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Why Thousands of Iranian Women Are Training to Be Ninjas
February 5, 2012 8:21 AM   Subscribe

Thousands of Iranian women are training to be ninjas.
posted by reenum (71 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
That sound you hear is conservative Americans peeing in their pants. "Nuclear weapons AND ninja women in 'Muslim garb'?"
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 8:32 AM on February 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Because ninjas are totally cool and by totally cool I mean totally sweet?
posted by octobersurprise at 8:33 AM on February 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


That sound you hear is conservative Americans peeing in their pants.

And liberal interventionists who will soon launch an attack on Iran. Just watch.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 8:36 AM on February 5, 2012 [6 favorites]


You know, the only women *I* know from Iran is a nuclear chemist. Just saying, I think that is a bit cooler then a ninja. At least, I sure respect her more then people who know how to punch.
posted by Canageek at 8:39 AM on February 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


well, hoorah for women worldwide, always finding a new way to subvert the patriarchy.
:)
posted by chapps at 8:42 AM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


And liberal interventionists who will soon launch an attack on Iran. Just watch.

You mean those liberals in power in Israel and the US? Where? Did I miss that?
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 8:43 AM on February 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


octobersurprise Because ninjas are totally cool and by totally cool I mean totally sweet?

According to the truly excellent embedded video: pretty much, yeah.
posted by yeolcoatl at 8:45 AM on February 5, 2012


Though we in the West often perceive them this way because the hijab and the chador are all we see on the surface, women in Iran are stronger collectively and more assertive individually than the Islamic Republic would have us believe.
Who is this "we", asshole?
posted by craichead at 8:45 AM on February 5, 2012 [11 favorites]


You know, the only women *I* know from Iran is a nuclear chemist. Just saying, I think that is a bit cooler then a ninja. At least, I sure respect her more then people who know how to punch.

That is cooler, but the training to be a ninja won't result in the Israeli funded terrorists blowing up your car. Swings and roundabouts!
posted by atrazine at 8:48 AM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


You know, the only women *I* know from Iran is a nuclear chemist. Just saying, I think that is a bit cooler then a ninja. At least, I sure respect her more then people who know how to punch.

Why are nuclear chemist Iranian women excluded from ninja training?!?
posted by fairmettle at 8:51 AM on February 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


The assumption in the blog post that Iranian women are oppressed is a no-brainer, but it would have been great to see at least a little evidence.
posted by KokuRyu at 8:56 AM on February 5, 2012


This is the hottest thing I have ever heard about. I know I'm being a sexist pig, but I'm going to be fantasizing about assertive and strong Arab women who have ninja skills because that's pretty much the nexus of what I'm attracted to.

Also,

if you look past the tiger-striped costumes

Tiger-stripe is awesome! For great stealth! The dark stripes break up the silhouette and affect motion perception. I highly reccomend tiger-stripe.

m4f, looking for Iranian kuniochi for ltr. Willing to marry for citizenship. Memail me.

And one more thing:

You know, the only women *I* know from Iran is a nuclear chemist. Just saying, I think that is a bit cooler then a ninja.

I think we all know that it's possible to be a beautiful woman who is also a nuclear chemist and a ninja and also able to stunt-drive cars. Spy movies do not lie.
posted by fuq at 8:59 AM on February 5, 2012 [7 favorites]


They are invisible culturally in their society - it only makes sense to train to become invisible physically.
posted by Flood at 9:00 AM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ninjutsu is one of those martial arts famous for flashy but ineffective techniques.

So although they are clearly getting in shape (see: their impressive stunts), they are also possibly developing a false idea of their own capabilities.

Unfortunately, Iranian women are apparently now forbidden from taking part in combat sports, and already in many Olympic sports.

If it were a report from another country I would say "Ninjutsu will get you knocked out, learn to box instead," but this might be their best available self-defense training option.

