Archive for the ‘Baby Boomers-Echo Boomers’ Category

Reflections of A Generation (pt. 5): Lifting the Veil – The Fight For Gender Equality in Iran

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Iranian Females fighting for Gender Equality


By Boomeryearbook.com

Iran Echo Boomers: Women Behind the Veil

Iran Echo Boomers: Women Behind the Veil

American baby boomers are well aware of the continual struggle to achieve gender equality in a male dominated society. In fact, Baby boomers, feminists, and other concerned activists continue to challenge perceived injustices to this very day. Iranian echo boomers are finding that their own struggles in this regard are very much akin to those that baby boomers experienced during the 1960s. The comparison is only in essence, however. For the Iranian activist, gender issues are more complicated than the simple bias of a misogynistic (in a cultural sense) social structure. Rather, there are the dual issues of cultural bias and religious beliefs that have to be dealt with.

What is worse, however, is that Iranian women have be subjected to oppressive restrictions under the guise of religion that in fact, have little or no basis at all in the tenants of Islam. What is problematic about this is that while cultural bias can be challenged to a significant degree, religious based restrictions cannot. Because Iran is a theocracy, challenges to the religious underpinnings are not tolerated. Protest of this nature will result in imprisonment or worse.

During the early period after the Islamic Revolution of 1979, this practice was especially rampant. Women, for example, could not seek a divorce from their husbands – regardless of the degree of ill treatment or abuse that was leveled against her. This is a clear contradiction to Islamic teachings which prescribe that women have recourse for divorce in abusive situations. Women, during this time, were also restricted from employment opportunities and it was recommended that they stay at home. Again, this is contrary to the detailed teachings of Islam which does not prohibit a woman from seeking employment (provided she doesn’t neglect her responsibilities to her family). Indeed, the Prophet’s own wife Khadija was a wealthy merchant.

Iranian women have been fighting these contradictions and other injustices since the revolution. Iranian women had gained many concessions prior to the revolution and truly expected that those hard won gains would continue under an Islamic system. While many, if not most of those gains were lost, a great deal of women had nevertheless benefited from the increased educational opportunities that were made available prior to the revolution. This resulted in a generation of educated women that were unlikely to settle for anything less than a level of gender equality that was commiserate with their understanding of the modern world.

Consider, for example, that one in every five Ph.D. students in Iran is a woman. About 56% of all natural science university students are women. Indeed, well over 70% of engineering students in Iran are women. The Iranian government, while not pleased with these numbers, has realized that much of the nation’s intellectual capital is invested in women. In order to compete on a national stage in areas of technology, business and other areas, it is necessary to have the input and participation of women. This fact alone has been a means for women to push the gender equality platform, albeit slowly, at least in areas of employment opportunities.

What is clear is that there is a desire for Iranian women to embrace many of the freedoms that American baby boomers and others Western women enjoy. But it goes beyond just wanting western style comforts; rather it is a desire to embrace those basic and fundamental liberties that are inherent to success and happiness. American baby boomers have shown that equal participation of women in the social structure results in significant societal contributions. In order for Iran to progress to its stated hope of being on equal footing with other industrialized nations, it will need to capitalize on the full participation of its female citizens.

Psychological Articles as Solutions to Types of Discrimination

Psychological Articles as Solutions to Types of Discrimination

The Psychological Article on
Reflections of A Generation (pt. 5): Lifting the Veil – The Fight For Gender Equality in Iran
is part of Boomer Yearbook’s continuing series of psychological articles on World Religions, politics and understanding as a solution to types of discrimination. We believe knowledge is power. We’d love to hear what you think.

Boomer Yearbook is a Social Network and Psychological Articles for Baby Boomers, Echo Boomers and Booming Seniors. Connect with old and new friends, or expand your mind and ward off senior moments and elderly problems with dream analysis and online optical illusions and brain games provided by clinical psychologist Dr. Karen Turner. Join other Baby Boomers to stay informed, receive weekly Newsfeeds, and let your opinions be heard. Baby boomers changed the world. We’re not done yet!

