultural dress norm in Iran is that female everything-but-the-eyes must be covered. A woman who goes out in America without anything covering her boobs is going to be arrested for indecent exposure. So doesn't it make sense to arrest a female without a burqua in Iran?

I just think it's more fair to allow a culture to determine its own level of acceptable cover or lack thereof. I do privately roll my eyes at both inequities (boobs and burquas), but it's nothing I have the power or will to change. Let different people be different, unless they want change. If a large number want change, we could help give them the power to do so. But until then, passing judgment is arrogant and culture-centric.
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby The Reaper » Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:51 pm UTC

Ah, but this is saying that they're showing (essentially) too much cleavage, even tho they're not topless. Showing too much eyebrow or something like that.

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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby BlackSails » Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:58 pm UTC

meatyochre wrote:I don't like passing judgment on the culture of others.


Why not? If a culture is backwards and sexist, I will judge it accordingly.

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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby poxic » Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:59 pm UTC

Most of Iran requires covering of the hair and body, not the face. In the strictest areas, burqas or similar complete coverings are required, but not in most places.

I had a roommate many years ago who was a refugee to Canada from Iran. This would have been the late '80s, so she and her brother watched the fall of the Shah and the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini. Before the revolution, she told me that women wore jeans and makeup and went to school. No covering of the hair or face, though I think they still dressed somewhat modestly. This was mostly in the cities and more populated areas, not the rural parts.

After the revolution, women had to cover their hair, wrists, ankles, and points in between. No makeup was allowed. According to my roommate, the incoming government hired all the poorest people as their morality police (or something like it), promising them that they would become the new rulers or summat. These people became fanatically loyal to the Ayatollah and fanatical adherents to the strictest of rules. My friend knew of a number of people who had been killed by these police for trumped-up charges. Even accounting for the normal urban legend tendencies of humans in general, that was a lot of bullshit suffered by women, and sometimes men, at the hands of a poorly-trained army of petty tyrants.

I have a hard time empathising with this regime. Maybe that's a failing of mine, but I'll accept that. I don't like restrictions imposed on oppressed people by their oppressors, especially those that the oppressors don't apply to themselves. I'm not going to insist (uselessly) that Iran change its culture wholesale. I will continue to hope for better, as I measure it.
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby Dark Avorian » Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:02 am UTC

meatyochre wrote:h

I just think it's more fair to allow a culture to determine its own level of acceptable cover or lack thereof. I do privately roll my eyes at both inequities (boobs and burquas), but it's nothing I have the power or will to change. Let different people be different, unless they want change. If a large number want change, we could help give them the power to do so. But until then, passing judgment is arrogant and culture-centric.


That sounds like a great idea! Well, with a few caveats. How about something like this: every woman experiences a broad range of cultures, then without any external pressure chooses whether or not to adhere to this system. Yeah right! Might as well ask for a spherical cow in a vacuum. The women aren't exactly in a position to input on this system. While I agree that culture should be able to determine their own standards, it doesn't work when there is a power gap, and I refuse to say that it's okay for a culture to determine the status of the two genders.
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby G.v.K » Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:03 am UTC

I like to speculate on what's implied by these laws - Iranian men have so little control of their sexual appetite, that they simply can't be trusted not to jump on a woman who reveals any kind of attractive features.

why would that be? as far as i know, masturbation is prohibited in certain sects of Islam (same thing is interpretable in Christianity as well) and extra-marital sex is really out of the question. that's gotta make for a very horny male populace. now, if the only way to get sex is to marry, then you've just created the perfect encouragement for young guys to get married.

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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby Lazar » Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:09 am UTC

meatyochre: I think your analysis of this is a bit simplistic - we shouldn't be seeking to impose our culture on others, but nonetheless there is a difference between the culture and the state. The female dress code in Iran has some roots in traditional culture, yes, but it didn't exist as a set of legal restrictions until it was imposed by antidemocratic revolutionaries when they seized power in 1979.

EDIT - Actually, just read poxic's post.
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby meatyochre » Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:14 am UTC

Dark Avorian wrote:How about something like this: every woman experiences a broad range of cultures, then without any external pressure chooses whether or not to adhere to this system.