So I hope, for their sake, that the culture of Ninjutsu over there is less superstitious and more evidence-based in outlook, because here in the U.S. it's pretty cultish and delusional.
posted by edguardo at 9:14 AM on February 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


strong Arab women

Persians aren't Arabs
posted by Slothrup at 9:15 AM on February 5, 2012 [39 favorites]


The assumption in the blog post that Iranian women are oppressed is a no-brainer, but it would have been great to see at least a little evidence.
I think it is a no-brainer that Iran is a patriarchal society that oppresses women, but that doesn't mean that being oppressed is the sum-total of women's existence there or that anyone should be surprised that Iranian women resist oppression. I mean, Shirin Ebadi, a human rights and women's rights campaigner, won the Nobel Peace Prize ten years ago. You'd think that would be a little bit of a giveaway that not all Iranian women are subjugated and cowed.

I just thought the tone of that article was really weird. Has this guy somehow been prevented from reading the newspaper for the past two years? We're seriously still doing "OMG, you guys, despite their funny headgear, Iranian women actually realize that they're human!" stories?
posted by craichead at 9:18 AM on February 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


WHERE TALKING THE ELEMENT OF SUPRISE HERE YEAH?
posted by clavdivs at 9:31 AM on February 5, 2012


I considered posting a link to the google image search for female ninja while lamenting the image tag, but decide against.
posted by jeffburdges at 9:45 AM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mastering a Japanese martial art, especially one popularly associated with fearless lone warriors, might hold a certain appeal to Iranian women who have watched their government struggle for decades to weaken them. Learning nunjutsu is not going to undo Iran's medieval gender restrictions, of course, but it sends a message about their futility.
Or maybe they're training for the long threatened US/Israeli attack? It's all fun and games on the internet until someone starts a war.
posted by ennui.bz at 9:46 AM on February 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


They are invisible culturally in their society - it only makes sense to train to become invisible physically.

It's ... complicated. If you look at the people who are educating themselves in culture production and then actually producing it, women have already surpassed men in many fields. For instance, "Iranian women have made up more than 60 percent of university entrants." In some subjects, the female-to-male ratio is as high as 70%. Imagine what this will mean in the next 10-20 years in a country where 60% of the population is under 30.

Of course, you could make the claim that Iran's women are continuing a long and labourius journey of emancipation that began some hundred years ago that the islamic republic has both fought and supported in different, inconsistent and perplexing ways.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 9:47 AM on February 5, 2012 [6 favorites]


Just to be clear, this little essay is packaged as a cute internet viral story, but it's propaganda and propaganda towards starting a war.
posted by ennui.bz at 9:50 AM on February 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


If Iran is allowed to have female muslim ninjas, everyone will want female muslim ninjas and this will only create a female muslim ninja arms race across the region.
posted by three blind mice at 9:59 AM on February 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


Seems to me that propaganda is whirling everywhere these days. The theocracy decided to create and disseminate these images, so putting the blame on the Atlantic doesn't seem fair. Although I wish they had tried digging deeper and not portrait this as an attempt by woman to assert their independence, because that's simply not what's going on here (Press TV is a government owned media outlet).

In a context of propaganda, this doesn't seem all that different from the recent reports about college students changing their majors to fields of nuclear research as a protest against the killing of Iranian nuclear physicists.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:02 AM on February 5, 2012


Why are nuclear chemist Iranian women excluded from ninja training?!?

It's in order to create some distance between reality and the GI Joe universe
posted by Hoopo at 10:14 AM on February 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


If I lived in an oppressive, male dominated society in which wearing a full body outfit was virtually prescribed I'd probably become a ninja too.
posted by MuffinMan at 10:18 AM on February 5, 2012


My first thought was dying the usually dark-blue or grey chadors pitch black (and a few alterations to improve mobility without tripping over the flowing fabric), and ta-daa! Knowing your place AND kicking ass.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:28 AM on February 5, 2012


Ninjutsu as a buddy of mine who studied it explained, involved meditation and ritual gestures (mudras, or 'seals' as they were called in his school.). These elements were informed by Shingon Buddhism, though they may not have been much older than the 1970s, and in fact not even Japanese.