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Reflections of A Generation (pt.4): Behind the Veil – Women In Iran

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Iran Echo Boomers: Women Behind the Veil

Iran Echo Boomers: Women Behind the Veil

By Boomeryearbook.com

With the growing social unrest within the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Iranian government is facing a crossroads of its very existence. Young Iranian echo boomers (mirroring the socially active American baby boomers) are becoming increasingly vocal in their dissatisfaction with perceived social inequities. Chief among these concerns is the rights of women in the Islamic Republic. For now, they are looking toward their government as a means of change. How long, however, will it be before peaceful reformation gives way to forceful revolution?

Gender inequality is a social injustice with which American baby boomers are very familiar. It is certain that many baby boomers view the plight of Iranian women with a great deal of empathy. Iranian women, for their part, are well aware of the limitations they face and have been strong voices for change in their country. It is an ironic twist of fate that the plight of women in Iran actually witnessed significant gains under the previous oppressive regimes of the Shahs.

The Pahlavi government – which featured a line of Shahs from 1925 to 1979 – was a pro-western regime. Unfortunately for the Shah, Iranians were generally conservative Muslims who chaffed under the measures that were being advocated. The Shah was so unpopular, in fact, that virtually every rival faction in Iran was united to bring the government down and to establish an Islamic Republic. However, being a pro-west regime, the Pahlavi Shahs instituted a number of progressive reforms concerning women’s rights over the years.

In 1936, for example, Reza Shah passed a law that forbade women from wearing the hijab (head covering worn by Muslim women). Women also found themselves more involved in the workforce. Educational opportunities were opened up as well. Under the Pahlavi regimes, women rose to such posts as government ministers and even judges. In fact, Nobel Prize recipient Shirin Ebadi, was Iran’s first female judge. By 1963, Iran instituted universal suffrage and women were elected to parliament. American baby boomers, at the time, could have taken heart to some of the Iranian women advances.

Much of this hard won effort, however, would come to an end with the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Again, ironically, women played a very key role in the success of the revolution as they were instrumental in the mass demonstrations. Nevertheless, the problem is two fold. On the one hand, Islam as a religion has defined roles for men and women in certain aspects of daily life. On the other hand, Iran – like many other locales around the world – is a male dominated (some could say misogynistic) culture.

Dealing with the latter is less of a challenge than dealing with the former. Issues such as the weight of a woman’s testimony in court (2 women equals 1 man), mode of dress in public and inheritance guidelines are Qur’anic in nature. In other words, these are areas in which Muslims believe divine guidance has been given. For women to challenge these types of perceived restrictions is to challenge the religious foundations on which the state is formed. These types of challenges are generally met with firm resistance from the government.

However, in regards to measures that stem from cultural bias, Iranian women seem to have more flexibility. Employment opportunities fall into this category. Despite a high number of Iranian women enrolled in higher education (70% of engineering students, for example are women), employment opportunities are routinely denied. Thus the separation of the sexes hinders women in this endeavor.

Much in the same way American baby boomers brought attention and eventual resolution to gender inequality, so to must Iranian echo boomers. The Iranian government, for its part, must recognize the differences between true religious concerns and cultural biasness. Perhaps by relaxing many of the non-religious restraints, the Islamic Republic can begin establishing a constructive dialog for effective reformation for its citizens without compromising Islamic tenants.

Psychological Articles as Solutions to Types of Discrimination

Psychological Articles as Solutions to Types of Discrimination

This Psychological Article on Reflections of A Generation (pt.4): Behind the Veil – Women In Iranis part of Boomer Yearbook’s continuing series of psychological articles on World Religions, politics and understanding as a solution to types of discrimination. We believe knowledge is power. We’d love to hear what you think.

Boomer Yearbook is a Social Network and Psychological Articles for Baby Boomers, Echo Boomers and Booming Seniors. Connect with old and new friends, or expand your mind and ward off senior moments and elderly problems with dream analysis and online optical illusions and brain games provided by clinical psychologist Dr. Karen Turner. Join other Baby Boomers to stay informed, receive weekly Newsfeeds, and let your opinions be heard. Baby boomers changed the world. We’re not done yet!

