Iran News ...


08/04/10

Long Live Equality

Translated by Roya Monajem, Tehran

 

Note: By sheer accident I received the first two texts by anonymous writers at more or less the same time which I couldn't resist translating out of sympathy. Then doubt arrived: So what? After all despite their irony which can make us laugh and take things lightly, they sound like complaints which happen when we fail to accept the full responsibility for 'the turn of events' in an honest way. The arrival of the third and the news that Genoa has named a square in the honor of Iranian women (see below) washed away the doubt and hesitation.

 


Square in Genoa named in the honor of Iranian women

 

It is very encouraging and promising to hear how the bravery of Iranian women is now widely appreciated abroad. At least there are still things to be proud of for being Iranian, in addition to our long past role in human civilization.

 

Good that Pandora (Greek's Eve) came to her senses after her initial disobedience in not opening that jar of gods' gifts she was carrying for man on earth, put the lid on just before HOPE got the chance to fly away like the rest. In the words of Theognis of Megara, the 6th-century BC Greek elegiac poet:

 

Hope is the only good god remaining among mankind

The others have left and gone to Olympus

Trust, a mighty god has gone,

Restraint has gone from men

And the Graces, my friend, have abandoned the earth,

Men judicial oaths are no longer to be trusted, nor does anyone

Revere the immortal gods; the race of pious men has perished and

Men no longer recognize the rule of conduct or acts of piety

  

*******************************

 

(1)

Long Live Equality

 

We told men: We want to be like you. They said: Now that you insist so much O.K.

 

And we didn't realize what happened that men were suddenly so kind. When we came to our senses we were exactly like them. We carried businessmen's bags, and the papers we had to deal with were check books, insurance papers and other balance sheets... We too began to have fights with our bosses and carried the resulting emotional bag home discharging it on the kids. Our cars broke down. We couldn't pay our loans in time... And in a short time we were looking exactly the same. They had kept their vows and had granted us the endless joys of manhood. We did exactly as they did except that we no longer had that precious ancestral arm finding its way into our pockets generation after generation. What arm? The sword with a golden handle? The pistol with a silver trigger? The knife with a metallic sheath? No! The cotton ball with which we cut men's head... the inheritance which any mother would give her daughters just because she was sure that as long as she has it, she can rule her man. Alas, that soft fibred ball called love by elders had slipped out of our hands on the way. Or in case we believe in the conspiracy theory, men destroyed it with their policy of open doors. Now we and men were facing each other, in an unfair duel and the skill with which we made even the most powerful men kneel no longer gushed in our soul's muscles.

 

For years they were jealous. They envied that only we can love little things with a child-like passion. That it was exclusively us who could participate in a deal which was not barter. That we can give without getting; forgive and get satisfied by the very act of forgiving. Love limitlessly and...

 

In the world of existence there were numerous microscopic elements which men could not see even with equipped eyes. Womanhood was not only makeup, dressing up and enchantment and in those old days some of us knew about it. My grandmother knew the beauty of being a woman.

 

When a woman complained about her husband's inconsideration, his harsh language and wept, grandmother would just gently say: Oh my dear, he is simply a man, as though manhood was merely an incurable defect. She knew men are deprived of a part of truths about existence. Making contact with the world of tenderness is in exclusive monopoly of the second sex and the essence of the world is tenderness.

 

Grandmother said women have an easy way with god while men should take the hard way. There is a short-cut only known to women which goes straight to god. Alas, the address of that short cut was also lost with that old arm.

 

So we are now here, suffocating out of happiness. The director of the company has given us vouchers which give us the chance to shop in the Sepah (army) great supermarket and for that we feel we are somebody. We have bought ten plastic bags full of oil, shampoo, detergents, tomato sauce and noodles and are laboriously carrying them together with other colleagues who like us had both vouchers and happiness and while carrying those bags home we gossip about the head of our social relations department and imitate the secretary working in the archive department and laugh loudly on the road to home.

 

Indeed how unfortunate was grandmother who just washed and cooked in the house. What a shame she didn't live long enough to see our sweet emancipation and how much we have grown.

 

It is a great honor that we are now bus drivers while making delicious pickles too. We are mine engineers and our fig jam is one of the best. Hurray we are becoming stronger everyday. Men are startled by seeing us doing all these odd jobs at the same time. When they can hardly keep their balance while standing in the bus, we hold our kid's hand with one hand, a heavy shopping bag with the other, and with the mobile held between our neck and shoulder we see about the work at the office. It is indeed honorific.

 

It is a great achievement that we all have become the same. Only it is not known why due to some ambiguous reasons, one of us sleep so comfortably in bed, like a piece of lumber while the other rolls and tosses either due to aches and pains; or for remembering the tearful eyes of her child left at the kindergarten until five in the evening just because she was caught in a horrible traffic and... The lost half is sleepless at nights, and picks on the woman. The man is at ease. He is himself. He has not other half. Bewildered and tired the woman rolls and tosses until morning between who she has become and who she was.

