Aharonian: Nationalism and Sex

I think it is easier to move a mountain in Armenia than talk about female sexuality.

How can you talk about something that does not exist in the first place? Yes, women in Armenia are “walking heads” and “working hands,” with no bodies of their own, no vagina, not even a clitoris (what’s that?). Pleasure? Female orgasm? Cunnilingus? Yuk! Nope never heard of it. Is that healthy? Isn’t that a “dirty” thing to do? Should “good” girls know about this?

We don’t talk about sex in general. We don’t hear about it in the classrooms since most of the teachers are too embarrassed to cover the issue—which is, ironically enough, part of the school curriculum. At university, awareness campaigns on healthy living or “how to protect yourself during sex” are almost non-existent since you are not supposed to have sex before marriage in the first place, especially if you are a girl. So why talk about something that is against the rules of the society? Better keep everyone in the dark…and well protected! Protected not from STDs, unwanted pregnancies, or violence, but from the threat of collapsing the Armenian nation and threatening the security of the country. Interestingly, that the control focuses on women’s sexuality.

Oddly enough, it seems that what I do with my own body as a woman—if I engage in sexual acts or not, when and with whom I decide to sleep with—is closely linked with the nation’s faith. For that purpose, the nation’s defenders and perpetuators of Armenian values (the leaders, authorities, health workers, teachers, priests, fathers and mothers, brothers and uncles) take the liberty to decide in my place how I should act and how I should use my own body, so that I don’t harm the nation’s reputation by thinking about my own pleasure and wellbeing.

One of the first words a child learns is “amot” (shame). So whatever you do that transgresses the limits of “predefined” and unwritten laws, the word falls on you like a slap in the face: “Amot eh”(Shame on you!). A small child runs in the house wearing only underwear. “Amot eh.” Innocently exploring your body while taking a bath at age four. “Amot eh.” Asking questions on anything related to anatomy and sexuality. “Amot eh.” Two people kissing each other in public. “Amot eh.” And the word stays with you—especially if you are a woman—throughout your life. Even if there is no one around to remind you out loud, it still resonates in your ears.

During our monthly “My Body, My Right” workshops at the women’s center, young women talk about all kinds of myths they’ve learned to believe: Men are more sexual than women. It is OK for men to have extra-marital affairs since there are things that they can’t do with their “good” wives and the mothers of their children (like oral sex). Men can’t control their sexual urges but women can. The important thing is that men have pleasure during sex; women can live without it, etc.

For a man to cheat on his wife is considered normal and very much tolerated by the different spheres of our society. As for a woman cheating on her husband? She is labeled a “slut,” “whore,” not worthy of being called an “Armenian woman.”

Men can have sex before marriage. It is awkward if they don’t. Young women who have sex before marriage are pjatsadz (damaged). They thought of their own sexual pleasure and are not fit to become housewives or mothers.

Even oral sex is mostly for men. Most of the participants in our workshops will never consider doing that even with their husbands. They are taught to believe that it is “dirty,” “unhealthy,” and “amot,” that only prostitutes can engage in such acts.

Meanwhile, young women are having sex, secretly and dangerously. But nobody is talking about it openly. Nobody is acknowledging it. AIDS/HIV is on the rise, as is abortion and several other diseases. But, hush! The nation is safe!

Lara Aharonian was born in 1972, in Beirut and lived in Montreal where she studied educational psychology. In 2003, she moved to Armenia and founded the Women’s Resource Center of Yerevan and its sister branch in Shushi.  She publishes a journal called “Feminist” and has initiated the Women’s Coalition For Peace in South Caucasus. She is also one of the co-authors of the book In the (Un)Space and the co-director of the documentary film Finding Zabel Yesayan.

