Tuesday, August 24, 2004

The plan, afsaneh reminded me the other day, was to blog from here. ok, so i flaked. but now i am back to blogging, i think.

R.'s father told me the other day that during the 15 years preceding the American invasion of iraq, he had many occasions to observe and even deal with the Mujahideen-e Khalq. Their behavior, he told me, reflected that of a completely matriarchal society. Once the Mujahideen came to his office to make a contract to obtain something or another they needed for their compounds. After some hours of explanations and negotiations with the men in his office, one of the Mujahid's made a phone call to tell their boss to come down to R.'s dad's office.

So some time later, a well-protected woman arrives, and all the dudes get up to greet her, after which point they start explaining to her the terms of the contract in persian. Once the men finished their explanation, the woman turned to R.'s dad and said in English "thank you, sir, but we don't accept." and that's it, all the dudes got up and followed her out.

R. and his dad also said that this type of matriarchal pattern was evident in everything the Mujhadideen did in Iraq. They'd see tanks, for example, that were driven by a woman while the men sat around. Young children were sent off to boarding schools/houses in europe, lest they distract their mothers from the work of the organization.

anyway, i dont know what to make of all of this. i've read that putting women at the head of the command structure was actually masoud rajavi's idea. So how is one to understand an apparently matriarchal structure that is in fact put in force by a single man? Then again, regardless of who initiated it, the structure may in fact have taken on a matriarchical life of its own....

ok, well, that is all i can manage for now. it will take me a while to warm up back to my old pace.