Nude protest for Intl Women’s Day

Today, 8 March, International Women’s Day, Amina Sboui, Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, Solmaz Vakilpour, Safia Lebdi, Meriam Russel and myself protested nude in support of women’s rights in the Middle East and North Africa at the Louvre in Paris.

I didn’t want to just hold the Islamic regime of Iran’s flag so I cut out the Allah in the centre of the flag and let it show my vagina instead. Much better, don’t you think?

Below are some photos, video coverage and links. We were arrested when 100 police converged on the area and took us away. We were released after several hours. I managed to catch my Eurostar train 1 minute before it took off with the help of Waleed Al Husseini wearing “Free the Nipple” t-shirt Amina gave us each.

Long live International Women’s Day…

8 marchamina


Below are some links of news reports on the protest:,1883975.php


  1. says

    Why did y’all choose France? With the possible exception of Oregon, it would seem to be the safest place to be nude in public.

    On a more persoanl level, how did you manage to “show your vagina”?

    • Lou says

      i think safety should be one of the factors when considering being naked in public, so a nudity-friendly area is a good idea (rather than a place that will get you jail time). it’s still shocking enough to get the message across since no one goes around naked

    • jfoxvog says

      Using the word “vagina” to mean “vulva” irritates me also. But maybe English isn’t the writer’s first language.

  2. Mitch says


    I admire your bravery and conviction :-)

    However I don’t see any vaginas being bared, just beautiful natural vulvas being bared :-)


  3. logicthoughts says

    It is known fact that Christian women in 1940’s and so,have revolted against their religious obligations,ethics and morality.THEY DID THE SAME OR MORE what you brave so called ex-mus;imah did… .they have liberated themselves and their children from moral ethics as well….their next generations (present) have became stars and what not?….

    the following video showering their blesses to all those liberated nude ex-Muslims and those thinking of leaving Islam to bare themselves to the world.

  4. No One says

    I see “fuck wit” @ #6 is back at it again, flogging the excluded middle with false equivocation.

    • logicthoughts says

      My dear brother NO one,
      Keep in mind, hurting people often hurt other people as a result of their own pain. If somebody is rude and inconsiderate, you can almost be certain that they have some unresolved issues inside. They have some major problems, anger, resentment, or some heartache they are trying to cope with or overcome. The last thing they need is for you to make matters worse by responding angrily.”

      Conquer thy own evils before you judge others.

      • No One says

        Ahhh.. once again resorting to arm-chair psychoanalysis. So what of those naked women? Do we stone them to death or fuck them? Or perhaps a fat-wah with a forced conversion and a beating thrown in for good measure… Or I know… acid in the face? Or shooting them because they went to school?

        • Janet says

          nobody has to do anything with these nude women or nudity or any other corrupted activities! because ppl involving in such nasty, satanic activities, would end up dying young from committing suicide, drug overdose, AIDs, other trans diseases, or they will be killed by their clients! for whom dont believe me, just watch that video above!

  5. saro says

    A cheep copy of “calendar girls”…not even esthetic. A protest with a stolen idea. Patent rights say hello to Mrs. Activist.

  6. alanflynn says

    I hope the vexillologists are taking note. What better way for a post-Islamist Iran to publicise the country’s rebirth and commitment to feminism than with the substitution of a rose for the offending tulip?

  7. Hosein says

    Much kudos to everyone of you dauntless women for all your efforts to barely (pun intended 😀 ) promote equality and freedom. I just fell in love with what you did with the flag. It was ingeniously creative! If only the world centered around the vagina! No harm ever came from a vagina while much harm has always come from religions.

  8. rapiddominance says

    It’s an interesting and entertaining mode of activism, I’ll give you that much. Plus, it looks like you gals had a lot of fun. Saul Alinsky, a liberal american activist, stresses that one of the 12 important aspects of activism is that it must be fun for the participants.

    I see the symbolism, but what does the activity accomplish tactically? Perhaps if I understood Islamic culture better, I would know the answer already. I come from a christian background.

    Scott Morgan

  9. rapiddominance says

    I’m not going to judge whether its esthetic or not, but its been my experience that people who enjoy running around naked hardly seem to care what they look like. That said, maybe they weren’t enjoying themselves (though they seem to be). Maybe they were a little embarrassed (and cold) but braved it out to make a point.

