Iran Bans Women From Many College Courses

It isn’t quite as bad as Afghanistan, where the Taliban continues to kill little girls that go to school and those who dare to teach them how to read, but Iran is now banning women from many university classes and from some universities altogether.

In a move that has prompted a demand for a UN investigation by Iran’s most celebrated human rights campaigner, the Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, 36 universities have announced that 77 BA and BSc courses in the coming academic year will be “single gender” and effectively exclusive to men…

Senior clerics in Iran’s theocratic regime have become concerned about the social side-effects of rising educational standards among women, including declining birth and marriage rates.

Under the new policy, women undergraduates will be excluded from a broad range of studies in some of the country’s leading institutions, including English literature, English translation, hotel management, archaeology, nuclear physics, computer science, electrical engineering, industrial engineering and business management.

The Oil Industry University, which has several campuses across the country, says it will no longer accept female students at all, citing a lack of employer demand. Isfahan University provided a similar rationale for excluding women from its mining engineering degree, claiming 98% of female graduates ended up jobless.

Yeah, there’s no point in having them get degrees since we’re going to discriminate against them and make sure they can’t work anyway. I urge you all to read the amazing book Reading Lolita in Tehran: A Memoir in Books by Azar Nafisi. It’s an incredible story of women in Iran after the Islamic revolution having to go underground to read some of the great literary works.

Comments

  1. slc1 says

    Of course, those on this blog, including our host, who like to bad mouth the Shah as a no good bum, should be aware that, whatever his faults which were many, he was strongly supportive of women’s rights. The retrograde progress in Iran relative to women’s rights since the overthrow of the Shah is an abomination.

  2. KG says

    The retrograde progress in Iran relative to women’s rights since the overthrow of the Shah is an abomination. slc1

    It certainly is; but not nearly such an abomination as dropping 6 15-megaton thermonuclear bombs on Iran, as you have advocated.

  3. Chiroptera says

    Remember, kids, you should never, ever fight against injustice or for liberty and freedom, because the result might possibly be even worse than the current regime!

    George Wallace was a hero, ’cause he knew that Martin Luther King, Jr, was coming this close to dooming us all!

  4. iangould says

    As an expert on abominations, Slc, how does being denied the University course of your choice compare with being suspended by your wrists and flogged with electrical cable until both shoulders dislocate?

  5. says

    I don’t understand why the right-wingers are so eager to attack Iran. It sounds like it’s turning into a republican paradise, really. Suppressed gays: check, women in their “proper place”: check, no abortion: check, no public displays of affection: check, religion firmly in the public square: check…

  6. slc1 says

    Re iangould @ #4

    Is Mr. Gould so naive as to believe that the crimes committed under the Shah’s regime ceased upon his departure? Not a bit of it. Only now, it’s uppity women and gays who experience them. Along with other political dissidents. And by the way, we see the same thing happening in Egypt as the Muslim Brotherhood consolidates their power there. Once again, as bad as Mubarak was, his successors are worse. Just as the Shah’s successors are worse then he was.

    Re Chiroptera

    No Mr. Chiroptera, the moral of the story is that, in overthrowing one tyranny, one should be careful that it not lead to the installation of a worse tyranny. An ongoing example is the current events in Syria where Obama has come under intense criticism for not openly supporting those trying to overthrow the Assad kleptocracy, when many of them consist of Al Qaeda and Muslim Brotherhood elements.

  7. Chiroptera says

    slc1, #6: No Mr. Chiroptera, the moral of the story is that, in overthrowing one tyranny, one should be careful that it not lead to the installation of a worse tyranny.

    Yeah, that’s pretty easy to say for someone who isn’t living under the original tyranny and after the fact decide that the new tyranny is worse.

    Is there any other brilliant advice that you, sitting in the comfort of your home or office, can give to our cousins overseas that are actually risking their lives and livelihoods fighting against oppressive regimes?

  8. says

    in overthrowing one tyranny, one should be careful that it not lead to the installation of a worse tyranny

    It’s more subtle than that: one should be aware that almost always revolutions lead to worse tyrannies than before. Simply because it’s easier to get people to agree that they don’t like the current tyrant than to agree on what they will replace the tyranny with once they overthrow it. Then, there’s always chaos and infighting and what you wind up with is the most vicious political infighters and manipulators winding up on top. Anyone who proposes a revolution needs to understand this and – well – I can’t think of any case in history where it has been handled effectively, so it may be the case that simply nobody knows how to do it.

  9. KG says

    one should be aware that almost always revolutions lead to worse tyrannies than before. – Marcus Ranum

    I’d say that’s overly pessimistic. It may depend on your definition of “revolution”, but here are a few for which your generalization does not appear to hold (for the recent Arab revolutions, including the Egyptian, it’s rather obviously too early to say):

    Corsican Revolution of 1729-1755 (crushed by France in 1769, but this was external conquest, not internal strife)
    American Revolution of 1776
    Spanish-American separatist Revolution(s) of the 1820s
    French Revolution of 1871 (establishing the Third Republic)
    Norwegian separatist Revolution of 1907
    Portuguese “Carnation” Revolution of 1974-5
    Sandinista Revolution of 1979
    East European Revolutions of 1989
    South African anti-apartheid Revolution ending in 1994

  10. Chiroptera says

    KG, #9: It may depend on your definition of “revolution”….

