Iranian Activist Challenges Western “Barbie” Feminism As Veil Protests Continue In Iran


download-5We have previously discussed the courage of women in Saudi Arabia, Iran, and other Muslim nations in fighting sexist rules that prevent them from engaging in basic acts or pursuing their own futures.  As I have said before, these women are the most inspiring civil libertarians of our generation — risking jail and beatings to fight for equality.  That struggle is evident in the dozens of arrests of women in Iran who are pulling off their headscarves in public in Iran to fight for the individual choice in wearing the religious cover.  One activist Masih Alinejab has gone further to denounce Western feminists and reporters who celebrate the selling of a Barbie doll with a veil while giving minimal attention to actual women fighting the mandatory wearing of such items.

At least 29 people have been arrested in Tehran for protesting the compulsory weari of a hijab.  Alinejad told the CBC

“What breaks my heart is just the hypocrisy of all those feminists outside Iran. A Barbie girl wearing hijab can make news for CNN, for – you know, for all media. But millions of girls, from the age of seven, who will be kicked out from a school because of not wearing hijab, they cannot be news.”



She has a point.  Indeed, I am disturbed that CNN and other networks are covering little more than Russian investigation 24/7 while this incredible human rights story is unfolding in Iran. (For the record, I have also opposed laws that ban veils and burkas in the West as inimical to religious liberty).

Alinejad in 2014 began an online campaign called “My Stealthy Freedom”where women from Iran post photos of themselves without the hijab. Women in Iran are wearing white clothing and headscarves and removing their hijabs on Wednesdays while using the hashtag #whitewednesdays.

In late December, Vida Mohaved, 31, removed her headscarf on a major street in Tehran and waved it. The mother became  the first woman to be arrested for the act.

A poll shows that half of the Iranian support the effort to make wearing of the hijab voluntary. However, as with so many aspects of life in Muslim countries, clerics insist on supporting their religious practices with the power of the state and the threat of arrest.  The clear fear is that, absent coercive measures, these medieval practices would fall to the wayside.

The criticism of “barbie feminism” is stinging.  The celebration of veiled Barbie and Western women adopting veils and headscarves in solidarity with Muslim women has produced a different response from women struggling against such rules.

29 thoughts on “Iranian Activist Challenges Western “Barbie” Feminism As Veil Protests Continue In Iran”

  1. And then there is “feminist” HRC who won’t go away….

    “Can climate change be sexist? According to failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, the answer to that question is an unequivocal yes.

    Particularly in the developing world, climate change will force women to shoulder the responsibilities of looking for food, finding firewood and migrating livestock once all of the grass has been transformed into a desert. Unsurprisingly, the future she describes bears an uncanny resemblance to the dystopian future depicted in the “Mad Max” franchise.

    It’s unclear what responsibilities men will shoulder after the climate catastrophe has arrived in the future envisioned by Clinton.”


    “Clinton made these remarks during a speech at Georgetown University this week, where she also griped about how endemic misogyny was responsible for her embarrassing loss to President Donald Trump – continuing with her practice of never accepting responsibly for her failures. In her book “What Happened” – a memoir that was marketed as a mea culpa – Clinton famously blamed Bernie Sanders, the classic 90s comedy “There’s Something About Mary” and myriad other factors – for her defeat.

    Because as the American people already know too well, nothing is ever Clinton’s fault.”

    1. I am reading “City of Thorns” by Ben Rawlence. The book features an oral history of sorts of those living in a refugee camp who were displaced by terrorist activity in Somalia and famine in the nearby region. One of the problems highlighted reminded me of your comment.

      The Kenyan government forbad the refugees from earning wages, fearing undue competition for its citizens. As a result the NGOs at the camps arrived at a plan where residents volunteer in exchange for a stipend of extra food and sundry items. Then, the Political Correctness came about and it manifested in requiring hiring quotas as much as forty percent of these slots were allocated only to women. The conflict resulted in difficulty in that the culture of these refugees was long established as where the male was the income or worker and the female had a traditional role. The men in many regards felt “emasculated” (their own words) and suffered not only depression but shunned by their cohorts. The lack of earning power relegated many young men to bachelorhood since they were not able to pay bride price to a potential wife’s family. A few disenfranchised men took to joining the al-shabazz terrorist group to earn money, though doing so was unthinkable in previous years.

      The book demonstrates how in many ways Western governments, NGOs and individuals cause more damage in some ways than might be anticipated.

      1. Darren, thanks for the book tip – that is a sad outcome for those refugees. I watched a documentary last month called “Poverty, Inc.” which opened my eyes to how we often do harm even while we think we are helping out.

