Iran, the post-revolutionary politicization of the public sphere.
Since the Islamic revolution of 1979, many changes have occurred in the political, social, and cultural, as well as the private and public aspect of life in Iranian society. While these changes are mostly visible in the appearance of the people and cities, less visible changes have also happened in traditional family norms and private life. Among women, changes in behavior and identity are evident not only among the “misveiled” women who wear hijab in order to accommodate themselves to Iranian legal requirements yet intentionally disregard the spirit if not precisely the law, but also among “veiled” women, often referred as chadori.
The public prohibition of so-called illegitimate relationships led many to privatize their relationships and pursue their freedom in private spaces. The post-revolutionary politicization of the public sphere created a contrasting duality of public versus private spheres, in which people’s self-representation is very much different thus accommodating the imposed Islamic behaviors in public but continued conventional practices in private. As a result, many Iranians live more or less a double standard.
Being a chadori in such an atmosphere is yet another sexual identity taken by more religious women. For many, being veiled or misveiled has to do more with the insecurity of public spaces than it does with political devotion to the Islamic Republic’s official ideology.