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DOI 10.12887/27-2014-4-108-10

Karolina RAKOWIECKA-ASGARI – On Women, Honour and Sexuality in Modern Iran

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The article addresses the complex issue of female sexuality in modern Iran. For all the discriminatory laws in the Islamic Republic, a variety of traditional and modernistic sexual discourses have developed playing an important role in the current political and social debates. Given the contradiction between the Islamic openness to sexual needs of humans and the oppressive policy towards heterosociality in the public sphere, sharia can hardly be left without interpretation in the changing realms of the Iranian society of today. The author argues that in some areas the state has been less restrictive than the conservative society. Having established the links between female sexuality and the cultural concepts of honour and social position (nāmus, āberu, heisiyat), the article reveals the fears and tensions in this field caused by the coexistence of traditional regulations, social changes and the release of female sexuality from the spatial control. Since the female libido is perceived as potentially destructive and the best interest of the family as depending on fertility, women find themselves in the center of the discourse of power, very much as in Michel Foucault’s terms applied in the article.

Keywords: women in Iran, nāmus, honor, sexuality in Iran, modern Iran

Contact: Department of Iranian Studies, Institute of Oriental Studies, Faculty of Philology, Jagiellonian University,
ul. Podwale 7, 31-118 Cracow, Poland

E-mail: k.rakowiecka-asgari@uj.edu.pl
Phone: +48 12 3704766

Pliki do pobrania:

» 108Rakowiecka.pdf

  1. ISSN 0860-8024
  2. The Republic of Poland Ministry of Science and Higher Education Value: 20.00
  3. Quarterly “Ethos” is indexed by the following databases: EBSCO, CEEOL, Index Copernicus (ICV 2017: 55.26), Philosopher’s Index, ERIH Plus.
  4. DOI Prefix 10.12887