This is my body; I will do whatever I want with it, Interview with Amina Sboui and Aliaa Magda Elmahdy
Maryam Namazie: Why did you do the nude action in Egypt? Aliaa Magda Elmahdy: In Egypt, a woman is like a lifeless body, a corpse. This body is owned by other people. They think if she doesn’t follow the rules, it is okay to beat her, to harass her; it is okay to kill her. So the best way to say no to all of that is to say “This is my body and I will do whatever I want with it.”
Maryam Namazie; Is that how you felt too Amina? Amina Sboui: It’s mostly not just in Egypt, not just in Tunisia. It’s in the Arab world that women are treated like that. I guess we have the same reasons why we did it. Actually we did it to show the world how we are treated and mostly to try to change things. Hopefully we will be able to change things – at least a little. Read rest of interview here.
I will be nude, I will protest, and I will challenge you to your core!
All religions have a disturbing view of the female and her body. Islam is no different. Given that Islamism – a regressive political movement with state power and political influence in many places – is using Islam as its banner, however, women’s sexuality and bodies are policed and criminalised and misogyny is encouraged and imposed by the state.
…The idealised woman is obedient, properly veiled, submissive, and accepting of her assigned “place” in society. The rest of us are whores, often compared to unwrapped sweets – covered in flies and free for the taking. We are the source of fitnah in society and blamed for every calamity and natural disaster, as well as the disintegration of the family and society, and deserving of punishment in order to maintain national and Islamic values, pride and honour.
…Islamism’s obsession with women’s bodies and its insistence that women be veiled and hidden from view means that nudity becomes an important form of public resistance. Islamists want us bound in body bags, not seen and not heard. We refuse to comply.
…A nude woman is the antithesis of the idealised veiled and submissive woman. Whilst nude protest is not the only way to resist Islamism and the veil, it is a very modern, practical and appropriate way of doing so. It also challenges discrimination against women and a system which profits from the commodification and sexualisation of women’s bodies. Read the rest here.
Women’s breasts: a serious threat
Thousands of people have attended breastfeeding protests in support of a Staffordshire mother who was labelled a “tramp” for feeding her baby in public. The breast is a thing of concern for many. To show it or not, to look or not. To breastfeed or not. In public that is because women’s breasts it seems are public property. It’s okay for women to flash their boobs, just ask any newsagent. Our breasts, the naked kind, are good enough to be prominently displayed on many newspapers and magazines in any newsagent you enter. And they sell very well. Read the rest here.
News Flash: February 2014
Iranian mother of two, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who had been sentenced to death by stoning for adultery and later given a 10-year jail term instead due to public outrage has been allowed to leave prison, a judiciary spokesman said. Larijani, head of the judiciary, told Fars News Agency that “Ms. Ashtiani’s case was the source of four months of widespread attacks against the regime… this individual was sentenced to death for murder but the international groups began a controversial campaign over it…. we did not pay much attention to those efforts…. we are letting her out simply for good behaviour.” Ms. Ashtiani was the subject of one of the largest international campaigns initiated by International Committee Against Executions and International Committee Against Stoning by their founder, Mina Ahadi, who was contacted by Ms. Ashtiani’s son, Sajjad Ghaderzadeh. See news items here.
Iran: Save Rayhaneh Jabbari from execution by hanging. To sign petition, click here.
More information on Rayhaneh here.
The Law Society must withdraw its guidance on Sharia-succession rules
We, the undersigned, are appalled to learn that the Law Society, the representative body for solicitors in England and Wales, has issued Sharia-related guidance on wills, succession and inheritance…
…Whilst not binding, the guidance legitimises rules which are highly contested by many Muslims themselves and which discriminates against Muslim women, non-Muslims, and ‘illegitimate’ and adopted children. The guidance seriously undermines the Equality Act, citizenship rights and one law for all.
See the rest of the statement and its signatories here.
There will be a symbolic protest action on Monday 28 April at 5pm. More details to follow.
Art Corner: Victoria Guggenheim
Victoria Guggenheim is an award-winning body painter who sees the expression of your sexuality, and the autonomous use of the body as a human right. Censoring the human body is an act of closed mindedness and prudery and is a form of oppression. People confuse it especially when it’s on a female body, as porn. The conflation of art with porn, and the idea that a woman’s body is obscene is largely due to organised religion’s view of the female form. Read the rest here.
Fitnah – Movement for Women’s Liberation