I bring this up because I have heard elsewhere that Buddhism is particularly distrusted in Muslim countries like Saudi Arabia - much better to admit to Christianity than to godless Buddhism. I guess the religious elements are absent from Iranian Ninjutsu, but, especially as this is a martial art based on secrecy, I'm a little surprised to see it tolerated at all (and I sure hope the clerics aren't reading this).
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 10:29 AM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just to be clear, this little essay is packaged as a cute internet viral story, but it's propaganda and propaganda towards starting a war.

So any Western coverage of Iran is propaganda? Because that article was about as silent on war drumbeating issues as you can get. I don't see how "They've oppressed their women but the women have found channels to express and empower themselves, let's attack them!" is a valid scenario.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:29 AM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ninjutsu as a buddy of mine who studied it explained, involved meditation and ritual gestures (mudras, or 'seals' as they were called in his school.). These elements were informed by Shingon Buddhism, though they may not have been much older than the 1970s, and in fact not even Japanese.

Actually, while the connection to Shingon-shu is real (Mie, the birthplace of the "ninja" is quite close to Mount Koya, the secluded Shingon mountain-top monastery complex), it also has deeper roots to "Shugen-do" mountain ascetic practices. Anyway, the ninjas were basically contract mercenaries from poor farming communities in rural Japan.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:41 AM on February 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just to be clear, this little essay is packaged as a cute internet viral story, but it's propaganda and propaganda towards starting a war.

I, for one, welcome our new fabulously fit, cryptobuddhist, Persian overladies. If anything, this makes me not want a war to happen. People enjoy martial arts over there? People enjoy martial arts over here too! That's something we have in common! I bet we could get along.
posted by fuq at 10:41 AM on February 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just to be clear, this little essay is packaged as a cute internet viral story, but it's propaganda and propaganda towards starting a war.

And it's super-clever propaganda, since it doesn't appear to actually do anything remotely like what you're alleging it does. This is some serious high-level psychology the warmongers are pulling on us, folks.
posted by Etrigan at 10:43 AM on February 5, 2012


>Just to be clear, this little essay is packaged as a cute internet viral story, but it's propaganda and propaganda towards starting a war.

So any Western coverage of Iran is propaganda? Because that article was about as silent on war drumbeating issues as you can get. I don't see how "They've oppressed their women but the women have found channels to express and empower themselves, let's attack them!" is a valid scenario.


The article is filled with stereotypes and cultural assumptions, and offers no real insights.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:43 AM on February 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


The article is filled with stereotypes and cultural assumptions, and offers no real insights.

It's almost like something from a mainstream American magazine! This is what passes for journalism.
posted by fuq at 10:46 AM on February 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just to be clear, this little essay is packaged as a cute internet viral story, but it's propaganda and propaganda towards starting a war.

The meat of the article is a video from PressTV which is actually Iran's English language propaganda channel. Are they also trying to start a war?
posted by atrazine at 10:59 AM on February 5, 2012


I don't ever want to live in a world WITHOUT ninjas.
posted by cazoo at 11:23 AM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


And it's super-clever propaganda, since it doesn't appear to actually do anything remotely like what you're alleging it does. This is some serious high-level psychology the warmongers are pulling on us, folks.

1) If/when we go to war against Iran, the plight of women in Iran will be on every retired military talking-head's talking points. Because our religiously conservative military leaders are extremely concerned with the plight of muslim women around the world...

2) You notice how we never go to war with sane, normal nations? All of our enemies are crazy all the time. You can't reason with them...

Now, I don't know shit about women in Iran and I'm guessing neither does Max Fisher. But if I saw some stupid Iranian government video about ninja training here's what I would assume:

Here is a nation that is preparing to be invaded and these women aren't preparing to defend themselves against their fathers/husbands/brothers but are looking at what happened to Iraq and thinking: my family is next. Context is everything and the context right now is some serious steps by both sides that could lead to a war. A war where these ninja-trained women are going to to shocked-and-awed into fine red mist, along with their children/fathers/husbands/brothers etc. And a war where people from Texas or California or New York who also know fuck-all about the plight of Iranian women are going to get killed.

