You Have No Rights, Put the Veil On

In the first chapter, Marjane talks about the veil in Iran. There are two main ideas that shape this chapter. First, she compares women who wear veils with modern women. There is an illustration in this chapter that shows how women with veils on the left side are writing “veil” on the wall and how modern women on the right side are writing “freedom” on the same wall. This makes me think of how being radical in religion makes people blind to what’s right from wrong. Today, it’s mandatory for women in Iran to cover their hair. This chapter can show how women in Iran are suffering from their dictator government. In addition, it reveals how religion can sometimes have some negative influence on people if it was followed by words. Marjane thinks that veils should not be mandatory to women because it’s not a proof for being religious. Women can be religious from the inside even if they look modern from the outside.

Second, Marjane in this chapter motivates women to be rebellious and fight for their rights, such as the right of wearing western outfits and education. When the radical government ruled the country, they changed rules and the curriculum in schools. For example, Marjane’s teacher was teaching her how to appreciate the Shah who was a dictator. In addition, Marjane shows how mothers should teach their children about love and how to fight for their rights because they’re the future of the country. Marjane’s mother always taught Marjane how to seek for education and work on improving her community. Finally, although the setting of this chapter is in Iran, Marjane’s thoughts can also motivate women in the Middle East, such as Saudi Arabia and Syria to earn their equality back. This chapter made me ask myself, “how did the book Persepolis portray fundamentalism compared to western ideas and how did that affect the Iranian citizens like Marjane?