Over the past two years, journalist Masih Alinejad’s My Stealthy Freedom has gained attention for a number of campaigns that fight the compulsory law that Iranian women must wear hijab. Until now, the movement has mainly been about encouraging women in Iran, whether residents or tourists, to post photos of themselves without their hijabs.
Now, men are getting in on the action.The #MenInHijab campaign encourages men to show their support by wearing the traditional head covering, which has been legally required for women in Iran since 1979. My Stealthy Freedom says, it is “the right for individual Iranian women to choose whether they want hijab,” not the government’s job to tell them what to wear.
Iranian women have long protested the law, and last year the Iranian government rejected another law that would have given greater power to police and "voluntary militias" to enforce the hijab requirement. Men in Iran do not face punishment or imprisonment for wearing hijab in public, but perhaps the campaign will help influence public opinion on what many believe should be a personal religious choice, not a legal compulsion.
As one Instagram user put it, “Compulsory veil is an immense cruelty to half of Iran's population while also being a huge insult to the other half.”