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Photoshop helps
November 27, 2004 10:41 AM   Subscribe

How photoshop helps "moral values" in Iran.
posted by hoder (33 comments total)

 
En Ingles, por favor.
posted by Sir Mildred Pierce at 10:44 AM on November 27, 2004


English, if you missed the link in the fpp.

On preview: there is a story here about someone named "Mahboobeh" *titter*
posted by moift at 10:51 AM on November 27, 2004


After preview: I don't see the photoshop story in English though, so never mind.
posted by moift at 10:53 AM on November 27, 2004


Took me half a minute to figure out what was changed between photos 5 and 6.
posted by bobo123 at 10:57 AM on November 27, 2004


the three accounts of being a woman in iran are fascinating. (in english.)
posted by ori at 11:07 AM on November 27, 2004


Sometimes I find it very hard to be a tolerant being, specially after reading accounts such as the ones mentioned by ori. Different moral values, different believes . . . But this is just so outrageous. Same goes with adultery, the woman gets punished with jail, caning or worse and the men, dispensing the law, get away of course. Grrr.
posted by nostrada at 11:21 AM on November 27, 2004


> Sometimes I find it very hard to be a tolerant

Why should you be tolerant of intolerance and classism/sexism? I don't believe the "multi-cultural" explanation solves this serious issue.
posted by skallas at 12:06 PM on November 27, 2004


Why should you be tolerant of intolerance and classism/sexism?

Because embracing such a wishy-washy definition of "tolerance" excuses one from making difficult judgements on issues that can't be explained on a bumpersticker. "Accept everything different from what I myself believe" is as extremist and as blatantly immoral as "reject everything different from what I myself believe."
posted by rushmc at 12:17 PM on November 27, 2004


Tolerance is so November 1st.
posted by jpoulos at 12:50 PM on November 27, 2004


I feel like I'm trying to find Waldo here.
posted by ticopelp at 1:06 PM on November 27, 2004


Hoder, thank you for a very interesting article!

For those of you who cannot read farsi- the jist of the article is that all of the rules and regulations that the newspapers have to follow are ridiculous because it prevents them from showing what Iran is really like- you can't see real Iranian women- even groundbreaking ones like Shirin Ebadi and Shohreh Aghdashloo- in Iranian newspapers even though you can see them a dime a dozen (and dressed much more provocatively) on the streets in every Iranian city.
The author calls to point that Shirin Ebadi's winning of the Nobel Peace Prize was barely covered in Iran because they could not carry a picture of the event because she was not veiled.
The article ends on a hilarious note, thanking Nicole Kidman for her starring role in Cold Mountain and her very conservative costume choices, thereby saving Iranian photo editors the trouble of re-working every picture she's in.

By the way, something most of you will miss in pictures 1 and 2 without reading the article is that besides lengthening the manteau and making it less see-through, they also straightened out the curvature of her hips.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 1:09 PM on November 27, 2004


That's not even good Photoshoppery.
posted by Faint of Butt at 1:15 PM on November 27, 2004


On the issue of tolerance and equality - there is no easy answer. Liberal Western society is not morally relativistic - it just happens that one of its morals is tolerance and openness to the ways of others. But what do we do when one of our morals (tolerance and diversity) conflicts directly with another (the equality of all adults, regardless of gender, race or class)?

That these two morals conflict doesn't mean that either is invalid, but a value choice does need to be made. Sometimes that means prioritising one value over the other. On an individual level, I deeply respect the personal choice of the devout Muslim woman to wear the veil, though I would not choose to, while I do not respect those who would force others to veil against their wishes, including families. For the government of western countries, though, it is a more difficult choice. How do they know in each case whether the veil is chosen, or coerced? Banning the veil would be an affront to individual as well as cultural rights. But then other cultural actions may be banned when it is felt that they violate existing laws. There is no easy answer -- within liberal societies, there is always a difficult struggle to balance the wishes of the individual, or individual culture, with the needs and desires and expectations of the larger society.

