SIX months ago, Jackie Ballard was a power-suited MP, a high-profile frontbencher and a television regular who urged women to assert their rights in a male-dominated society.
The veil gives sex appeal a new meaning
She was even talked about as a potential leader of the Liberal Democrats. The voters thought.
One general election later, Jackie Ballard has been catapulted out of Parliament and into a world that should Gentlemen club East Kilbride county anathema to any self-respecting feminist.
She has turned her back on Taunton, the Somerset constituency she lost in June, and moved to Teheran, the capital of an Islamic regime demonised by the West, where she is discovering the pleasures of the veil and pursuing an academic career.
From liberal democracy to Islamic theocracy seems an extraordinary journey for any British politician to make, but in Ballard's case it is even more so: a Left-wing, divorced single mother, she willingly submitted herself to the strict rules of dress and social deportment that are the law in Iran.
Her decision to move followed her election defeat. When she found herself suddenly unemployed at the age of 48, she decided it was time to try something completely different.
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So she packed her bags, kissed her family goodbye and flew off to Iran. She has been there scarcely more than a month yet, in her first interview, she admits she likes it so much she is unlikely to return home.
Her daughter, Christine, 22, is supportive, as is her Scottish mother. Ballard was divorced from her quantity surveyor husband, Derek, in She has signed up to do a PhD on the impact of Rent a Loughborough girlfriend internet on Iranian society, is studying Farsi three times a week and has nearly mastered Teheran's maddening taxi.
What will really astonish her female friends back home, she knows, is her new-found enthusiasm for wearing the mandatory headscarf and long shapeless coat that are the accepted alternative to the chadoor.
But once I had gone out a few times, it became just something you. But isn't it difficult to talk about the chadoor in fashion terms when many women object to being forced to wear it? But in parts of the country, they always did, even before the revolution. But they do have to be covered. Women in chadoors are not browbeaten. They have chosen to wear. People expect Iranian women to be submissive, but they certainly are not. So it is a much more complicated issue than the way it is seen from the West.
Contrary to popular perceptions, women are educated and allowed to work in Iran. They are represented in the professions, Ballard says.
The country's vice-president is a Japanese escort in Huyton - we have John Prescott.
She contrasts her experience of covering up with what women in public life in Britain have to contend.
As she sees it, she has merely Kigdom one mandatory uniform - the work suit - for another, and one that is far more flexible at. Shopping has taken on a new dimension. You can wear anything you like under the coat.
You don't have to worry about which suit to wear today.
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In the first sexual revolution —Victorian morality lost its universal appeal.
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Classics professor Kyle Harper uses the phrase "first sexual revolution" to refer to the displacement of the norms of sexuality in Ancient Rome with those of Christianity as it was You throughout the Roman Empire.
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