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discussion notes - ndifrank & rosea

abby rose's picture

gendering in persepolis

-she return to iran, interaction with customs “sister” and “brother”— non-offensive way to tell people to fall in line; brings familial relations into it, equalizing? aggressive? passive aggressive..


discussion of misgendering, how it can be aggressive/microaggressive. 


power dynamics of terms of endearment. 


* what particular contribution can the genre of the 

graphic novel make to our understandings of feminism?


-softening the blow of a harsher reality; presents a difficult situation in a new way

-instead of just words, 

-images also make you more uncomfortable , which is a good thing — reels you in then teaches you a lesson

-attempts to inhabit a child’s space in the first part of the book; again, reeling you in with comics/childhood connotations, 

-persepolis IS a memoir.. a child’s perspective should not be written off. this book is not for kids, though. 

-author drew it wrote it put it out.. her whole perspective (empowering in itself that it is her product wholly)

-simplicity conveys the crux of inequality, in ways that a dense theoretical text cannot. the accessibility that comes with the minimalism of satrapies graphic novel makes it so that it’s so much harder to ignore the blatant injustices. 

-to counter: it doesn’t necessarily make it more accessible for everyone (i.e. disability preventing absorption of visual material/faces/etc.)



the question of whether accessibility is a good thing, 

a "feminist" thing: equalize access, yes?

well, but…


-you engage in a relationship with a memoir that is similar to a relationship with a partner

-differently from people, you are not affecting that book. 

-you won’t change thinking process of creating the book, but… in some ways in considering the author’s process for creating the narrative you are engaging in a give and take relationship

-also affecting it’s popularity/publicity

-but that’s the relationship with the author not the book

-BUT is accessibility a good thing? should we be reaching for full accessibility? do we really want equal access?

-can’t we just accept that they’re different ? 

-standpoint THEORY: you can have 400 pg novel from dif person in same country at same time, similar things but different standpoints


discussion reflection