I had been contacted by a few Iranian women to speak with them just shortly after Mahsa Amini’s death and the demonstrations/revolution began. Then later I contacted them to ask whether the new decree to disband the “Morality Police” was of any real consequence for them.
They remain anonymous for their safety — these women live outside Teheran and say the demonstrations are everywhere throughout Iran.
This is what they wrote back upon hearing of the disbanding of the morality police:
No, we are not feeling relieved, not at all. Nobody is feeling good about the news because first, we know that women still won’t be able to wear what they want at work or governmental organizations like banks. A few days ago a bank office worker received punishment for serving a customer that was wearing her hijab loosely. We know this is just an empty announcement because officially and by law women still have no rights. Second, there are some huge demonstrations organized for three days ahead we think this news is just the regime’s reaction out of fear. Third, this was never about just the hijab. We have lost too many lives already and many more are getting death sentences each day for participating in the demonstrations, many innocent lives are at risk currently at political prisons, so no it has not changed the hearts of our people. The three upcoming days would definitely show the world how the Iranian people are feeling right now.
And then I further heard:
We are worried that this news would make the world think that it is over. As I mentioned before, hijab laws and restrictions are like the Berlin wall for the Islamic regime. Our people would never be finally free as long as this regime is ruling. We are afraid that the regime manipulates the global news on Iranian revolution by spreading such empty announcements as the abolishment of the moral police. Please do let the world know that this will not happen and even if it did, it wouldn’t change anything regarding the current ongoing revolution in Iran. We are totally done with Mullahs and we want them gone. The 5th, 6th and 7th of December are going to be very important days for the Iranian revolution alongside huge strikes currently going on nationwide by petrochemicals, gas, oil, and steel companies’ workers and the union of bus and truck drivers.
Zillah Eisenstein is a noted international feminist writer and activist and Professor Emerita, Political Theory, Ithaca College. She is the author of many books, including “The Female Body and the Law” (UC Press, 1988), which won the Victoria Schuck Book Prize for the best book on women and politics; “Hatreds” (Routledge, 1996), “Global Obscenities” (NYU Press, 1998), “Against Empire” (Zed Press, 2004), and most recently, “Abolitionist Socialist Feminism” (Monthly Review Press, 2019).