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Islam And Feminism In Iran: Rethinking Gender In Transgression And Resistance

1709 words - 7 pages

that the postmodern discourse is deconstructive because it creates doubt in our previous ideas about the truth, knowledge, power, self and language.
Furthermore, according to the cultural relativism approaches there is no single unity of patriarchy. However, the patriarchy, when it is under the question in an ethnic society, due to postmodern approach, should be analysed based on its unique ethnic culture and individual tradition. This view is an excuse to refuse criticizing the issue and would be also a reason to not raise any other cultural values in the society (Mehrangiz Kar, P: 18). I should add that this research will employ ideologies and critiques of Luce Irigaray’s, one of the fore frontal postmodern feminist, to analyze the issues of subjectivity and otherness later in the research.

The question to ask is how the Iranian society has been influenced by postmodern feminism thoughts? Due to the Islamic revolution in Iran, a number of Muslim intellectuals reformed their views. These Muslim reformers claim that they are not against the West and in fact, they inspired by some of their key concepts such as freedom, democracy, women’s rights and civil society. They do not agree with secularism and regard themselves as postmodernists. Therefore they introduce a new form of feminism: Islamic Feminism with postmodern foundation.

Via cultural relativism of postmodernism they argue that there are differences between women in the West and the women in the East. They conclude that the experiences and achievements of western feminism cannot be applied in Iran and it is a useless task to do so. (Jahanbegloo, P: 11)

Rethinking of gender among Islamic feminists in Iran signifies their inclination to embrace postmodern believes in their debates concerning women in Iran. Postmodern concepts contextualise Islamic perceptions and principles from a feminist point of view, and provide accessibility for people other than Muslims to interpret sacred texts and discussions on issues concerning women. In the world of politics it is assumed that Islamist movements indicate a trend that protects the old fashioned Islamic beliefs but these new movements are a modern trend. These movements can barely be regarded as a response to modernity; instead, they are a result of the modern reorganizing of Islamic cultures. Eisenstadt identifies them, “Jacobin dimension of modernity.” Islamic feminists in Iran take some advantages of postmodern theoretical means. They recognize the value of celebrating broad-mindedness, hopefulness and the motivation for self-knowledge and emphasise a postmodern feminist notion of multiplicity and diversity. Diversity in truths, responsibility and realities are elements of postmodern feminists’ motivation. Islamic feminists in Iran support postmodernists’ elimination of essential nature of women. This is due to a postmodernist’s tolerance of multiple truths and elimination of essentialism. In addition to postmodernist’s tolerance to...

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