This is not a fucking joke. It's the job of dickheads like Max Fisher to make a very serious situation look like a joke to people like you.
posted by ennui.bz at 11:51 AM on February 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is not a fucking joke. It's the job of dickheads like Max Fisher to make a very serious situation look like a joke to people like you.

And it is apparently your job to make the anti-war position look so ridiculously paranoid that even this is worth calling strangers names on the Internet. You're doing a lot better job than Max Fisher is.
posted by Etrigan at 11:57 AM on February 5, 2012 [5 favorites]


And it is apparently your job to make the anti-war position look so ridiculously paranoid that even this is worth calling strangers names on the Internet. You're doing a lot better job than Max Fisher is.

Then explain to me why the plight of muslim women is such a huge concern for white american men? Because of our deep interest in multi-cultural gender studies?

Are you 9 years old? Did you not live through 2003?
posted by ennui.bz at 12:05 PM on February 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


The plight of anyone is the concern of this white American man, Ennui.bz. While it can be manipulated towards dark purposes, the sympathy to a class of people that have been historically dispossessed across the world and specifically in Iran does concern me, especially as women's rights tended to be better before the establishment of the Islamic Republic (not to say the Shah was good, only that the current regime is not the biggest supporter thereof). I, having the ability to feel sympathy for any number of individuals and groups, each according to their natures and circumstances, have enough to spare for them too. I hope that in time, the liberalization of Iran takes place, or that a peaceful revolution sweeps through and wipes away the decaying edifice of an elite now desperately trying to cling to power. I hope this. The women of Iran are in generally well-educated and I wish them the best in these transformative years. But no, this article makes me no more want to go to war with Iran as talking about its best universities do. I understand your passionate, but your rage seems to be ill-directed.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 12:13 PM on February 5, 2012


Learning nunjutsu is not going to undo Iran's medieval gender restrictions.
--->"nunjutsu"

This would be a good one for the nuns having fun calendar.

Are you 9 years old? Did you not live through 2003?

"The plight of Iraqi women" wasn't a commonly discussed justification for war in 2003 anyway. It was mostly false WMD reports and hinted at terrorism links. As far as the "Saddam is bad" things, people talked about repressive police and gassing Kurds.
posted by Winnemac at 12:18 PM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Then explain to me why the plight of muslim women is such a huge concern for white american men?

Muslim women need to be oppressed in the good old-fashioned American way, not in the evil, strange Iranian way.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:18 PM on February 5, 2012 [7 favorites]


Why do we assume they are training to be ninja to attack the U.S.? Maybe they are in training so they can go out in public without a male escort?
posted by Catblack at 12:20 PM on February 5, 2012


Then explain to me why the plight of muslim women is such a huge concern for white american men?

One fairly light-hearted article in The Atlantic is now "such a huge concern"?

Are you 9 years old? Did you not live through 2003?

Gee, you're right. I apologize wholeheartedly for accusing you of calling strangers names on the Internet.

I did, in fact, live through 2003. You know what I remember not working? This kind of shit that you're pulling right now. Reducing your opponents to cartoonish evildoers because they're reducing their opponents to cartoonish evildoers is not only morally offensive, it doesn't fucking work.
posted by Etrigan at 12:22 PM on February 5, 2012 [3 favorites]


ennui.bz, maybe you should watch the video. It doesn't look like:

Here is a nation that is preparing to be invaded and these women aren't preparing to defend themselves against their fathers/husbands/brothers but are looking at what happened to Iraq and thinking: my family is next.

It looks like YAAAAAY NINJAS ARE FUN! HERE'S GIRL NINJAS! [flips] Is Atlantic the next poetv.com? The article is basically "Look! Cultures! There are differences but there are also similarities. I read about Iran on wikipedia! These girls are ninjas!" I'd rather let this bit of fluff take my imagination to a positive place where Iranian kuniochis and Israeli girl settlement-vigilantes have to put their differences aside and team up to battle the greatest threat mankind has ever known...