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Lara Aharonian

Lara Aharonian was born in 1972, in Beirut and lived in Montreal where she studied educational psychology. In 2003, she moved to Armenia and founded the Women’s Resource Center of Yerevan and its sister branch in Shushi. She publishes a journal called Feminist and has initiated the Women’s Coalition For Peace in South Caucasus. She is also one of the co-authors of the book "In the (Un)Space" and the co-director of the documentary film "Finding Zabel Yesayan."
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47 Comments

  1. Lara, well-written but singularly retro-feminist (1968ish) in perspective.  It’s 2010 now – 42 years to know that libertine approaches to sexual ignorance bring yet more poisoned relationships, more disease,   more divorce, and more abortion (the genocide no one wants to talk about).
    Love, the unconditional love that Christ taught us, is the cornerstone of our Armenian identity, and it has everything to do with creating the proper ordering of sexuality in a committed marriage, between a man and a women, and fully open to the transmission of life.
    I implore you to widen the scope of your services and educate on the entirety of our sexual gifts.
    Gregg Dourgarian
    St. Sahag
    Eagan, MN  USA
     

  2. Bravo Lara for exposing the realities and stark inequalities that impede progress and advancement of our society.  Thanks for the courageous and lifesaving work you and your colleagues do each and every day to advance health and secure dignity for Armenias every day.

  3. Finally someone is courageous enough to have common sense about Sex in the Armenian community.
    I have seen so many Armenian families destroyed by such inaccurate and wrong concepts and myths about sex.  Enough is enough and please do not link sex with religion, it’s just a need that God provided us to have a lively life…
    It’s healthy, important and good for anyone!
     

  4. Not suggesting that existing double standards regarding men and women in Armenian society is good, but on the other hand, you’d not like what Gregg Dourgarian referred as “more poisoned relationships, more disease,   more divorce, and more abortion”. Very well put indeed. Amot is not a bad word, but you should learn how and where to apply it. Sometimes it’s a virtue that western society is missing.

  5. Vartkes, spirituality and education work together in understanding the gift of sex.  It’s as wrong to discourage one as it is the other.   Sex is not just to make things “lively”.  Christ came to complete the law, not to abrogate it.

  6. you’d think that after 70 years of communism we would get passed this B.S. It seems Armenians are no different than their Muslim conservative neighbors

  7. yeah, well written. its obvious that you are outside of Armenia, since the insiders are still far from this thinking. many applauds. but still, sexual revolution in Armenia has been taking place in night club toilets since early 2000’s, in its most ugly forms.

  8. Lara,
    Armenia is not the USA.  There are actually *traditions* in Armenia, and among Armenians in the Middle East.  Without societal norms, then you get a society like California or Germany: dangerously low birth rates, extremely high divorce rates, etc.  Traditions have been passed down to us from millenia.  They are a guide to sustainable living.  What you read and watch in Western media is non-sustainable and is turning everyone into the same garbage.  I prefer to live by the millenia-tested rules of Armenian family and society, than to go on some new fad (e.g. “sexual revolution) that has (pastoren) destroyed the family unit in the west.  From my experience, women who think and act in the way that you describe in this article will sleep around until they’re around 30 and then panic when they realize they’re biological clock is ticking and then get married to some random guy, have a child (or not), and then divorce after a few months.  So, yeah, it’s not just Armenians who think this way (about the sanctity of the woman).  It’s really all up to her…

    • What you describe are not ARmenian values and traditions. These are universal, and your description of western family unit is YOUR coated interpretation, in reality, there is a choice in developed countries, and indivdiuals are subjects and objects and thus can express themselves. Some get traditional families, others – non-. And also, there’s no panic, it’s your view of things, rather there is an experienced woman who can choose the suitable partner.

  9. I wholeheartedly agree with Gregg Dourgarian. We have survived for centuries because of our Christian values. The Islam will easily swallow us up if we follow secular, non-Christian values & lifestyles.
    Like Gregg says…sex was given to all, by God, but only in the context of a committed, life long 1 man for 1 woman marriage. Teaching other than what is a Biblical, God ordained, lifestyles is very dangerous and unhealthy for women & men. The double standards of ‘men can/women cannot’ is really destructive. What applies to women also applies to men…period!

    If Lara wants to teach women about sexuality…I am all for it. But the teaching has to in-line with what the Bible teaches (what our ancestors taught us for centuries) Why do you think Islam is gaining ground and so rapidly? because of the West’s accepting/legislating stupid things like same-sex marriage (this is really absurd) Just ask yoursleves what God thinks of this? It’s like telling HIM “you don’t don’t what is best for us…but we do!” This is really amot eh!

