Wardrobe Problems

Iran has recently decided that its dress codes for women requiring the covering of most of her body are not strict enough. Police authorities state they have doubled the number of officers assigned to crack down on dress codes, and the crackdown will continue until “society is clean of any immoralities.” In Iran, women are traditionally required to cover all of their hair and wear long, loose fitting clothing. Police authorities firmly believe that the flouting of Islamic dress codes is the cause of a recent increase in “immoral behavior” and other “unacceptable actions.” The article does not provide any concrete examples of this behavior, but the tone of the article suggests that it is very serious. A spokesperson for the police department stated, “The police regard the crackdown on immoral behaviour, which includes fighting bandits, drug smugglers and people with improper clothing, as an inseparable part of its responsibilities.” The police are putting women with tight clothing on a priority level with drug dealers and bandits. In my mind, the threat posed by a woman with her head uncovered does not equal that posed by someone selling drugs to kids. Of course, there are culturally acceptable dress standards in any society. In our culture, both women and man are expected to be modest and basically covered up while in public and there are appropriate levels of dress for different circumstances. We cannot expect Iran or any other country to completely ignore any dress standards, but Iran seems to have taken this to the extreme. There seems to be no standard for men’s dress equal to that of women. This suggests that the standard is not merely a culturally acceptable way of dress for all people, but a way of controlling the women of society, as well as promoting the view that those women who do not comply are on par with drug dealers. Somehow, I think Iran may have more serious problems than dress code violations.

—by BP

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