Today is our day to defend our Amina

126

In trying to correct the problem of the missing image, I had inadvertently chosen one that was censored.  The image as Amina intends it to appear has been restored.  /Mike


Today is our day to defend our Amina. The 19 year old Tunisian FEMEN activist whose only “crime” was to post a topless photo of herself saying: “my body belongs to me, and is not the source of anyone’s honour” and “fuck your morals”.

Whilst she has done nothing wrong, she has been effectively detained incommunicado by her family with the help of the police, and the latest reports say she has been drugged and beaten.

Amina says though that she has no regrets.

Our beloved Amina, this is for you…

Actions taken and statements made today in support of Amina will be posted here on a regular basis. You can also post any acts in the comments section below or on FEMEN’s Facebook page.

  • There are actions today in Berlin, Bonn, Bremen, Brussels, Frankfurt, Gothenburg, Kiev, London, Malmo, Milan, Montreal, Paris, Rio De Janeiro, San Francisco, Stockholm, Vancouver, Warsaw and more to mark 4 April, the International Day to Defend Amina. (See time and place here.) Many actions have already taken place in the run-up to this day. You can see some of them here or here.
  • Here is footage on the protest in Milan. Also here and here:

Written By: Maryam Namzie
continue to source article at freethoughtblogs.com

126 COMMENTS

  1. A particularly worrying aspect of this event is the reaction of some Muslim women who declare they fight for women’s rights, they should condemn the treatment of this woman but instead they take it as a reason to call for a Muslim day of pride #muslimahpride. What started with a disagreement about the means by which this teenager communicated her message seems to have transformed into the protection of Islam and the choice to wear particular garments. Are these women in agreement with those that would stone her for revealing her body and her detention, or against them? Have they forgotten that the underlying message is freedom of expression, theirs and hers and equality for women? All women under humanity that is, not just Muslim women. It seems unclear which particular line they tow but then this could be expected when one mind holds contradictory beliefs.

    • In reply to #3 by GlenNeuro:

      A particularly worrying aspect of this event is the reaction of some Muslim women who declare they fight for women’s rights, they should condemn the treatment of this woman but instead they take it as a reason to call for a Muslim day of pride #muslimahpride. What started with a disagreement about the means by which this teenager communicated her message seems to have transformed into the protection of Islam and the choice to wear particular garments. Are these women in agreement with those that would stone her for revealing her body and her detention, or against them? Have they forgotten that the underlying message is freedom of expression, theirs and hers and equality for women? All women under humanity that is, not just Muslim women. It seems unclear which particular line they tow but then this could be expected when one mind holds contradictory beliefs.

      “(…)Women are in first place educated by priests, that repress their sexuality and their spirit under an authority that is never asked them to understand, like this and through this submission of the feminine all humankind is either submitted. The father´s authority, the husband´s authority perpetuates this feminine servitude (… ) women throughout history could become queens and regents, yet they cannot vote, that´s a paradox.”

      Condorcet, “On the Admission of Women to the Rights of Citizenship,” July 1790

      So, they seem not to understand even what they are supporting ?

    • In reply to #3 by GlenNeuro:

      A particularly worrying aspect of this event is the reaction of some Muslim women who declare they fight for women’s rights, they should condemn the treatment of this woman but instead they take it as a reason to call for a Muslim day of pride #muslimahpride. What started with a disagreement about the means by which this teenager communicated her message seems to have transformed into the protection of Islam and the choice to wear particular garments. Are these women in agreement with those that would stone her for revealing her body and her detention, or against them? Have they forgotten that the underlying message is freedom of expression, theirs and hers and equality for women? All women under humanity that is, not just Muslim women. It seems unclear which particular line they tow but then this could be expected when one mind holds contradictory beliefs.

      Well perhaps like a lot of women they are fairly cynical about ‘protests’ that involve taking your top off and putting the pictures on the internet. Perhaps they can’t really remember when they wanted that particular right?

      Is she actually going to be stoned? The petition seems to be aimed at Amnesty International who are a fantastic organisation that do not usually have to be petitioned about human rights. Maybe they don’t hold femen and Maryam Namze in very high regard either.

      What exactly is the girl protesting about. How is it freedom of expression.

      And if it is a genuine protest why the need for the pictures here where few Islamic clerics will be looking. After all in the west we are petitioning for the right to have topless images moved out of the sight of children and onto the top shelf. We are fighting for the rights to be seen as something more than breasts.

      So if this protest is relevant, only the story is needed in an environment where non muslim women are fighting for the opposite. The picture adds nothing to this website beyond titilation and should be reserved solely for the muslim clerics it was intended for. Lest RD net gains a reputation as a site for living in the past with regard to women.

      • In reply to #11 by atheistengineer:

        And if it is a genuine protest why the need for the pictures here where few Islamic clerics will be looking. After all in the west we are petitioning for the right to have topless images moved out of the sight of children and onto the top shelf. We are fighting for the rights to be seen as something more than breasts.

        So if this protest is relevant, only the story is needed in an environment where non muslim women are fighting for the opposite. The picture adds nothing to this website beyond titilation and should be reserved solely for the muslim clerics it was intended for. Lest RD net gains a reputation as a site for living in the past with regard to women.

        You’re seeing nudity of women as something purely sexual, but it isn’t. I agree with people that say sexualised images of nudity should not be something children see every day in shops but unphotoshopped pictures of normal women in normal, unsexual poses are nothing to do with that. There’s nothing wrong with nudity by itself. In fact, I think unsexual nude photos of normal women are a perfect antidote to the photoshopped, sexualised pictures of nudity.