My ideal world, but I choose to live pragmatically, not naively.

The women aren't exactly in a position to input on this system. While I agree that culture should be able to determine their own standards, it doesn't work when there is a power gap, and I refuse to say that it's okay for a culture to determine the status of the two genders.

How are Iranian women in less of a position to determine the fairness of their culture than American women? There is a power disparity between men and women in America, too, and unfair standards applied to women that don't apply to men (societal expectations regarding body size and shape, the daily application of face paint, and body hair removal). Please note the boob/burqua analogy I already made. There are inequities in both societies; at what line does one become unacceptable when the other is pretty much OK (or at the least, less unacceptable)? How are you in a position to judge whether or not Iranian women are unhappy?

I am not comfortable saying that Iranian women are unfairly oppressed simply because there are different standards of dress for Iranian women and "first world" women. But then I'm more of a cultural relativist than pretty much anyone I ever talk to...
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby Lazar » Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:22 am UTC

meatyochre wrote:How are Iranian women in less of a position to determine the fairness of their culture than American women?

The fact that Iran has a legal regime of extreme gender separation, and much greater restrictions on free speech and self-determination than any developed country. And again, "culture" is not the same thing as "government".

Please note the boob/burqua analogy I already made.

They would be analogous if public toplessness had been legal in the US, and widely accepted by a huge part of the population, until it was outlawed following a coup-d'état in 1979.

I am not comfortable saying that Iranian women are unfairly oppressed simply because there are different standards of dress for Iranian women and "first world" women. But then I'm more of a cultural relativist than pretty much anyone I ever talk to...

It's sure as hell more than dress - women are not accorded the same rights of men in a variety of different areas, and the sexes are strictly segregated throughout the public sphere.
Last edited by Lazar on Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:36 am UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby G.v.K » Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:35 am UTC

Lazar wrote:It's sure as hell more than dress - women are not accorded the same rights of men in a variety of different areas, and the sexes are strictly segregated throughout the public sphere.


so what? if we accept that the Iranians have the right to determine their own culture, then the status of men and women is also their decision. it's only relatively recently that the West made a radical change to gender equality. i don't really understand why we should feel the need to rail against other countries who do things differently.

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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby poxic » Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:38 am UTC

G.v.K wrote:i don't really understand why we should feel the need to rail against other countries who do things differently.

So you would have been totally okay with the US having legal slavery a couple of hundred years ago? And yes, that's a valid comparison. One group, the one in power, made decisions on behalf of a group that was denied power.
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby yoni45 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:39 am UTC

Lazar wrote:They would be analogous if public toplessness had been legal in the US, and widely accepted by a huge part of the population, until it was outlawed by a non-democratic government in 1979...


That's just an appeal to history -- governments change, as do laws. There's nothing inherently wrong with that.

Slavery was legal and widely accepted at one point in the US, and then it stopped being legal. That's hardly a valid reason to condemn the anti-slavery laws.

Lazar wrote:
I am not comfortable saying that Iranian women are unfairly oppressed simply because there are different standards of dress for Iranian women and "first world" women. But then I'm more of a cultural relativist than pretty much anyone I ever talk to...

It's sure as hell more than dress - women are not accorded the same rights of men in a variety of different areas, and the sexes are strictly segregated throughout the public sphere.


That doesn't address the point -- that is, that it's questionable to say that Iranian women are unfairly oppressed simply because they have different standards of dress for women.

Those other points may be solid reasons for why Iranian women are oppressed, but that's not because they enforce a stricter dress code than we enforce.

--------

As much as I might find the Iranian government... we'll say 'loathsome', I don't necessarily know that this is something we can necessarily fault them for...
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby Lazar » Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:41 am UTC

G.v.K wrote:if we accept that the Iranians have the right to determine their own culture, then the status of men and women is also their decision.

What you're saying is an absurdity. The status of men and women is not determined by the Iranians, it's determined by a self-perpetuating governing class of theocrats. I'm sure as hell not in favor of forcefully imposing democracy on non-democratic countries, but it's risible to suggest that it's the Iranian people's decision not to make their own decisions.

yoni45 wrote:That's just an appeal to history -- governments change, as do laws. There's nothing inherently wrong with that.