[throws smoke grenade - disappears]
posted by fuq at 12:23 PM on February 5, 2012


A NINJA!!!
posted by acb at 12:26 PM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


But no, this article makes me no more want to go to war with Iran as talking about its best universities do. I understand your passionate, but your rage seems to be ill-directed.

Whether you or me or anyone you know wants to go to war is totally irrelevant. It was irrelevant in 2003 and nothing has changed. The issue is what you will go along with once the bombs start to fall.

Because it's thousands of miles away, because you don't have any real connection to Iran, it's history, it's people, it's women, when people are getting blown the fuck up because of what some guys in DC and Tehran decide, you're going to sit back in your computer chair, scratch your chin and say, "it'll be better for those Iranian women in the end." And it won't be because you know fuck-all about Iran but because people like Max Fisher wrote hundred of little essays, went on the TV and yammered like they were experts repeating endlessly a simple theme.

Also, maybe you'll think: "I don't like this war. But those Iranian mullahs are craaazy, they should have negotiated." Why will you think that? Who has a history of doing crazy shit in the middle east? (As if the Western democracies have never sent human waves of soldiers in their military history.)

I did, in fact, live through 2003. You know what I remember not working? This kind of shit that you're pulling right now. Reducing your opponents to cartoonish evildoers because they're reducing their opponents to cartoonish evildoers is not only morally offensive, it doesn't fucking work.

Nothing will work until the US flat-out loses one of these bloodthirsty little wars.
posted by ennui.bz at 12:29 PM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


February makes people kinda nuts, huh?
posted by Hoopo at 12:33 PM on February 5, 2012 [4 favorites]


The article is basically "Look! Cultures! There are differences but there are also similarities. I read about Iran on wikipedia! These girls are ninjas!"
Yeah, no. The argument of the article is that the Iranian government attempts to oppress and silence women, but (surprisingly!), women find sneaky ways of fighting back. Being a ninja is a sneaky way of fighting back against "the Iranian regime's 33-year quest to make Iranian women weak and helpless, to force them into child-like subservience". And as evidence, he shows a video put out by the Iranian regime, celebrating women ninjas. And it's interesting that the Iranian government produced that pro-woman-ninja video, given that his thesis is that being a ninja is a sneaky means of resistance.

(It's possible that video is propaganda about the willingness of Iranian women to fight off an Israeli/US invasion, but if so, it's pretty opaque. Maybe they're re-purposing something that had a different tone in the original language.)
posted by craichead at 12:37 PM on February 5, 2012


Is the number of women-training-to-be-ninjas higher in Iran, per-capita, than other countries in the world?

Either way, the idea of macho martial arts being a mechanism for the empowering of women is pretty cool.
posted by hellslinger at 12:49 PM on February 5, 2012


ennui.bz when people are getting blown the fuck up because of what some guys in DC and Tehran decide, you're going to sit back in your computer chair, scratch your chin and say, "it'll be better for those Iranian women in the end."

Actually, I'm far more likely to sit back in my computer chair, scratch my chin and say, "Well, with civil rights and the culture of nationalism in the U.S. being what they are, I'll run a decent chance of getting accused of treason by 'patriots' or even arrested if I speak out, and 'Because it's thousands of miles away, because [I] don't have any real connection to Iran, it's history, it's people, it's women,' I just can't be bothered to take any sort of risk fighting against D.C. on this."

Articles about the oppression of women in Iran really have nothing to do with it.

Yeah, I'm not proud of it, but it's probably true.
posted by yeolcoatl at 12:56 PM on February 5, 2012


meta
posted by ennui.bz at 12:59 PM on February 5, 2012


And as evidence, he shows a video put out by the Iranian regime, celebrating women ninjas.

Seriously, I was put off by the "starts with respect and ends with humility". I didn't share it with my friends because I don't want to approve of that. It seemed like that sort of talk was put at the end to emphasize that it *isn't* this empowering thing it is being claimed to be.

