September 2012: Freedom and Nudity


September 2012 is here. The photo for this month’s Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar is that of atheist  blogger, Emily Dietle.

Here’s what Emily said about the project:

- Why did you join the ‘Scream’ and Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar?
There are people who are actively trying to silence, shame, and control women, in this country and abroad.  It is up to those of us who can make an impact, to do so.

My involvement with this calendar has nothing to do with religion, other than it being a stand against those, this time in Islam, that wish to control women; it has everything to do with my values. I have no shame about my body, and this is a stand against those who fear & despise women and want them to be hidden in society.  If it weren’t for people who took a strong stand against misogyny and for free-expression, we’d still be in an age where showing your ankles was taboo. Look to countries that still practice misogynistic practices, without opposition, they are successful at their attempts to bind and control women.

- Why nudity?
The assumption from many detractors of the #nudephotorevolutionary movement is that if one is nude, one is also lewd.  This simply isn’t the case.  Nude representations of the human form can be artistic and powerful, and the pose I have chosen is both.  I don’t have a strong desire to hide my “naughty bits,” because to me, they aren’t “naughty.”  Nudity is natural and normal and it’s only those that seek to control your minds and bodies that fear it.  Our bodies are nothing to be ashamed of. We’re all naked, some of us just have clothes on.  The only negative impact I foresee will be caused by judgmental and misogynistic people reinforcing stereotypes with crude comments- the very people that need to hear the message that women’s bodies are nothing to be ashamed of. This calendar is a tasteful, non-vulgar display of the beauty and strength of women united for free-expression and women’s rights.

- Why do you think the calendar is important?
We’re currently facing waves of religious groups calling for ‘religious freedom,’ while trying to restrict everyone else from basic liberties. You can see this today with attacks by the religious ‘right’ against contraception, free-expression, sex-education, marriage equality, and valid science education.  When religion attempts to infiltrate and rule our lives, we’re faced with standing up for our rights or letting theocratic rule control us.

Here’s some other things Emily has written on the calendar and nudity:

#nudephotorevolutionary

#NudePhotoRevolutionary

By the way, here is her censored photo for Facebook since it doesn’t allow nudity…

You can download the calendar or purchase it here and join the scream on Facebook or Tweet #NudePhotoRevolutionary Calendar.

Comments

  1. says

    It was such a pleasure and an honour to be involved in this project, Maryam. This September holds my thirtieth birthday, and I could not be more thrilled than to celebrate this occasion with free expression & the push for women’s rights.

    • Resident Joe says

      Emily,
      You’re truly one of the blessed creatures that God has bestowed His virtues on.

      Oops, I mean, “You’re truly one of the lucky that natural selection has been fortunate enough to be bestow its virtues on, that of superior intellect, keen wit, courage and tenacity, outspokenness and shamelessness, sense of altruism and justice, rational thought, and attractiveness.”

      Ok… I guess this is the one case where religious expression is superior to rationalism. BUT ONLY IN POETRY!!! NOTHING ELSE!!!

      Congrats on the 100th post!

  2. alanflynn says

    A wonderful, heartwarming stand for freedom of expression & in defiance of those shaming the naked body, thanks to everyone who created this.

  3. sezit says

    Another tasteful, artistic visual. BUT! One thing I don’t understand – why are there no male nudes? It seems that this visual protest is only against the “hetero male gaze”, or the “religous leader judgemental gaze” as if men are the only ones looking who matter. No, no, no! The nude male body is also artful and visually pleasing, as well as societally and religously taboo. And showing nude males also indicates that the hetero female and gay/bi male gaze are present. (Yes, lesbians/bi women also enjoy the view of the female body, but the hetero male voice is so much louder that other voices are not heard unless the effort is made to include them.) Male nudity as art seems more taboo (shocking?) than female nudity (altho it’svnot punished as much.) We see far less of it, and it appears that society self-stifles its expression so much so that I’ll bet many of your readers never thought about this before this post. Am I right?
    So I challenge the males in the atheist community to participate in the nude calendar pose in solidarity for the beauty, freedom and equality of it.

  4. Kahfre says

    Nudity is natural and normal and it’s only those that seek to control your minds and bodies that fear it. Our bodies are nothing to be ashamed of. We’re all naked, some of us just have clothes on. The only negative impact I foresee will be caused by judgmental and misogynistic people reinforcing stereotypes with crude comments- the very people that need to hear the message that women’s bodies are nothing to be ashamed of. This calendar is a tasteful, non-vulgar display of the beauty and strength of women united for free-expression and women’s rights.

    Yes. Agree. Except the part where you said, some of us just have clothes on…. This is not true at the moment, because, by any standards, most of us have clothes on, and only very few of us choose to appear in all their natural glory before the public.

    And, please, as the user Sezit said, never forget men in this noble quest of yours — the quest which is aimed at achieving more and more freedom for women. This is because without men, women are nothing, and without women, men are of no values. In fact, they are both two sides of the same coin. They can’t exist with each other, because one causes the other to exist. Since men face even more resistance, and quite often far more criticism, when it comes to appearing naked in the public or in the media, a non-vulgar calendar featuring 12 naked males, one for each month, wouldn’t be a bad idea, would it? Maybe, a few years later, make a film based on that revolutionary calendar titled “12 Nude Men”, along the same lines as the movie “12 Angry Men”.

  5. sezit says

    Just to clarify – this project is called the Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar, not the “Women’s” NPR Calendar. Why isn’t there equal participation from both men and women? We are in this struggle together! A separate project for men somehow diminishes the partnership in my eyes. This is not just about “people who are actively trying to silence, shame, and control women” – those people are trying to do this to ANYONE who owns freedom of sexuality, male or female. As Kafre says, we are two sides of a coin. There is no way to control one side without controlling the other. There may be more violence towards women, but both sexes are dimininished. And, with only women participating in this project, it makes it look like the men are just there to watch. Bleagh. Guys, get some skin in this game!

  6. Art says

    I suspect nudity may be a key tool in overcoming misogyny and patriarchy, particular deeply embedded cultural and religious forms because it deconstructs the contradictions within approach/avoidance, Madonna/whore, and all the other mental knots people tie themselves into relating to women and their roles by exposing the fact that at the center of it all is a human being with a normal human body.

    Faced with the bare female form it is hard to maintain the illusion that the female form is either holy or vile. That women have a mystical mind-bending power over men, a power so strong it must be guarded against but so weak that a common bit of cloth will do it. It is hard to maintain that a woman could embody the honor of a tribe and family but this pride is so shy and fragile that to show it is to lose it. The image of a temple built over a sewer doesn’t seem applicable when you see the actual woman’s body. The grand and cosmic dualities surrounding the female form, forged in the minds of men, dissolve and you see a human being deserving respect and dignity. Dignity and respect that is integral with being human, not her state of dress, or undress.

  7. ismenia says

    If I remember correctly, there are no male nudes in the calendar because none of the submissions received from men were suitable.

    Calendars need to be reissued every year. Perhaps there should be a sequel. I agree mixed sex participation would be a good thing. I think we also have to get over the idea that the sight of a penis is the most shocking thing imaginable.

    Emily, I agree with you on the “naughty bits”. I find it riduculous when people see genitals and sex as naughty. I really hate the way we teach children to think of their genitals as “rude”.

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