Persepolis: A Feminist Perspective Essay

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Marjane Satrapi says in multiple interviews that she does not subscribe to feminism; instead, she describes herself as a humanist. However, her graphic novel memoir, Persepolis, has several themes at its core that convey feminist ideals. Throughout the novel, Marjane constantly expresses frustration with Iran’s strict regulations on women. She also grows up with strong female relationships in her family; these women help shape Marjane into the woman she is today, a woman who won’t stand for inequality. Marjane has two influential female role models: her mother and her grandmother. Both women are outspoken, independent, and progressive. They always encourage Marjane to be herself and to never lose touch with who she is and where she comes…show more content…
When she sends Marjane away from Iran, she assures her: “I know how I brought you up. Above all, I trust your education” (147). Marjane’s mother doesn’t want her daughter to live in such an oppressive time. When the veils become mandatory, Marjane’s mother wishes to take her to an opposition demonstration: “She should start learning to defend her rights as a woman right now!” (76) In growing up with such strong female role models, Marjane learns to express her opinion and always stand by her beliefs. They taught her to stand up for herself as a woman, and in doing so, introduced her to a feminist perspective on life. In Persepolis, the Islamic state makes the wearing of veils compulsory, under the assertion that it is a symbol of both Iranian culture and Islamic religious law. While Marjane accepts the veil as part of her life, she rebels against the ideology it represents. When Iran begins to enforce stricter dress codes to ensure modesty, Marjane sees that the veil is a form of controlling the female population, a form of suppression. She rejects the double standard that allows Iranian men more freedom: “You don’t hesitate to comment on us, but our brothers present here have all shapes and sizes of haircuts and clothes. Sometimes, they wear clothes so tight that we can see everything” (299). Marjane must experience the misogynistic nature of the fundamentalist Islamic

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