    It is also going to rely on rather subjective opinions on how to evaluate when one regime is “worse” than the previous one. Sometimes it may be clear, but other times I suspect that the evaluation is going to depend on whether one is supporting or opposing Marcus Ranum’s thesis.

  11. Michael Heath says

    slc1 writes:

    Once again, as bad as Mubarak was, his successors are worse.

    Citation requested.

  12. says

    slc1 wrote:

    Of course, those on this blog, including our host, who like to bad mouth the Shah as a no good bum, should be aware that, whatever his faults which were many, he was strongly supportive of women’s rights. The retrograde progress in Iran relative to women’s rights since the overthrow of the Shah is an abomination.

    A couple of obvious points. First, his relative support for women’s rights hardly erases the fact that he was a murderous thug and a tyrant with no legitimate claim of authority and that he was put in power by our government and kept in power on top of a mountain of American money and weaponry. Second, the revolution that followed his rule likely would not have happened if we hadn’t installed the Shah in power. If we had supported democracy in 1953 rather than putting a dictator in power to keep oil prices low, all of the brutality of both the Shah and current regime might well have been avoided.

  13. slc1 says

    Re Ed Brayton @ #13

    Counterfactual history is always fun as it is difficult to dispute the conclusions drawn. The problem is that, if Mosaddegh had attempted to run a secular state as the Shah did, IMHO he too would have been overthrown by Islamic extremists. The notion that the Ayatollah Khomeini and his followers gave a flying fuck about the Shah’s excesses is piffle. They were concerned with the secular nature of the state he was running and would have been equally concerned about Mosaddegh running a similarly secular state.

  14. slc1 says

    Re Heath @ #12

    If one is a Coptic Christian in Egypt, the current regime there is much worse from their point of view then the predecessor. If the Muslim Brotherhood is able to fully seize power by purging the military, as the ayatollahs did in Iran, Egyptian women will find themselves in the same predicament as Iranian women currently find themselves. Of course, the Ayatollahs had the unwitting assistance of Saddam Hussein, whose invasion of Iran saved the current regime there which was tottering at the time.

  15. Chiroptera says

    Ed Brayton, #13:

    Also, it’s certainly not clear that the Iranian Islamists would have been able to acquire so much support under a regime that would have been more responsive to the needs of the Iranian people.

    Even in the actual history of Iran that we have, the Islamists did not topple the Shah; the Shah was overthrown by a wide coalition of parties and factions. The Islamists were one part of that, and the one that was able to take advantage of the situation to take power.

    Not only would the Islamists probably not have been as powerful under a Mossadegh regime, they would not have had the allies they needed to effectively overthrow the regime.

  16. Michael Heath says

    slc1 writes:

    Once again, as bad as Mubarak was, his successors are worse.

    Me to slc1 writes:

    Citation requested.

    slc1 responds:

    If one is a Coptic Christian in Egypt, the current regime there is much worse from their point of view then the predecessor.

    Fail. If an increase in Coptic Christian suffering is offset by the reduction of far more Egyptians in other groups no longer suffering, than Mubarak’s successors are not necessarily worse and may even be better – that’s rudimentary logic.

    slc1 continues:

    If the Muslim Brotherhood is able to fully seize power by purging the military, as the ayatollahs did in Iran, Egyptian women will find themselves in the same predicament as Iranian women currently find themselves. Of course, the Ayatollahs had the unwitting assistance of Saddam Hussein, whose invasion of Iran saved the current regime there which was tottering at the time.

    That’s a prediction. You claimed the current government is worse. So if you want to be perceived as arguing in good faith, either provide a citation as requested or concede you got nothing – that your assertion which I challenged either can’t be known at this point or is false. And if it can’t be known at this point, it is in fact false since we don’t know, where you claim a conclusion can be known.

  17. says

    Weird how the overthrowers of governments that jail, torture, crush and otherwise suppress nascent liberal democracy movements are rarely liberal democracies, hmmm?

  18. slc1 says

    Re Heath @ #17

    The position of women in Egypt is already worse then it was under Mubarak. That’s half the population. Thus far, only the Egyptian Army stands between the Brotherhood and imposition of Sharia law in Egypt.

  19. Michael Heath says

    slc1 writes:

    The position of women in Egypt is already worse then it was under Mubarak. That’s half the population.

    Do citations give you hives? Why does a request for a cite have you almost always responding with more assertions?

  20. says

    @slc1: So because the shah wasn’r quite as bad, we shouldn’t criticize the current Iranian government? How does that work. Are we also not supposed to criticize Bush because we ended up better off than if he had completely abdicated power to Cheney or Obama because he’s better than John McCain?