Nonseriously, the only way we will know the strength of their ninjas is a tournament!
posted by fuq at 1:33 PM on February 5, 2012


I found this: Afghan kung-fu.
posted by fuq at 2:02 PM on February 5, 2012


The article is filled with stereotypes and cultural assumptions, and offers no real insights.

How does that make it a pro-war article, when the majority of all existing magazine articles have the same failings?
posted by Edgewise at 2:06 PM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


Cute article, unfortunate how such a slight piece brings out the nasty/paranoid side of otherwise well-intentioned mefi liberalism.
posted by Edgewise at 2:09 PM on February 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'd never heard of this before, so I'm glad the article was posted. I really don't get the AMERICA FUCK YEAH WAR TIME angle that some people seem to be seeing here. If anything, the point of the article seems to be that Iranian women are finding their own ways to liberate themselves:

But the Iranian regime's 33-year quest to make Iranian women weak and helpless, to force them into child-like subservience, has failed. Though we in the West often perceive them this way because the hijab and the chador are all we see on the surface, women in Iran are stronger collectively and more assertive individually than the Islamic Republic would have us believe.

And thus, presumably, don't need American soldiers to come and liberate them from their oppressors. But I doubt commentary on the possibility or desirability of war was the point of this article. If you want to know how the author feels about Iran-phobic jingoism, perhaps reading another of his articles might help:

Republican presidential candidates have been fighting to outdo one another on who can build Iran up as the scariest and most immediate threat. Mitt Romney named it the greatest threat since the Soviet Union, Herman Cain called for outright regime change, Michele Bachmann suggested they were dead set on sparking "worldwife nuclear war." The politics of this are obvious and easy; the scarier you make Iran, the more likely voters are to prefer your confrontational rhetoric. People respond to fear, and it's easier to understand "Iran is evil" than the complexities of why an isolated Iranian regime might seek nuclear capability and how they would use it. But this increasingly outlandish fear-mongering is dangerous in itself.
....
(3) Iran wants nukes for deterrence, so it would never use them preemptively. The Iranian leadership understands that it is isolated and besieged. That's exactly why it would want a nuclear bomb: to deter the U.S., Israel, Saudi Arabia, or others from attacking...Using that warhead would also guarantee a U.S. attack, which would also defeat the entire purpose of having a deterrent.

Certainly Fischer is less sanguine about Iran than some, but he hardly seems to view war as a good idea.
posted by AdamCSnider at 3:38 PM on February 5, 2012


The assumption in the blog post that Iranian women are oppressed is a no-brainer, but it would have been great to see at least a little evidence.

Iranian woman sentenced to stoning death for adultery may be hanged instead
posted by BobbyVan at 4:36 PM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


You know, the only women *I* know from Iran is a nuclear chemist. Just saying, I think that is a bit cooler then a ninja.

So you're working at your lab bench. You glance away. When you look back, your experiment has been completed. Coolest.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 4:55 PM on February 5, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think ennui.bz has a point insofar as the net effect of articles like this could be more negative than positive.

Maybe labeling it "propaganda" is going a bit too far: it's definitely not the work of some PsyOps branch of the Department of International Malfeasance, and I doubt the author meant it to be anything more than an interesting story. Nevertheless, it does fit neatly into the narrative that other people have purposefully constructed for more sinister purposes. Like, I could see this turning into a FOX news bit: "Is Iran secretly training its women as a counterinsurgency force? Some say it's possible. Let's take a look at the footage." [Pointed look into camera.] For a population relatively fresh out of a news cycle full of Gaddafi's Amazonian Guard, the parallels might be less of leap than one would hope.

TL;DR While it wasn't the author's intention, the story could be (mis)interpreted as part of the "Iran = crazy militants" meme.
posted by Misunderestimated at 6:59 PM on February 5, 2012


I've been warning people about this for years. Did you all just think it mere happenstance that "arashikage kunoichi" is an anagram of "a chunkii keg 'o' sharia?"
posted by "Elbows" O'Donoghue at 7:15 PM on February 5, 2012


People who assume this is a direct prelude to something sinister can't see the ninjas for the trees.

