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Iran, United States, South Korea… Hair, image of revolt

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For 4 weeks, demonstrations have been a each day incidence in Iran. They have been provoked by the loss of life, on September 16, 2022, of the younger Masha Amini, 22, three days after her arrest by the morality police in Tehran. Purpose: a judged costume “inappropriate”. Virtually instantly, the pictures of those Iranian ladies on the entrance line of the mobilizations, the veil eliminated and shearing their hair, grew to become the image of a revolt brutally repressed by the mullahs’ regime (185 useless, together with 19 kids, in accordance with the NGO Iran Human Rights, based mostly in Oslo).

The messy hair

“The act of reducing a girl’s hair is normally an indication of mourning, most frequently for her husband. It’s to chop oneself off from the seduction related to lengthy hair. By extension, it has change into an indication of revolt in opposition to the established order, typically utilized in historical past by militant feminists. In Iran, it’s symbolically a manner of calling for the loss of life of the regime.deciphers the ethnologist Christian Bromberger, professor emeritus on the College of Aix-en-Provence and writer of The Senses of Hair. An anthropology of physique hair (1).

With the nails, the hair is without doubt one of the solely bodily parts that may be modified, dyed, minimize, or quite the opposite lengthened, with out this having any irremediable penalties, since they will develop again. “Little question because of this, hair and physique hair have all the time been used to suggest social order, class and gender, notably in Muslim societies: facial hair for males, lengthy coated hair for girls, notes Christian Bromberger. However what’s fascinating is that the hair can on the identical time signify the transgression of this order. Consider the shaggy hair of revolutionaries versus the respectable coiffure of socially built-in individuals. To the scruffy beard of Mirza Koutchek Khan, in comparison with the superbly trimmed ones of the mullahs…”completes the ethnologist, who has carried out a number of subject surveys in Iran.

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Lengthy earlier than Che Guevara and his romantic locks grew to become the image of the revolution, Mirza Koutchek Khan (1880-1921) certainly took the lead, in 1914, of a insurrection in opposition to the Qajar monarchy in Iran. The voluminous-haired picture of this hero of contemporary Persia, chief of the “forest motion”, is without doubt one of the references typically taken up by the Iranians who’re mobilized at present.

Of life and loss of life

Since Iranian ladies are on the entrance line, we now have endeavored within the following pages, with the assistance of Christian Bromberger and the Iranian sociologist Chahla Chafiq (2), to grasp how their hair may have change into such a difficulty, generally life and loss of life. And the way they change into, in sure contexts, a strong device of battle, when ladies resolve to chop them, to put on them quick, in Afro minimize or just grey, with out dyeing. “Particularly for them, there’s a entire chance of utilizing hair to specific their relationship to actuality”concludes Christian Bromberger.

Iran, United States, South Korea... Hair, symbol of revolt

Ladies’s hair has been on the heart of struggles in Iran for nearly a century, explains Iranian sociologist Chahla Chafiq. In 1935, Reza Chah, the daddy of the final Shah of Iran, determined for instance to ban ladies from carrying the veil. “He doesn’t do that by associating it with a criticism of Islam however by explaining that the obligatory carrying of the veil is a misinterpretation of faith”correct to The Weekly Chahla Chafiq, who remembers that on the time of the Prophet, the ladies round him didn’t put on it. In Iran, Reza Shah’s resolution has blended outcomes. Whereas many ladies are taking a brand new place in society, others refuse to return out uncovered and confine themselves to their houses.

Iran, United States, South Korea... Hair, symbol of revolt

The final shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, will rethink this prescription earlier than his dismissal (above, an anti-shah demonstration in 1978), through the Islamic Revolution of 1979. After having been banned, the veil then turns into obligatory . Vice patrols are arrange, leading to widespread surveillance of the inhabitants. From 1979, “the Islamists have remodeled the veil into the flag of their ideological orderunderlines Chahla Chafiq. At present, some veiled ladies are supporting the protests. Even when they put on it for spiritual causes or due to their upbringing, they assume it’s a mistake to impose it. »

Iran, United States, South Korea... Hair, symbol of revolt

“Is An San a feminist? » That is the query that hundreds of South Korean anti-feminist activists are asking themselves in the summertime of 2021. At problem: the minimize deemed too quick by the archer An San, 21, triple gold medalist on the Tokyo Olympics – a primary for a South Korean athlete. “Amongst younger ladies, the quick haircut typically refers to a type of revoltexplains ethnologist Christian Bromberger. We consider “boys”, in France (under), these ladies who took the place of males within the factories through the First World Conflict and who refused to be marginalized once more within the Twenties.”

Iran, United States, South Korea... Hair, symbol of revolt

In South Korea, the general public debate has lately degenerated right into a “battle of the sexes”, explains the Korea Occasions in one in all its many articles on the case. Of the “On-line ‘male dominant’ teams consider males are being handled unfairly by feminist politics”. Requested about her hair alternative, An San, who acquired the help of many compatriots, replied on the networks with an emoticon with a smirk: “As a result of it is extra snug. »

Iran, United States, South Korea... Hair, symbol of revolt

In March 2022, a regulation prohibiting employers and colleges from limiting the carrying of Afro haircuts – and any type of “hair discrimination” – is handed by the US Home of Representatives. Referred to as the Crown Act (4), this laws already adopted since 2019 within the states of California and New York remains to be underneath examine within the Senate.

Iran, United States, South Korea... Hair, symbol of revolt

“Spurred on by the Black Panthers and activists like Angela Davis (the civil rights activist, Editor’s word)the frizzy hair, previously stigmatized, has established itself because the Nineteen Sixties as an emblem of resistance and the struggle in opposition to racism in the US and the Caribbean », explains ethnologist Christian Bromberger. The Afro minimize had been prohibited for slaves from the fifteenth century.e century, in addition to to free black ladies, whom the “Tignon legal guidelines”, adopted in Louisiana in 1789, required to cowl their heads, earlier than being dethroned by the style for straightening merchandise, launched in 1845 by the Afro -American CJ Walker. At this time it’s a image of delight.

Iran, United States, South Korea... Hair, symbol of revolt

In August 2022, JT anchor Lisa LaFlamme was dropped from CTV Information and changed by a youthful anchor. Who permitted that we “let Lisa’s hair flip grey” ? would have requested the boss of the chain throughout a gathering, in accordance with the investigation of the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail. Wave of indignation. In 2010, she herself had changed Lloyd Robertson, an skilled journalist whose grey hair bothered nobody (under).

Iran, United States, South Korea... Hair, symbol of revolt

“Equality. Why ought to ladies cover their white hair? »interrogates Worldwide mailwhich relates the reasons of the 58-year-old presenter, who stopped dyeing her hair at first of the Covid-19 pandemic. “I ended up saying to myself, ‘Why am I bothering?’ I preserve my grey hairexplains Lisa LaFlamme. Frankly, if I may have imagined how liberating confinement can be, I’d have achieved it a lot sooner. » The case reveals – once more – gender inequalities, but additionally “to what extent the rejection of previous age and the will to rejuvenate mark our societies”deciphers the ethnologist Christian Bromberger.

(1) Creaphis Editions, 2015, 240 p., €12

(2) Political Islam, intercourse and gender. In mild of the Iranian expertisePUF, 2011, 228 pages, €25

(3) Writer ofPolitical Islam, intercourse and gender. In mild of the Iranian expertise, PUF, 2011

(4) Create a Respectful and Open World for Pure Hair

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