Field of Science

Women may not watch wrestling in Iran

Today in Politiken, my favorite Danish newspaper, you can read (though you may not understand) that a Danish female coworker of the Danish Wrestling Union (?) was expelled from the spectator seats (carpets, really) at a wrestling tournament in Qom, Iran. She was first allowed to enter the premises duly wearing all black with a scarf, but after 20 minutes was very politely asked to leave. They organizers were very sorry, treated her very well, offering refreshments in a nearby VIP lounge. No harm was done, but she was not allowed inside again to watch her countrymen wrestle.

Why the hell not?

Not because anyone present really cared, Muslims or otherwise. Not because she was behaving in an inappropriate manner. Nothing like that.

They were afraid that the religious leaders would hear of it. And the point here is that that was most likely the only reason at all. I'm not saying that because of prejudice, but because Iranians I have met here in California have told me how life sort of revolves around - evades, really - the religious leaders. Iranians are not all the crazy fundamental Muslims that we often hear about. Rather, I have been shocked to learn that people drink alcohol, watch western television, and (!) arrange sexual orgies, all behind closed doors. An Iranian professor at a college in Claremont told me how she went back to Tehran to study this phenomena, and got herself invited to several of these orgies (just to study them, she assured me). She couldn't even begin to tell me the things she saw, much to my disappointment, of course.

So it would seem that life in Tehran is not much different from life in the West in terms of depravity, except behind closed doors. And except I have never been invited to any orgies. Sigh.

I'm thinking Iran might do very well with tourism if they could just get rid of their leaders.

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