Princess Tāj al-Salṭanah (1883-1936): feminist, Iranian women’s rights activist, writer, painter, mother of four and the first woman to discard the hijab in favour of Western clothes. 

It’s a measure of the changing mores of female pulchritude that she was considered the ultimate symbol of beauty in Persia during the early 1900s, when masculine features were valued in women.

It’s rumoured that 132 men killed themselves when she rejected their advances.

UPDATE: A grain of salt is advised – apparently this is a junk history meme,  (H/T: Ros in comments). However,Tāj al-Salṭanah (below) was a real person and there’s more to the story than meets the eye.

READ MORE: Princess Qajar” and the Problem with Junk History Memes (Victoria Martinez, A Bit Of History)


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42 thoughts on “What A Woman?

  1. Jonickal

    I’m confused. Is this a piss take that made its way in to Wikipedia or is this actually a real princess?

      1. Frilly Keane

        Well Ollie
        You must know by now that I don’t want anything deleted
        So I promise you it wasn’t done on my behalf or at my request

        so what did ya say anyway
        the kinda stuff you come out with over in the last gaff?

  2. Orla

    Seems like a powerful woman. What a pity (but how sadly predictable)her life is reduced to glib, mean spirited comments on her appearances.

    1. Nigel

      It’s funny how comments focus on mocking her appearance now rather than mocking the arbitrary nature of male ideas of beauty and how women are obliged to comply with them or face similar mockery. Which is to say if there’s a nasty joke here, it’s on men, and a lot of men don’t like that. More power to the princess.

      1. f_lawless

        and women have no role in setting the arbitrary nature to ideas of female beauty or in mocking/obliging others to comply with them? Let me guess, all the ills of society have men and the Patriarchy at the root… seems like you could be virtue signalling a bit there to me

          1. f_lawless

            I”m not exactly sure who or what “they” refers to in my comment. If it’s “women” then your TED talk could be worth a watch . If it’s “all the ills in society”a radical feminist TED talk is not my particular cup of tea. ;)

          2. Nigel

            I answered your questions in order. For something less glib see the debunking article linked below that touches on many of the salient issues.

          3. f_lawless

            For sure. Not least of which a salient reminder of how vital it is, especially in the times we live in, to use our own critical reasoning; fact check as best we can; and research the author (previous work, who funds them, etc) before accepting something that’s been posted on the internet at face value.

  3. millie st murderlark

    I’m sure all you lads here are the epitome of charm and good looks yourselves.

    Not a Guinness gut or thinning hairline to be seen, I’ve no doubt.

      1. millie st murderlark

        Kindle is probably my worst decision ever. I’ve spent so much money on my bloody Kindle.

        1. Papi

          Book riot deals of the day on facebook, saved me a fortune. Actually no, that’s a lie, now I just get many, cheaper books.

          And, mods, I cant believe ye took davids only funny comment, ever, away.

    1. Daisy Chainsaw

      In their own time, ‘Esmat and Taj were not defined by their appearance. Their accomplishments were not the result of either setting or copying cultural standards of beauty. They were women of merit and substance whose stories deserve to be told and perpetuated in a respectful and meaningful way, not diminished and ridiculed.

      It’s a shame that BS printed the original pictures, knowing their appearance would make for clickbait fodder and insults to women.

      1. Cian

        and perpetrating the myth that “It’s rumoured that 132 men killed themselves when she rejected their advances”. For one, the original ‘myth’ was 13 men. And for another – it is most likely total BS (as per ros’ article above)

Comments are closed.

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