    I know that Greeg & I will not be popular with our thoughts and view. But we only have 1 audience,  and that is Jesus Christ, the only Son of the Ancient of Days! Never ever forget who is in charge of this universe! We will all answer to HIM someday!

    Ancient societies are no longer around because they let moral values disintigrate. With all the damage done to Tribes of Nairi,  we are still around thousands of years and millions of martyrs later.

    Lara, please reconsider your program for teaching sexuality to reflect God’s view!

  10. well written piece lara.
    one point i’d like to make. you say: “For a man to cheat on his wife is considered normal and very much tolerated by the different spheres of our society. As for a woman cheating on her husband? She is labeled a “slut,” “whore,” not worthy of being called an “Armenian woman””.
    where i come from, a man cheating on his wife and a woman cheating on her husband are equally abhorrent.
     

  11. this liberal madness has already allowed for the fall of European culture, must it swallow up the remainder of the world?

  12. It’s not about a woman’s sexuality but more so about her physical and mental survival, her having choices and most importantly her freedom of thought and life.
    Lara, you have much courage to educate women about their bodies and what can and cannot be tolerated in a country that is struggling with survival. Congratulations to you.
    Armenian women are raising these soon to be men… If all that these young boys see is their father abusing their mother and their mothers not having the knowledge or tools to stand up for herself – then how can we possibly have a nation that will ever evolve. It’s time to stop this abuse. And the time is now!

  13. Too many men, lack of women. Don’t get me wrong, but… it’s not about ‘being allowed in US, and not allowed in Armenia’, it’s not even about the “traditions” as I do believe this is what I called above ‘double standards of treating men and women’. It’s about a choice that should be well thought of. I don’t believe we want 12 year-olds having children like in UK. Children should have other games to play. Therefore, maybe before teaching about sexuality as Lara suggests, we should teach about common sense and logic. And as an Armenian woman, I would like my children be able to think before doing, that’s often not the case abroad.

  14. One more thing: Lara apparently doesn’t understand Eastern cultures like Armenia.  Armenian culture is much more similar to Indian culture than it is to European or American — the role of the woman is to serve her husband, bare children and create a good home for the family.  The man, in turn, has his role: to provide materially for the family and to love his wife and family.  This is the only sustainable way.  With woman and man both sleeping around before marriage, you don’t have the basis to start a harmonious family.  Which man wants to marry a “used” woman?

  15. Armen, you get on my nerves now! If you want a maid, be a MAN enough to be able to pay one, then your wife will be there just to accompany you. Which woman want to marry a ‘used’ man? Or should we take it granted you cannot control yourself? The main problem in Armenia is man not being able to swallow their pride, and stop talking about double-standards. Hypocrates!

  16. Armen – where do you live? because you talk as though you are not even from this planet, let alone from this century. If all you, gregg and gary read was that women should sleep around, well, i think you have not even understood the basis of this article. Let me simplify it for you. The issue is not that all women MUST have sex liberally and often before they get married – it is simply said that she should have the choice and not be judged for it. Also, it should be said that most men as well as women lack the basic knowledge about sexual education – this is not the same as knowing sex positions; its about your body – health and hygiene. By the way, did you know that the birthrate in Armenia is blow 1 and the divorce rate is VERY high? so perhaps its the lack of knowledge and pleasurable partnerships that is causing this too… no?
    Smith… in 2003 she MOVED to Armenia (its in her bio)
    Lord Aram – it is clear that where you come from is not Armenia, right?
    traditions are made society, and if they don’t evolve, they just become stale then obsolete.
     

  17. Armen, think before you write. A good family takes a ‘father’ and a ‘mother’. This his Holiness Aram I declared 2010 Year of Armenian Women. Take some time to educate yourself. If we, as the first Armenian Christian state don’t evolve, then how can our people, our community, our churches evolve. How can we possibly compare ourselves to Middle Easterns or Indians. We are Armenian. We are the first christian nation that has spent a lifetime in persecution. And look at us now, our Armenian persecute Armenian women. Our culture is diverse. We have our current Armenia with a very very active diasporan that ALSO makes up what our community is.

