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We are not innocent

vhiggins's picture

Has anyone ever questioned the existence of the "female gaze" ? By that I mean the look that some women give, one that is full of assumption and judgement, when seeing a woman known to act promiscuously, or a woman who does the opposite. Numerous times in this past week, I have been a witness to the extreme judgment of a women who chooses to express her gender identity in a way that is considered promiscuous or "slutty" in the eyes of society, BY OTHER WOMEN. Guilty of this myself, I think it is important to consider this gaze, because mistreatment by men based on a woman's lifestyle or dress is one thing, but for a woman to judge and mistreat another for these same reasons puts a huge, hypocritical hole in the feminist cause. We saw evidence of this in The Complete Persepolis when Marjane puts down her classmates for their beliefs and lifestyle, and this is why I had a hard time considering her autobiography a femenist text. Because Marjane was having sex, it seemed that she considered herself above her classmates because they were not rebelling against the state in the way that she was, and that made her independent and them frustrated and weak. 


EP's picture

Very interesting thoughts

I have also noticed that some women tend to judge other women for behaving or dressing in a certain way, and how that effects the feminist movement and women's interactions with one another in general. I also remember Marjane in The Complete Persepolis being judgmental towards her friends who have more interest in clubs or makeup, portraying them as shallow. It would have been interesting to get more than one perspective of what was happening in Iran at the time to get a fuller picture of how the revolution affected women (for example, from the perspective of women of different ages, classes, etc). However, in an autobiography, you get one perspective and the opinions and views of one person. That's one of the reasons I struggle with thinking that autobiographies can be a very feminist medium is because of that very reason: it's a single view from a single person.

juliah's picture

I am in agreement with most

I am in agreement with most of the points made in this post. There is inate hypocrisy in women inflicting judgment on other women for choice in dress, be it full coverage or barely there. Combating our world's rape culture is a formidable task, and when women pass judgment on each other, it effectively negates progress. While the video I have posted comments on a topic other than clothing choice, the common theme remains: when women censure one another over choices, it fuels body shame and rape culture. If women and their allies cannot join in defense of basic rights, how can they expect the rest of the world to?