  21. iangould says

    “Do citations give you hives? Why does a request for a cite have you almost always responding with more assertions?”

    SLC doesn’t need proof.

    He starts from the conclusion that we need to kill as many Muslism as possible then works back from there.

  22. slc1 says

    Re Ace of Sevens @ #21

    So because the shah wasn’r quite as bad, we shouldn’t criticize the current Iranian government?

    Huh? I never made such a statement and furthermore, I criticize the current terrorists clowns running Iran all the time. The problem here is that all too many commentors on this blog beat up on the Shah, who was not a nice man, without acknowledging that his replacements are far worse, especially for Iranian women and gays.

    Re Michael Heath @ #20

    Do citations give you hives?

    Not at all. There are numerous articles about the situation in Egypt that I have seen that indicate the desire of the current Muslim Brotherhood to impose sharia law in Egypt. Relative to the situation in Iran, here’s a post by one of the FTB bloggers, Maryam Namazie talking about stoning of women in Iran. I suggest that Heath consult her blog for information about the plight of women in the Muslim world.

    http://freethoughtblogs.com/maryamnamazie/2012/07/11/stoning-must-end-now/

  23. says

    iangould “He starts from the conclusion that we need to kill as many Muslism as possible then works back from there.”
    Lies! He starts from the conclusion that we need to discrimately kill as many of them as nuclear weapons larger than anything in the US arsenal will, which will break the backs of the rest of them, forcing them to be peaceful, or at least show deference in our righteous presence.
    That all SLC’s Bush Doctrine Plus will do is give them a profoundly rational reason to rapidly pursue decentralized programs to attain, spread and store enough nuclear weapons that we can’t know about or hit all of them, simply to MADD themselves a bunker of protection from SLC is another matter. And by “another matter” I mean “the same matter, but from the other side’s point of view”.

  24. says

    @slc1: Then what was your point in #1? Were you just trying to do a threadjack? It’s not even an appeal to bigger problems since you were trying to say that he should be criticizing the entity he is criticizing now instead of someone he isn’t criticizing at the moment.

  25. slc1 says

    Re Michael Heath @ #20

    And by the way, Israel doesn’t get a pass here either. There have been a number of stoning incidents in Jerusalem by Jewish hooligans against women who they consider to be dressed immodestly. The Netanyahu government has thus far declined to crack down heavily on these bullies, which is not to their credit.

  26. slc1 says

    Re Ace of Sevens @ #25

    Apparently Mr. Sevens has a reading comprehension problem. Our host posted a commentary on the situation of women in Iran. I pointed out that the situation of women under the Shah was far better then it is under the Ayatollahs, because the Shah was a secularist. Hope that solves Mr. Seven’s problem.

  27. DrVanNostrand says

    @slc1
    Using an article about stoning in Iran to argue that the current Egyptian government is worse than the last one is incredibly stupid. Do you have any actual evidence that the current Egyptian regime is worse for women than Mubarak? Have they recently adopted policies authorizing stoning women? Have they adopted any policies restricting access to education for women? Or are you just screeching ignorant propaganda?

  28. Michael Heath says

    iangould writes:

    [slc1] starts from the conclusion that we need to kill as many Muslism as possible then works back from there.

    I don’t observe any antipathy towards Muslims from slc1; instead I observe a whole lot of antipathy for those who would, “throw Israel under the bus” – both real and imagined. That set would include both of us.

  29. Chiroptera says

    slc1, #23: The problem here is that all too many commentors on this blog beat up on the Shah, who was not a nice man, without acknowledging that his replacements are far worse, especially for Iranian women and gays.

    Right, and they’ll be so much better of after a dozen 15 megaton nuclear bombs have been dropped on their heads.

    Let’s be very clear about this: slc1 doesn’t actually care about women or gays in Iran or in Syria. To him, they are merely “eggs” that need to be “cracked” to make his omelette.

  30. slc1 says

    Re Modusoperandi @ #31

    Just to set the record straight, I stated that there was nothing wrong with Iran that a half dozen 15 megaton bombs wouldn’t cure. A half dozen, not a dozen.

    As for Syria, I support the Obama administration’s policy of exercising great caution. Our ill thought out activities in Iraq should give anyone pause before advocating active intervention.

  31. says

    slc1 “Re Modusoperandi @ #31 Just to set the record straight, I stated that there was nothing wrong with Iran that a half dozen 15 megaton bombs wouldn’t cure. A half dozen, not a dozen.”
    1. Thank goodness. Only six. Twelve, that would be crazy.
    2. #31 wasn’t me. I was making fun of you, though. Still am. I’m cheeky.

  32. iangould says

    Q: How is expressing a desire to see millions of people die in agony and millions more suffer hideous crippling injuries like fucking a chimpanzee?

    A: You do it once and people never let you hear the end of it.

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