As a native to this strict Middle-Eastern country’, Satraps had much to discuss about the expected public behavior of women and the higher standards men were granted through gender inequality. Following the Islamic Revolution of 1 979, the new theocratic regime enforced strict moral conduct codes for females that, in effect, opposed women’s rights. Satrap’s description of her country aligns itself with the idea that women who openly spoke out and opposed the regime’s traditional values were negatively received by the government.
Women were expected to be complacent and diet, and failure to do so resulted in severe punishments, such as execution or imprisonment. When magazines published a photograph of Maria’s mother demonstrating for freedom, she quickly transformed her appearance and suppressed her rebellious personality in fear of the government’s retribution (5). This outspoken attitude was passed down to Marci who, on various accounts, was reprimanded and kicked out of schools and several residences.
Aware of the potential consequences her words held, Maria’s parents went to such drastic lengths to ensure the protection of their daughter that they sent ere to Vienna where freedom of speech was right was not restricted (147). Furthermore, women were especially disemboweled because their individuality was minimized when they were forced to wear a veil in public, a theme and image that are frequently depicted through Satrap’s style of drawing. The similarity between the female characters’ images evokes the sentiment that the veil erases all sense of individuality.
This obligatory accessory came to eliminate a woman’s body shape and protect women from the potential rapists who got excited by their hair. When Maria’s mother went UT in public without wearing the symbol of modesty, two’0 fundamentalist men saw it as their right to verbally attack and insult her since she was challenging the regime (74). The executives were very critical towards women who strayed from their straight and narrow path, as demonstrated when Marci was almost taken to the headquarters of the guardians of the revolution for wearing “symbols of decadence” (132-134).
This radical government system was not fully welcomed by the citizens, and Satraps described it as a suffocating and oppressive state where discrimination against women was a jugular occurrence. Gender roles and the power associated with them were clearly detectable throughout the comic; men were viewed as the bread makers and intelligent leaders of society, and women were housewives. Boys were indoctrinated from a young age to become soldiers, tempted with literal keys to open the gates of heaven, and fighting on the front line to earn their entry into paradise (99).
War propaganda glorified being a soldier, and it became less about fighting for a country values and more about using the military to protect territorial and financial investments. The young soldiers ere filled with a false sense of power because they were hypnotized into believing it would grant them access into an “afterlife even better than Disneyland” (101). Girls, on the other hand, were kept at home to make winter hoods for soldiers, still with the expectation of remaining complacent and quiet.
Satraps also criticized government officials by calling them hypocritical in their judgment of modest appearances. Numerous restrictions were imposed on what and how women were allowed to dress, whereas men were given the freedom to “present themselves with all clothes so tight they were practically sculpted on” (297). At one point during a convocation, Marci publicly confronted the administration by questioning if “religion was defending [their] physical integrity or if it was just opposed to fashion” (297).
Even more, Satraps depicts how men’s Offensive actions could be justified by the comportment of women, and how women were objectified and degraded by men. It was acceptable for a guardian of the revolution to marry and steal the virginity of a rebellious girl before her execution, as was the case with Nonlinear, the eighteen-year-old communist who was only given a dowry equivalent to five dollars (125). For a country that placed a lot of importance on modesty, the gender inequalities were far more apparent.
Although Satraps shares many of her memories on controlling leaders and discrimination against women, that is not to say that there are only radical portrayals of gender in Prolepsis. Satrap’s connection to Iran is strong and loyal; she believes the “entire nation should not be judged by the wrongdoings of a few extremists” (introduction). Maria’s family and her circle of friends were very avian-garden and would make subtly oppose the government by hosting secret parties with the opposite sex, wearing makeup, ND exposing tufts of hair through the veil.
Capitalism and anything relating to the Western world was banned and a cultural revolution was supported by the theocratic regime. Because of this uprising, females were expected to follow an enforced and strict conduct, and the conformity often became so familiar that an escape from the chains seemed impossible. Gender inequality is also explored throughout the comic, highlighting how men were given more freedom and power than women. Satraps portrayed men as being able to contribute to society and hold high-ranking titles, whereas the AR required women stay confined by the walls of their house.