As for how those in the west view those outside western liberal societies, it is normally more a matter of opinion than action. But that opinion need not not be black and white. I may not agree with Iran's current laws about women or dissent, but at the same time I do not believe that the only other alternative is a western liberal society. I support liberalisation within Iran - most of all on the issue of dissent, without which there cannot be any other freedom. But I don't wish that Iran would return to the days when women, for instance, were forbidden to wear the veil if they wished.
posted by jb at 1:20 PM on November 27, 2004


thanks BuddhaInABucket.. I was wondering what the heck Kidman was doing in there, guessed it was something like that. :)
posted by dabitch at 1:29 PM on November 27, 2004


Here's and interesting travelogue (via Slate) by Reza Aslan documenting his return to Iran after leaving at the age of seven. He gives a small bit of insight into the daily lives of Iranians, which we don't often hear about.
posted by Juicylicious at 2:35 PM on November 27, 2004


You like reading about life in the mid-East? Here is the blog of a twenty-something woman who lives in Baghdad. I wanted to post this as its own thread, but can't do that yet.

From the Nov. 16 entry,

"It's typical American technique- every single atrocity is lost and covered up by blaming a specific person and getting it over with. What people don't understand is that the whole military is infested with these psychopaths. In this last year we've seen murderers, torturers and xenophobes running around in tanks and guns. I don't care what does it: I don't care if it's the tension, the fear, the 'enemy'… it's murder. We are occupied by murderers. We're under the same pressure, as Iraqis, except that we weren't trained for this situation, and yet we're all expected to be benevolent and understanding and, above all, grateful."
posted by Doohickie at 2:36 PM on November 27, 2004


I am absolutely tolerant of any activity in which all parties are consenting adults. I am intolerant of any government, religion, etc which violates the rights of the individual. I see no need to be tolerant of Iran's second-class citizenship for women. People have a right to protest women not wearing mullah-approved clothing. People have a right to say "women should wear only mullah-approved clothing". People have a right to publish books, sing songs, or anything else they want to do in support of mullah-approved clothing. Right up to the point where they use force (and I'll include mob intimidation as "force" here, likewise "force of law"). Similarly I have a right to call such people small minded Neanderthals, and to mock them for being so frightened of ankles and faces.

The fact is that some cultures are inferior to others. The current American culture is vastly superior to the pro-slavery culture several of my ancestors died defending. The current American culture is superior to the Saudi Arabian culture. Cultures which practice democracy are superior to those with Kings (or any other fancy word for "dictator").

Any culture that is based on violating the rights of a certain class of individuals is inferior [1]. I am in favor of multiculturalism for all cultures that don't violate the rights of the individual. I didn't shed a single tear when the culture of apartheid died. I'll do what I can to help bury the culture of every pseudo-Islamic "women are evil" place on Earth; and I'll dance on that culture's grave afterwards.

[1] And yes, I recognize the inferiority of America's current stance on homosexuals.
posted by sotonohito at 2:37 PM on November 27, 2004


What is happening in pictures 9 and 10? They don't seem to be before and after.
posted by jb at 2:38 PM on November 27, 2004


they're pictures of Shohreh Aghdashloo, an oscar-nominated actress from Iran. The article says the picture of her in the red dress could not be shown in Iran because, besides the fact that it shows skin, the color red might provoke sexual thoughts.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 3:23 PM on November 27, 2004


I was thinking the same thing as sotonohito put in his footnote. We talk about tolerating other cultures and keeping our minds open, but sometimes other cultures go over the line, as in the case of female genital mutilation (and don't give me a lot of crap about circumcision being the same thing. When you remove the clitoris, most if not all sexual pleasure is gone forever.)

So we here at Metafilter are quick to condemn the Christian religion which requires its members to renounce homosexuality, but we plead tolerance when another religion condemns its women to a shadow life under a veil. Sure some Muslim women are accustomed to it by now, much as Western women became accustomed to the corset, and feel naked and exposed without it. But it is a handicap forced upon them. And usually it is accompanied by a whole series of limiting rules: no schooling, no traveling alone, no driving cars, no working outside the home, no decision making, and so forth.

I will never agree to tolerate the infantilization of one sex, relegating it to an inferior position.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:08 PM on November 27, 2004


...in pictures 1 and 2...they also straightened out the curvature of her hips.

And in picture #4, they lopped off her boob!
posted by climalene at 4:11 PM on November 27, 2004


>can't be explained on a bumpersticker.

