Defying the Single Story

1.Why does Fadwa's story matter?

Fadwa's story matters because it shows a greater range of people lifting their voices in protest. Fadwa's story was not as covered as some of her male counterparts, who also took such drastic measures to have their stories and voices heard. This shows how gender and class can play into whose voice is heard in the media and whose is overlooked and brushed aside. Choosing to listen to Fadwa's story opens you up to hearing more than just the single story. Choosing to search out and hear from those who do not fit this single stereotypical story is important, as the media will often not show this.

2. Why is Persepolis banned and/or censored?

It is banned and or censored because some see what Satrapi is doing as misusing sacred space. Some saw the film and its use of sacred space as a "symbolic violence against the people" (105). Though free speech is important and the right to show a different opinion, some see the film as something that goes too strongly against what they believe and therefore wish to ban or censor it. One lawyer referenced in Performing Democracy says that there is "tension between freedom of speech and the confines of what is sacred space in the nation" (105). In other words, there can be much protest against the government without something being banned, but protest against God and Islam is a trickier line that some feel Satrapi seems to teeter on throughout her graphic novel and film.

3. Why does Persepolis matter to you? Is there a specific scene that mattered to you?

To me, Persepolis is just another example of why we need storytellers in this world. Without this story, the single story of oppressed women is all we here. With Satrapi telling her story, though, we see another side to things. We see that there are some Iranian women who want the veil, some who don't, some who want a choice, some who have no opinion on the matter. We see a very different country and group of citizens than what is often portrayed in the media. Seeing more than the single story is super important to me, and I think this is why I have such an appreciation for Persepolis and what it does to change people's perspectives. The scenes in which there are parties and booze and Marjane talking about sex are the scenes that show a completely different side of Iran than what I saw coming into this class. I so appreciated these scenes, because, often in a very innocent and subtle way, they made me realize my preconceptions and rethink my view of Iran and its people.

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