I was arguing against meatyochre's assertion that the current restrictions on women's dress are justified as part of the Iranian culture. They're not; they're a recent imposition made by ideologs without the consent of the people. You might as well have defended Stalin's collective farms as part of Russian culture.

That doesn't address the point -- that is, that it's questionable to say that Iranian women are unfairly oppressed simply because they have different standards of dress for women.

And I'm not saying that. It's a symptom, not a cause.
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby G.v.K » Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:01 am UTC

poxic wrote:
G.v.K wrote:i don't really understand why we should feel the need to rail against other countries who do things differently.

So you would have been totally okay with the US having legal slavery a couple of hundred years ago? And yes, that's a valid comparison. One group, the one in power, made decisions on behalf of a group that was denied power.


depends what you mean by 'okay with' it?

i don't have enough knowledge to formulate and opinion. it doesn't affect me directly and i don't know any people who it does affect. i don't have the necessary context to have a proper judgement.

these kinds of media reports are made from my existing context. their purpose is to encourage me that 'we' are on the right track and 'they' are not. the media presents the situation there through 'our' cultural lens.


Lazar wrote:What you're saying is an absurdity. The status of men and women is not determined by the Iranians, it's determined by a self-perpetuating governing class of theocrats. I'm sure as hell not in favor of forcefully imposing democracy on non-democratic countries, but it's risible to suggest that it's the Iranian people's decision not to make their own decisions.


i don't see the absurdity or did you just mean that you really really disagree with what i said?

there is no logical reason why people cannot be supportive of a dictatorial or theocratic regime. history says it may even be quite common as long as the regime is in the interests of a majority of the people. of course, recent events in Iran would indicate there's a lot of dissatisfied people there. let them fight for what they think is right. and whatever they decide about the status of men and women is 'their decision' in the broad sense of a society with competing political factions.

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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby Lazar » Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:10 am UTC

G.v.K wrote:i don't see the absurdity or did you just mean that you really really disagree with what i said?

In simplest terms, it's absurd to suggest that it's the people's decision when it's not the people's decision. They never voted on it, and they're not free to express their views on it. And also, I just wanted to make it clear that policy is not always the same thing as culture.

there is no logical reason why people cannot be supportive of a dictatorial or theocratic regime. history says it may even be quite common as long as the regime is in the interests of a majority of the people. of course, recent events in Iran would indicate there's a lot of dissatisfied people there. let them fight for what they think is right. and whatever they decide about the status of men and women is 'their decision' in the broad sense of a society with competing political factions.

Well I'm pretty much in agreement with what you've written here. It may not be the Iranian people's decision, but in an international perspective, it is Iran's decision as a whole political entity. It's an internal matter, so other countries have no business trying to intervene to change their policies.
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby yoni45 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:17 am UTC

Lazar wrote:I was arguing against meatyochre's assertion that the current restrictions on women's dress are justified as part of the Iranian culture. They're not; they're a recent imposition made by ideologs without the consent of the people...


I don't know how true that is -- the Shah's rule up until '79 and the increased secularization was also a 'recent imposition'. There's no denying that there are Islamic roots within Iranian culture (that's not to say there aren't others as well -- there are), so modest dress is arguably very much a cultural thing that simply wasn't enforced as much until '79.
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby Lazar » Tue Jun 22, 2010 1:27 am UTC

yoni45 wrote:I don't know how true that is -- the Shah's rule up until '79 and the increased secularization was also a 'recent imposition'. There's no denying that there are Islamic roots within Iranian culture (that's not to say there aren't other as well -- there are), so modest dress is arguably very much a cultural thing that simply wasn't enforced as much until '79.