  18. I am not one of those who would attend your workshops, but I was raised in a strict family and am now married to a European who regrets he had sex before marriage. Some values are global. Cunnilingus can be of surprisingly low importance in a happy family with healthy and strong values.

  19. Lara, it is economical problem.
    “Armenian woman” without husband, even with higher education
    has very hard life – something like 100-200 dollars monthly, without any future. In that case only parents and brothers can take care or support her. From their point, they do not want to take additional obligations, and keep “Armenian woman”, let us say, in dark.  But I think, that “Armenian woman” is not such dark, as you wrote, I think, it will be better to collect anonymous statistics (do not know how it is possible in real life, but sure, that there are special ways) and then summarize results.  Sure, you can find well educated in sexual sense “Armenian  woman” :)

  20. > Armen – where do you live? because you talk as though you are not even from this planet, let alone from this century.
    That is all relative.  Americans think they’re god’s gift to the world and that whatever is American is right.  Maybe it’s Lara that needs to learn from Armenian (and Indian) culture, and not the other way around.
    As Greg says, Armenia’s problems are economical.  You want a healthier society in Armenia, then create 1 or more stable jobs in Armenia.  The rest is talk.

  21. > By the way, did you know that the birthrate in Armenia is blow 1 and the divorce rate is VERY high?
    It’s the economy, stupid.  (That’s what Clinton said.)

  22. I am just wondering
    1. How can workshops on sexuality and health care harm morality or Armenian identity?
    2. And why only Armenian women bear the responsibility to protect national traditions while men can do whatever they want?

  23. Hey Everyone,
    I am a young married Hayastani! Lived in US & Europe for short periods, bord and raised and permanently residing in Armenia! There are norms, needs (physical and psychological) and psyche, while in most of the Western world, they usually are balanced and go along together, in Armenia all 3 of them are in conflict with each other… I have dozens of single and/or newlywed male & female friends…. they all seem to come to the same point – love alone is not enough, sex is important, one has to test it, before marriage, it is essential to test sex compatibility with the partner before planning marriage, because marriage is not only norms, traditions and obligations, it is a contract of a life-time! And it is no longer about you, it is abother you, your spouce, your family and children to come! Secondly girls and guys alike always have the inner conflict, when… girls have their first  sex with and only with their new husband, they have never experienced something like that, with someone else, they always want to know, what could have been before or beyond this, this feeling is inparable, it is deep within and existent in EVERY Armenian lady, who has not had sex before marriage…. and guys who usually have at least had 1 or 2 sexual experiences before marriage (I mean the reality in Hayastan), either cannot commit themselves to wives, because they  feel they have not seen “The World out there yet” and have only had 1 or 2, and mostly for pay, so they do cheat, or if they don’t cheat, they just like ladies described above, become slaves to inner conflicts and complexes…. So there you go, you end up with 2 sides of an intimacy, where both have baggage, both have stress, I would say trauma, and this affects physical and moral relationships alike! The divorce rate is lower in Armenia compared to Europe/US only and only because of AMOT, because of the ill-fueled norms that say divorce is bad for family, for children, for the society, and families end up having children growing in wrong social and family environment, we end up having unhappy families with women harassed, and men unsatisfied and unhealthy both morally and physically. If you think the NORMS are keeping the Armenian society healthy and doing you are WRONG, the current norms are nothing but a SELF_DESTRUCTION mode, that some of the commentors above tend to promote!
    Norms in genera are good, are based on values and are made to help the society be organized in a given manner. Yet the right norms fo the Armenian society would be –  have safe sex, have moral sex, have it with chosen ones, even, maybe have it with felling …. but the society where the norm for a young adult is to pay for sex when you are 16 or 18, because AMOT-e not to have had it if you are male and are now adult, and on the other hand having ladies who fell in love, gave themselves to the lover, then brake up and feel like semi-human, with their life & psyche destroyed.  Or even more absurd, those who know she is no virgin, think she is available and start chasing and haressing, claming that the lady is no virgin no more and should be available to everyone now!
    This is no human, this is no norms, this is no traditions, this is the mass created by pseudo-traditions, set up by conservatives, because conservativism makes societies easier to conroll by the feudals and Armenia unfortunately for the last 10-15 centuries has been and remains to be feudalistic, and people remain slaves to the system….
     
