Suddenly, their 6-year-old daughter was now their 6-year-old son, a conceit everyone in the neighborhood went along with — it’s that common in the culture.
Azita herself spent five years of her girlhood as a boy and considers her time treated as an equal among men invaluable. “I have had their experience too, so I am never embarrassed to speak to men. Nobody will ignore my talent.” Mehran’s father has enjoyed the status his new “son” confers.
“Maybe I’ll just end this stupid life,” she told Nordberg.
“When I see him, I see only my son.” When Nordberg asked about what will happen to Mehran in the future — when his bacha posh has to go back to being a girl, and the impact that will have — he had no easy answer.
“This is the need for today, and I don’t know about tomorrow,” he said.
Politicians and citizens expressed deep suspicion: If Azita couldn’t give birth to a son, how could she be trusted to hold a seat in parliament?
Why would anyone want to be represented by such an abject failure, or a woman who perhaps didn’t want sons badly enough? Shortly thereafter, Azita and her husband came up with a plan.