  2. I have never understood this feminist meme of solidarity in hijab. The hijab is compulsory in Middle Eastern countries. You can be beaten on the street for not wearing it. Men already sexually harass women in places like Iran to a shocking degree, accepted in society. If you don’t wear a roosarie it’s like proclaiming yourself a streetwalker to some of those men.

    So why in the world would any rational person feel that wearing a hijab was solidarity? Shall they be beaten onstage so that they can feel solidarity for the plight of women under Sharia Law?

    In a similar vein, there has been discussion about allowing Female Genital Mutilation here in the US, where it most often occurs from girls being taken overseas. There are some practitioners who are arrested when they are found out.

    Is supporting FGM some sort of solidarity for feminists, too? Do they make a hat for that?

    I have no problem with women voluntarily wearing clothing required by their religion. It must be voluntary. The veil is most certainly not voluntary in the ME.

    It is a symbol of oppression.

    1. That is because being Muslim ranks higher in the leftist victimhood strata than women living in foreign countries. The plight of women who are actually subjugated in other countries is on a lower priority list because they have no political power in the United States. Plus, it is difficult for neo-leftists to argue that women here are oppressed by a man looking at a woman on a street corner if someone counters with the fact that women are beaten or beheaded on that street corner in Saudi Arabia.

      1. They really do need to come out with some kind of guide for the victimhood scale. It’s getting (more) confusing. When value is determined solely by identity politics rather than merit or the content of their character, where does anyone fall on the scale? Is it an immovable caste, or can you move up by, say, self-identifying as a more valuable identity?

        The irony is that feminists have chosen hijab and other forms of the veil as solidarity for women who voluntarily wear it, or who are pressured to by their families, here in the West, when the veil is a symbol of oppression recognized by real female activists fighting against tyranny at risk of their lives.

        Those are the iron-jawed angels we should admire. I hope they are successful in gaining freedom and equality. It is so hard to overcome the entrenched corruption and abuses in the system.

  3. “…risking jail and beatings to fight for equality.”

    – Professor Turley

    “Equality” – Seriously? There are as many as 7 billion people on the planet and there are 1472 active

    players in the NFL.

    There isn’t anything “equal” about life in this universe.

    Thomas Jefferson said that “…all men are created equal…” in the Declaration of Independence.

    The outcomes of men’s lives are irrefutably unequal, relying on the merit of the individuals.

    Under the Constitution, free men are able to “pursue happiness”.

    That’s as good as it gets, folks.

    The American Founders gave Americans the one and only thing they could: Freedom.

    Karl Marx gave people slavery and “compulsory equality”.

    After you are created, you make your own equality…or not.

    “Affirmative Action Privilege” and generational welfare being eminently examples, central planning,

    redistribution of wealth, social engineering and every other aspect of communist dictatorship are immutably


    1. Some pathetic black guy was on the local NPR affiliate this morning. He repeated several dozen times: if you deny institutionalized racism against blacks, then by definition you claim that all black problems are because of inherent negative personality traits, which the latter he of course denies. By his math, his denial proves the existence of institutionalized racism. This is the very cornerstone of his entire outlook.

      Of course he has absolutely no proof for his claim other than his bravado and aggressive presentation. He may have inherited his aggression from his black ancestors who used physical violence to round up the dumber, slower, and weaker blacks in Africa to sell them to non-African slave traders.

      I presume he denies positive mathematical relationship between poverty and incarceration rates v. out of wedlock birth rate. By definition, social engineers like this one must deny such relationships, for the simple fact it’s difficult to blame it on racism, plus the inevitable back lash telling blacks to delay gratification for future reward. Well, I suppose they could, but the effort is beyond his mental and/or physical capacity.

      If the subject lacked the ability to sell books and maintain blacks on the DNC plantation, he’d starve to death.

      1. People must adapt to the outcome of freedom.

        Freedom does not adapt to people…dictatorship does.

        People who fail or are rejected in America are free to relocate to the country of their choice where, undoubtedly, their success is guaranteed.

        In the American experience, looks like most of them stayed. I wonder why.

        Moses had the Israelites out of Egypt before the ink was dry on their release papers – for the benefit of the

        Israelites, who were lead to the “promised land” by their great leader, Moses.

        Fun fact: There is no Moses holiday. I wonder why.

  4. Thank you Professor Turley for giving voice to the valiant and heroic struggle by Iranian Women…

  5. Reblogged this on The Inquiring Mind and commented:
    This shows just how ridiculous and out of touch so many so called feminists in the West are. It draws attention to the hypocrisy the recent World Hijab Day which sought to normalise this form of oppression.

