When a woman goes swimming

The subhead of an article in India Today:

“When a woman goes swimming, as the word for sea is masculine, when “the water touches the woman’s private parts, she becomes an ‘adulteress’ and should be punished.”
– Summary of a report titled “The misguided Fatwas of the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis”, as published in the Al Masry Al Youm.

That item is reported in other places, all apparently from the same source. Even Counterpunch reports it.

One currently ascendant Salafist group in Syria, among more than 1000 others competing for weapons and fighters, is “Daash”. The word is an acronym with its letters standing for “the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.”  Daash appeared on the scene here recently, about a year ago and some local observers believe it arrived via Iraq with large amounts of funding from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey…

Some recently reported Salisfist practices spreading in Syria include, but are not limited to the following:

*Females in Daash controlled areas of Aleppo and elsewhere are being prevented from wearing jeans and sweaters and must wear only the Islamic dress Abaya and Barkaa while forbidden from putting on any make-up or now, as of two weeks ago, to even leave their homes without a male escort. Some women in parts of Aleppo and Raqaa now refer to their neighborhoods as Tora Bora, Afghanistan, given the similarities of repression  between Taliban and Salafist treatment of women…

*No women’s clothing can be displayed in shop windows. Tailors shops must shut to men in the event of the women’s presence in the shop until she leaves.The Daash militia has long prevented women from seeking medical attention from male Doctors. Recently Daash has put into place prohibitions against women visiting doctors of either sex and it is not permissible for a woman to wear orthodontic devices such as teeth braces because straight teeth might attract men and in any case their bodies are under the stewardship of their husbands or fathers only.

*Daash has proclaimed that women who swim in the sea are in fact committing “adultery” — even if they wear a hijab because as with many other languages, Arabic nouns are gender specific, and “sea” is masculine and when the water touches the woman’s vaginal area she becomes an ‘adulteress’ and must be punished. Daash militias also forbid women from eating certain vegetables or even touching cucumbers, carrots or bananas, due to their phallic imagery, which may tempt women to deviate and it is also unacceptable for women to turn the air conditioning on at home during the absence of their husbands as this could be used as a sign to indicate to neighbors that the woman is at home alone and any of them could commit adultery with her.

You would think they’d have better things to do, wouldn’t you…But for some people there really is nothing better to do than devote your energies and attention and time to thinking up new ways to chivvy and bully and harass a person or set of people.

The Egyptian newspaper Al Masry Al Youm in its 11/15/13 edition reported that Daash variety Fatwas regard women as strange creatures created solely for sex. Daash considers the voices of women, their looks and presence outside of their homes an ‘offense” with some Salafists regarding women in general ‘offensive.’”

In other words women are basically just throbbing dripping vaginas that somehow can also walk and talk. What was Allah thinking?



  1. says

    “Oh, but it’s just their cultural! You’re being so horrible with your western imperialistic, ethnocentric proclamations! You have to respect them!”

    Sorry… just wanted to get in and respond to it before it comes up…

    Fuck that. Misogyny is not a “cultural” thing. It’s a bullshit thing that needs to go.

  2. Argle Bargle says

    Does that mean when men go swimming and the water touches their genitals then they become gay?

  3. rq says

    Argle Bargle
    I was going to say something similar – in Latvian, the word for ‘sea’ is feminine, so maybe women become lesbians and men the adulterers when they go swimming?? Although the word for ‘water’ is masculine… Language, so confusing!

  4. specialffrog says

    So if the sea counts as a person enough that contact with it constitutes adultery for a woman and given the number of women who have been in any particular sea over history, surely the right thing for Daash to do would be to spend all of their time throwing rocks at the sea.

  5. johnthedrunkard says

    Scroll down in the India Today article and see the illiterate scrawls from Islamist rationalizers.

  6. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    Wouldn’t men being in the sea also count as adultery and also gay sex? Someone didn’t think this all the way through… We should inform them immediately!

  7. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    Damn you Argle Bargle 😉 I guess that’s pretty much the first thought anyone has about this ridiculousness. Well, after “Those poor women having to put up with this shit…”

  8. stever says

    Sometimes I’m really glad that English has neuter nouns. Now, if we could just do something about spelling…

  9. says

    Does this mean male muslim swimmers in France are adulterers? La mer is female.

    No, it means they’ll accuse female muslims of being lesbians. Males are never at fault, even when they are.

  10. A. Noyd says

    According to this, air is masculine. Muslim women had better keep their vaginas hermetically sealed.

  11. Shatterface says

    Slightly off topic but the use ‘Man’ for ‘human’ once lead a British school text book to inform children that ‘Man is a mammal who breast feeds his young’.

  12. lpetrich says

    The grammatical gender of the word “sea” varies from language to language. Or is Arabic the one to refer to because Allah can only speak Arabic? At least so it seems.

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