You do make a good point about the shah's secularization - if anything, I suppose this goes to show that culture is a somewhat nebulous and malleable concept that can be used to justify a lot of things. What we've got in Iran is two successive non-democratic regimes, each attempting to steer the culture in a different direction (more liberal/secular under the shah, more conservative/religious under the revolutionaries).
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby EsotericWombat » Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:01 am UTC

Unless the Shah was making ladies wear jeans, I'd call that a pretty weaksauce argument.
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby yoni45 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:05 am UTC

EsotericWombat wrote:Unless the Shah was making ladies wear jeans, I'd call that a pretty weaksauce argument.


Okay? I'm not sure what argument you're referring to, but none I see depends upon the Shah forcing anything.
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby EsotericWombat » Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:17 am UTC

Women wearing jeans wasn't an imposition, unless you're saying that the Shah was imposing on the men who used to beat them when they didn't cover up
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby yoni45 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:35 am UTC

EsotericWombat wrote:Women wearing jeans wasn't an imposition, unless you're saying that the Shah was imposing on the men who used to beat them when they didn't cover up


That's probably an argument that could be made, but isn't really necessary -- none of what you say really goes against the point. Even if you allow that this wasn't an imposition per se, the point still holds -- it's a recent development, so the modesty laws arguably do stem from a particular cultural background.
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby big boss » Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:56 am UTC

I'm too busy to quote any1 right now, but some of you keep saying, in a nutshell, its there culture let them determine their own standard of dress and other cultural taboos etc. Throughout history many cultures have been highly anti-semitic and I'm sure all of us here would agree that that is unacceptable. So maybe having cultures/people choose their own norms is not the best thing and maybe it is acceptable to impose your own culture on others once in a while.
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby yoni45 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:31 am UTC

big boss wrote:So maybe having cultures/people choose their own norms is not the best thing and maybe it is acceptable to impose your own culture on others once in a while.


The point is that in this particular scenario, it's limited to standards of dress, not to treatment of minorities.

Enforcement of arbitrary restrictions on dress codes being something that is imposed in the 'west', it would be rather hypocritical to condemn other nations for having arbitrary restrictions on dress code.
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby poxic » Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:41 am UTC

yoni45 wrote:
big boss wrote:The point is that in this particular scenario, it's limited to standards of dress, not to treatment of minorities.

... You don't really understand what's going on for women there, do you?

A quote from a fairly generous report: "But under Iranian law, a woman is treated as half of a man. In court, the testimony of two women equals that of one man; a man’s son inherits twice as much as his daughter; compensation for the accidental death of a man is twice that for a woman."
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby Iceman » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:27 am UTC

Saying 'its their culture, let them figure it out' wouldn't fly to me if they were still using slaves or committing genocide...and It doesn't fly to me when it's about oppressing women.

The key argument for the burquas is that the women choose to wear them...which I still don't buy...but if they must be legally forced to wear them, then that's simply outright oppression and we can't be allowing it.

This type of 'culture' will have to be eliminated at some point, I think its counterproductive to pretend it's acceptable behaviour just because we're scared of being offensive.

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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby yoni45 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:39 am UTC

poxic wrote:
yoni45 wrote:
big boss wrote:The point is that in this particular scenario, it's limited to standards of dress, not to treatment of minorities.

... You don't really understand what's going on for women there, do you?

A quote from a fairly generous report: "But under Iranian law, a woman is treated as half of a man. In court, the testimony of two women equals that of one man; a man’s son inherits twice as much as his daughter; compensation for the accidental death of a man is twice that for a woman."


(emphasis mine)

I was going to point out that you seem to have missed my point, but it looks like you're just choosing to ignore the point instead...?

Reason being, I clarified this earlier, as it turns out, in a post that directly followed yours:

"As much as I might find the Iranian government... we'll say 'loathsome', I don't necessarily know that this is something we can necessarily fault them for..."

Iceman wrote:Saying 'its their culture, let them figure it out' wouldn't fly to me if they were still using slaves or committing genocide...and It doesn't fly to me when it's about oppressing women.

The key argument for the burquas chest covering is that the women choose to wear them to disallow female indecent exposure...which I still don't buy...but if they must be legally forced to wear them, then that's simply outright oppression and we can't be allowing it.

This type of 'culture' will have to be eliminated at some point, I think its counterproductive to pretend it's acceptable behaviour just because we're scared of being offensive.