    Thank you Lara for bringing this all up! Time to come to terms with the WRONG reality!
     

  24. P.S. Those who plan to marry an Armenian wife, where Marriage contract is boiled down to a Maid’s contract, I pray that they marry a non-armenian for that role! Armenian women deserve a family, not a kitchen slavery!

  25.  Lara, thank you for the article. Nice sarcasm, and clear thoughts. 
    I believe, that people will get more sane… in time…

  26. As it is obvious from the judging comments, people think that if they treat a woman like an equal human being and throw away double standards and just be more human, national values would collapse, women will start having kids at 12 y.o. etc.  loool ))))))))))))
    Lara, ts ts ts, you really don’t understand Armenian culture, don’t you see, the role of a woman is to serve…  whoever there is ))))))))))))))))))
    Well, women are becoming stronger and stronger day by day… which scares and challenges some men. Get an upgrade, folks :P.

  27. Erik from Armenia,
    If you were not already married, I would probably propose to you!
    Thanks for that note on Armenian kitchen slavery! Ha! True indeed!
    Yelena from America

  28. “Woman was made from the rib of man. She was not made from his head to top him, nor his feet to be trampled upon. But out of his side to be equal to him; Under his arm to be protected by him And near his heart to be loved by him”.
    I mention the above quote to remind all Armenian men that it is very important to have full respect towards mothers, daughters, sisters, wives and girlfriends, for they have the same rights as men do. Hence for any relationship to survive it needs mutual respect and understanding of their needs and desires, no matter what they are. You look for roses but find orchids, they are as beautiful and have no thorns.

  29. Because of the AMOTAA , b/c girls know that if they have sex before  the marriage the chances to marry to that guy goes down to zero (what will he  think ??? that I am a whore, if I can’t manage my sexual emotions !!!),  almost all couples keep  the “platonic  love”  rule before the marriage. It leads to early , I would say very early marriages, aftermath is a  high percentage of divorces in Armenia. Since later they realize that , except the sexual obsession, they had nothing in common.
    And ARMEN , why to compare it with India?  I would rather go with Muslim culture! just imagine you can have at least 4 wives and almost no obligations to be nice to your harem. You even can  beat them up… sometimes …just to have fun  !!!  As a women I would say that I would prefer the Muslim one as well – of course comparing with the Indian one. At least as a good Muslim wife I would not be  allowed to work AT ALL, as we do in Armenia to financially support our families and could  spend my days in a SPA salon or a shopping !!!!
    Thanks ERIK for your words.
    ARMENIAN WOMEN DESERVE A FAMILY, NOT A KITCHEN SLAVERY!

  30. No society is perfect. What we currently have regarding sexuality in this world are extremes. On one hand we have women being treated like sluts/sex objects in the West. On the other hand we have women treated like  possessions/domestic slaves in the East. On one hand we have teen pregnancies, child molestations, promotion of homosexuality, wholesale abortions, rampant sexual diseases, rapes, single parenthood, divorce rates in the 70-80 percent in the West. On the other hand we have severe domestic violence against women, subjugation of women and women suffering from psychological abuse in the East.
     
    The way women are treated – on this planet – is horrible. The only problem I have with individuals like Lara are the unknown consequences that their blind urges to tear down one bad social system to replace it with another bad system will lead to in small vulnerable societies.
     
    In final analysis: The West needs less sex, the East needs more sex.

  31. One thing comes to mind if we are to believe that religous doctrine is at core of views on sexuality:
     How is it that infidelity, having a mistress, is ok, but fornication, sex before marriage, is not?

  32. This is just not Armenia or armenian culture people from other cultures, especially the middle east think the same way.

  33. Come on people! Where are you living, southern Texas?
    Sexuality is part of everyone’s life. EVEN WOMEN have sexual needs and think about it… if it wasn’t important, it would be that goooooood! And oh yeah, most places that have rampant disease (AIDS or other STDs) in the world are not those places who have real honest education sex education, but countries where people know nothing about condoms or where their religious leaders tell them not to use them, those places where homosexuality is treated like a disease!
    So everyone grow up, respect each other and learn to have sex – cunnilingus or other forms and stop judging people!
    Cheers,
    sexually satisfied in Montréal

  34. To Apo:

    From one Montrealer to another…I would say you are a super disgrace to our nation. That is assuming you call yourself Armenian? I lived in Mtl. for 22 yrs. I don’t live there anymore but only due to political & language issues.

