Is the image of the victimized Middle Eastern woman accurate?

Question: Is the image of the victimized Middle Eastern woman accurate?

Khakpour:    You know someone once asked me, you know, why did you choose to write about Middle Eastern men and not Middle Eastern women?  I don’t know their reality.  I don’t know any women in Iran who have had to wear the ___________, you know.  I don’t know women of that era.  My mother, you know, was in Iran last in the ‘70s at the height of the __________, you know.  And she . . .  In the summers she would go shopping in Milan.  And you know they were quite western at that point.  I don’t know what it’s like for Middle Eastern women today.  But from what I’ve heard, you know Iran is the      . . .  From what I’ve heard, they are . . . they are a little bit perplexed by the image of Iranian women as incredibly downtrodden.  There’s lots of jokes, and proverbs, and __________ about how, you know, Middle Eastern . . . or Iranian women are this force and the real force of the household, and I tend to believe in that.  Obviously what’s happened since the revolution, it’s been horrible for women.  And you know incredible human rights violations have been specifically targeting women.  But I think their day-to-day reality is different.  And Iran is a country where the majority of people . . . university . . . the majority of the university students are women.  I think that’s interesting in spite of what’s been happening there.  So it’s tricky to speak on that.  Maybe that’s part of why I chose to focus on Middle Eastern men.  They’re . . .  I have an easier time imagining what it’s like for them.  It’s . . .  There . . .  It’s a more complicated mixed bag with what’s happening with women there.

Iranian women, Khakpour says, are the real force in the household.

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