Unveiled
May 16, 2014 6:16 AM   Subscribe

Over the past two weeks, Iranian women have been publishing pictures of themselves without hijab, as a protest to the 35-year long encroachment on their right to choose how to dress. [Guardian] [HuffPo] [Vocativ]

The facebook page, Stealthy Freedoms of Iranian Women, was created by london-based Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad. Over the past two weeks, the page has gained over 220,000 supporters and counting.

Alinejad emphasizes that it is not the hijab itself they are protesting, but rather the imposition of it. As quoted from the linked Guardian article: "I want to live in a country where both me, who doesn't have hijab, and my sister, who prefers hijab, can live along each other."

About Hijab in Iran:
In 1979, Iran had an Islamic revolution. The Pahlavi monarchy was overthrown and Ruhollah Khomeini assumed the role of Supreme Leader (Incumbent: Ali Khamenei). Under the new regime, human rights in Iran significantly deteriorated, especially for women. One aspect of this was the compulsory dress code (enforced by the 'morality police', a.k.a 'basij'), for which the maximum punishment of violation is 70 lashes and 60 days in prison.

[Previously]
posted by turnips (12 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
I salute their courage but am fearful about the outcome.
posted by Segundus at 6:23 AM on May 16, 2014 [4 favorites]


See also: Persepolis.
posted by oceanjesse at 6:35 AM on May 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


Much supportingness here.
posted by GallonOfAlan at 6:40 AM on May 16, 2014 [2 favorites]


I salute their courage but am fearful about the outcome.

They're doing so both aware of and because of the potential outcome. If there was no risk at all to appearing without hijab, this wouldn't be necessary or even meaningful.

It's a risk and it's their choice to take that risk and it would be an empty gesture without that risk.
posted by Tomorrowful at 7:17 AM on May 16, 2014 [5 favorites]


Awesome. A nice side effect of more women having the freedom of choice in this regard will be less grossness/sniping at women (in Western countries) who choose to wear hijab because it feels right to them.
posted by sparklemotion at 7:18 AM on May 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Some of these photos are just breathtaking. Old women, young women in hills, in the ocean, in the desert, hanging off balconies - they all look so joyful. I am not opposed to hijab or any hair coverings in any way if it is freely chosen, but clearly, for these women, they want the choice so badly it is palpable in each of their photos.
posted by Sophie1 at 7:18 AM on May 16, 2014


Just FYI - but the chador (the traditional Iranian style of women's head covering) predated Islam by a 1200 years or so.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:19 AM on May 16, 2014 [3 favorites]


Some of these are beautiful - I particularly like the one of the woman standing in the field.

Under the new regime, human rights in Iran significantly deteriorated

I am not minimising human rights abuses under the current regime, however it's a bit more complex than stated above. The idea that life under the Shah in Iran was a human rights paradise is not really true - you could certainly make the case that human rights abuses were widespread and vicious then, as well.
posted by smoke at 5:39 PM on May 16, 2014


The idea that life under the Shah in Iran was a human rights paradise is not really true - you could certainly make the case that human rights abuses were widespread and vicious then, as well.

Comparatively, it's a much worse situation. After the revolution, the institutionalised forms of torture, surveillance and general oppression were not abolished but significantly expanded.
posted by turnips at 6:32 PM on May 16, 2014 [1 favorite]


When I was at NC State in the 70's (when the Shah was in power) we frequently had protests on the brickyard by Iranian students who were protesting against the Shah. They had no love for him whatsoever.

I wonder now how they felt about how that revolution turned out.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 1:54 PM on May 17, 2014


I wonder now how they felt about how that revolution turned out.

Many of the Iranian students in the US who protested the Shah in our family circle* were absolutely devistated by the outcome of the revolution. Many went back to Iran and lead pretty dreary lives. We tried to get many to stay with us, but in the early days of the revolution things were still uncertain and there was a lot of hope for a better future.

*Note: Obviously our circle of friends and family wouldn't include hardcore islamists or anti-westernists, so it is impossible for me to gauge what they thought then or now.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 4:44 AM on May 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


Why Iran Is Banning Instagram
posted by homunculus at 6:02 PM on May 23, 2014


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