A New Voice?

Women Blogging in IranCredit: http://www.un.org/womenwatch/feature/ruralwomen/images/who-goodpractices-learning-computer-skills-iran.jpg


Though the internet seems the social norm in most Western cultures, the Middle East has only recently been introduced to the internet.  The internet has the ability to change cultural dynamics, as it did in the United States by enriching millions of homes.  Similarly, it has given women in Iran a sense of hope and a channel to address issues faced by their society.

The internet, especially blogging, has become a much needed outlet for Iranian women.  It gives them the chance to speak about normally forbidden things, especially those things concerning men and sexual topics. It is hard for many Westerners to comprehend their lack of normal social taboos in Middle Eastern nation.  Even small things like discussing a crush or even talking about men are forbidden. Likewise, though not as often, global and societal issues are discussed, like environmental topics and societal values.  I think this is a step for Iran in filling part of the important role women play in politics.  Societal changes are partially reliant on women as they begin to play a bigger and bigger role in societies where women traditionally do not have much power.  Even further, it is ultimately women who control population to a degree considering it is there availability and choice of birth control dictates the population.  It is also interesting to note that women with the highest birth rates are in countries where poverty is high and education is low. [1]

Perhaps with increased education and the ability to express themselves, the women of Iran can start to have an influence on their society.  These blogs have been the inspiration for some men to change their view of women.  This awareness could be the pivotal step for women gaining more power in Iran, since the men will have to change their traditional values and their overall view of women’s place in society.  These blogs, interestingly first created by Hussein, also increase awareness of women’s issues on a global level.  It gives a unique perspective of a firsthand experience as a youth or woman of Iran, an aspect that otherwise would have been left in the dark. [1]

Iranian WomenCredit: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/13/Two_Iranian_women.jpg

However, though this seems like a breakthrough, I think it is also necessary to consider potential consequences of women blogging in Iran.  Though many men are welcoming this idea, many men are not (though I think it is important to note that women blogging have been received by men in more positive than negative cases).  This could lead to even more possible repression if the government decided to take extreme measures, as they have done with other women’s rights.  Many argue against changing tradition that they have had for thousands of years, whether it is right or wrong in present times. People should consider what works during the age we live in rather than what has worked in the past, because the world is not the same place. This would be a heavy set back for Iran’s women, and probably devastate the hope that seems to be driving them at the present time.[1]

Even if online blogging does not exist forever for Iranian women, looking at this as any type of progress or attempt at a solution is a good thing.  I think globally we can see our changing world from an environmental sense, but it is necessary to see the social and demographic changes with such a transition.  It should remind us that everyone must work together to live peacefully in a changing world, which means both men and women alike in every nation.

Women Without Men: A Novel of Modern Iran
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