Gender over the Life Cycle

Infants may be called by a gender-neutral term, such as neenee, nozad, or baqeli, and then a bit later called a bacheh or "child," although sometimes this term has a male connotation. From birth until marriage, males are called "boys" or pisar and females are called girls or dokhtar. Circumcision and marriage defined the main stages of life for males. Circumcision, performed before going to school, marks boys as cleaner and better Muslims, and as moving toward manhood. Families celebrate the occasion, and boys receive praise, gifts, visitors, and special food. Boys do not show embarrassment at the attention focused on their penises. Under Islamic Republic laws, the legal marriage age for girls was lowered to 9 and that for boys to 16. Upon marriage, and thus initiation into sexual activity, females are called "women" or zan and males "men" or mard. Upon consummation of the marriage, the status of the two changed to that of arus, bride or daughter-in-law, and damad, groom or son-in-law. In the past, the daughter-in-law became subordinate to the mother-in-law and her competitor for the affections of her son. With the arrival of a child, particularly a boy, the young woman gained some status. The young couple then became bachehdar, those who have children, or parents. The parents, and more often the mother, might then be called by the name of her son: Naneh-ye Mohammad or Mama-ne Mohammad—Mohammad's Mother. Generally, the bride's mother provided the first set of clothing for the child. Relatives, especially women, came to congratulate the mother, bringing gifts if possible. As the couple had more children and then married them off and became grandparents, they gained status. In their older years, depending on their vitality and leadership, men could be called reesh sefid, white beard, and women, less commonly and with less power connotations, sar sefid, white head. Finally, the elderly were called pir zan, old woman, and pir mard, old man. Although younger people still demonstrated deference to them, they generally lost power and authority.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

If Pregnancy Is Something That Frightens You, It's Time To Convert Your Fear Into Joy. Ready To Give Birth To A Child? Is The New Status Hitting Your State Of Mind? Are You Still Scared To Undergo All The Pain That Your Best Friend Underwent Just A Few Days Back? Not Convinced With The Answers Given By The Experts?

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment