Gabi Conti
May 22, 2014 10:28 am

Driving a car.

Walking on the beach.

Riding a motorcycle.

If your friend Instagramed a photo of any of that, you’d probably roll your eyes and think, “we get it, you’re having fun while I’m stuck in the office, blinded by florescent lights, counting down the hours until I can go home and forget that I have to come back to this prison tomorrow.”

But if this image wasn’t of a friend, but of a woman you didn’t know, around your age. And that drive, that beach stroll, that motorcycle ride, wasn’t her bragging. Rather expressing of a once oppressed freedom. A freedom they were experiencing for the first time. Then, what would you think?

What you’re witnessing is a #MyStealthyFreedom.

#MyStealthyFreedom may be the best thing you’ll see on the Internet this week. In an age where hashtags are almost as trite as naming your first born “Hashtag,” it’s refreshing to see a hashtag with a cause. #MyStealthyFreedom is a celebration of liberties Iranian woman have been deprived of for years.

The hashtag started when an Iranian journalist, Masih Alinejad posted a photo of herself behind the wheel of a car smiling. This photo wasn’t to show off her new whip, rather to display that she’s scarf free. No longer shadowed by a “hijab,” the veil Iranian women are required to wear by law.

Today that photo has grown to over six thousand likes, 200 shares, and the birth of a new hashtag: #MyStealthyFreedom a name which is meant to be somewhat ironic, as Aleinejad puts it, “if something is done stealthily, then it cannot be called FREEDOM.”

Since then, other Iranian women have joined in, today over 30K women who have posted photos of themselves without veils and with the hashtag. Aleinejad explains her movement as, “taking my veil off was like thumbing my nose at authority, especially the authority that was forced upon me.”

It’s incredible to think that there are women are still stripped of liberties that we may take for granted. The next time I’m annoyed by sitting in traffic, or judging a motorcycle’s roar as it passes me, or irritated with how the wind is messing up my hair, I’m going to think about #MySthealthyFreedom and be thankful for the freedoms I’m granted with.

“Real freedom does not mean doing whatever we feel like doing; it means being able to do what we have the right to do,” said Aleinejad.

And that is why #MyStealthyFreedom has won the Internet. A movement that I hope keeps growing until all Iranian women have the freedoms they deserve.

Image via here.

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