(edits mine)

The above can be applied directly to the United States.
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby big boss » Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:40 am UTC

yoni45 wrote:
Iceman wrote:Saying 'its their culture, let them figure it out' wouldn't fly to me if they were still using slaves or committing genocide...and It doesn't fly to me when it's about oppressing women.

The key argument for the burquas chest covering is that the women choose to wear them to disallow female indecent exposure...which I still don't buy...but if they must be legally forced to wear them, then that's simply outright oppression and we can't be allowing it.

This type of 'culture' will have to be eliminated at some point, I think its counterproductive to pretend it's acceptable behaviour just because we're scared of being offensive.


(edits mine)

The above can be applied directly to the United States.


If not allowing women in the West to show their boobs was even remotely as oppressive as the Iranian regime currently is towards women then I would agree with you, but it is not. Women can basically go bare chested in the West as long as they have on something over their nipples (something say the size of a dime), this hardly restricts them in any way. I'm pretty sure it is not even illegal for women to go topless in many European countries. The fact is, as noted above, that this is only one instance of a government that openly oppresses one sex, the standards of dress are restrictive.
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby Kyrn » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:29 am UTC

Not to mention that in the states, if you're accused of wrongdoing, *usually* you have some way to contest said accusation. I don't think women can contest any such accusation in Iran, if I'm not wrong.
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby Arancaytar » Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:33 am UTC

The Reaper wrote:As per the bolded part: does that mean that he isn't as nutters as we're led to believe? or does that just mean he's saying that to get moral support from his countrymen, while at the same time, encouraging it behind the scenes?


Bill O'Reilly hates Fred Phelps, but that doesn't make Bill O'Reilly not a nutter; just slightly less nutty than the top nutter.

(I don't think his criticism is a PR move, either - long before he would gain popularity with the liberals, he would lose the support of the religious conservatives.)
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby Gellert1984 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:07 am UTC

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indecent_exposure

Pay special attention to Annette Kellerman.
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby Gelsamel » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:33 am UTC

I suppose this might be a bit off topic

A bunch of questions wrt public nudity;
Spoiler:
Wait, it's not illegal if you have a dime over your nipples? That is so close to being nude why don't they just allow you to drop the dime? Does the areola have to be covered as well? What if you have a really large areola, do you have to cover it with like... paper muffin cups? What is the purpose of anti-nudity laws such that nipples are banned but everything except the nipples is okay? And subsequently why can't I drop my pants? Why is the purpose of 'breastfeeding' typically recognised to override nudity laws but the purpose 'to exercise autonomy' isn't?
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby Argency » Tue Jun 22, 2010 8:50 am UTC

meatyochre wrote:... Since I'm from America, I'm fairly liberal...
Forgive my cultural snobbery, but LOL. I know, I know, plenty of individual Americans are quite liberal and compared to the government in Iran, most of them are, but just because America is a more liberal place than nuttersville, doesn't mean it is a liberal place.

Anyway:
G.v.K wrote:
Lazar wrote:It's sure as hell more than dress - women are not accorded the same rights of men in a variety of different areas, and the sexes are strictly segregated throughout the public sphere.


so what? if we accept that the Iranians have the right to determine their own culture, then the status of men and women is also their decision. it's only relatively recently that the West made a radical change to gender equality. i don't really understand why we should feel the need to rail against other countries who do things differently.
Oh god, moral relativism. I think you might be committing what is known colloquially by philosophers as "the slippery slope fallacy". Here's the thing:

I agree that within reasonable boundaries, societies should be able to determine their own cultural standards. That is, there is a big section of culture-space in which all arrangements are pretty much equally morally permissible. But that doesn't mean that all points in culture-space are equally morally permissible. Just because a minor step in a certain direction (say, prudishness at female nudity to the point of insisting that women's breasts be nominally covered) doesn't make a culture morally bankrupt doesn't mean that a major step in the same direction (see, Iran) won't either. That's why it's called the slippery slope fallacy - because it wrongly assumes that if a little step doesn't matter, thousands of little steps won't matter either, when in reality they add up to a huge step and they matter a lot. This is why absolute moral relativism is dumb - it assumes that because there's more than one right way of doing things, that must mean that there are no wrong ways.