Of course, you can't see the ninjas anyway because, you know, they're ninjas.
posted by twoleftfeet at 9:08 PM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


People who assume this is a direct prelude to something sinister

I don't think anybody said that. I think people pointed out that it was a fluffy piece of lame ass propaganda, which it is.
posted by Chuckles at 10:45 PM on February 5, 2012


Hey ennui.bz, remember when Bush went to war with Iran during the media blitz in 2005? And when
we invaded Syria because that's where Saddam's WMDs were smuggled there? And when we went to war with North Korea after they shelled South Korea after Thanksgiving 2010?

Good times.
posted by Apocryphon at 11:25 PM on February 5, 2012 [1 favorite]


While the martial arts certainly looked impressive, someone has to mention the elephant in the room; the calligraphy was horrendous.
posted by klue at 7:49 AM on February 6, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm going to second the notion that ninjitsu is silly and ineffective. What's more, martial arts as a whole don't encourage independence and critical thinking, they're weighed down by absurd hierarchy and baggage from things like Confucianism.

With that said... I think that pretty much any martial art is going to have a positive effect on the participant. They're going to build physical strength and confidence, and that's always a good thing. I'd encourage it here, and there, and everywhere.

I don't think that martial arts is going to topple patriarchy or government coercion in Iran any more than it did here, or in Korea, or in China, or in Japan, or anywhere else. Personally I'm a huge fan of Krav Maga for effectiveness, but yikes, how does that relate to political empowerment?

For the individual though? I think it's great. And they should keep it up.
posted by Stagger Lee at 8:39 AM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Then explain to me why the plight of muslim women is such a huge concern for white american men? Because of our deep interest in multi-cultural gender studies?

ennui.bz, just going out on a limb here... Because some of us actually care about others' welfare?
posted by IAmBroom at 9:41 AM on February 6, 2012


Seymour Zamboni: And liberal interventionists who will soon launch an attack on Iran. Just watch.

So... you're recasting GWB as a "liberal interventionist"?

Is that how you're going to swallow the bitter pill of his administration's failures?
posted by IAmBroom at 9:44 AM on February 6, 2012


These poor women will be getting sex changes too? The actual correct term would be Kunoichi, but then 99% (+/- 1%) will not know what that word meant, opposed to using the term Ninja. I admit I use to make the same mistake too, until my wife would correct me each time i'd refer to a female being a ninja.
It's similar to saying "male cows", of course you can't have a male cow, as cows are female bovines, and bulls well they are the male ones.
Another interesting fact while on Kunoichi, the kanji for female is (女) which could be loosely drawn up of Ku (く) , no (ノ) and ichi (一).
posted by Merlin The Happy Pig at 4:49 PM on February 6, 2012 [1 favorite]


Most of the Persian ladies I know, including my wife, have black belts in Karate. They coming to get YOU!
posted by chunking express at 9:02 PM on February 6, 2012


Merlin The Happy Pig

Not wrong, but not fully correct, either. Ninja (忍者) is just made out of characters for "stealth" and "person." There's nothing inherently masculine about the term.

Kunoichi (くノ一) is thought to be a modern term that wasn't actually used when ninja actually existed. Ninja is also thought to be a modern (post WWII) term, although this is less clear.

So "ninja" can properly refer to male or female, while "kunochi" is only female (and is sometimes (but not always) derogatory).

Also used for both is shinobi (忍び), which is just the character for "stealth" by itself, or "shinobinomono" (忍びの者, lit. person of stealth) . This term has documented usage from the Edo era, and is arguably the most "correct."
posted by yeolcoatl at 10:46 AM on February 7, 2012 [2 favorites]


They will not teach them wing chun...it is called "blowback"
posted by clavdivs at 9:44 AM on February 12, 2012


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