“In 1980, after the downfall of the Shah and the establishment of the Islamic Republic, the Islamic regime introduced compulsory veiling, using police and para-military police to enforce the new rule. Despite the popularity of the regime, it faced stiff resistance from women (including some veiled women) on the grounds that such a law compromised the democratic rights of women…The fact is that both rejection of the Shah’s Eurocentric vision and the resistance to the compulsory veil represents women’s actiec struggles against the imposed gender role envisaged for women by the Iranian state.” (Hoodfar,
The emergence of the Islamic Republic in late 1970’s Iran demonstrates how middle class Iranian people purged themselves of the Pahlavi Dynasty in an effort to continue down a more righteous and egalitarian path. As a result, the country underwent a complete social upheaval and in its place grew an overtly oppressive regime based in theoretical omnipotence. In response to this regime, the very structure of political and social life was shaken and fundamentally transformed as religion and politics became inexorable. As a result, gender roles and the battle between public and private life were redrawn. Using various primary and secondary sources I will show how the Revolution shaped secular middle class Iranians. Further, I will show how the
Another historical event that we see is the rise and effects of the Islamic regime in Marjane’s life. This event is arguably the central issue that affects Marjane during her upbringing in Iran. Marjane shows how the regime begins to control schools, and how this affects her life by separating her from her friends (4, 3-4). We also see how the regime decides to close universities as they “educate future imperialists.” (73, 1-3) This demonstrates the negative effects that the regime has on society, as they prioritize Islamic values over education. The Islamic leaders portrayal shows them as upset and bored, and are given much different facial expressions than those that Marjane sees as intellectual (such as Uncle Anoosh (54/3) or Marjane’s grandfather (23/8)). This imagery communicates the backwards-thinking of these leaders, and as such, also effectively communicate Marjane’s opinion of the leaders without needing to discuss it with text. Additionally, we see both of Marjane’s views: Marjane not understanding the veiling and separation (3/5) as well as Marjane’s depression over the closing of the universities (73/7). The text here illustrates her opinions on the situations that she experiences, and the imagery allows us to see a visual representation of her basic thoughts and emotions, which are well communicated. A final example of the regime’s changes is the difference between the fundamentalist and modern women
One of the most controversial topics concerning Muslim women’s rights is the idea of the veil. It is believed by some Muslims that the veil is an Islamic obligation that all Muslim women must adhere to. But nowadays, the veil can have different meanings that are not necessarily religious. In her article “Reinventing the Veil,” Leila Ahmed addresses some of the different meanings that the veil can have. Marjane Satrapi explores one of those meanings in her animated autobiography Persepolis (2008). In Persepolis, Marjane tells the story of her rebellion against the Iranian Islamist regime that takes over Iran, oppresses women, and forces them to wear the veil. What was interesting to me was seeing Marjane wear the veil without being oppressed, although she does not believe in it, and is being forced to wear it. In Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi escapes being a subject to the Iranian Islamist ideology by establishing her individual identity through transforming the veil from a means of oppression into a means of feminist rebellion.
A young girl lives in Iran in the late 1970s, early 1980s and lives while the revolution is going on. She tells the story through her young self, and shows an accurate perspective of Iran in the 1980s. In her book, Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi’s perspective influences her representation of social classes, loss of innocence, and gender roles in Iran. Three themes that will be discussed is social classes, loss of innocence, and gender roles.
Faith Ringgold truly gave society a message to ponder, but she didn’t create the only notable work of art: Rebellious Silence also helped to stir the minds of many.Shirin Neshat, the artist, was born in the town Quazin in 1957. Unfortunately, this was a very hostile time for islamic women as they were being put under more and more restrictions every waking day. because they were putting more and more restrictions on them each and every day. Rebellious Silence was one of many portraits in the “Woman of Allah” series. These portraits helped to shine a light on the repression of women in the muslim culture. a.) Shirin Neshat created this series to show us that women have their own power, no matter their culture. Neshat’s main purpose for these photographs was to challenge the way society views muslim women.
One of these incidents occurs when Marjane is in art school. When the students were told that they needed to wear longer headscarves, Satrapi immediately responded that “as a student of art…I need to move freely to be able to draw.” She further questions “why is it that I, as a woman, am expected to feel nothing when watching these men with their clothes sculpted on but they, as men, can get excited by two-inches less of my head scarf?” here Marjane questions the restrictiveness of the veil and comments on the injustice in Muslim society and the gender inequality. The veil represent the repressions and the gender injustices in Iran. By revolting against the veil Marjane is able to protest the repressions. On hearing Marjanes complaint, the school administrators asked Satrapi to design her own veil. Marjane accepts this offer while still in the confines of the veil. Marjane designs the veil to suit the needs of the students and
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi is a graphic novel that provides insight into a young girl living in Iran during the hardship of war. Persepolis takes place during the childhood of Marjane Satrapi. It gives a background of the Islamic Revolution and the war in Iran. Satrapi attempts to guide herself in a corrupted world filled with propaganda. She tries to develop her own morality concerning religion, politics, and humanity. Satrapi was blessed enough to have high class status and parents who had an open mindset about the world around them. Thanks to her slightly alternative lifestyle, she is able to reconstruct gender norms that society has set by depicting the different ways women resist them. “Do Muslim Women Really Need Saving? Anthropological Reflections on Cultural Relativism and Its Others” by Lila Abu-Lughod is an essay detailing the misconceptions surrounding the veil. Through this essay we can see how colonial feminism, the form of feminism in which western women push for a western way of living on their third world counterparts, has shined a negative light on cultures all around the world - particularly Islamic women. The essay shows how women who don’t conform to American societal structures are labeled as women who urgently require saving. Through this essay one can develop a thorough understanding of the veil itself and the many representations it holds to different entities. Although in Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood Satrapi
When we look at this piece, we tend to see the differences in ways a subject can be organized and displayed. This assemblage by Betye Saar shows us how using different pieces of medium can bring about the wholeness of the point of view in which the artist is trying to portray. So in part, this piece speaks about stereotyping and how it is seen through the eyes of an artist.
