Ankles, elbows, and eyes

I’m halfway through Azir Nafisi’s Reading Lolita in Tehran and while it’s making me feel even more passionate about literature, it’s also making me angry and sad about the millions of women in the world right now who are denied basic human rights simply because they are women. I was struck by the fact, mentioned in the book only in passing, that for a time Iran’s top movie censor was blind. Perhaps that is the solution for all men who wish to make women invisible in the world. Forget about veils through which a few strands of outrageous, sexually provocative hair can escape. Forget about glimpses of tantalizing ankles and obscene elbows. Just do away with the eyes that refuse to see them any other way.

I also keep thinking of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale and how dismissive and short-sighted Mary McCarthy’s review of it was.

Here is Azir Nafisi’s site.


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