  10. rapiddominance says

    “Reply” isn’t working for me tonight. I’ll quit cluttering the thread. Feel free to delete my comments.

  11. says


    “… but its been my experience that people who enjoy running around naked hardly seem to care what they look like.”

    I’m guessing that your experience is limited to your spouse.

  12. says

    @ #15

    “I see the symbolism, but what does the activity accomplish tactically? Perhaps if I understood Islamic culture better, I would know the answer already.”

    To the non-Muslim world, it’s trite and boring. That’s doubly the case in France. The Muslim world, IMO, will simply write them off as nuts.

    They’d be far, far more effective if they became regulars at one or more of France’s hundred or so naturist beaches. As Muslims or ex-Muslims, doing that would be real news. It would also encourage Europe’s Muslim women to follow suit.

  13. rapiddominance says

    Actually, I’ve experienced college life, studied the difference between exhibitionism and neudism, and just tried to understand my life’s observations the best I can. Doesn’t make me an expert, though.

  14. rapiddominance says

    #20, I think, hesitantly, that you might be making a good point Jenny. Attracting a large number of European ex-muslims to do this MIGHT send a message that middle eastern Muslims cannot ignore. There are some potential obstacles. 1) Can 6 women (give or take) draw these numbers and how? 2) Will enough MIDDLE EASTERN women have the media access to see what’s going on in Europe and be inspired? Not that they would necessarily start stripping (which isn’t the intended goal), but inspired enough to raise their voices.

  15. says

    Muslims and ex-Muslims, both. And I’m mostly after first or second generation immigrant Muslim women — e.g., those in France. Don’t worry, the news will get back across the sea. The traffic back and forth is heavy.

    You see, Muslim men merge into the French population with little problem if they want to, and almost all do. A North African Muslim male doesn’t look any different than, say, a Southern French male if they dress the part, and nearly all do. The Muslim women could integrate too, and many of the younger ones are well on their way to doing so, but you don’t see Muslim women of any age on the beaches.

    Maryam and her buddies would be well advised to move away from exhibitionistic stunts and actually walk the walk. Encouraging Muslim women to take their kids to the naturist and non-naturist (bottoms required) beaches, as the French women do, would go a long way to solving the integration problem that affects French society. It’s not about getting anyone to give up Islam, but about getting the cloistered to loosen up and fit in.

    I wonder: has Maryam evern been quietly nude at a beach? Would she do that? I think she ought to.

    Think globally, act locally … by example.

  16. says

    Found your site today! Please allow this comment from a Libertarian/Capitalist (certainly non-Socialist). There is a Point to all of this and if the critique and complaint by the comments above are on the exhibitionist part, it is misguided. That is what is astonishing about the issue, that there is this much controversy over the body.

    There is another front in this War, however, and it is over the origins of the religions that are most Oppressive to Women. These origins are to be found in the Origins of Christianity and Islam and it is to be found in the Ascensions of the Flavians at the expense of the Julio-Claudians for the founding of Christianity, and the solidifying the Eastern Empire by Flavius Constantinus Heraclius for the founding of Islam. The Hatred of Women – and especially Jews – was baked into the cake. Today, millions worship dead Caesars and they don’t even know it. THAT WAS THE POINT!!! If you hate yourself because you are a woman and view your duty to provide sons as a Contribution to the Slaughter, then the Construction of the Religions specifically aimed to provide just this result were a success. Of course you will allow yourself to be brutalized and mutilated! The Empire needs you! Provided, of course, that you also allow yourself to be denied any concept of Humanity.

    The Militarism built into the “One True God” nonsense should be a tip-off. It requires a very strong response.

    “Exhibitionist Displays”? YES!!! ‘N more. A LOT more! Keep up the GOOD Work!


  17. rapiddominance says

    Exhibitionism, properly understood, is a paraphilia recurring regularly either in fantasy or action. Typically, the exhibitionist gets his/her thrill off showing themselves to strangers (or friends, too, in some cases). Not that many commenters aren’t aware of that already, I just want to properly define it. That said, I know of no evidence that the blogger is a true exhibitionist. In fact, I don’t think she is. I hope nobody took my remarks to imply that the blogger has a sexual/mental illness.

