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When eighteenth-century revolutionary elites set about designing new political orders, they drew on commonplace theoretical understandings of “democracy” as highly undesirable. They therefore designed government institutions in which popular participation was to be extremely limited. The new political constructions, in both France and the United States, never worked as planned. The mobilizations of the revolutionary era did not vanish as the constitutional designers hoped.
The women of Iran are intimately familiar with repression and segregation. Iran’s mandatory dress code—veiling—is but one of many restrictions that regulate and control women’s bodies and shape their sense of agency and freedom.