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Reflections of A Generation (pt.2): Reformation Vs. Revolution In Iran

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Iranian Echo Boomer Reform Movement

Iranian Echo Boomer Reform Movement

 

 

Psychological Articles

By Boomeryearbook.com

There is a growing dissatisfaction among Iran’s large population of young adults. Some of this unrest exploded for the world to see with protests associated with the allegations of voter fraud with the recent presidential elections. As thousands of protestors took to the streets to voice their concerns (and the whole world watching on television), the Iranian government struggled to fashion a response that would quiet the crowds and not embarrass the regime. The current government is the result of a revolution itself – a popular uprising amongst the people at the time. Faced with eerily similar circumstances, the question is whether the current government faces a reformation or another revolution.

The difference between the two – in general terms – is significant. In this, there are lessons to learn from history. American baby boomers, for example, have defined the process of social reformation. The so-called counter-culture; baby boomers set out to redefine society in a mold that was in conformity with their understanding of the American dream. This redefinition, however, was to be accomplished within the scope of the established political framework. In other words, baby boomers wanted change but did not want to overthrow the established government.

Social revolution, however, is a different concept. A revolution identifies the problems that a society faces as inherent symptoms of a corrupt or failing government. In such a circumstance, the only viable solution is to effect regime change. Obviously, this wasn’t much of a consideration for American baby boomers. Ordinarily, such a decisive measure is costly in terms of human lives and infrastructure damage. Still, there are two points of interest that are derived from all of this.

The first is that in times of social unrest, the initial goal of the dissatisfied is reformation. Secondly, despite the constant chatter from talk shows and news pundits, it does not appear that the Iranians are not looking to overthrow their government. At this point in time (which is a key point for the Iranian government and its citizens) the call is for social reformation and not revolution. To better understand the significance of this and the lessons that should be well understood by the Iranian government if no one else, is illustrated in recent historical events.

The current Iranian government is the result of the Islamic (sometimes called Iranian) Revolution of 1979. Prior to the revolution, Iran was governed under a monarchy. It would suffice to say that history views this government as unpopular. Psychological articles inform us that the ruler of Iran, Shah Pahlavi, stood over a pro-western, liberal, and generally agreed upon, oppressive regime. A measure of the discontent in Iran with the Shah is that virtually each of the normally rival factions in Iran – religious, Marxist, leftist, etc. – all had one thing in common; a desire to see the Shah ousted.

Calls for social change and efforts for such (i.e. reformation) were often brutally suppressed by the Shah’s government.

Naturally, the widespread discontent eventually united the factions to action. Under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini, Iran witnessed staged protests of immense proportions. As one observer noted, there were more protesters than the secret police could ever hope to arrest. The Shah went into exile in 1979.

The lesson is that the Shah, recognizing the writing on the wall, finally attempted to enact many of the social changes that had been called for; only too late. Once revolutionary momentum has been attained, reformation is no longer an option. American baby boomers never had to face this dilemma - the Iranian government does. Now, Iranian officials have to weigh the choice of reformation or revolution in regards to its own continued existence.

Psychological Articles as Solutions to Types of Discrimination

Psychological Articles as Solutions to Types of Discrimination

This Psychological Article on Reflections of A Generation (pt. 2): A Mirror of Social Unrest In Iran Influenced by Baby Boomers? is part of Boomer Yearbook’s continuing series of psychological articles on World Religions, politics and understanding as a solution to types of discrimination. We believe knowledge is power. We’d love to hear what you think.

Boomer Yearbook is a Social Network and Psychological Articles for Baby Boomers, Echo Boomers and Booming Seniors. Connect with old and new friends, or expand your mind and ward off senior moments and elderly problems with dream analysis and online optical illusions and brain games provided by clinical psychologist Dr. Karen Turner. Join other Baby Boomers to stay informed, receive weekly Newsfeeds, and let your opinions be heard. Baby boomers changed the world. We’re not done yet!

