Gendered Media and Persepolis

Fadwa’s story is important for a few reasons. It shows the despair the impoverished feel, and how helpless Fadwa, and others, must have felt and still feel. It also shows the, for lack of a better word, corruption and sexism in Western media. Fadwa’s story blew up in Morocco and became a collective memory because of it’s relevance to the fight and the other protests that were happening, regardless, or perhaps because she was a woman. The sentence devoted to her story in The New York Times, and the collective ignorance of the story shows how Western media presents protest and says only men can fight injustice. Western media wants to believe and wants viewers to believe women will sit complacently while men fight the battles, and women will sit and keep the house and watch the kids, when that is simply not true. Stories like Fadwa’s are important because it breaks the message that women won’t fight. Of course women will fight, and will continue to fight with role models like Fadwa to keep us inspired.

The censorship of Persepolis in the Middle East is so interesting, because it gives such an honest depiction of what happened during that time period. In the west, it is great because it breaks the single story that we so often hear about the veil and the oppressive culture, but when it comes to the culture speaking out about the oppression, it is banned. I think there is more to it being banned than just the images of God, and a little bit to do with the democratic and western ideal of free speech. Satrapi exercises her right to free speech in all sorts of ways in Persepolis, and it is sure a culture shock.

I loved Persepolis because it made something so foreign to me a little more understandable. Satrapi did an incredible job bringing the reader into to story, and I loved the use of images combined with the child protagonist. It made me feel connected to this other culture that seemed so different from mine. The images and familiarity with Marji’s wants and thoughts and childhood refreshed my mind and thoughts with something I hadn’t experienced before. It was an easy read on a heavy topic and it broke down so many walls and opened up stereotypes to speculation, and I really enjoyed it.

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