Degree Name

Master of Arts

Department or Program



Yilmaz, Hale


Women’s struggle for equal rights in Post-Revolutionary Iran has left women to navigate between competing patriarchally prone identities, a secular pre-Islamic Persianness and a territorially bound Shi’a Islam. Because of Iran’s unique national identity, gender roles were dually affected. Representation of the male gender was normalized in both identities, stationing women into subordinate spaces populated by overlapping impositions on women’s equality. The necessity of women to carve out and occupy an elusive paradoxical space, for their voices to be heard, and which pursued modern women’s rights within the framework of Islamic ideological interpretation, left few terminal solutions.

The investigation of women’s voices illustrated how some Iranian women repositioned their resistance by working from within the chimeric spaces afforded them. Survival and persistence, liberal reinterpretation of Islamic texts, and building coalitions, allowed women to make inroads and stake claims, shrinking patriarchal controls. By occupying the implausible space between competing Iranian identities, women worked from within ideological coalitions, while inhabiting the margins of patriarchal prescriptions. While women’s efforts continue to be muted due to despotic state structures, chimeric spaces produce multi-generational, multi-feminist, and multi-gendered productions of patriarchal anxiety. Utilizing a creative hybridized chimeric space which is in constant flux positions Iranian women to penetrate, neutralize, and negate patriarchal impositions from orthodox interpretations of the Supreme Leader.