The Image of Women By: Amber Houck & John Fawcett
<ul><li>These graphic novels begin just after the Islamic Revolution and continue through the Iranian-Iraqi War (1980-1988). They reveal the corrupt Iranian government and effects of war. However, the most important piece that these novels exploit is the oppression of the women in Iran. </li></ul>
The Iranian Government forces all women to wear veils or chadors (full length garments). “Women’s hair emanates rays that excite men” (Satrapi 74) and the loose clothing helps hide a woman’s form. Women in the the United States have the privilege to wear the garments that they choose. Even the most provocative outfits are allowed. The negative effect of this is the portrayal of women as sex objects, but America is the land of the free.
There are two versions of women in Iran: The Fundamentalist Woman: The Modern Woman: Showed opposition to the regime by allowing a few strands of hair show. Covering up physical appearance by the bare minimum. Supported the repressive ideals and religious beliefs or was too afraid to show any type of opposition.
Women in Iran had their individual expression and freedoms repressed. They could not listen to western music or study western art. Anything remotely deviating from their strict culture was banned, especially Western influences. In the U.S. women are free to express themselves in any circumstance. It is actually propagated to be your own person and not conform to society. They are free to listen and study whatever appeals to them.
Women are prohibited from becoming president or attaining any high official government position. “The President must come from among the religious and political statesmen (rejal)” (Article 115). The word rejal literally means men of high achievement. Currently in the U.S more and more women are becoming judges and attaining government positions. Hilary Clinton is one of the top democratic candidates for President.
Women are in complete subjugation by their husbands. Women cannot leave home without permission. A husband can ban his wife from any profession and has the right to divorce his wife at any time with no notification. In the U.S women who are married have no limits or restraints. They are free to leave at any time. A mutual agreement between spouses has to be reached in order to have a divorce.
Iran’s constitution says a woman’s life is worth half of a man’s. A convicted man who murdered a woman is subject to execution only after the payment of "Deyeh" by the family of the victim. "Deyeh" is a sum of money that the victim's family has to pay to the murderers family for the physical damages, dismemberment, or death of the assailant. A woman’s life and a man’s life are Constitutionally equal and are punished equally. If a man kills a woman in the U.S. it is considered a heinous crime against humanity, and the family of the victim can receive compensation.
Iran’s penal code states that married offenders (adulterers) are punished by stoning. However, men are buried to their waste while women are buried up to their neck. If they are able to escape, they are free. It is obvious that the punishment is unequal. Most punishments in the U.S are equal for both genders.
Women who participated in demonstrations or showed any opposition towards the government or cultural ideals were mobbed and beaten. In the U.S. everyone including women have the freedom to assemble and the freedom of speech. Women can protest and hold demonstrations on any issue.
Facts and Figures <ul><li>Tens of thousands of women have been executed in Iran since 1979, when the Mullahs took power. </li></ul><ul><li>The worst kinds of torture are inflicted upon woman prisoners who oppose the regime. These include repeated sexual assaults and amputation of body parts. </li></ul><ul><li>Girls between ages 10 to 17 are the prime victims of sexual slavery in Iran. In Tehran alone, 4000 street girls roam the city on daily basis and are subjected to sexual and physical violence. </li></ul><ul><li>Women and girls bare the brunt of Iran's poor economic conditions. 700,000 children, aged 10 to 14, work in black labor market in Iran. </li></ul><ul><li>At least 22 women have been sentenced to stoning or stoned to death during Khatami's tenure </li></ul><ul><li>*All facts derived from www.wfafi.org </li></ul>
Conclusion To this day women in Iran are being oppressed. Iranian women have no individual freedoms. There is hope, however, there are many organizations that are trying to promote women's rights. Additionally, women in Iran are fighting their oppressors and endeavoring to instigate change in their male dominated society.