    Yes, sex is good and enjoyable but only in the marriage covenant!  I doubt if you have children? If you plan to have children what will you tell them? That you lived a ‘sexually satisfied life?” :(

    One maybe ‘sexually satisfied’ but unless one is married and your sex is with one’s wife and only with one’s wife…one is living a dog’s life!

  35. Mr. Dougarian how is it that men, much like you, feel entitled to talk about and classify feminism? You say Lara’s feminism is “too retro” or “too first wave” but I m sure that you are the type to have dimissed the whole movement altogether in the 1960’s. With the small gains women made thus far, you instead dismiss this voices as “an old thing”. I urge you to revisit your own ARCHAIC and RETRO, the “way too 1990’s” arguments you present here. I see a trend among Armenian men’s arguments which I would like to deconstruct and criticize here:
    This is the basic structure of your arguments (here, presented by Dougarian and Armen)
    – Sexal education/ sex/ sex before marriage/ exploring sexuality is not only anti-nationalist but actively destroying humanity: Women’s empowerment through sex education is destroying the fabric of tradition; it is also the root cause of social decay and massive social decadence. Furthermore it is the funnel transmitting western imperialism to Armenia. (According to supperblogger Armen, women are destroyers of german and western civilizations and special mentions goes out to Dougarian for accusing women of the genocide of the unborn (the children are our future remember?)
    Basically sexual awareness/women’s empowerment = destruction of life and culture. What an Archaic, expired, old-school argument! We all know that is not true! So….So 1980’s…
    here are a few thoughts:

    women can still raise children, educate children, choose children, nurture children, neighbors, friends, partners while having the ability to have the sex they want, when and how they choose within or outside marriage… the article make us hope it will be done in a safe, consensual, empowered and non self-destructive way.

    When accusing women of genocide or destroying cilivization, remember that they actually do NOT rule the world… in fact their situation can be seen as a symptom, not a cause of civilized decay.

    Some philosophical and witty thoughts:
    **Women have always been fighters, revolutionaries, warriors, caretakers, nurturers but this history is consistently erased and forgotten – it is luddites such as yourself who, with your primitive utterances, keep on erasing the existence of this reality over and over again (this is not recorded in history, in books, etc) as if in society it didn’t exist at all in the first place! Hello? We are the upholders of the nation and society! Thus, how is our own education, safety, information on our own the bodies anti-nationalist and anti-society? Women talking to other women about life, sexuality, bodies, culture and freedom has been going on for millennia…However also, the constant fight needed to participate in politics and make women’s reality REAL has been going on for millennia, its called patriarchal foolery….
    ** Western imperialism (westernization of the world) is an international, contemporary, situation which affects ALL nations worldwide, not just Armenia.  It is in NO WAY women’s fault, nor is it women’s responsibility or their role to retain the purity of ANY of their nations especially when they do not have political representation, access to work, potential for independence nor juridical protection from domestic violence. Moreover the most current and modern feminism (there goes the f word again), focuses on cultural preservation and integrity (and the role of women) in the face of western imperialism – how can you say women destroyed the world?

  36. With all due respect, In a perfect world, we would teach our sons and daughters to abide by the same rules of biblical sanctity, however, our world is nowhere near perfect.  Double standards do exist unfortunately and women are still  repressed under ‘cultural standards’, that seem to contradict biblical moral laws.  It is crucial for everybody, regardless of gender, to be educated about sex and not be terrified to explore their sexuality, as they deem fit. 

  37. i think armenia as a nation is behind in every catogroy, thank god for Lara for coming out and speaking out for many. Im born in th USA, and im armenian, its sad to see whats happening to my race, especially the women, this new generation of girls is totally horrifying. i honestly think that if we got over our retarded old traditions about oral sex and pre marital sex and this whole “amota ” thing, our armenia girls wouldnt be where they are right now. Im sorry i speak the truth. If we were more open about sexuality and the willingness to open up more, soo many armenian marriages would not be in dispare, we got soo many divorces, abouse cases, rape, violence, and adultery happening its sickening.

