World Ethnographies Essay

In both “Young and Defiant in Tehran” and “Veiled Sentiments”, the terms appropriate dress along with veiling have loaded meanings. In both, the two are powerful images. In “Veiled Sentiments”, veiling stands for the oppression of females by males especially in the Muslim world. It represents the cultural hegemony, or dominance, that the male, who make key societal decisions, have over the females. Notably, hegemony refers to the military, socioeconomic, or political control of sections of a population by other sections of the same population. Generally, it is utilized to mean populations that exert unwarranted sways in given societies. The veiled female does not enjoy freedoms that are comparable with those enjoyed by the rest of the society. She is a slave to and controlled by a patriarchal religion and the men around her. Veiling, in “Veiled Sentiments”, means the discrimination and setting up of women to suffer horror, violence, and dislocation in the hands of males, who exercise marked hegemony over them.

In “Young and Defiant in Tehran”, veiling means the clothing of persons, especially women, in the values and aesthetics that define the patriarchal Islamic republic. Veils have a restrictive nature. Veiling, in the text, means the efforts made by the republic to keep women away from consumerism and have them practicing self-restraint as a virtue. Veiling communicates to the society that particularly women should remain modest and modest. Veiling communicates to females that they are subject to a theocratic culture defined by religious dread, humility, and lamentation. The society in the text, like that in “Veiled Sentiments” has its veiled, or restricted, female not enjoying freedoms that are comparable with those enjoyed by the rest of the society. She is a slave to and controlled by a patriarchal religion and the men around her. The men wield marked hegemony, both cultural and religious, over her.

Dressing is culturally defined in the society described in the text. Individuals wear the suitable clothes for their societal communities and are subject to socially-agreed ethical ideals, religious persuasions, and standards except when they transgress on purpose to pass across particular messages or cannot afford the socially suitable clothes. In “Veiled Sentiments”, the males who dominate the society characterize the clothes that are socially acceptable for women. The patriarchal society and religion in “Veiled Sentiments”, which suppresses women, defines the appropriate dressing of women as donning a dramatic, black dress, with only two tiny openings through which the women can see their surroundings. The dress considerably secludes its wearer from her environment. Consequently, it is safe to suppose that appropriate dressing in “Veiled Sentiments” means the seclusion, or segregation, of women from the living spaces where critical decisions are formulated by men, who exercise marked domination over them.

In “Young and Defiant in Tehran”, appropriate dressing means donning clothes that are not linked to or linkable to consumerism and that express self-restraint as a virtue. The male-dominated society defines a suitably dressed woman as one who is in modest clothing that is acceptable in a theocratic culture. The men leading the Islamic republic manipulate the society’s mores and value system to sustain their cultural hegemony over women. In the text, appropriate dressing means the conservative restriction of women from enjoying freedoms that are comparable with those enjoyed by the rest of the society. It means the servitude of females in a society where males exercise substantial, or considerable, cultural hegemony over them.

Unlike in his society represented in “Young and Defiant in Tehran”, the society in “Veiled Sentiments” has its important societal decisions predominantly made by the males in the society. However, in both texts, men have hegemony over women. Among the Bedouins in “Veiled Sentiments”, men make, as well as enforce, rules. The text shows that the relationship between genders in the society is defined by the extant power dynamics, which are always in favor of men. The balance of power in the society is presented as essential in maintaining the extant social hierarchy system. Women do not the same power as men. Nevertheless, they resist the hegemony of men over them in various ways. The women recognize the power disparities in the society and male hegemony and seek to mend them. Notably, the hegemony is perpetuated by the actuality that the organization of the society is hinged on males as regards tribal order and paternal genealogies.

Although the text does not have the females’ resistance against the males as one of main themes in it, it has a receptive analysis and representation of the complexities of the patriarchal Bedouin culture. Bedouin women resist the extant patriarchal structures of power by standing rather firm against religious, social and ethnic hegemony by men; exploitation as regards the fruits of their labor; and subjection. The women traditionally resist power relations with the men. They revolutionarily resist fresh limitations on their classical freedoms that young men impose on them when they convert into Muslims or interact with non-Bedouins in urban spaces. The young women revolutionarily resist the older women’s traditional behaviors and values, which are rather accommodative towards males. The resistances take wide-ranging forms, which include defiance, collusion over and above secrecy.

In “Young and Defiant in Tehran”, the society in “Veiled Sentiments” has its important societal decisions predominantly made by Islamic republic, which is rather patriarchal. The republic holds marked hegemony, or command, over women. The women recognize the power disparities in the society and seek to mend them. The women are keen on resisting the republic, the ethical order that it espouses, and the patriarchal political class that rules it. Young women engage in pervasive resistance the subject roles that the republic and males assign to them. The resistance takes the form of daily, commonplace practices and innovative projects, which grow a defiance culture. Their specific acts of resistance include leading lives defined by sexual, as well as societal, licentiousness (Sadeghi, 2009). As well, they resist by developing their culture along with generational, as well as individual, identities.

The male hegemony represented in both “Young and Defiant in Tehran” and “Veiled Sentiments” colors the piety movement described in both. The women in the two texts are disillusioned by the hegemony. The Islamic state and the males in the two texts force women to support a religious system that is clearly unfavorable to their agendas and interests. The women who give in to the hegemony unquestioningly avoid sociopolitical arguments or struggles altogether for fear of the wrath of men (Mahmood, 2005). The women who join the movement embody personal piety practices, which appear to subordinate women to the highly patriarchal judgment of radical Islam. The women who resist men and the state challenge the associated patriarchal oppression.

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