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Stealthily but Publicly, Iranian Women Remove Their Veils Online

Unveiled at the sea

A photo from the Facebook page My Stealthy Freedom. The caption says: “I experienced this freedom in my country for a few minutes, after 33 years. Persian Gulf. I will still be a woman even if you cover me with scarves and Chadors. What are you going to do with my eyes?! They are full of love and life.”

Forced for decades to wear headscarves or face arrest, thousands of Iranian women are now taking a chance on the internet and sharing photos of themselves unveiled and in public as an act of defiance.

An online campaign called “Stealthy Freedoms of Iranian Women” has gone viral since Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad launched a Facebook page on May 3.

The page has more than 303,000 followers and features hundreds of pictures of unveiled women — in the school yard, at the beach, on the streets, and in different historic locations of Iran.

Across social media, photos are shared with the hashtags #mystealthyfreedom or #آزادی‌یواشکی in Persian.

Masih Alinejad who now lives in the United Kingdom posted a picture of herself unveiled on Twitter from while she was in Iran. She says she does not oppose the hijab, but explains that, as a woman, when you do not believe it should be mandatory, you will create some “stealthy freedom” for yourself in order not to be destroyed by the burden of coercion.

Cool breeze blowing through my hair

A photo shared on My Stealthy Freedom Facebook page.

One woman shares a photo and a personal experience on the campaign's Facebook page:

We were on Nowruz holidays (The Persian New Year). We had set off for Abadan. I could not bear the heat and removed my headscarf subconsciously. Well, and taking photos is an inseparable part of traveling.

What gave me even more joy than the cool breeze blowing through my hair, was the sound of rhythmic horns blown by the cars passing by (as to encourage her) and the happy excited faces of my companions.

Although the campaign has been welcomed by a huge number of Iranian activists, some have also criticized it. Some believe the mandatory hijab should not be the primary political concern of Iranian women, and yet others have problems with the term “stealthy”.

Jila Baniyaghoub, an Iranian journalist who lives in Iran writes, “When something is stealthy, it cannot be called freedom anymore. If we were supposed to be happy by our stealthy freedom, nobody would pursue the freedom.”

Besides creating a big debate among Iranians in the virtual world, the campaign has also created a buzz in the foreign media with countless new stories about the campaign and oppression of women in Iran.

7 comments

  • FinalOpinion

    Oh you naughty girls. Don’t you realize that you have just excited the testosterone in half the male population with type of nudity? It is no wonder that the moral police are going to come after you. Shame, Shame, Shame.

  • James Byrnes

    They’re dead women. They’ll be tracked down and hanged from cranes – or possibly stoned to death. But you have to admire their bravery. I’d just try to get out of that lousy country instead and go somewhere I could wear anything I want.

  • Allen Watkins

    Cool. It’s got to start somewhere. Islam: First a tiny crack, then a fissure, later a huge chasm, finally collapse.

  • nightmoth

    The Green Revolution of June, 2009 is still bubbling under the surface, like a freshwater spring in a stagnant pond. These women and the men who love them are brave and beautiful!

  • […] ベールをはずす行為に挑んでいる。2ヶ国語を使った「 آزادی های یواشکی زنان در […]

  • […] 政府による女性差別に抗議すべく、イラン全土の女性活動家たちがベールをはずす行為に挑んでいる。二ヶ国語を使った「آزادی های یواشکی زنان در ایران   (Stealthy Freedoms of Iranian Women)」キャンペーンの支持者は、開始後わずか2ヶ月ですでに32万人を数えている。 このキャンペーンの目玉は、イラン全土に住む同国人女性がベールをはずすことである。だがこの行為は、以下のイランイスラム刑法 638条に基づき厳しく規制されている。「女性がイスラムのヒジャブを身に着けることなく公共の場や公道に姿を現した場合は、10日から2ヶ月の禁固刑、あるいは500リヤルから5万リヤルの罰金刑に処する」 […]

  • […] 政府による女性差別に抗議すべく、イラン全土の女性活動家たちがベールをはずす行為に挑んでいる。二ヶ国語を使った「آزادی های یواشکی زنان در ایران   (Stealthy Freedoms of Iranian Women)」キャンペーンの支持者は、開始後わずか2ヶ月ですでに32万人を数えている。 このキャンペーンの目玉は、イラン全土に住む同国人女性がベールをはずすことである。だがこの行為は、以下のイランイスラム刑法 638条に基づき厳しく規制されている。「女性がイスラムのヒジャブを身に着けることなく公共の場や公道に姿を現した場合は、10日から2ヶ月の禁固刑、あるいは500リヤルから5万リヤルの罰金刑に処する」 […]

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