The irony, though, was that Masih’s parents were dedicated supporters of the revolution. “They were poor, they wanted better jobs, they wanted greater opportunities for equality, and they thought the revolution would bring these changes. But before the revolution there was social freedom, women were allowed to participate as equals in much of life – they could do sport, they could go to the gym, there were female judges. The people who backed the revolution wanted political freedom, and they ended up not getting that – plus, they lost their social freedom.”
…The revolution, she says, was a revolution against women. “The first thing that happened was the introduction of the compulsory hijab and everything else came after that, because it was the most visible and essential way of controlling the women. The revolution took our bodies hostage, and it is taking them hostage still.”
…To people who tell her that the hijab is just a bit of cloth, and there are much bigger problems to be faced in the Middle East, Masih has this message: “This is about a government that’s controlling a whole society through women. It makes me so sad when people say it’s a small thing, because everything starts from that infringement of our rights.” A whole culture of intolerance, she says, is built on that; and women bear its brunt, from the age of seven.