    That said, the 6 ladies were definitely on exhibit–but one possibly of irrelevant tactical value, if not having a negative impact. But I’m not for certain.

  18. says

    Dear #25: You’re a typical American of the “Nudity absolutely, certainly, always equates to SEX” variety in spite of a total absence of supporting evidence or logic. You define exhibitionism with some clarity without bothering to mention that you’re using the #2 definition which is restricted to psychiatry. Those shrinker folks assume that contemporary culture is “true” and define any deviation therefrom as “deviant.”

    In fact, an exhibitionist is simply one who seeks to draw attention to him/herself. You know, like talking heads, like Sara Palin, like most bloggers, etc. They have to be seen-seen-seen and heard-heard-heard but it seldom has anything to do with sex. In fact, many exhibitionists get their thrills via anti-sex rants and by assuming, without evidence, that nudity is synonymous with sex.

    Maryam and her buddies are definitely exhibitionists, which is to say that they’re showoffs. They’re doing so in a good cause, but are, IMO, doing their cause no good at all. Most Europeans are bored by their antics, and most in North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa won’t see their showoff actions or, if they do, will write them off as nuts.

    If they really want to effect change, they should be leading Muslim women to do ordinary things that such women can do, but don’t.

  19. Abdul Rahim says

    Hi Maryam. Do you know a pic of your protest caused mob activity in Calcutta (India) against the newspaper that published your pics. The muslim protestors alleged that you had written Quranic verses and name of Prophet (pbuh) on your bodies and hence publication of the picture was hurting muslim sentiments. The editor and reporter of the newspaper have already been arrested. See here

    Could you please clarify whether there was any such offensive intent by you all. From what I can make out, the text on the bodies talks of women equality (of course written in Arabic / Persian etc.). This will help to dispel doubts here which may lead to further protests / burning and destruction.

  20. logicthoughts says

    What is obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)?

    Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder characterized by uncontrollable, unwanted thoughts and repetitive, ritualized behaviors you feel compelled to perform. If you have OCD, you probably recognize that your obsessive thoughts and compulsive behaviors are irrational – but even so, you feel unable to resist them and break free.
    Like a needle getting stuck on an old record, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) causes the brain to get stuck on a particular thought or urge. For example, you may post the same topic time and again
    “go nude on public place” to make sure it’s really got attention or not.


    Obsessions are involuntary, seemingly uncontrollable thoughts, images, or impulses that occur over and over again in your mind. You don’t want to have these ideas but you can’t stop them. Unfortunately, these obsessive thoughts are often disturbing and distracting.
    Compulsions are behaviors or rituals that you feel driven to act out again and again. Usually, compulsions are performed in an attempt to make obsessions go away. For example, if you’re afraid of girls getting oppressed you might develop elaborate posting negatively certain related topics.,wait for an opportunity to expose yourself and ” encourage innocent, aggressive and immature women to show their private parts publicly”
    However, the relief never lasts. In fact, the obsessive thoughts usually come back stronger. And the compulsive behaviors often end up causing anxiety themselves as they become more demanding and time-consuming.

    • No One says

      What the in the blue blazes are you on about? The arm chair psychiatrist strikes again. So when did you get your degree in psychiatry and from which university?

    • Momotaro69 says

      Not agree with ur ocd thought, muslim society has very contrast legal system between men and women; a little skin of female can be serious issues whereas men are very free thats big double standard if u Aware of it. I support Maryam act in order to challenge status quo -sexism btw The muslimah itself who has Obsessive Compulsive mr logicthought by always veil themself everyday even just go outside near their house. Why u think maryam act- which support equality irrational but that hijab which is actually irrational are okey ? Because u confirm w/ majority view (sexist society) n u blind by that, get it so dont act like a smart psychiatrist even their standard are always changing to pro the majority.

  21. says

    “If they really want to effect change, they should be leading Muslim women to do ordinary things that such women can do, but don’t.”

    Please do not take this as harsh criticism, #25, Jenny6833a, because I quote you and criticize below (except for the “Palin Derangement Syndrome Bash” you gave…You want to get into to Hatred of Women? Look at what was done to her…)

    Anyway! Lots of people MISSING THE POINT these days and it is illustrated in the comments.

