Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The Intersectional Experiences of Iranian Feminists from Minoritized Ethno-National Backgrounds

Donya Ahmadi*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

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Over the past decades, Iran has been witnessing the growth of a burgeoning feminist movement. With its origins deeply rooted in the early 20th century, the Iranian feminist movement, as such, is not a uniform body: it embodies various, opposing even, political ideologies under the umbrella of feminism, reflecting the divergent social locations of its protagonists. While the movement has been criticized for its centralist, middle-class and at times apolitical tendencies, academic scholarship has yet to offer intersectional analyses that problematize historically rooted and daily materialized relations of power within the movement, particularly in relation to axes such as ethnicity (and race), religion, gender identity, sexuality, and (dis)ability. In light of this gap, the present article aims towards documenting and theorizing the intersectionality of the challenges facing Iranian feminist activists belonging to various ethnic nations and religious beliefs. Drawing on ethnographic research, it argues that minority feminists find themselves between a rock and a hard place: the rock being masculinist politics within their minoritized communities, which prioritize ethno-nationalist demands over gendered ones; the hard place being a centralist liberal feminist movement that fails to reflect the intersectionality of their experiences as non-Persian non-Shia women, thereby reproducing hierarchies of power in relation to ethnicity, religion, and class.
Originele taal-2English
Artikelnummer533
Aantal pagina's15
TijdschriftReligions
Volume15
Nummer van het tijdschrift5
DOI's
StatusPublished - 25-apr.-2024

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