My travel diary: True Iranian Feminists



Joanna Horanin

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Last updated at 16/06/2024, 09:00

Hi, I'm Joanna, the author of The Blond Travels. In the worlds of Thailand and Portugal, I feel like a fish in water - and it's no coincidence! I've been exploring Thailand for over a decade, and I've settled in Portugal for 6 years now. My mission is to support Dreamers - just like you - in discovering these fascinating countries and helping those in love with them find their own place on Earth, preferably for good! Let's uncover these unique corners of the world together.

What a wonderful morning!
I went for breakfast and had an amazing chat with 2 young Iranian ladies, who work in my hostel.

“He didn’t want to be with me. He only wanted to be ‘friends with benefits'” – I almost spit my tea. That means they do IT before the wedding?? It turns out that women in Iran have the same problems as we do in the west. It’s actually really strange that we always think about Muslims as almost saints. They fall into categories of virgins and arranged marriages when in fact they live the same lives as us. They also live in the world of the Internet, Hollywood movies and book romances.

I thought that the subject of sex is a taboo in Iran. As I found out, Iranian women don’t really want to spend their lives in the kitchen.

“I don’t want to mother anyone. I prefer to focus on myself” – said one of my new friends when I asked her if she had a boyfriend. M. lives with her cat. She is also a curator of a gallery and makes extra money by working as a tourist guide. She doesn’t intend to get married. She says she’s fed up with men and their needs. She is a perfectionist and she will only choose a partner, who perfectly fits to what she wants. She hasn’t found her ideal Persian prince yet.

Our conversation dragged on. We talked about Tinder (they also have it there. “You just need to have a VPN” – added S.), about dying your hair and the cast system in India.

To be hones, I felt slightly uneducated when talking to them. I also had an impression it was the first time I had ever heard about men-women relationships. Maybe it was the age difference and the fact that they were so sure of what they wanted from life.

I met true Iranian feminists.