Afghanistan: Doll Teaches Young Boys How To Respect Women


Daily Caller: Afghanistan’s version of “Sesame Street” introduced a new Muppet aimed at teaching Afghan boys how important it is to respect girls.

The Muppet, a 6-year-old boy named Zeerak, joins his sister Zari to promote gender equality in education and life on the show “Sesame Garden,” the Associated Press reported Saturday.

“In a male-dominant country like Afghanistan, I think you have to do some lessons for the males to respect the females. So by bringing a male character to the show who respects a female character, you teach the Afghan men that you have to respect your sister the same way as you do your brother,” Massood Sanjer, the head of the channel that broadcasts the program, explained.  read more

7 Comments on Afghanistan: Doll Teaches Young Boys How To Respect Women

  1. What do you tell an Afghan woman with two black eyes? Nothing, you’ve already told her twice before.

  2. The creatures that go full jihad over a cartoon will NOT pay attention to a puppet. Sorry, you need to fight fire with fire.
    “Sesame Garden” should have a little girl with a big knife who shows other little girls how to make the disrespectful boys obey.
    Anyone remember Hassan Chop?

  3. Does Zeerak have a bottle of acid for facial disfigurement and single edged razors for genital mutilation in his Dora the Explorer backpack?

  4. There is an actual phenomenon in Afghanistan in which parents with no sons dress one daughter up as a boy, passing them off as such until they reach puberty (sometimes later). Perhaps what is most odd about this is that it’s not really for that girl’s protection (not directly) otherwise they’d do it for all their girls. It’s because families with no boys are viewed as having no upcoming “guardian,” no protection for the father to pass his paternal duties to, and it marks them as fair game.

    When the girl reaches puberty she would ideally just go back to being a girl because it’s not really that easy to masquerade anymore, but this sort of thing f***s with your mind–living life in a skin someone else sees as opposed to what you see, and living a completely different life once you drop the mask. Not just the freedom you had before, but also the mindset that develops when you are constantly treated and sculpted one way for years and then suddenly brought away from that and made to live by a completely different standard.

    Some girls don’t want to stop because they fear for their safety or marriage prospects, others completely refuse because they really come to believe they are male. Some transition back into “being” female, get normal jobs and marry. It’s a completely messed up situation and all done because an entire family is at risk if the only children they have are female.

    You can read more about it (and way better discussions than what I give here) in _The Underground Girls of Kabul_ by Jenny Nordberg. The only beef I have with the blurb here: is that the statement of “understood by women everywhere” is unparalleled in Western society–that is that while women have dressed as men to fight wars or gain rights, beyond any anecdotal instances there is no history of them doing it to protect entire families from a society that punishes women for being born female, and families for having female children.

    Anyway I started talking about this because I was going to say with a barrier so forceful against women’s rights it requires things like 25 years of pretending to be a man to protect one’s entire family, I don’t have a lot of faith in a freaking doll.


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