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Sexual Politics in Modern Iran

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Janet Afary is a native of Iran and a leading historian. Her work focuses on gender and sexuality and draws on her experience of growing up in Iran and her involvement with Iranian women of different ages and social strata. These observations, and a wealth of historical documents, form the kernel of this book, which charts the history of the nation's sexual revolution from Janet Afary is a native of Iran and a leading historian. Her work focuses on gender and sexuality and draws on her experience of growing up in Iran and her involvement with Iranian women of different ages and social strata. These observations, and a wealth of historical documents, form the kernel of this book, which charts the history of the nation's sexual revolution from the nineteenth century to today. What comes across is the extraordinary resilience of the Iranian people, who have drawn on a rich social and cultural heritage to defy the repression and hardship of the Islamist state and its predecessors. It is this resilience, the author concludes, which forms the basis of a sexual revolution taking place in Iran today, one that is promoting reforms in marriage and family laws, and demanding more egalitarian gender and sexual relations.


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Janet Afary is a native of Iran and a leading historian. Her work focuses on gender and sexuality and draws on her experience of growing up in Iran and her involvement with Iranian women of different ages and social strata. These observations, and a wealth of historical documents, form the kernel of this book, which charts the history of the nation's sexual revolution from Janet Afary is a native of Iran and a leading historian. Her work focuses on gender and sexuality and draws on her experience of growing up in Iran and her involvement with Iranian women of different ages and social strata. These observations, and a wealth of historical documents, form the kernel of this book, which charts the history of the nation's sexual revolution from the nineteenth century to today. What comes across is the extraordinary resilience of the Iranian people, who have drawn on a rich social and cultural heritage to defy the repression and hardship of the Islamist state and its predecessors. It is this resilience, the author concludes, which forms the basis of a sexual revolution taking place in Iran today, one that is promoting reforms in marriage and family laws, and demanding more egalitarian gender and sexual relations.

30 review for Sexual Politics in Modern Iran

  1. 4 out of 5

    Iman Saad

    This is an excellent primer for understanding feminist and sexual politics in Iran. Afray provides a great account of the history of sexuality and the policing of women's bodies It is a good compilation of the country's history and social background. This is great for beginners looking to learn more about Iran's politics regarding sexuality and women.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Bobbi

    DNF before halfway. It was well-researched, but it wasn't meant to be read through for pleasure.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Mona

    Good coverage of a broad range of topics related to sex and gender in Iran from the Qajar period to the present day. Fascinating images and anecdotes from original material. This is a unique book densely packed with historical detail.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Paul K Maguire

    Iranian has, along with China, one of the few ancient cultures that has maintained an overall territorial integrity. Given its geopolitical situation it also, like much of the Middle East, an isolationist people. Unfortunately, despite the enormous hospitality and trendy cosmopolitan attitudes of the urban youth, sexuality in Iran is repressed greatly and families, particularly mothers, have overwhelming influence over the decisions on who their children marry. Virginity, especially for females, Iranian has, along with China, one of the few ancient cultures that has maintained an overall territorial integrity. Given it’s geopolitical situation it also, like much of the Middle East, an isolationist people. Unfortunately, despite the enormous hospitality and trendy cosmopolitan attitudes of the urban youth, sexuality in Iran is repressed greatly and families, particularly mothers, have overwhelming influence over the decisions on who their children marry. Virginity, especially for females, is prized above all. Iranian culture is an amalgamation of Zoroastrianism and Islam and this is important, as is the demographic and economic situation, in sexual expression. There are many unique aspects to Iranian society and it is full of contradictions. I recommend this book to gain insight into this wonderful yet complicated land and people.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Hamid Akbary

    This is a rich book full of historical analysis on the sexual politics of Iran from the turn of the 20th century. Afary touches upon variety of gender related issues in Iran. The big advantage one can get out of reading this book is that s/he will be introduced to almost every circumstance under which women lived and have been living in Iran. The impression I got was that the facts she points out to exist in other Middle Eastern countries too - some in similar forms but some in different. The This is a rich book full of historical analysis on the sexual politics of Iran from the turn of the 20th century. Afary touches upon variety of gender related issues in Iran. The big advantage one can get out of reading this book is that s/he will be introduced to almost every circumstance under which women lived and have been living in Iran. The impression I got was that the facts she points out to exist in other Middle Eastern countries too - some in similar forms but some in different. The only problem is that Afary doesn't use many sources to prove her arguments. She sounds like all she wants is to prove her arguments and for that she has used her few favorite references. Highly recommend it to those interested in reading the relationship between gender and politics in Iran from a historical perspective.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Hafsa

    Janet Afary describes the evolution of sexuality in Iran as well as the struggle for womens equal rights from the nineteenth-century to the present day. Although monumental in terms of the time span and overview she is able to provide, it is situated within the historiography of gender and sexuality in Muslim societies in terms of her sources, her discussion of womens resistance and agency, and her discussion of the role of the West and Islamism. Janet Afary describes the evolution of sexuality in Iran as well as the struggle for women’s equal rights from the nineteenth-century to the present day. Although monumental in terms of the time span and overview she is able to provide, it is situated within the historiography of gender and sexuality in Muslim societies in terms of her sources, her discussion of women’s resistance and agency, and her discussion of the role of the West and Islamism.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Natalia

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alex Shams

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sean Namei

  10. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Baracova

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ashley Fleming

  12. 5 out of 5

    Siena

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ari

  14. 5 out of 5

    Naz

  15. 5 out of 5

    Mohamed Serageldin

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ashkon

  17. 4 out of 5

    Noor Alhuda

  18. 5 out of 5

    Tố Lan

  19. 4 out of 5

    Adam

  20. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

  21. 4 out of 5

    Shaun

  22. 4 out of 5

    Bryan Mercke

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dorsa Sobhani

  24. 5 out of 5

    Aleksandra

  25. 4 out of 5

    Barbara

  26. 4 out of 5

    Haven

  27. 4 out of 5

    Golita

  28. 5 out of 5

    Maryam

  29. 4 out of 5

    aleksandra szymczyk

  30. 5 out of 5

    Marissa Dadgari

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