Document Type : Research Paper


Assistant Professor, Dep. of Sociology, University of Tehran


This article investigates the possibility context of the unveiling genesis (taking off the Hijab, i. e. the Islamic veil) in Iran and elucidates the dynamics possibility of the first attempt to unveil. An archaeological method of Foucaultian approach is adopted to reach this goal. The article demonstrates that “unveiling” is one of the implications of modernity and should be considered in light of the distinction between “Native Modernity” and “Western Modernity”. Therefore, despite the common narrative, we cannot think of the time when Ghorrat-alein bābi attended Badasht meeting with her veil taken off in 1852 the starting point of the unveiling in Iran while the native modernity with its arrangements was in an outstanding stage of its authority. Moreover, Ghorrat-alein’s style of argumentation entirely belongs to traditional texture. the unveility developed only in an advanced stage of western modernity with its consolidated arrangements and lively dynamics in Iran. Historically, it occurred in 1927 when Sediqeh Dowlat-abādi took her veil off roaming in the streets. Dowlat-abādi’s maneuver lay in a sequence of internal and international relations supported and empowered by the “modern state” of Rezakhan namely the influence of modernization in Afghanistan and Turkey, inclination to gain international prestige in the end of the World War I and the nationalistic strategy of education of women. Although Dowlat-abādi herself was initially under the influence of modern relations that emerged in the realm of education within the “underdevelopment discourse” since the time of Sepah-salār and especially the Constitutional Revolution, later she turned to be a proponent of a new discourse for promoting unveiling and defining women’s rights and tended toward some type of “maternal feminism” derived from common arguments of religious modernism under the influence of the feministic trends between the two World Wars.