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Name: Antony Loewenstein
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Sunday, November 13, 2005

Swapping gender

Tehran has become the sex change capital of the world. The Independent's Caroline Mangez investigates. Iran is a country of light and shade, with harsh oppression living alongside startling liberty.


Blogger Edward Mariyani-Squire said...

These bizarre paradoxes are the result of two different types of 'reformism' from different historical periods overlapping. "Back in the day" (well before the 20th century) the area was dominated by an kind of reformism that went hand in hand with a self-identifying rejection of (then) stricter Sunni jurisprudence. As a result, there were oodles of interesting innovations in Iran, especially in the area of sex-related matters. E.g. homosexuality wasn't particularly frowned upon at one point; marriages could have pre-set 'expiry dates'. After the Revolution in the 1970s, a new stricter modernist reformism swept in along with the promised radical politico-economic programme. Thus there is now this curious mix of the old fairly imaginative reformism and the new stricter reformism co-mingling. And that's just a vague overview. As with all things, the nitty-gritty is more complicated, and less easily 'classifiable'.

Sunday, November 13, 2005 11:04:00 pm  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

And all makes Iran far more complex than the Western media allows. So what's new, I guess? A cradle of civilisation said to be little more than a threat to a small upstart, the US and Israeli.
Puts things in perspective...

Sunday, November 13, 2005 11:17:00 pm  
Blogger wendy mann said...

this was never a piece about transexuals but one that is really about how women are so oppressed in this fanatical theocracy with men who have a medieval concept of equality that women have no other route out but to have a sex change. eeew how awful it must be.

that is its underlying message. one more reason, we are made to believe, for the justified regime change that the news media are helping us to accept ..

the observer is a keen supporter of the war in iraq .. lets not forget.

Monday, November 14, 2005 7:12:00 am  
Blogger Antony Loewenstein said...

Fair points, though the article appeared in the Independent.

Monday, November 14, 2005 9:48:00 am  
Blogger wendy mann said...

lol my mistake .. over dosed on observer articles .. independent it is .. another one of those 'salad' papers that isnt what it appears to be.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005 4:38:00 am  

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