  38. We need to re-create and re-establiah our traditional culture, now that we are free from Communists and from Turks.  The dried-up, worn-out secular “Western” culture offers Armenia nothing.  Man is man, woman is woman.  Of course women should be chaste.  The macho idea that a man should screw around before marriage is not ideal, but also does not endanger the family.  It’s just a waste of time, and, well, sperm.  Sure, we should aim for a society where men have the means to marry at a young age, so they can get started making more Armenians.  But in the meantime, we need to crush efforts to drag us down to the moral depths of hedonism.  That’s how nations die out – screwing around during the years that they should be creating and raising families.  Yes, the Soviet abortion culture and oligarchic impoverishment need to be eliminated.  Those are existing problems.  But Lara seeks to compound our problems by weakening qomanhood and family.  SHe is an anti-nationalist.

  39. this is so stupid. when the relationships of the partners in an armenian family dont work well then the only reason is that the traditional armenian values are not being used or are being used wrongly. I do agree that when a woman gives a lot of importance to sex then she wont be happy in traditional armenianfamily life but the point is that such women are not and should not become our wifes. you want sex you can have sex, but you will never be my wife, thats the point of armenian men. we see that there are problems in our families, but we also see that there are also more problems in european and american families. so the europan way is not the right way of solving the problems, but maybe it is the further developing of our traditions. Maybe the solution shouldnt be satisfaction of sexual life with dozens of different partners, but understanding that sex is not the most important thing and thatyou shold focuse on more important values. after all our forefathers and their forefathers were not stupid people. those who think that they were dont know anything about history, philsophy etc.

  40. You can’t expect your views to be taken seriously in our times.  What you’re writing about is poignant and even tragic…but the views that you are talking about are antiquated.  Sadly, some places in the world are stuck in these times.  At the same time, the readers of these articles are not.  Instead of bringing attention to things that are already obvious to political news readers, give us some solutions.  I would like to read about how I can help, not about how backwards the world still is.   Lets talk about remedies…if i wanted to see how terrible the world is I wouldn’t even have to read a news article.  Be the beginning of the change that helps women in these situations.  I don’t need another example of how terrible the world is.  I imagine I’d be on board for your ideas about change…share them.

  41. oh come on people, you know about 95% of what she said about Armenians is true. Whether they reside in Armenia or in outside communities of Armenia.
    It is pathetic. A small percentage of Hayer are actually good Christians. The rest are full of, and excuse my french, shit. Stop using Jesus as a excuse to make your lady feel embarrassed for likely something God gave her. We smoke, abort, gamble, and curse as much as any other race.
    Yes I understand we have traditions and yes, i agree West is corruptive, but the problem with Armenians are they want the best of both world. They want to have fun but maintain “traditions”
    Like the geological landscapes of Earth, humans change all the time. No country or group of people have remained exactly same over thousands of years. Things change, it is okay.
    Sex is normal and healthy. Armenians need to get over it!
    And yes, our mothers and sisters want to make love too. Embrace it and populate the earth with more Armenians!
    Did you know we are one of the nations (possibly second after China) with the highest rates of abortion because everyone is ashamed to get contraception and girls have to undergo secret operations. Now that’s amot!!
    And you all can say what you want, but we all know Armenian men have more say and freedom than the girls. Liking sex doesn’t make you a child of satan.
    Some people talk as if God created the body and let Satan create the genitals.

  42. I dated an Armenian man for 4 years, was in love with him, and thought we would marry. When the subject of marriage came up, he told me that I would not be considered for marriage by him because we’d had a sexual relationship, I was not Armenian and therefore not a good choice for a wife for him. About 2 weeks after he broke off the relationship with me, he married an Armenian woman. For this reason, I would never recommend dating an Armenian man.

    • @CP – You’re wrong. Two of my close armenian friends (diaspora armenians) are married to foreign asian women. Not all armenians are racist when it comes to love. I’ve seen the same accusation thrown at men from my country (india). Some men are traditional, some break custom and go with their hearts. It’s wrong to generalize all people from a nationality based on personal experience. It makes no sense from a statistical perspective as well.

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