Book Recommendation: Sexual Politics in Iran (Janet Afary)

I found this book in a charity bookshop. I had a long journey ahead of me and nothing to read, so I walked in and grabbed this just because it was there.


What a fascinating read!! It`s mainly a book about women. It talks about courtship and marriage, widowhood and divorce, temporary marriages and multiple wives, homosexuality (mainly in men), but it also touches on women`s rights in general, such as the right to work and education, the right to vote, about female political activists and about veiling, and how all of this has changed over times since the 19th century.

Packed with fascinating information and not to be read quickly, but I just could not put this down!

Temporary marriage fascinates me. The fact that men can get married for just a couple of hours to a prostitute so they can have legitimate sex with her; or women to their driving instructor so they can be alone with them in a car. It would also allow the driving instructor`s brother to chaperon her during travelling because they`re now related.

And apparently, Ayatollah Khomeini had a female employee who needed to learn to drive (in order to work for him), but he himself was generally not in favor of women driving, which the employee didn`t want to disrespect. Khomeini said to her you can seek advice from any cleric on any religious matters, and he gave her the name of a cleric who did support women driving. The female learnt to drive and was not considered disobedient because she sought advise from a cleric who allowed her to take driving lessons.


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