That's a little harsh. I think at its core the person cannot defend their own culture (pick your bogeyman), so its real easy to buy the moral relativism. No need to defend one's huge prison population, war on drugs, death penalty, wealth distribution, lack of universal healthcare, etc. Its like saying, "You're evil in one way and I'm evil in another, so lets pretend its good." Pretty damn amoral.
posted by skallas at 4:12 PM on November 27, 2004


Yeah, this is a regrettable phenomenon. In some (once more) liberal Arab countries you will see people mutilating their family memories by adding veils, etc., even though Grandma just didn't wear one...
posted by Zurishaddai at 4:46 PM on November 27, 2004


If you have an interest in this subject, I strongly recommend reading Nine Parts of Desire. (You can get a used copy for $10.50)

One of the chapters, the one on Egypt, has an interview with a celebrated belly dancer who is sad because the encroaching fundamentalism has meant there are no young girls to learn the old dances. Belly dancing, which has always been a huge part of the tourism industry and is a great part of Egyptian culture cannot continue in a world were the women are veiled.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:31 PM on November 27, 2004


They also removed the outline of the bra in picture 1 and 2.
posted by nostrada at 6:00 PM on November 27, 2004


Classic stuff in that blog link Doohickie posted.

I especially like her Election Condolences greeting cards.

Bush and Cheney- what a pair!
Who said life isn't fair?
While Iraq gets tanks and occupation-
You have idiots to run your nation!

posted by Talez at 6:11 PM on November 27, 2004


You like reading about life in the mid-East? Here is the blog of a twenty-something woman who lives in Baghdad.

While Iraq gets tanks and occupation-You have idiots to run your nation!

Its like saying, "You're evil in one way and I'm evil in another, so lets pretend its good." Pretty damn amoral.

Indeed.
posted by Krrrlson at 6:25 PM on November 27, 2004


Secret Life of Gravy:
I, for one, will do my part by condemning all religion.
posted by baphomet at 11:09 PM on November 27, 2004


Condemning Christian fundamentalism while simultaneously apologizing for Muslim fundies is absolutely the height of hypocrisy, but from what I have seen of MeFi, for the most part, people here don't seem to fall into this trap of being "tolerant" of autocratic mullahs and the toxic sex/women phobic culture they generate.

Nothing makes me more angry that "liberals" who fall into this intellectually bankrupt "post-colonialist" stance which is really just apologetics for the most brutally repressive political and cultural regimes. If you claim to be a left-liberal, then you believe in individual rights and equality--no vapid, politically correct exceptions for Iran or Nigeria. Liberalism is not about moral relativism, or calling all cultures equal. It's about the culture and tradition of liberalism, and if you don't believe in the superiority of liberalism, don't ever call yourself a liberal. You're half the reason it's a dirty word in America today.

Derrida is dead, and dead wrong. Get over it.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 11:15 PM on November 27, 2004


That's about right, [expletive deleted]. Like you, I'm glad not to see much of that here, although I am often accused of it when I identify as a liberal in public. I believe that the Taliban was an evil, illegitimate regime, and that the people of Afghanistan will be better off once its members have been removed from any and all authority. I also believe that the Bush administration is an evil, illegitimate regime, and that the people of the United States will be better off once its members have been removed from any and all authority. I see absolutely no disconnect or hypocrisy in holding both of these beliefs.
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:20 AM on November 28, 2004


I, for one, will do my part by condemning all religion.

Way to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
posted by Foosnark at 8:26 AM on November 28, 2004


Sure some Muslim women are accustomed to it by now, much as Western women became accustomed to the corset, and feel naked and exposed without it. But it is a handicap forced upon them. And usually it is accompanied by a whole series of limiting rules: no schooling, no traveling alone, no driving cars, no working outside the home, no decision making, and so forth.

Just be careful not to tar all Islamic countries with the same brush. Since the FPP was about Iran, you might be surprised to discover that - clothing and sexuality aside - Iran is in many ways quite liberal in its views of women's role in society...I would have to check, but I'm sure I read that the country pretty much tops the entire world in the percentage of graduates who are female, and who hold professional or government / administrative positions...

...it also apparently tops the world for cosmetic surgery, FWIW.

Somewhat ironically, the harshest Islamic country for women's rights may well be Saudi Arabia - the ally of "the land of freedom and opportunity" - whereas the "axis of evil" nation of Iran is nowhere near as bad as it is portrayed to be.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:04 PM on November 28, 2004


the three accounts of being a woman in iran are fascinating.

Interesting, but nothing typically Iranian to see there, IMHO. Those are exactly the same kinds of stories you hear from Indian women, or women in any sexually conservative country around the world, for that matter...they stem from testosterone, male sexual frustration & a kind of virgin/whore mentality. Western female travellers in those sorts of countries also typically experience those kinds of behaviours and attitudes.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:14 PM on November 28, 2004


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