Abayas, shailas, burkas, and chadors: all are forms of veiling in the Middle East, and all are perceived as symbols of oppression and patriarchy by the West. The veil worn by a Middle Eastern woman is striking and beautiful in its simplicity and elegance. The hijab, the most common form of veiling, leaves only the face visible with the neck and hair completely covered. Onlookers are in awe at the mystery and symbolism associated with the many veils created out of fine, exotic silk. But such notions of oppression and patriarchy often associated with veiling are not only inherently biased and ironic – it would be interesting to explore the symbolism behind a mini-skirt or a pair of five-inch heels, no? – but they are also inaccurate. Although veiling has most definitely been used in the Middle East as a “mechanism in the service of patriarchy, a means of regulating and controlling women’s lives” (Hoodfar, 5), it has also been used as a mode for rebellion and self-expression. Marjane Satrapi, an Iranian woman who grew up during the Islamic revolution, resisted the regime and the universalizing nature of the veil in the hope that she could maintain her individual identity whilst communicating her political ideologies. By examining the way in which the veil is represented in Satrapi’s graphic memoir, Persepolis, while also considering the history of veiling in Iran, it will become evident that the veil is not just a political tool used by male chauvinists; it also presents an
Utilizing nego-feminism, questioning subordination and preexisting understandings of culture, and the stark depictions of a graphic novel, Satrapi makes a compelling case in humanizing Iranian women like her. In this way, Satrapi reclaims the space of her identity and how it is represented and the ethics of doing so, and alters it in order to provide a more representative picture of her life in Iran. Satrapi tells her story with images of privileged characters whose politics, financial situation, and values well match those of liberal Westerners. Further, she demonstrates her autonomy, independent of the regime, in which she also is able to demonstrate her passion for spirituality and nationalism. She begins her story from a child’s perspective in order to alter preexisting perceptions about Iranian women overall proving her strong love for her family in a way that echoes American values.
Women’s rights in Iran or the Middle East has always been an arguable issue. Although there rights have been changed throughout the centuries they were never really compared equal to men or noone really accepted them. Specially for women in Iran, they barely had any rights in culture, marriage or other aspects of their lives. In the following essay you will read about the everday lives of Middle Eastern women.
Given that western clothes and icons were outlawed in conservative Iran, Marjane’s dressing up in jeans, denim jacket, and Nike shoes is an attempt to express her modern outlooks, Satrapi conveys the importance throughout the text reinforcing the conflict between Eastern values and Western values. In this scene, Satrapi embraces both cultures. She wears modern with a Michael Jackson button and Nike, and says ‘of course, my headscarf’. This displays Satrapi’s multiple personal identities: following middle eastern customs while sharing western values. A portrait image of Marjane is illustrated to show that she is proud of who she is and her posture and body language of her standing tall like she wants to show off her personality. But this doesn’t last long when she meets two guardians of the revolution that arrest women who are improperly arrested. When Marjane is caught, expressionism is used when Marjane is bawling her eyes out. The eyes look ghost-like representing the whole idea swapping personalities so that she could fit the government's likings. Marjane is not being able to fully express herself by wearing the clothes she wanted, doing her hair how she wanted, or listening to the music she wanted. From a young age is prevented Marjane from finding her identity and making her feel trapped. The revolution brought back Islamic ideals and customs, which were welcomed initially but soon became overbearing and restrictive and eventually totalitarian.
The Shah’s reign came to an end, but nevertheless, a young Satrapi found dispute in the world around her. The graphics exemplify the confusion Satrapi felt as a change in leadership suddenly changed what her peers and her parent’s peers chose to follow. Common belief spread that Shah’s overthrow was a victory to the people of Iran, but as expressed on page 43, strip 7, the young Satrapi could not yet practice her faith. Regardless of what many believed, she felt that the “devil” (Satrapi, page 43), had not left yet. At a young age, Satrapi learned of prisoners that were liberated a short while after the eradication of the Shah. Satrapi describes these prisoners as “heroes”; individuals who demonstrated their bravery by protesting in favor of their beliefs. The stories they shared drove Satrapi astray from her susceptible notion of morality. Now, unsure of how to arbitrate the difference between right and wrong, the young Satrapi appears increasingly adrift (I’m trying to say she appears lost, but I don’t like the word lost either). As emphasized by, “My father was not a hero, my mother wanted to kill people… So I went to play in the street” (Satrapi, page 52). This caption, along with images portrayed, represent the isolation the young Satrapi felt and further emphasizes her internal conflict. Satrapi continues on to write of the torture games she created after learning of what the “heroes” experienced in the prisons. Furthermore, Satrapi writes, “Back at home that evening, I had the diabolical feeling of power…But it didn’t last” (Satrapi, page 53). Here, Satrapi uses her creation of images to express such turmoil her adolescent-self sensed. The change of emotions, illustrated through the graphic images, acts as a symbol of Satrapi’s internal conflict to discover her true religion as opposed to that of
This is a significant aspect of the course because the article examines the strengths and weaknesses of femininity through a cultural Muslim perspective and the reading is a prime example of how ideologies regarding race affect those involved. In class we have discussed the significances of social constructs and how assumptions are made on the basis of physical characteristics. In this situation, identity is related to gender as Muslim women are categorized as both good/respectful and rebellious/evil individuals because they are apart of a culture where they are both oppressed and liberated simultaneously.