But now, a group of Iranian-American feminist scholars are raising an alarm flag about "a particularly lucrative industry of Iranian and Muslim women's memoirs [that] has mushroomed in the aftermath of the 9/11 atrocities." Niki Akhavan, Golbarg Bashi, Mana Kia and Sima Shakhsari, warn that "These women's memoirs have assumed center-stage in appropriating the legitimate cause of women's rights and placing it squarely in the service of Empire building projects, disguised under the rhetoric of the "war on terror."
Once the favored tale of "civilizing missions", the contemporary rescue fantasy now has a new twist. Rather than being spoken for by ambassadors of "civilization", Iranian women are able to speak for themselves courtesy of international publishing houses. Women selected according to the resonance of their experience within this narrative become the mouthpiece for the "authentic" Iranian experience, making the current construction of the "rescue fantasy" more insidious than ever.
See a short version of the article here.
In today's Iran, women are at the forefront of literacy, educational, artistic, journalistic, and legal advancements. In a social, literary, and political tradition of resistance that extends from generations of peasant and working class women down to Tahereh Qorrat al-Ayn, Shirin Ebadi, Shams Kasma'i, and Forough Farrokhzad, Iranian women continue to struggle for their dignity and civil rights. Iranian women took two monarchic dynasties to task and they now hold the Islamic Republic responsible to address their demands. Any military or economic sanctions against Iran will only set Iranian women back in their achievements, and cause nothing but hardship and tragedy (as disastrously evident in Iraq today).