Thousands of Iranian women are posting photos of themselves without headscarves on a Farsi Facebook page that has racked up more than 150,000 likes in fewer than two weeks.

Photos on the page, titled “Stealthy Freedoms of Iranian Women” in English, are “stealthy” because they deliberately violate local law. Women in Iran have been forced to wear the hijab in public, many against their will, since the country’s Islamic Revolution in 1979. Yet many have long enjoyed “stealthy freedoms” by slipping off the hijab in safe company.

Conservatives in Iran are demanding that morality police more doggedly punish women caught hijabless, slapping them with greater fines, prison time and lashes. Just last week thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of Tehran to protest slipping hijabs and slipping adherence to the country’s conservative female dress code.

Watching this cultural tug-of-war, exiled Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad, who lives in the U.K., set up the “Stealthy Freedoms” Facebook page on May 3. She’s been working tirelessly ever since to verify that each upload comes from a genuine account.

“Those who participated in the protest rally [in Tehran] have their own official media,” Alinejad told IranWire on May 10, “But the 40,000 [now more than 150,000] who follow the Facebook page don’t have an official voice. This page is a chance for them to tell their stories.”

And tell them they have. Just look at some of the posts below.

As these women brazenly and publicly defy local laws, as the Facebook page and media attention surge (more than 4,000 additional “likes” were added in the short time it took me to write this piece), Iran’s notorious online monitors will be watching.

Each photo and caption is as bold as it is beautiful. Each demonstrates the genuine desperation and desire many Iranians have for a freer society.

These women know that change is impossible without bravery. I hope that each uploader also recognizes the potential dangers these photos pose for themselves and for their families. If with that knowledge they find peace of mind, I hope they continue their push for liberation.

6 Comments

  1. How heartbreaking that these wonderful, beautiful girls must dodge the Iranian authorities just to live normally!

    Religion is useless, despicable nonsense.

  2. Noreen Lundeen

    When will people be free of all of this nonsense? Does any one who believes
    in God think that God would be fearful of a women’s clothes? The clothes are
    simply a symbol of a small group of men world wide who find equality a threat
    to their limited concept of power. Men and women are only strong when both
    are free of such complete nonsense.

  3. The Great God Pan

    “Hijab has not ever been what I have chosen.”

    She should talk to one of our Western “social justice” advocates from the Millennial Generation, who would explain to her (with a heaping helping of venomous sarcasm) that wearing hijab is an Empowering and Feminist choice, and that not wanting to wear it means she is not only an Islamophobic Orientalist and a Western Imperialist, but a Patriarch to boot! They would tell her that by wanting to not wear hijab, she is Othering and Erasing the women who DO want to wear it!

    Our “social justice” warriors–educated at elite universities and ensconced in cushy jobs at think tanks, non-profits and contrarian websites–would tell these uppity women to Check Their Privilege!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments with many links may be automatically held for moderation.