The Play of Masculinity: Gender Violence in Iran with Reference to the Case of Soraya
Gender plays a very important role in the creation of hierarchies within nation. Men receive preferential treatment by default, while the women get relegated to being second class inferior citizens, receiving negligible attention. All modern nations have long histories of gender violence and female resistance to tell. The instances of gender violence will be all the more experienced in Islamic nations like Iran. The paper aims to historically locate the constitutionalized oppression of women in Iran, identifying it as a product of the Iranian revolution (Enqelab-e-Iran) led by Ayatollah Khomeini. It will look into the Hijab culture that the revolution imposed on women. The paper will analyze the common failure of all revolutions to address the women’s question within the nation. The film Stoning of Soraya M. directed by Cyrus Nowrasteh portrays the barbaric punishment of stoning imposed upon Soraya, a virtuous woman, falsely accused of adultery. She becomes the victim of the acute masculine instincts that govern the nation. The verdict to stone Soraya is a product of patriarchy, the masculine nation, religion, Islamic Shariat and many more factors put together. The paper will analyze how the technical aspects of film making are employed to communicate the masculinity at play in Iran and to make the act of stoning (Rajm in Arabic) visually disturbing, even sleep-depriving.
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