Posts Tagged ‘ Nude ’

Nude Protests: Is Feminism Different for Different Cultures?

It’s understandable why the Islamists would protest against FEMEN’s ‘jihad’ campaign. It escapes me why any educated liberal, in the Western or the Muslim world, would support the #MuslimahPride on this.

Western feminists of the Jezebel variety have, through their opposition to FEMEN, set an example that their cherished concepts of gender-equality and freedom are not applicable to the Muslim world. Being able to wear what you want is a Western-thingy, and preaching the same to the Muslim world would be “culturally insensitive”. Note that FEMEN members have employed the same tactics when protesting against the Catholic Church’s misogynistic policies.

For Western liberals, it has become fashionable to revere foreign cultures as it allows them to feel more open-minded. In their outstanding ignorance, they often become apologists for cultures and ideologies that are consistently inspiring unspeakable crimes against humanity, and women in particular.

This is but the only conclusion one may draw from the act of supporting Amina Tyler for nude protests and cursing FEMEN for doing exactly the same!

The peaceful religious people being offended by Femen’s protest are the theist apologists who do not have the decency to flatly disown a source of unfathomable suffering to the world.

It’s those who are still mucking about with translations and interpretations and no-true-Scotsman fallacy, trying to unlink themselves from all the damage being generated by the ideology they revere. Those who are more enthusiastic about defending their ‘precious little believies‘ than defending human freedom and well-being. That’s the reason the MuslimahPride group is practically teeming with self-righteous assholes, generally more concerned about women’s modesty than the suffering inflicted upon countless women like Amina Tyler.

Being an anti-Islamist doesn’t make you anti-Muslim by default. Take it from a liberal Pakistani man with Muslim parents, mostly Muslim friends, and a whole bunch of Muslim heroes, none of whom I intend to offend by my criticism of their religion.

If Todd Akin ever issues a statement, “Women are a tilth for men to plant seeds in however they please” (Quran, 2:223), heads will explode from London to New York. Nobody will excuse this incident fearing that an attack on Akin would be an offense to all his political supporters because, you know, not all his supporters endorse this statement. No liberal would defend him saying, “Oh, you’re misinterpreting Mr. Akin’s words” or “You need to read all of Akin’s statements ever made before you decide whether you like him or not”.

At least in theory, there should be no confusion among us that these are harmful ideologies unworthy of our defense. Whether we choose to tread lightly or act diplomatically to safeguard the world from them, without endangering the peaceful Muslims, is another matter.

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It’s a Breast, Not a Bomb

Gymnophobia is defined as an irrational fear of nudity.

It is what makes the Pakistani Twitter-sphere explode (and not in a good way) when Veena’s nude image appears on a magazine cover, or when she stars in a music video wearing a bra lit like a Christmas tree.  It is what causes angry Egyptians to assault Aliaa Mahdy for posting a naked picture of herself on her blog.  It is what makes the Iranian government ban Golshifteh Farahani from returning home because of her nude photoshoot for a French magazine.

It’s not just about conservative values, or religious laws. There’s just something so awfully disgusting, deplorable and distressing about the female anatomy that it makes us want to scratch our eyes out. It leaves us traumatized, ashamed. A world fraught with criminals, terrorists, embezzlers, swindlers and plain destructive assholes, all comes to a grinding halt at the sight of a woman’s nipple and says, “Whoa! Hold it right there!”

As a rationalist and a psychiatrist, such behaviour has always intrigued me. What is it about skin exposure that drives society up the wall? Here are some common concerns I’ve come across talking to different Pakistanis online. Continue reading