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Critical Lenses: Feminist Critique on Persepolis

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John Cambridge

on 25 October 2013

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Transcript of Critical Lenses: Feminist Critique on Persepolis

They seem to think
Iran has always been a country of religious fundamentalists,
that Iranian women either have no place in the society or that they are hysterical black crows
. In fact,
Iranian women are not downtrodden weeds
: my mother's maid has kicked out her husband, and I myself have slapped several men who behaved inappropriately in the street. And even during the worst period of the Iranian Revolution,
women were carrying weapons
,” Marjane declares with conviction.
a return to the fundamentals of Islam
sithe: the Iranian symbol of death
Enjoin believing women to turn their eyes away from temptation and to preserve their chastity; not to display their adornments (except such as are normally revealed); to draw their veils over their bosoms and not to display their finery except to their husbands...
Quran 24:31, "Light," Dawood, p. 352
The Family Protection Act
Under the Shah (1967)
Under Khomeini (1979)
both men and women could
file for divorce

limited polygamy

increased marriage age to
18 for women and 20 for men

family courts established;
both men and women could
gain custody of children
women and children are
property of the man

marriage age for women
reverted to 9 years old

polygamy limits repealed

women lost right to file
for divorce and gain custody
of children
contrast between light and dark

sides of
the face

emphasize the change
contrast of color matches
contrast of expression
Feminism and Gender Roles in Persepolis
dialogue boxes
The Ulama

"those who possess knowledge"
A Shi'ite authority on Islam; a enforcer of Khomeini's (which is Quranic) law.
Overall, I notice that my eye easily passes
over Marji in the beginning, as she tends to fade into the background with her family. However, once she stands in the middle of the protests, her white shape is contrasted with the black bodies. Perhaps this symbolizes the way in which Marji becomes defined as a woman in the revolution. Perhaps it is simply reinforcing her innocence as a young girl, as she is clad in white in the midst of the darkness.
Works Cited
Mahdi, Ali Akbar. "The Iranian Women's Movement:
A Century Long Struggle." Muslim World. 94.4 (2004): 427-448. Print.
Botshon, Lisa, and Melinda Plastas. "Homeland In/
Security: A Discussion and Workshop on Teaching Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis." Feminist Teacher. 20.1 (2009): 1-14. Web. 7 Oct. 2013.
Kutschera, Chris, and . "Every Picture Tells a Story."
Middle East. 322. (2002): 49. Web. 7 Oct. 2013.
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