Reihane Taravati, an outspoken social media activist, was riding in a taxi the other day when she received a stern reprimand from the driver.
Unbeknownst to Taravati, 26, her headscarf — which Iranian women are required to wear as a show of modesty — had slipped down the back of her head, leaving most of her hair exposed.
“Fix your scarf, or the undercover [moral] police will see it,” the cabbie told her. He worried about receiving a ticket in the mail, which would cost him about $30.
As Taravati relayed this story while sipping tea with friends in a Tehran cafe, a debate was raging in the Iranian capital that combines two things that people here obsess over: cars and the way women dress.