    “…they should be leading Muslim women…”
    Oh, really? Who leads? What Political Persuasion must they be a part of to “Lead”? Literally millions have died at the hands of people who truly believed that they were the Vanguard of the _______.
    Dead. Dead. Dead. DEATH.

    “…to do ordinary things that SUCH WOMEN can do, but don’t…”
    Like slitting the throat of a Mullah who orders the torture of a young woman who was brutally raped, said Mullah ordering her to receive 100 lashes? (She dies before the 90th, BTW. Is THAT ordinary?)
    Why wouldn’t it be?

    “Oh, no, because, you see, we’re supposed to react to the sensibilities, the pain of those who see a picture, and “publication of the picture was hurting muslim sentiments”, as stated above by Abdul Rahim, #27.

    Of course, we can always count on the Psych Industry to advance the Status Quo at the expense of Women. It’s “Exhibitionism”. “We’ve got diagnoses…And DRUGS…Lotsa’ drugs. We can CURE these Women, wayward as they are…We can re-make them into useful objects of the State…”

    If it were not real it wouldn’t even make sense as a Parody and yet, this is what it is!
    Go for it ALL, Maryam. Don’t leave anything out. Ever.


  22. rapiddominance says

    Jenny at 26, considering your alternative view of exhibitionism, then perhaps Maryam and her amigas are exhibitionists. Currently, I don’t know enough about her–but if I stick around her blog and learn more, maybe I’ll agree with you more and more. As of now, I neither agree or disagree. Again, I just don’t know enough.
    At least we do seem to agree that the tactic is likely ineffective.

  23. rapiddominance says

    On exhibitionism: Let a naked woman strut down the road, then everyone’s amused (except the mother who closes her son’s eyes). Let a naked man do the same thing–and EVERYBODY PANICS!

    • Markovitch says

      Maybe for the same reason grown up men shave between the legs — they just prefer it that way.

      It’s kind of messed up to claim that a mature adult’s body looks like a child’s body just because some of the hair is gone. They are world’s apart.

  24. No to Islam says

    I may not chose this approach to fight back the barbaric Islamic rules in the world but I welcome and support those who chose their own ways to express themselves. Those who disagree or criticise this type of campaign usually don’t do anything themselves but supporting barbaric rules and/or keeping silence.

    It is important to send a strong message to dictators who aggressively deny human rights in 21st century. They can not control women and men to obey the barbaric rules. Men and Women are equal, this is a fact and no religion has right to deny this.

    • vulcan29 says

      Well said. The critics and the gainsayers can sit comfortably in their homes and enjoy the best of freedom that our societies offer while doing nothing to help those that are oppressed throughout their lives. All credit to Mariam and the other ladies for demonstrating as they have done. In doing so they have demonstrated their courage and compassion.

  25. says

    “I may not chose this approach to fight back the barbaric Islamic rules in the world but I welcome and support those who chose their own ways to express themselves.”

    Even if they expend great effort for minimal results? Even if their efforts are counterproductive?

    The criticism here has been 99% helpful. They need to approach the problem in a way that produces more results, better results, and longer lasting results. Frankly, they come across as amateurs in need of advice from those with more experience in these matters.

    I’m guessing, however, that they’ll continue on a semi-productive or counter-productive path.

  26. No to Islam says

    How did you measure the results so called jenny6833a? It seems to me you have been very concerned about this action? Why? Where does your benefits are? Talk about that. What have you done so far. Can you guide us to your work so far please?

    Do not worry! There is lots of room for you if you really do care about women and human beings. But the question is if you are ready?!

    Does not look like to me.

    You and people like you just “nagging” to create barriers to others who fight and speak up.

    Fights will continue no matter you like it or not. Grow up!

    • says

      As a nudist and nudist activist I know some things Maryam et al don’t seem to have grasped: nude protests are passe; nude calendars don’t sell well; amateurish body painting comes across as grotesque to most observers, especially to the people the group is trying to galvanize; and the police in France (and doubly so in Paris) aren’t about to turn a few women into martyrs.

      I support Maryam’s goals. Her tactics aren’t effective.

