iranian men are taking selfies in hijabs to show solidarity with women

At a time when the Iranian government is arresting women for posting unveiled photos on Instagram, the men's selfies are making a very important statement.

by Hannah Ongley
29 July 2016, 3:25pm

Back in May, an Iranian Facebook page called My Stealthy Freedom started posting photos of young Muslim women sporting shaven heads and masculine clothing. This was the latest manifestation of women fighting back against the country's mandatory dress code, which requires that women must cover their hair in public. Now actual men are joining their feminist crusade by posting selfies in the hijab. Recently the same Facebook page posted a series of these veiled male allies standing next to their female friends and wives in an important show of solidarity.

"I think that one should not talk about freedom if she/he supports the idea of restricting other people's freedom," one man wrote alongside a selfie he took with two unveiled women. "This new campaign launched by men to don the veil might appear to be insignificant to certain people," he continued, before emphasizing that it helps to further discussions about women's rights and gendered dress codes. "It is useful because it highlights women's rights — that we should not treat women as objects. 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. The fact that they are being forced to wear something against their own will actually tarnishes the image of Iranian men worldwide. That is why this new campaign can both raise awareness about the plight of Iranian women and also show the real face of Iranian women and men. Hoping for a free, prosperous, and educated Iran."

Another young man appeared next to his wife while wearing a red hijab. "Compulsion is not a good feeling," he wrote. "I hate when they used morality police in order to force my wife to wear compulsory hijab. There are a lot of men in Iran who have respect for women's freedom of choice, so those conservatives who called men pimp just because they are not happy with our wives' 'bad hijab,' are not representative of Iranian men at all."

Some people have deemed the movement frivolous, which only strengthens the case for #MenInHijab. If we laugh at guys covering their heads in public, why force women to do so? Not that the hijab is inherently humorous — those pushing back against Iran's gendered dress codes aren't taking aim at women who choose to wear it, only arguing that it shouldn't be mandatory. And in a time where women are literally being arrested for posting photos on social media without their hair covered — just two months ago, the Iranian government locked up eight Instagram models for "promiscuity" — the men's own selfies are making a very relevant statement. 


Text Hannah Ongley
Images via Facebook

my stealthy freedom