Mahanth is Editor

I have a serious question. What the actual HELL is it about those fine little black or silver strands of dead human cells lurking ominously on women’s heads that so freaks out the men of the Iranian regime?

Why should women and girls ever have to cover any or all of it at all in peculiar, oddly specific ways each time they step out their front doors, by strictly enforced state mandate, instead of just letting them style the whispery strings as they like, or just shave it all off if they want for that matter, and show their heads off to the world? All I’m doing here is asking why we can’t think of allowing a harmless freedom, absolutely nothing more than that enjoyed by the Iranian males living all around them, and nothing less than a basic right enjoyed thoughtlessly by 99.99% of the 4 billion other female people around the world who mostly don’t even know what a hijab is because they’re too busy reading Cosmo or the like at the local hair salon.

My understanding is that this bizarre Muslim cultural phenomenon of covering heads, ankles, and other supposedly salacious female body parts ostensibly originated somewhere around preventing heterosexual men from getting tempted to commit adultery, sodomy, premarital sex, rape, or other provocative, racy, and potentially violent stuff that are liable to run roughshod of civil society that’s haraam because their brains are at risk of getting overclouded by uncontrollable desire. Okay, but then I don’t get why Iranian men shouldn’t have to cover their head hair in service of preventing females or gay Iranians from running amok with their hormones raging? Why can’t men take a stab at physical modesty too? It just strikes me as so incredibly sexist, misogynistic, and hypocritical. What kind of twisted minds besides those influenced by Satan himself think this is still such a good idea to keep it on as a national policy in the year 2022 at all?

This proposed reversal of course shouldn’t be forced and therefore doesn’t apply to women who cover anything they want anywhere, haired or hairless parts, by consensual mean because they simply want to. What I’m advocating for is actually simply the freedom to choose to wear or not wear a hijab, and not a total hijab ban for example. It goes along with other fundamental rights women should have over their own bodies.

What are the spineless ayatollahs so damn afraid of when it comes to that little bunch of hairs being visible to the retinas of other human beings walking nearby? All of my life since childhood I have tried to make sense of these laws about covering female head hair in the few remaining Islamic societies where they still exist, including Saudi Arabia where I lived for four years, and I’ve gotten no comprehensive epiphanies even after studying Muslim religious beliefs since childhood. Today, the question has arrived at a moment of monumental relevance especially in Iran as it appears that female head hair somehow made its way to the very center of what we could fairly start calling the beginnings of a new and violent Iranian Revolution. Safe to say it’s more than just a mere protest movement at this point, and the single spark that set alight the entire conflagration was the appalling treatment of one young lady on one horrific day. She was suddenly scooped up in a public place, detained, beaten and killed by the religious police of Iran for some version of not covering her hairs up to some legal standard, or something. The truth, of course is more complex. Mahsa Amini was cruelly detained, tortured, and murdered not for violating some law or the other, which was just a convenient excuse. There is zero religion to see here at all in the episode, from start to finish. She was only picked up by violent sadomasochistic psychopaths that swell the ranks of every such religious police force in the Middle East, because they cannot help but take gleeful pleasure in badly hurting people, their families, and friends through a steady regimen of torture using religion, uniforms, and in fact religious uniforms as a cheap Halloween costume to hide their true selves of psychopathy behind. Not only do these guys get their rocks off day in and day out with complete impunity, but worse, actually with the full authority and official sanction of the state itself backing their violent and rapey actions no matter how depraved. This is how you see even young children get caught up in the fray: the bastards behind it are no question child rapists and molesters pretending to care about the country or the Quran. Don’t be fooled.

Shouldn’t the ayatollahs be more afraid of not relenting and giving out this cheap and easy freedom of the ability of female hairs to blow freely in the wind? Seems to not be going well for them, this whole head covering laws thing. Go ahead and defund; defund the religious police while you’re at it. Save that money.

On the other side, we have brave women and men standing up for this long elusive freedom from head dress, which is actually now becoming a muscular and visceral metaphor for freedom from tyranny itself. The burning of thousands of hijabs on bonfires is a symbol. They are risking their lives and freedom on the streets and in the university campuses on behalf of something bigger than themselves, being led onward from the fresh grave of a martyr who can be harmed by the dictator regime no more.

Where once the regime might have wisely managed to map out long-term survival with some relatively easy reform, now it appears that the risk of being overthrown is becoming more real, if still unlikely this second. But throughout history we have seen movements have long tails. I never thought I’d see what we’re already seeing happen on the streets of dozens of Iranian cities today. It’s powerful and inspiring and heart-breaking all at once.

The battle lines over this blazing wildfire burning bright for hair and freedom are being drawn. It’s impossible to prognosticate what happens from here. I bet the people sitting in their palaces right now are quaking in their shoes with fear, cowards that they are. Those of us denizens of this world who claim to be civilized to any degree should have absolutely no trouble deciding who the good guys and bad guys enjoined in this fight are. It is my hope that the former outnumber the latter in Iran to shape its opportunity for a better future this decade and beyond. Let’s hope the rest of the world helps Iran get there in solidarity with those boots on the ground.

Mahsa Amini and the hundreds, perhaps thousands of brave souls who have already followed her to the grave dying for their country deserve nothing less in their name. I hope it wasn’t all in vain.


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