      • vulcan29 says

        Protesting naked in Paris is safer than in, let’s say, Tehran or Kabul. Taking your clothes off on a nudist beach is hardly going to be noticed is it? These women clearly don’t wish to be martyrs. They have far more common sense! What they do want to do is to raise awareness of women living under oppressive Islamist regimes and to be free to continue to do so.
        Have you “jenny6833a” done anything to further a cause? Apart from offering your magnificent wisdom, that is.

  27. Danial says

    Perhaps its an unguided attempt…. i appreciate that you are speaking for the women’s freedom but with the camouflage of false Islamic teaching without knowing or reading the true literature i just cant agree, Secondly every intellectual women in Islam with the right and true guidance knows her freedom well but not those who are indoctrinated with the false teaching of Islam. you are Just unaware and i deeply pray for you May Allah Show mercy upon you and Forgive you. lastly The above video of that Playboy model just listen it with open heart. You might have won much hearts but you have also tear down many. Do give a thought on those women as well who has accepted to cover themselves with open heart and following it beyond doubt while not blind folded……

    • vulcan29 says

      For those few women in Islamic cultures who are not oppressed, denied education, allowed to have freedom of thought and speech – fine. For the majority there is no freedom, just oppression.
      The story of one Playboy model, although sad, is not representative of all women. In fact it represents very very few. You need to “get real” instead of, as a man, continuing to use Islam as a means of shackling the minds and bodies of women in Islamic society.

  28. داعش و برادران says

    اینا عجب گوشتایی هستن ، به خصوص دوست عزیز مریم خانم ، بیان ایران ما خیلی گشنه ایم

      • vulcan29 says

        Would it be possible to give a translation of the comments into English please to help those of us that cannot read Arabic, Farsi etc. It’s frustrating to miss out on input. This is a fascinating thread offering insights into different cultures and viewpoints. Many thanks in anticipation.

      • داعش و خواهران مبارز says

        جوابت چه ربطی به کامنت داعش و برادران داره گوشتالو
        ضمناً ما فمن دوست ها منتظر بحث غزه و جواب منطقی و محکمت هستیم
        بالاخره زنها و بچه های بی گناه رو تو خاورمیانه قتل عام کنیم یا نه بچسبیم به عقده های حاصل از واپس زدگی میل جنسی شما و همکارانتون

  29. kasra-1993 says

    I can’t believe you

    تو که خودت ضد زن تری یعنی واسه دفاع از حقوق زنان باید برهنه شد ؟از فردا هرکی اعتراضی داشت باید لباس بکنه؟ لباس مشخصه تفاوت انسان از حیوانات هستش نشان دادن اعتراض به این شکل نه تنها کارایی نداره بلکه هرکسی ببینه اولین فکری که میکنه اینه که مشکل شما نبود (…….)هستش تا جایی که من میدونم اکثر فیمینیست ها به دولتها برای تصویب قوانین ضد این تجارت فشار میارن حالا فیمینیست های ایرانی هم متاسفانه برعکس . من زن نیستم نمتونم بجای تو فکر کنم ،ولی یه کار بهتر کن از عمرت درست استفاده میدونی چی میگم به عقلت مراجعه کن .همون جایی که عکس نشون میده چند وقت پیش پلیس اجازه تظاهرات برای حمایت از حقوق فلسطینی های غزه رو نداد مطمعنم تو و اون دوست های مصری و عربت هرگز قصد اعتراض به کشتار زنان و دختران ….فلسطین رو نداشتید حالا ادعای انسان دوستی و فیمینیستی بکنید.نمیدونم چی بگم .احتمالا خودتون رو بخواب زدید یا دستایی تو کاره و شما بازیچه دست اونا شدید که امیدوارم این طور نباشه واز نا آگاهی شما ناشی شده باشه چون خوابیده بیدار میشه ولی کسی که خودشو بخواب زده رو نمیشه بیدار کرد.میدونم که حرفام اثری روت نداره گفتنی زیاده ولی مجال گفتن نیست، فقط روی کارایی که میکنی فکر کن این کارا راه به جایی نمیبره و اشتباحه با دیدن عکس هات خیلی برات متاسف و ناراحت شدم .بهتره از راه عقل و منطق مشکل رو حل کنی نه از راه برگشت به عصر نوسنگی وبربریت . …


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