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May 04 2010

Baring one’s body can be a legitimate form of resistance

Here is a piece in the Paris Herald on ‘Boobquake’ versus ‘Brainquake.’ Since I only found out about Brainquake when the journalist in question contacted me for a comment (which she didn’t use), let me briefly say the following:

Of course women are wrongly sexualized everywhere including with the veil and sexual apartheid. But for Brainquake to reduce Boobquake to the sexualisation of women misses the point. Ridicule is a wonderful way of criticizing religion and religious rules, particularly given that it is becoming more and more taboo. Also intent is important. Jennifer’s intent was a defence of women’s rights and status and cannot be compared with pornography.

More importantly, though, when you are confronted with an Islamic movement that deems women’s bodies as sources of corruption and chaos, and actually criminalises everything from a woman’s hair, her bare arms or legs, let alone breasts, baring one’s body can become a legitimate form of resistance.

I don’t know Golbarg Bashi and cannot speak of her intent but I find her reasoning against Boobquake sounding very much like that of the Islamic regime of Iran’s and other Islamists, which say they promote women’s dignity and intellect whilst imposing medieval laws that veil, segregate and deem women as sub-human. I would think that if she was as concerned about women’s rights as she says, she would not be calling on campaigners to remain passive and merely donate to ‘Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.’ Her call is a disservice to the international solidarity that all progressive social movements demand and deserve and particularly the important women’s liberation movement in Iran.

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