You may have seen on social media that women in Iran, and all over the world, are dancing in support of the women in Iran. On International Women’s Day this year, 5 young women made a TikTok innocently dancing and having fun to the song ‘Calm Down’ by Rema and Selena Gomez. The five girls in the video can be seen dancing together in rehearsed choreography to the song – something that we in the UK see on our FYP’s or Instagram every day – and often consider nothing of. However, after this video was released and went viral, the five teenage girls in the video were reportedly detained by security forces and made forced to do a public apology for the video that has since gone viral on the social media app. When this became public knowledge, this dance and video became a symbol of resistance to the oppressive hard-line Islamist regime in Iran. Women in Iran are not allowed to dance in public, and are required to wear headscarves and dress in loose fitting clothing. As a result of this breach of the hard-line rules for women, the girls were detained for two days, forced to record a confession video expressing remorse, and the video was taken down. It can be seen in said video that the girls are now in headscarves and loose fitting clothing.
Something that many of us take for granted, with no restrictions by law in the UK on dancing or the type of clothes we chose to wear, resulted in what could’ve only been an incredibly scary experience for these teenage girls.
As a result, women in Iran and all over the world have been doing the same dance with their hair uncovered to show support. For women partaking in the UK this is a sign of support and recognition; for women in Iran this shows extreme courage and strength to fight for what they believe to be right at the risk of their own safety.
This event has come after months of protests against police brutality against women, particularly following the death of Mahsa Amini last September – a woman who was detained after allegedly ‘improperly’ wearing a hijab. This kind of inhumane oppression has, rightly, provoked international outrage and backlash with people all over the world desperate to show support for this movement and demanding change for the safety of all women in Iran.
The women of Iran, who have been and continue to protest, show unbelievable amounts of bravery and strength and are incredibly inspirational in their fight against this kind of brutality.
Written by: Rebekah Thomas
Edited by: Ella Dayer