 

How could possibly my backward tradition loving grandmother understand the splendor of our modern victory? Long live equality!

 

*******************************

 

(2)

An Open Melancholic letter

To My Half:

 

While passing you in the street on foot, you said: "Baby, what is the fee?"

 

While passing you driving a car, you said: "You better go and sit behind your washing machine."

 

While standing in the long queue of the bakery, you took my turn just because you had a louder voice.

 

In another queue you took my turn because you were taller than me.

 

While waiting for a taxi under the rain, you shoved me back and jumped into it.

 

While sitting in a taxi, you pretended you are asleep to throw your weight on me with every turn. In the bus you pretended you are asleep not to offer your seat to me.

 

In the cinema when the actress screamed while giving birth, you shouted from behind my back: "Shut up woman!"

 

In the street while fighting, all your curses were addressed to the other one's mother and sisters. In the park, because you were around, I couldn't stretch my legs. Sport stadiums were closed to me because it is under your masculine monopoly. I have to cover myself for you to maintain your faith. You teach me piety to maintain your own piety.

 

You didn't marry and told me it is old-fashion to marry these days. I didn't marry and you called me an old spinster!

 

When you fell in love, you tied me with the chain of monopoly. When I fell in love, you said your mother should like me first.

 

I have to wash your clothes and iron them so that you will look smart. I have to cook and take care of the kids, so that you would build up yourself a prestige. When I told you to change the kid's diaper, you said kids belong to mothers. When you wanted to divorce me, you said kids belong to fathers. Show me a man to tell him: Happy Father's Day.

 

(Translator's note. If I knew the author I could introduce her to several really caring fathers.)

 

*******************************

 

(3)

I know a woman

 

I know a woman

Who in a corner of the house

In between washing and cooking

In the kitchen
Sings the hymn of love

 

Her eyes are simple and lonely

Her voice tired and sad

Her hope lying in the bottom of tomorrow

 

I know a woman

Who says she regrets

For having lost her heart to him

Where was he worthy of it

 

A woman whispering

I like to run away from this house

But then asks herself:

Who would comb my kid's hairs

After me?

 

A woman who is pregnant with pain

A woman with a newborn of grief

 

A woman weaving a dress of lace

With the warps and woofs of loneliness

A woman in a dark corner

Performing the prayer of Light

 

A woman used to chain

A woman familiar with jail

The cold look of warder

Is all her share

 

I know a woman...

 

I know a woman

Who withers with humiliation

Yet, sings the song

This is the game of fate

 

A woman gets used to poverty

A woman sleeps with tear

A woman with envy and awe

Not knowing what she has done wrong

 

A woman hides

Her varicose feet

A woman hides

Her buried pain

From the eyes of people

Not to hear from them all

You are so hopeless, helpless

 

I know a woman

Whose poem smells of grief

But laughs and says:

The world is always full of

Twists and turns, ups and downs

 

I know a woman

Who every night

Puts her children to bed

With the lullaby of fables and tales

Even though bearing in her own chest

An old agonizing ache

 

A woman fears leaving

For she is the house' candle

What a dark house it turns into

If she walks out of the door

 

A woman ashamed

Of her empty table

Telling her hungry child

Sleep my dear baby, sleep

While I sing you

Your favorite lullaby

 

I know a woman

Whose skirt is yellow

Her days and nights passing in tears

For she is barren, pregnant with pain

 

I know a woman

Not having any more force to go

All her steps tired

Her heart screaming

Under her feet

Enough is enough

 

I know a woman who has wrestled

With the devil of her ego

More than hundred thousands

And because at last she came out victor

She laughed and mocked

The infamy of vicious people

 

A woman sings

A woman keeps silent

A woman even spends the night

In the safe haven of an alleyway

 

A woman toils like a man

Having painful blisters on her hand

She has forgotten

She is pregnant

 

A woman in a dying bed

A woman near to death

 

Who will remember her

I don't know?

One night on a small bed

A woman will quietly die

 

And another woman would

Take her revenge

From a prostitute-like man

I know a woman

A woman...

 

Simin Behbahani

Saturday Khordad 8 1389 (May 29 2010)

 

*******************************

Genoa names square in honor of Iranian women
Source:
homylafayette Iran News
 


Genoa Greens in front of the street sign

 

The Italian city of Genoa renamed one of its squares 'Rotonda Donne di Teheran' (Women of Tehran Square) in the Fiumara commercial district as part of its Human Rights Week on July 21, 2010.

View Fiumara district, Genoa, Italy in a larger map

 


Mayor Marta Vincenzi (left) with Shirin Ebadi

 

Mayor Marta Vincenzi unveiled the new plaque honoring the women who demonstrated for freedom on the streets of Iran's capital at a moving ceremony attended by Nobel peace laureate Shirin Ebadi. 'This is a sign of solidarity with the women of Iran, and other parts of the world, who are fighting for freedom,' said Mayor Vincenzi.

She expressed the hope that mayors in other major cities around the world would follow Genoa's lead and pay tribute to Iran's women.

... Payvand News - 03/25/16 ... --



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