Iran today

Iran today
: Pejman Yousefzadeh has a very good backgrounder on Iran today at Tech Central Station.

: More from the Iranian/American couple blogging their trip to Iran. This from the American wife, on clothes:

Before coming here, I promised myself that I would not obsess over the headscarf and the manteau that I am forced to wear. When other writers did that, I was bored. I thought that there were other issues of women

  • joy

    I had to look up what a manteau was. As far as I can tell, it’s a long jacket. Here’s what google images showed me when I searched for “Islamic Manteau“.
    Are they really that long? That and a scarf would be hot, indeed.

  • Yep. I remember reading a blog posting somewhere about these manteaus. It must be something like walking around with a raincoat, even when it’s 100 degrees. My understanding is that most of the materials used for such manteaus are polyester. Can’t be too comfortable.

  • Yes Joy, that is exactly it. It can be polyester or wool or cotton or anything else, but that picture shows a typical manteau.
    Also keep in mind, more religious women put on chador over their manteau and scarf, which is a big piece of black garment wrapped arroun body and hold by hand. When i went to school, in my home town which has a very warm and humid climate (even worse than Huston), chador was mandatory in the girls schools for all students and female teachers. My mother who was a teacher had to put it on and she hated it, just like many other women.
    However, you have to understand that at least half of the Iranian women will maintain some kind of hijab because of their beliefs or traditions even if there is no enforcement.

  • Diana

    If they hate it that much they shouldn’t put up with it. They wear these clothes because ultimately, they choose to.

  • Oh puleeze, Diane, is the heat making you stupid?
    Right – everyone who wears a chador rather than being severely beaten, jailed or killed “chooses” to.

  • Nima

    Indeed, Yehudit.
    I don’t think more than 15% of the population would put on manteau or chador if it wasn’t obligatory. Why? because in the West, where they’re really free to “choose,” the Iranians don’t generally put it on. Having lived in Canada for several years, seldom have I seen Iranian women putting on Hejab in any form (only one or two cases, I guess).

  • John Anderson

    The manteau is usually worn with tight trousers (think back to pedal-pushers) and can be quite attractive. But hot.
    And *Notes from an Iranian Girl* notes that it is getting worse, the fanatics are insisting that colors and loose-woven (eg sweater) polyester tops must be replaced with plain black heavy cotton or even wool.

  • Phil Doring

    I have watched waves of muslim immigrants move into my city. They all follow the same pattern in americanization. They arrive in grey and black Chadors which within a few months are replaced by more colorful materials. I even saw a full outfit in bright scarlet the other day. Then the traditional wear starts getting shorter and smaller. Then they start wearing western style long dresses or skirts. Shawls or scarves for the head are next and finally blouses. Older women of course take longer to change and do not go as far. Very young women even take off their scarves off when they get on the bus and I suspect that many have changed into completely western wear after leaving home. All of this takes only a few months and seems to happen faster with each new wave.
    Oddly the new immigrants are much more friendly than the Ethiopian and Somalian ones of the nineties.