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Women with Mustaches and Men without Beards: Gender and Sexual Anxieties of Iranian Modernity 0th Edition

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ISBN-13: 978-0520242630
ISBN-10: 0520242637
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Breaks new ground in both perspective and subject matter.”
(Intl Journal Of Middle East Stds (Ijmes) 2010-07-15)

From the Inside Flap

"This book is groundbreaking, at once highly original, courageous, and moving. It is sure to have a tremendous impact in Iranian studies, modern Middle East history, and the history of gender and sexuality."—Beth Baron, author of Egypt as a Woman

"This is an extraordinary book. It rereads the story of Iranian modernity through the lens of gender and sexuality in ways that no other scholars have done."—Joan W. Scott, author of Gender and the Politics of History
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 377 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (April 25, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520242637
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520242630
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #445,005 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By J. M. Howard on September 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
Living in Iran for five years, I became fascinated by one particular image of Iranian women. Not the woman in the black, cover-all chador, but the round-faced curly-haired sun lady, or Khorshid Khanoum, seen on everything from key-rings to hand-painted crockery. I wrote to Afsaneh Najmabadi, asking if she knew the origin of the image, and found to my delight that it would be the subject of a chapter in her new book, "Women with Mustaches and Men without Beards." It's a fascinating and revealing detective story of how images of beauty have changed over the centuries.

In the 19th century, the sun lady, rising from the back of a lion, was the national symbol of Iran, but gradually her face mysteriously disappeared. At that time, portraits of beautiful men and women were remarkably similar -- moon-faced, beardless, but sometimes with mustaches, and with heavy eyebrows joining in the middle. Further back, the most famous Persian love poetry was written to young, beautiful, beardless men, for which there was a word, amrad. Embarrassed scholars have never quite managed to agree on whether this important genre of poetry was homoerotic and sexual in nature or whether the beloved somehow represented an allegorical, neo-Platonic, divine love.

"Women with Mustaches" challenges our assumptions about beauty and whether it is inextricably and immutably linked with gender, male or female. The book includes beautifully chosen illustrations which make the argument all the more convincing.

Najmabadi, a Harvard University professor, uses Iranian history to explore ground-breaking ideas which may turn out to show a new way forward in gender studies.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book provides a less-heard point of view on gender, sexuality and modernization (read westernization) in Iran, with great applicability to the wider region.
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0 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Catherine Ann Falvey on February 25, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this book for school and was very happy with it until I started reading it for class. Once I got to page 177 it turned into a completely different book called Emancipation Betrayed about African American civil rights. Very upset and now I don't know how I'm going to be able to finish my assignment for school.
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