TL;DR - Iran is allowed to decide its own culture up to a point, but there's a point at which they start being morally bankrupt and they've passed it. I'm not saying any particular country has a mandate to go sort their shit out, but I think the world as a whole does.

EDIT - blue is for edits which make me look marginally less like an arrogant bastard.
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby G.v.K » Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:38 am UTC

Argency wrote:
G.v.K wrote:
Lazar wrote:It's sure as hell more than dress - women are not accorded the same rights of men in a variety of different areas, and the sexes are strictly segregated throughout the public sphere.


so what? if we accept that the Iranians have the right to determine their own culture, then the status of men and women is also their decision. it's only relatively recently that the West made a radical change to gender equality. i don't really understand why we should feel the need to rail against other countries who do things differently.
Oh god, moral relativism. This is known colloquially by philosophers as "the slippery slope fallacy". Here's the thing:

I agree that within reasonable boundaries, societies should be able to determine their own cultural standards. That is, there is a big section of culture-space in which all arrangements are pretty much equally morally permissible. But that doesn't mean that all points in culture-space are equally morally permissible. Just because a minor step in a certain direction (say, prudishness at female nudity to the point of insisting that women's breasts be nominally covered) doesn't make a culture morally bankrupt doesn't mean that a major step in the same direction (see, Iran) won't either. That's why it's called the slippery slope fallacy - because it wrongly assumes that if a little step doesn't matter, thousands of little steps won't matter either, when in reality they add up to a huge step and they matter a lot. This is why absolute moral relativism is dumb - it assumes that because there's more than one right way of doing things, that must mean that there are no wrong ways.

TL;DR - Iran is allowed to decide its own culture up to a point, but there's a point at which they start being morally bankrupt and they've passed it. I'm not saying any particular country has a mandate to go sort their shit out, but I think the world as a whole does.


I'm not sure where the slippery slope comes into it. moral relativism as i understand it can be summarised by the notion that there are no moral facts. there is no moral slope to slide down.

how would you like it if 'the whole world' decided it didn't like what was going on in your country and came in to 'fix things up'?

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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby Argency » Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:31 am UTC

Well, I don't subscribe to moral relativism, so I'd be annoyed that they were doing something morally wrong, unless they could convince me otherwise with reasoned debate, in which case I'd help fix it.

And, sorry, you're right. Only one of the justifications I've heard for moral relativism commits the slippery slope fallacy I mentioned. I assumed that particular justification was the one you subscribed to because the censorship of breasts in the West had been previously mentioned.

I disagree with the other justifications of moral relativism, too, though. Mostly I think the others start from false premises. Why is it that you believe there is no moral fact of the matter?

EDIT - TL;DR, Argency makes reasoned points, but can't help coming across as an arrogant fuck in both his posts. Sorry 'bout that.
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby Dauric » Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:49 am UTC

There's a difference between "Going in to change another country's culture." and "Standing outside pointing at a backwards culture and drawing attention to the way they abuse their people." We're not going to go marching in to Tehran to overthrow the current government and change everything (the U.S. is too busy figuring out how to extricate ourselves from doing that in Iraq and Afghanistan), but by the same token turning a blind eye towards the abuse of other human beings is no solution either.

The middle ground: We're aware of it, we talk about it in public forums, and we declare that we of these forums find s this kind of behavior reprehensible. It's not like we can -directly- change anything, but it's important to make and keep it known that the world's progression is -away- from cultures where half the population is treated as less-than-human for any reason.
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby ianf » Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:50 am UTC

poxic wrote:I had a roommate many years ago who was a refugee to Canada from Iran. This would have been the late '80s, so she and her brother watched the fall of the Shah and the rise of Ayatollah Khomeini. Before the revolution, she told me that women wore jeans and makeup and went to school. No covering of the hair or face, though I think they still dressed somewhat modestly. This was mostly in the cities and more populated areas, not the rural parts.

