This week, through contacting the website Irandokht I was offered an interview with Dr Pari Esfandiari, Irandokht Editor-in-Chief.The website is in itself a subject worth covering in an interview as entrepreneur business woman Dr Esfandiari PhD has built it up to a massive readership and a vital forum for Iranian women all over the world. The site is an independent, non-partisan yet politically engaged site that allows women to communicate and promote peace and understanding. It is so vital that UNESCO has showcased the website among 34 others worldwide.
Dr Esfandiari also told me about her recent article called ‘Sex in Iran‘ which she wrote with co-writer Richard Buskin for Play Boy Magazine. I was rather dubious at first as sex is not a subject I like to cover for its own sake but once I read the seven page article, I found it very telling about the life styles in contemporary Iran and the extend of social problems that exist there.
It seems a well renowned actress of some esteem had either made with her ex-boyfriend or been body-doubled in a home made video tape involving lots of sex and nudity. The tape made millions on the black market and the poor girl’s career and life was hanging in the balance. Dr. Esfandiari explained that the popularity of the DVD is very revealing of a society that is unsure of its own values. She also pointed out the chauvinism that exists in the culture, as most people could sympathize with Madame X only after they portrayed her as a victim. The very idea of a woman enjoying sex seems threatening.
It is an amazingly interesting subject and worthy reading. The article also highlights the polarity and divides in society in general on this topic, with permissive and extremist views on
women’s roles, this was illustrated by two completely polarized stories: a group of young girls
fearing their families reaction were reported to have committed group suicide after featured on
internet dancing with revealing cloths and bare hair, and report of some private parties where
guests drink, socialize and even on occasions couple off at the end of the evening.