The wind in my hair: one Iranian woman’s courageous struggle against being forced to wear the hijab

Masih Alinejad unties her hair, and a sea of corkscrew curls cascades down her shoulders. It looks amazing, but the significance of Masih’s hair isn’t looks – it’s politics. Masih is an Iranian activist who has spent her life fighting for women’s rights in her country through one simple battle: a campaign against the law that says they have to wear a veil, or hijab, over their hair when they’re in public.

…. Her ambition, of course, is to return to Iran, and she says that in her heart she believes she will. “But for now, though I am not inside Iran, I am there every day via social media. When I was a child my mum would say: ‘If you get thrown out of the room, you always find a window to get back in.’ And now social media is my window. The authorities are watching me, and my campaign, because they know how powerful it is that ordinary women are protesting. We’re like the suffragettes, we’re risking breaking the law for something we absolutely know is right.”

[TOP RATED COMMENT 199 votes] Here, she reveals why all she wants is to give women the choice to wear the hijab or not

That’s the whole point – for many women it’s not a choice. So, to read piece after piece in the Guardian about how hijab is a sign of feminism is a slap in the cheek for women like Masih.

[2ND 177] When I see small girls wearing the Hijab on their way to school in the UK whilst their similar age brothers wear western clothes I cringe. I could understand it if the modesty rules apply to both boys and girls and men and women but to simply apply it to the female gender is discrimination of the highest order.

Why feminists in this country don’t stand up against this extreme form of discrimination is beyond me. Anyone who thinks it is acceptable for young girls to be fully covered (how uncomfortable they must be in this hot weather) with only faces showing whilst young boys are allowed to wear what they like are also guilty of supporting discrimination. It is nothing to do with religion but purely subjugation of girls and women from the moment they are born.

[3RD 157] I am Iranian and totally agree with masih. majarity of women in Iran dont want to wear hijab and want to be free what to wear, is it to much to ask in 21 century?

[4TH 145] I’ll accept the hijab as a choice when I see it mixed up as a part of a varied wardrobe; hijab on a Monday, slumming it in a t-shirt and jeans on Tuesday to go get bread and milk, a summer dress on Wednesday because it’s 90 degrees in the shade… But no. Remarkably, it’s hijabs 7 days a week, no matter the weather or the activity. Odd, innit?

If a bunch of priests and a significant percentage of menfolk in this country were proclaiming the virtue of ‘modesty’ (whatever the fuck that is) for women, we’d have bare tits in Parliament Square. The hijab is an obscenity in 2018 but it gets a free ride from some quarters because of cowardice, quite frankly.

[5TH 116] Great work Masih, I’m going to buy your book. The only thing that makes me angrier than the forced covering up of women and little girls in the name of a fictional being, is it being defended by a once liberal newspaper in the name of cultural correctness.

If I made my son my son wear a tent every time he left the house, re-arranged his genitalia and then forced him to marry a stranger because the fairies at the end of the garden told me to, I would quite rightly be in prison. [The Guardian] Read more

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