After the revolution, women had to cover their hair, wrists, ankles, and points in between. No makeup was allowed. According to my roommate, the incoming government hired all the poorest people as their morality police (or something like it), promising them that they would become the new rulers or summat. These people became fanatically loyal to the Ayatollah and fanatical adherents to the strictest of rules. My friend knew of a number of people who had been killed by these police for trumped-up charges. Even accounting for the normal urban legend tendencies of humans in general, that was a lot of bullshit suffered by women, and sometimes men, at the hands of a poorly-trained army of petty tyrants.


Before the revolution, there were some people who were doing well and some people who were doing badly. Enough people were doing badly that there was a critical mass for the revolution. Remember that this was a "popular" revolution, not a military coup. It started with demonstrations, the Shah left Iran, the Ayatollah came to Iran, there was some fighting between the army and the rebels and the Ayatollah was in power. This "critical mass" of people were the poorer sections of society that you mention who then wielded their new power over the people that they perceived as being better off before the revolution (e.g. the ones who could afford to buy jeans and makeup).

When you have an unpopular leader (particularly one who is backed by a foreign power) and a large number of people suffering under that leader, that large number of people will look for any "banner" which allows them to unite to overthrow the leader. They are not concerned with the banner itself (the ideology) but just in getting rid of the unpopular leader. The problems arise when the unpopular leader is gone and the new leader's ideology starts to be asserted.

I'm not saying that it's right, but I am saying that it should be predicted. The US should have seen what happened in Cuba and recognised that they had the same situation in Iran - just the names and revolutionary ideologies are different.

G.v.K wrote:now, if the only way to get sex is to marry, then you've just created the perfect encouragement for young guys to get married.


Actually, Iran (well Islam, I guess) has a something called a "temporary marriage". Basically, you get married but you specify at the start what the duration of the marriage will be. At the end of that period the marriage is automatically dissolved.

Just to be clear, I do think that this is oppressive against women, but I feel that we also need to acknowledge the path that led to this point.

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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby Shinygreenman » Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:01 pm UTC

I beleive there is some kind of universal moral standard, I think the way women are being oppressed is very wrong. I don't think the morla relativists would be so willing to brush it off as 'oh it's there culture, we shouldn't interfere' if the culture in Iran was to just kill women for any minute infraction of this code.

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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby Argency » Tue Jun 22, 2010 12:02 pm UTC

Dauric wrote:There's a difference between "Going in to change another country's culture." and "Standing outside pointing at a backwards culture and drawing attention to the way they abuse their people." We're not going to go marching in to Tehran to overthrow the current government and change everything (the U.S. is too busy figuring out how to extricate ourselves from doing that in Iraq and Afghanistan), but by the same token turning a blind eye towards the abuse of other human beings is no solution either.

The middle ground: We're aware of it, we talk about it in public forums, and we declare that we of these forums find s this kind of behavior reprehensible. It's not like we can -directly- change anything, but it's important to make and keep it known that the world's progression is -away- from cultures where half the population is treated as less-than-human for any reason.
Well, yeah. That's a better option that what I said and its closer to what I had in mind. I was kinda hoping that if the whole world got behind it they could just solve the problem with an economic sanction or something. Then again, if the whole world got behind it, they could probably eliminate famine. Sigh. Wishful thinking.
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Re: Iran: Our theocracy isn't dickish enough to women.

Postby yoni45 » Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:18 pm UTC

big boss wrote:If not allowing women in the West to show their boobs was even remotely as oppressive as the Iranian regime currently is towards women then I would agree with you, but it is not...


Uh-huh... so we're fine because our level of oppression is at a lower level. Which, is somehow acceptable, while a more restrictive level of the same type is not. That's not arbitrarily self serving at all.

Kyrn wrote:Not to mention that in the states, if you're accused of wrongdoing, *usually* you have some way to contest said accusation. I don't think women can contest any such accusation in Iran, if I'm not wrong.


Iran has a court system, so I'm pretty sure you can contest said accusation. Chances just happen to be that you'll likely lose.
Last edited by yoni45 on Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:22 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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