Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date




Publication Title

Familiar and Foreign: Identity in Iranian Film and Literature, Chapter 2




[From the Introduction] The idea that language embodies patriarchal thought processes, severing women writers from the written language and from their own words, was first elaborated by the French feminist theorists Luce Irigaray and Hélène Cixous. Irigaray argues, for example, that language generally denies women a distinct subjectivity, with the result that the voice of women has largely been excluded from mainstream cultural discourse (Donovan). In this chapter, I juxtapose this theory to the obstacles faced by Iranian women writers of life narratives. Is it possible that Persian could have impeded Iranian women’s literary aspirations, especially in the genre of life narratives? Conscious of the limitations of examining Iranian culture through a Western cultural gaze, I do not depend on Western theorists alone. Instead, I analyze the roots of the language as much as possible.


The PDF version of this chapter was downloaded from the open access publisher site: Athabasca University Press

Original Publication Citation

Goldin, F. D. (2015). Overcoming gender: The impact of the Persian language on Iranian women’s confessional literature. In M. Mannani & V. Thompson (Eds.), Familiar and Foreign: Identity in Iranian Film and Literature (pp. 31-60). Alberta, Canada: Athabasca University.