By Afsaneh Najmabadi
Drawing from a wealthy array of visible and literary fabric from nineteenth-century Iran, this groundbreaking ebook rereads and rewrites the background of Iranian modernity in the course of the lens of gender and sexuality. Peeling away notions of a inflexible pre-modern Islamic gender procedure, Afsaneh Najmabadi presents a compelling demonstration of the centrality of gender and sexuality to the shaping of contemporary tradition and politics in Iran and of the way adjustments in rules approximately gender and sexuality affected conceptions of good looks, love, place of birth, marriage, schooling, and citizenship. She concludes with a provocative dialogue of Iranian feminism and its function in that country's present tradition wars. as well as delivering a huge new point of view on Iranian heritage, Najmabadi skillfully demonstrates how utilizing gender as an analytic class grants perception into buildings of hierarchy and tool and hence into the association of politics and social existence.
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Additional info for Women with Mustaches and Men without Beards: Gender and Sexual Anxieties of Iranian Modernity
For instance: that Iranian people [men] are greatly inclined toward young beautiful boys and some commit evil acts with them. Yes, in all nations of the world, some deeply ignorant people, overcome by the spirit of lasciviousness and satanic temptations, commit some unacceptable practices. But the people of Farang are known for all kinds of ill reputes, and especially for this evil act. They have houses of young men [prostitutes—amradkhanah], similar to houses of prostitution [qahbah'khanah]. They go to these places all the time, pay money and commit this evil act.
Formation of homosexuality through denial and disavowal becomes its condition of possibility and reproducibility. The denial of any overlap between the now separate domains of homosociality and homosexuality paradoxically provides a shelter, a masqueraded home, for homosexuality. We can continue to hold each other’s hand in public because we have declared it to be a sign of homosociality that is void of sexuality. 31 Dissimulation and “cross-representation” was another: the disappearance of the male beloved from visual representation, like his disappearance from love poetry in the same period, may have been an alternative resolution to the moral and cultural challenges posed by European judgments.
A girl playing a mandolin. Muhammad Sadiq, c. 1770–80. 34 / Part I man love and sexual practice a vice. This theme goes back at least to the seventeenth century. Thomas Herbert (1606–82), accompanying the English ambassador Dodmore Cotton to the Safavi court in 1627–29, observed: And, albeit the men affect not to dance themselves, yet dancing is much esteemed there: the Ganimeds and Layesians (wanton Boyes and Girles) foot it most admirably and in order. . They are in this practise so elaborate, that each limb and member seemes to emulate, yea, to contend who may expresse the most taking motion; their hands, eyes, bums, gesticulating severally, swimming round, & conforming themselves to a Dorique stilnesse, the Ganimeds with incanting voices & extorted bodies simpathizing; nothing but poesie, mirth, wine & admiration condominating.