Study Guide

Women and Femininity in Persepolis

By Marjane Satrapi

Women and Femininity Theme

Turn on the TV and you'll see numerous shows judging what women wear: Fashion Police, What Not to Wear, countless hours of red carpet footage, Duck Dynasty. Okay, not that last one so much (though we love a woman in head-to-toe camo). The point is, women are constantly being judged by what they wear.

Iran gets around this by setting a strict dress code for women. The thing is, though, telling women what to wear is just the first step toward limiting their rights. They're also told how to act, what to think, and how to raise a family. We'd love to say, "C'mon, Iran, would showing a little ankle really kill anyone?" but sadly, yes, it probably would.

Questions About Women and Femininity

  1. Will women ever regain their rights in Iran?
  2. How do women treat each other in Iran?
  3. What kinds of female behavior is Marjane most shocked by when she's living in Vienna, and why?
  4. How does Marjane liberate herself, both in Iran and in Vienna?

Chew on This

Marjane's mother lived in a time before women's rights were severely limited. Because of her mother's influence, Marjane understands how important it is for a woman to live her life for herself instead of for a man.

Marjane returns to Iran a mix of Iranian ideals and European ideals. Her relaxed attitudes toward sex seem liberated in Western Europe, but are viewed as slutty by Iranian women.