Considering three people have already posted about the “wife-beater” article, I decided against subjecting you all to my long, dramatic, feminist rant. (You’re welcome.) And onto my main topic of discussion; Persepolis. (Yeah, I know a boat load of people have written about Persepolis, too, but I thought a 342 page graphic narrative allowed for a little more attention than some article on misogynistic slang for a t-shirt)
America is not known for it’s awareness of foreign events. Furthermore, American citizens are not typically well-educated when it comes to anything foreign, whether it be countries, events, or just basic facts. We know foreign policy, but that’s only because it has more to do with us than any other country. We know foreign exports, but we can chalk that up to a “made in china” label on everything we own. We are known for our arrogance more than anything else. Everything revolves around us, our initials are “U.S.” after all. And when you care about no one but yourself, everybody else seems less human.
I may be speaking for myself here, but growing up, I never really thought about people in other countries. I had a very egocentric way of seeing things, and other countries were just a blob on a map and nothing more. For some reason, I thought that all the people in those countries were different from me; they didn’t think the same way, they didn’t have the same feelings. Yes, that was very close-minded of me, but what can you expect when your raised in the most prideful state of the most prideful country of the world? Texans love Texas, and Americans love America, and I am both. As far as I knew, if you weren’t an American, you weren’t anybody; and if you weren’t a Texan, you were a “crazy liberal hippie”, as my Grandfather liked to say (unfortunately for him, you could be a Texan and a crazy liberal hippie, as I would later prove). I didn’t understand people outside of the people I knew, much less people outside of my country. For some reason I believed that any human qualities I had were lost in translation in people from other countries , but Marjane proved me wrong.
Marjane describes her life from young girl to adult, and in many ways it related to my own. The cultural differences I expected to be there were not as prevalent. She liked Iron Maiden and Pink Floyd, well, so do I. She had punk friends and trippy, meditating friends, I have those, too. She dated a jerk, I think everyone can relate to that one. Marjane and I had all these things in common; they were superficial, but we shared them nonetheless. But then I delved deeper; all the way into her outlook on life, and her emotions. She felt revolutionary, angry, prideful, scared, lost, confused, happy, and hopeful. She felt all these things that I have felt before, too. And suddenly the wall that divided cultures in my mind shattered. I understood that a language barrier, or a difference in culture does not change how human we are. We are all cut from the same cloth, even though sometimes it seems like we are worlds apart.
Persepolis taught me that we are a world full of humans. And most importantly, I can now see it that way.