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A 'Decent Woman' Through The Lens Of Iran's State TV

Iranian women and a young girl at a conservative meeting (file photo)
Blogger kindkill3r contemplates the way women are portrayed on Iranian state television under hard-liner control. Women's rights activists have long criticized state television for presenting an unrealistic and clichéd image of Iranian women and promoting a strictly traditional role for women. Women on Iran's state programs are often highly pious, humble, they don't smoke, they never laugh out loud, they fully observe the obligatory hijab dress code, they don't wear make up or tight or revealing dresses, and they are obedient and quick to listen to their husbands.

Kindkill3r provides some examples of "a decent woman" as seen on the state television:

A woman who chews gum is either a trafficker or a prostitute.

A decent woman always wears a men's shirt at home.

A decent woman is a woman who in the morning emerges from another room (not the same room as her husband) and bids her husband good morning.

A decent woman is a woman who wears clothing that is three or four sizes bigger than her actual size.

A decent female anchor never reveals her first name.

A decent woman only smiles at wedding parties; men are allowed to clap their hands a little.

A decent married woman stays at home; if she's single, she's allowed to work.

A decent woman is a woman who will marry the man she met in a car accident by the end of the soap opera.

A decent woman doesn't wear sunglasses, she has an Arabic name, if she's over 40 she's either washing the dishes or sewing a dress; a decent woman is never reading.

A decent woman wears only black, gray, and brown.

A decent woman is a woman who forgives her husband who has married a second wife by the end of the film.

About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.


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