Monday, March 29, 2010
This is how one picture speaks a thousand words! With this series of photos, Karoubi puts yet another nail on the coffin of the so-assumed patriarchy in Iran.
If you have grown up in Iran, and if you have ever been in the vicinity of robed clerics, you would know that in any gathering they have a little kingly status: they sit at the best seat of the party; are given the best of food and are the center of everyone's service.
If you have grown up in Iran, you would know that by tradition, old men, especially those sporting a cotton beard as Karoubi's are not expected to serve to younger ones; even if the young ones are guests. If you have grown up in Iran, you would know that girls, by traditional training, will automatically get up and take over the serving services from the older hosts.
None of what I said above is a sign of female subjugation, or female exploitation or any of that feminist crap. It is just part of our cultural choreography. I have taken the tea tray from the hands of my father or uncles a hundred times, feeling proud of my good manners. (And I have had my old uncle refuse my help saying: "go away, I am not old!")
This is why this picture is so significant. Karoubi is serving to young girls who are his guest. He is robed, and yet he is (almost) bowing to his guests. In his posture, you can sense his unease, he is stiff. If he wanted to crank the pose a bit up, he would have to had bent a little more, smiling into the eyes of his guests. I am happy he is not doing that because it would have been inauthentic. Nevertheless, with the simple act of offering sweets to his Norooz guests, he IS bringing down the cleric king.
I don't rule out that this is a media campaign. But every media campaign reflects the forces that necessitate taboo-breaking.
This picture shall live in our memories. May it multiply!
Posted by Naj