Marjane and Her Feminism in Persepolis

By: Rachel Lyle, April 14th, 2017

In her book Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi discusses feminist and feminism and the ways in which her and her female friends approached how to have equal dress codes for both genders. She talks about how the women were required to dress differently then men by the state and the rules and regulations on how they were allowed to dress were very restrictive and extremist. She talks about the small ways her and her fellows students would try to defy the law and show their femininity, “Our struggles was more discreet. It hinged in the little details. To out leaders the smallest thing could be a subject of subversion. Showing your wrist. A loud laugh. Having a walkman. In short…everything was a pretext to arrest. I even remember spending an entire day at the committee because of a pair of red socks.” (Pg. 302, boxes 3-5).

She talks about one instance in which she had to sit through a mandatory assembly on how the women needed to wear longer head scarves and skinnier pants, in other words more restrictive clothing. At the end she stands up and says to the speaker the they want her to wear these things but she says as an art student she needs to move freely to do her work and while they are trying to cover up the women the men can wear whatever they want, tight clothing if they want, wear whatever hairstyle they want while the women are being forced to cover up so that they do not excite the men in any way. She asked why were women expected to feel nothing when the men wore tight, revealing clothing but the women were expected to cover up because their hair and bodies were going to excite the men. Because of this speech that she makes the was later asked by the school and the state to design an outfit for women that would allow women to perform well as art students but not reconsidered too revealing according to the school and the state.


I believe that her standing up and giving this speech at the assembly was a very brave act as well as the right act to choose. I believe that she was standing up for what she believed was right and standing up for things that she believed were rights to her and her fellow women. I believe that this was the right thing for her to do. She was, i believe standing up to her oppressors to show them that what they were doing and how they were treating the genders differently was the wrong way to go about controlling the people. I believe personal that making the women cover up in veils and head scarves and wear trousers that were wide and loose to cover up their shape to keep them men from being excited but letting the men go with their heads uncovered, do what they wanted with their hair, and letting them wear whatever they wanted was wrong. In my opinion I believe that if you make one gender wear something or cover something you should make the other gender wear or cover up the same thing. I believe that the men should have been made to wear a turban or a head scarf of some sort and loose trouser as well or the women should have been allowed to uncover their heads and wear what ever they wanted as well so that one gender did not feel oppressed compared to the other.

I believe that the veil and the headscarf that was and still is a requirement to be worn by women in many eastern countries and beliefs is a form of oppression of women that shows a sexism among these cultures and should not be a part of their dress or if this is not able to be done then I believe that it should be optional to wear or not to wear the veil or the headscarf. I

believe that the veil and the head scarf in many place and religions is a form of showing a favoritism of one gender over the other.

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