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Reflections of A Generation (pt. 1): A Mirror of Social Unrest In Iran: Influenced by Baby Boomers?

Tuesday, September 15th, 2009

Iranian Echo Boomers: Mirrors of Baby Boomer Revolutionaries

 

Iranian Echo Boomers: Mirrors of Baby Boomer Reformers

 

 

By Boomeryearbook.com

 

Recent news headlines are awash with the political events that are taking place in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Perhaps at a glance, one might wonder why so much attention is being paid to the social unrest of a nation that is so distant to our own. A closer examination, however, reveals our fascination with witnessing social reformation. US Baby boomers especially, are keen to see the dynamics of change manifest in an environment much like the one that sparked their own counter-culture movement. Indeed, one could easily argue that the great experiment of the boomers has had a direct influence on the calls for social reformation that are now being heard in Iran. For certain, the issues that Iranian society is now struggling with (and the resulting unrest) mirror’s the boomers own fight against a prevailing social structure.

In fact, a closer look at the current social structure of Iranian society is not so different than the conservative landscape that shaped America in the 1950’s. America, prior to our own social reformation; was one of defined gender roles, a Judeo-Christian based morality standard, and a general resistance to any change that would disrupt the status quo. Iranian society could certainly be described in similar terms. Iranian society has definite ideas about the roles of men and women, it features an Islamic (which is to say religious) code of morality, and the government (including older generations) is resistant to any change to the system, especially by the present (which is to say younger) generation of citizens.

And it is this current generation of Iranian citizens that are becoming more restless with the current social structure and vocal in their dissatisfaction. This generation is young and very much in tune with the social dynamics both at home and abroad. Consider the fact that the median age of the 70 million people in Iran is 26 years of age. Further, an estimated ¼ of the population is under the age of 15. This younger generation of Iranians is better educated than their parents, and in this age of technology, they are very much aware of the more liberal (some would say progressive) social structures that make up many western nations.

Baby boomers are very familiar with this situation. They themselves stood at a similar crossroads. As America transitioned from the 1950’s to the 1960’s, there were many social issues that began to ferment unrest. Racial and gender inequality, participation in foreign wars, a negative perception of government policies, to name a few issues, resulted in baby boomers resorting to action. First there were the grass root information campaigns and voices being heard. This soon transformed into protests and political activism on a wide front.

By the 1970’s the counter-culture was in full swing. For baby boomers, it meant a continual drive to influence and drive the direction of society. This meant, on the one hand, to have a consistent and continual voice in the dynamics that formed the social structure. It also meant that their ideas had to have a platform, which turned out to be television, radio, movies, comics and other mediums. What we are seeing in Iran is a generation of Iranian activists who are taking a cue from their American counterparts, as well as their own parents who led the Islamic Revolution of 1979. Having the required education and communication resources has allowed for their own grassroots campaign to spread the idea of social change. Their voices have been heard. Again, using American baby boomers as a model, it seems that the second phase of reformation has begun – protests and political activism.

This Psychological Article on Reflections of A Generation (pt. 1): A Mirror of Social Unrest In Iran Influenced by Baby Boomers? is part of Boomer Yearbook’s continuing series of psychological articles on World Religions, politics and understanding as a solution to types of discrimination. We believe knowledge is power. We’d love to hear what you think.

Psychological Articles as Solutions to Types of Discrimination

Psychological Articles as Solutions to Types of Discrimination

Boomer Yearbook is a Social Network and Psychological Articles for Baby Boomers, Echo Boomers and Booming Seniors. Connect with old and new friends, or expand your mind and ward off senior moments and elderly problems with dream analysis and online optical illusions and brain games provided by clinical psychologist Dr. Karen Turner. Join other Baby Boomers to stay informed, receive weekly Newsfeeds, and let your opinions be heard. Baby boomers changed the world. We’re not done yet!

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