Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, and Egyptian secularist, has done something striking: to protest against repressive Islamic culture, she has taken her clothes off, and posted photographs of herself on her blog
The 20-year-old wrote on her blog that the photos, which show her naked apart from stockings, are her “screams against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy”. Her blog has received 1.5 million hits since her photos were posted earlier this week.
This has had an expected result — the conservative and religious elements (but I am redundand) are outraged — and another, subtler, annoying aspect: even the liberals are whining. The comments on her blog, those few that are in English that I can read, are revealing. Among the comments praising her bravery, there are a few craven, well-meaning people urging cowardice, like this one.
With all respect to you – what good will it do the world if men and women in the Middle East take their clothes off?
It would be more accurate to say that it is a freedom, and we should be willing to fight to keep. Personal freedom? what this concept means in Egyptian society?
Personal freedom had limits and this kind of personal freedom – nude male and female art – is unknown in our society.You misunderstand the concept!
I have no problem with nudity.If you wish for people to be more understanding about nude photography you need to understand and deal with negative comments.
Yes,Nude does NOT equal sexual and nudity is artistic expression,but that doesn’t mean that it is acceptable in the society where we live in. As much as I want to believe being open minded about nudity,It would be great if we could get to a place where nudity was just a person with no clothes on. I think that will take a very long time though!
I hope this clears things up for you.
It doesn’t. What a muddle. So yes, you should be free to take your clothes off, but that isn’t “acceptable in the society where we live in,” and maybe you shouldn’t do it. You’re free, but you’re only free to do the things that the puritans in charge will allow you to do.
I think the problem is that this person is using the word “freedom”, but he doesn’t know what it actually means. That’s OK, we Americans act like we invented the word, but most of us seem perfectly willing to throw it away for a little imaginary security, or for the privilege of feeling sanctimoniously superior to our neighbors, or just to conform.
I’ll just say…bravo, Ms Elmahdy. I hope the reactionary haters in your country don’t do you harm, and I hope the tepid semi-liberals don’t applaud while they try.
(via Maryam Namazie.)