Vulgar pictures

Heather Saul in the Independent reports on a thing some women are doing in Iran:

Women in Iran are cutting their hair short and dressing as men in a bid to bypass state ‘morality’ police who rigorously enforce penalties for not wearing a hijab.

A number of women have shared photos of themselves in public with their hair uncovered on Instagram and other social media.

The women have cut their hair short in some images and in others are dressed in clothes more typically associated with men.

That’s not being trans, or gender nonconforming, or gender fluid – it’s surviving. It’s trying to avoid being stopped, and harassed, and arrested, and fined, perhaps beaten, perhaps put in jail for a few hours or days. It’s an attempt to escape being a target, as women are in Iran. It’s an effort to avoid persecution.

Women are struggling against the hijab, but the authorities are just bullying them harder.

A politician was disqualified from Iranian parliament after photos purporting to show her in public without a headscarf emerged, despite her insistence they were fake.

This week, eight models were reportedly detained for posting “vulgar” pictures on social media with their hair uncovered. One was pictured apparently making a public apology on state TV.

All this fuss and bullying and violation of rights simply because the women don’t want to wear a piece of cloth wrapped tightly around their heads and necks. It doesn’t seem like something any authorities should be meddling with.

In a photo that provoked a particularly strong reaction on Instagram, a woman took a selfie while driving in her car with short hair, without a hijab on, as a man on a scooter rode past.

In another, a girl appears with short hair and wearing a shirt and jeans. The caption next to the picture reads: “I am an Iranian girl. In order to avoid the morality police, I decided to cut my hair short and wear men’s clothes so that I can freely walk in the streets in Iran.”

Freedom freedom freedom.

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