Student Research Paper
In this paper, I challenge the notion that Muslim or Middle Eastern women are passive acceptors of discrimination. After examining how Iranian women resisted governmental discrimination following the 1979 Iranian Revolution, I consider a number of factors that may have led to the reversal of some of these discriminatory policies in the 1990’s. How much of an effect did women’s demands for equality have on the government’s decisions? This question of effectiveness introduces a longtime debate between Islamic feminists, who advocate for working with the theocratic government and using Islam to frame their demands for equality, and secular feminists, who advocate for using legal and political systems to reach a similar goal. Following a critical evaluation of each approach, the question evolves into whether a radical or a resonant frame is more effective. After taking into account the masculinity and power complexes of government leaders, I suggest that a resonant approach is in a unique position to successfully manipulate the government, which could lead to the reversal of discriminatory policies. However, the women’s rights movement will be most powerful if the two sides put aside their differences and unite in the fight against discrimination.
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Mouritsen, Sofia E., "Active Resistors: The Women of Post-Revolution Iran" (2017). What All Americans Should Know About Women in the Muslim World. 15.