Since 1979, Iranian women have been legally obligated to cover their hair in public. Iranian journalist Masih Alinejad has now launched a powerful social movement to champion every individual’s right to decide how to dress, defying the restrictive gender rules. With an online campaign called My Stealthy Freedom, Iranian women are invited to share photos of themselves with their hijabs removed; meanwhile, men sport the headscarves with the hashtag #MenInHijab to show support and solidarity.
In a Facebook post, Alinejad explains, “When my female cousins saw that I was wearing their headscarf, they couldn’t help laughing. I asked them, does it look so funny on me? I really love and respect my cousins. I think that one should not talk about freedom if she/he supports the idea of restricting other people’s freedom.” The hijab, he explains, is just one symbolic example of the deserved liberties forbidden by the government, which particularly obstructs women’s freedoms. “We should not treat women as objects,” he writes. “Just like many educated women in the world, Iranian women should live in full enjoyment of their rights and they should be the ones determining what to wear.”
With My Stealthy Freedom, Alinejad’s goal is to show the authentic faces of Iranian citizens—male and female—while raising awareness, calling for gender equality in a “free, prosperous, and educated Iran.”
All images via My Stealthy Freedom.