  6. OTOH, weren’t women happier when they were mostly wives and mothers? All this personal female freedom stuff does is mess up what worked.

    From my personal experiences, there’s maybe 10% to 15% of women who are more “mannish” and who truly enjoy getting out there and slugging it out in the world with males. That leaves the other 85% to 90% who are experiencing way too much stress trying to work outside the home and raise kids. And God help the mother with 3 kids, who tries it! Sooo much stress, that now Liberals and even Conservatives openly state that we need a bunch of illegal immigrants to address our declining population problems.

    Study after study confirms what I say about housewives being more happy, for example:

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  7. The scarf can be a strong and pleasing fashion statement. It is far more appealing than body piercings, tattoos, neon hair, heaving cleavage, and hair falling over eyes. Of course, it should be an option, not a legal requirement.

    1. Oh yeah, give me a good ole scarf every time over a “heaving cleavage”, Not. I guess your against a woman wearing bikinis too.

  8. re “A poll shows that half of the Iranian support the effort to make wearing of the hijab voluntary.”

    This is a sign of hope – it was the mullah-influenced peasants who sided with Khomeni and tried to drag Iran backwards. The future belongs to the youngsters and they will exact change. The Internet has changed everything.

    1. check out this post by Moon of Alabama, Masih is an American funded plant…

      Just a snippet.

      [Masih Alinejab]…She has been working for Voice of America since at least 2013 from London as part of the VoA Farsi language show OnTen.

      Her Oxford public relation degree is truly justified. Since 2011 the Guardian quoted or mentioned her some 35 times! That must be a record. Wikipedia names the Iranian-British Bloomberg writer Kambiz Foroohar as her spouse. His Twitter account retweets and promotes his wife’s campaign.

      In 2014 Alinejad moved to New York and started her first campaign against a public law in Iran which makes it compulsory for women to cover their hair in public. The my stealthy freedom web and social media campaign was supposed to incite women In Iran to take pictures of themselves in public but without a scarf. It was heavily propagandized in various western media. In 2015 she received a prize from the notorious Zionist lobby organization UN Watch. The latest item posted on the first headscarf campaign website is from September 6 2015. It has since been dormant.

      Alinejad claimed several times that she was slandered by Iranian media. I have seen no evidence for that claim but would not be astonished to find that an agent working for a foreign government, which is openly attempting to overthrow the Iranian political system, is somewhat disliked in that country.

      Since 2015 Alinejad has her own show Tablet on VoA Farsi announced as the “15-min prime time show” that would be “focuses on cultural and social issues involving young people in Iran and the United States.” Public contracts show that she receives $85.600 per annum from the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors. [emphasis mine]. The BBG is running U.S. influence media like Voice of America in English and foreign languages. It is officially controlled by the U.S. State Department.

      While I think she believes what she preaches – particularly about optional head scarves – she is clearly part of a US propaganda effort to provoke unrest and dissatisfaction in Iran. When it comes to mucking about with other countries elections and politics, Russia can’t hold a candle to the US. Worth a read.

      1. BB – I haven’t read Moon in awhile – excellent article – thanks for posting!! Neo cons trying any way they can to gin up hostility towards Iranians. Shame our tax dollars pay for this woman’s salary – it is my understanding that the American Enterprise Institute sponsored Ayaan Hirsi Ali to come to the US — I remember thinking at the time how ironic that not one “Left” group stepped up – or even talked about her. Then some years later I realized she didn’t fit the narrative they seek =)

  9. “For the record, I have also opposed laws that ban veils and burkas in the West as inimical to religious liberty”

    Make that “inimical to religious liberty but a good way to cut down on convenience-store robberies.”

  10. Why would cnn, msnbc or any of the MSM cover this they’re not news agencies. The only thing they do is push a left wing agenda.

    1. They push the agenda of whomever pays them to push any particular agenda. They are profit-driven.

  11. Western feminists are a joke. They spend their time doing things like arguing about the non existent wage gap, going after violent video games, and no platforming heros like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, all while holding hands with that disgusting human Linda Sarsour. Feminism in the West has turned into an upper middle class clique of priveledged women whining and insisting their victims. It’s laughable at this point.

    1. This is gratifying to see that you are familiar with the names of heroic women like Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Linda Sarsour.

  12. Women are getting a raw deal in those Muslim countries, then you go to Canada and listen that PC pm Trudeau. Maybe there is no middle ground.

Comments are closed.