A Woman’s Life In Tehran

Over thirty years have passed since Islamic militants seized power in Iran and deposed of secular leaders who mistakenly thought ending the rule of a Shah would result in creation of a democratic society. For thirty years, educated Iranians have struggled to maintain their individuality while inhabiting a society in which old men with beards decided what young men with or without did or did not do. In a recent article published in the New Statesman, the life of a upper middle class girl was described. She attends a university which gains her access to people of divergent ideas, and it is rather easy to obtain videos depicting sex as well as the same movies that are shown in Western nations. “Tahmineh” told a reporter that, although raised in a conservative family which forces her to wear an all-encompasing black chador, she still drinks alcohol, and attends parties with her university friends. “I first hand anal sex when I was 21. Of course, I want to have proper sex, but until I know for sure that my boy friend wants to get married, I can’t engage in proper sex.” She makes clear that many of her friends are “allowed to hang out with boys, but are still expected to be virgins so they all have anal sex instead.”

Those with wealth, those who have access to a university have access to the latest Western fashions and ideas. She attends parties at which alcohol is served, people kiss, people discuss ideas that are contrary to those of Iranian leaders. Tahmnineh, in many aspects enjoys the life of a modern Western female, except for the emphasis upon anal sex. She also is aware than in Tehran which has 12,000,000 people there are at least 300,000 “special girls.” In plain English, this means there are 300,000 prostitutes allowed to work and earn a living by the conservative government. The reporter discovered there are thousands of girls from supposedly conservative families who now work in Tehran, earn money and live apart from their families.

The question whose answer is still unknown is what happens to Iranian youth who will continue to have access to Western ideas? At which point will they rebel? Or will they?