I didn’t want to turn playtime into work time but the opportunity seemed too ripe to relinquish. How often do we get to share a beer and actually try to understand each other? I told them that I was writing about dating cultures in different countries. But you know, everything forbidden is more interesting.” I asked how dating is different for them in Istanbul than it is back home and both men instantly replied that it was way easier to date back home in Iran. ” One said and laughed, but then added more seriously, “Maybe they feel more freely. But because they are so repressed, they go to extremes to compensate. They’re totally dressed up and made up and with the hair… They’ve got like three boyfriends, they’re always screwing around… They explained that the right of divorce is the man’s, but that most middle and upper class men sign a clause in their pre-nuptial agreement giving their wife the same right. The graduation rates are like 62 percent girls.” I walked away from this conversation a bit rattled and sad.They agreed to interviews but definitely, absolutely did not want me to use their names; they said it could end up preventing them from re-entering Iran at all. When you’re in a closed place and you’re under pressure, you want to experience something that is illegal.” The other chimed in, “Yes, I have had 15 girlfriends and I’m only 30! But here, it’s much harder to get girls.” I asked if girls in Iran have sex before marriage and one of the men speculated that 10 or 15 years ago only 10 percent of girls would, but that now the percentage is probably closer to 90. Not sad for the Persian women, but rather that in my mind and in the general American imagination, we paint them as such helpless victims.
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Do you feel the religion has become more important as the relationship grows?
I read that it is permissable for a muslim man to get married to a christian or jewish woman - is this allowed in South Africa.
If yes then how would we get married according to muslim customs and processes, in court or how? I see his family every week and I attend all gatherings. He has told me that it might be a problem and we might not end up together because I am not Jewish.
I was genuinely shocked, and tried to play it off like I wasn’t such an ignorant American thinking that Persian women were just bundled up virginal victims. While the laws in Iran are extremely stringent for woman, to think of them merely as victims of their government robs them of their agency.
The women are in charge.” “Yeah, modern men are like that right now.
The Iranian culture is rich in history, replete with beautiful customs, stories, and arts and a glorious heritage our children may all be proud of.
The American culture, while rather young in comparison, offers a diversity, joi de vive and light of hope which energizes and challenges its citizens in the spirit of invention.
They were starting to catch on to my astonishment and were all smiling. Instantly the woman’s finger was pointing in the air: “I have something to say about this! Like compared to Turkish guys, who are rough and they’re cheaters and they’re hard core—which is why I like them—[she winked] Persian men are like really nice and soft.