        The women posting their photos in solidarity are doing two things – standing by Amina and her message, and also normalising non-sexualised female nudity. I think they’re great.

        • In reply to #14 by green and dying:

          In reply to #11 by atheistengineer:And if it is a genuine protest why the need for the pictures here where few Islamic clerics will be looking. After all in the west we are petitioning for the right to have topless images moved out of the sight of children and onto the top shelf. We are fighting for the rights to be seen as something more than breasts.So if this protest is relevant, only the story is needed in an environment where non muslim women are fighting for the opposite. The picture adds nothing to this website beyond titilation and should be reserved solely for the muslim clerics it was intended for. Lest RD net gains a reputation as a site for living in the past with regard to women.

          You’re seeing nudity of women as something purely sexual, but it isn’t. I agree with people that say sexualised images of nudity should not be something children see every day in shops but unphotoshopped pictures of normal women in normal, unsexual poses are nothing to do with that. There’s nothing wrong with nudity by itself. In fact, I think unsexual nude photos of normal women are a perfect antidote to the photoshopped, sexualised pictures of nudity.The women posting their photos in solidarity are doing two things – standing by Amina and her message, and also normalising non-sexualised female nudity. I think they’re great.

          Perhaps you missed the comments when this thread was originally posted a few days ago, from much the same people. Which would rather negate what you’re saying. I would debate very much whether this is or was intended to be non sexualised female nudity,.

          But the whole thing could have been rectified by ensuring the images were solely for the Islamic clerics it would offend and kept away from a site where a lot of us are struggling to be seen as non sexualised human beings by keeping our tops on.

          After all if the nudity doesn’t offend and hasn’t offended where is the need for it to be here. Surely if it isn’t offensive here than posting it is just gratuitous. And surely if it were reserved just for the Islamic clerics for whom it was designed to offend that would really pee them off even more.

          • In reply to #17 by atheistengineer:

            Perhaps you missed the comments when this thread was originally posted a few days ago, from much the same people. Which would rather negate what you’re saying. I would debate very much whether this is or was intended to be non sexualised female nudity,.

            Yes I missed that. I don’t know which comments you mean.

            But the whole thing could have been rectified by ensuring the images were solely for the Islamic clerics it would offend and kept away from a site where a lot of us are struggling to be seen as non sexualised human beings by keeping our tops on. After all if the nudity doesn’t offend where is the need for it to be here.

            I really don’t see what’s upsetting you about pictures of women’s bodies unless you think nudity is always sexual.

      • Hey Atheistengineer

        I disagree with your somewhat old fashioned thoughts on the art of the topless protest but the worst was the idea that the photos should only be shown to the islamic clerics! That would seem to be exactly what would make it into pornography! I can just imagine them gathered around it with fear in one hand and…

        I was disappointed when I saw the image with censorship black bar and happy to see it here. It is precisely the lack of control of her body that she is protesting. It is currently not her right in her society/country to do so, that’s the point which you seem to have missed.

        Unfortunately the topless protest has a long past and a sure future, I look forward to the day when it isn’t needed but this is excellent work from Amina!

        Thank you Amina on behalf of those who can’t thank you and the ones not clever enough to support you. As a big hairy guy I can’t think of anything more important that equality for the sexes/sexual orientations.

        In reply to #11 by atheistengineer:

        Well perhaps like a lot of women they are fairly cynical about ‘protests’ that involve taking your top off and putting the pictures on the internet. Perhaps they can’t really remember when they wanted that particular right?

        Is she actually going to be stoned? The petition seems to be aimed at Amnesty International who are a fantastic organisation that do not usually have to be petitioned about human rights. Maybe they don’t hold femen and Maryam Namze in very high regard either.

        What exactly is the girl protesting about. How is it freedom of expression.

        And if it is a genuine protest why the need for the pictures here where few Islamic clerics will be looking. After all in the west we are petitioning for the right to have topless images moved out of the sight of children and onto the top shelf. We are fighting for the rights to be seen as something more than breasts.

        So if this protest is relevant, only the story is needed in an environment where non muslim women are fighting for the opposite. The picture adds nothing to this website beyond titilation and should be reserved solely for the muslim clerics it was intended for. Lest RD net gains a reputation as a site for living in the past with regard to women.

        • In reply to #33 by alaskansee:

          Hey Atheistengineer

          I disagree with your somewhat old fashioned thoughts on the art of the topless protest but the worst was the idea that the photos should only be shown to the islamic clerics! That would seem to be exactly what would make it into pornography! I can just imagine them gathered around it with fear in one hand and…

          Don’t worry, clerics aren’t the only ones with the hand thing going on. Exactly what we didn’t want for the women of North Africa or anywhere else-to present themselves as a sex object.

          I was disappointed when I saw the image with censorship black bar and happy to see it here.

          Can you even hear yourself? Gross.

          It is precisely the lack of control of her body that she is protesting. It is currently not her right in her society/country to do so, that’s the point which you seem to have missed.

          Atheistengineer didn’t miss anything. What is this tone? You have apparently missed some decades of Feminist theory that says we are sick of being made to be sex objects. Although I agree with Amina’s goals completely, No one has to agree with her tactics. Most American Feminists will not.

          Thank you Amina on behalf of those who can’t thank you and the ones not clever enough to support you. As a big hairy guy I can’t think of anything more important that equality for the sexes/sexual orientations.

          Again, really, what in the world does it have to do with cleverness or old fashioned? That’s not what the disagreement is about at all.

          • In reply to #35 by LaurieB:

            Don’t worry, clerics aren’t the only ones with the hand thing going on. Exactly what we didn’t want for the women of North Africa or anywhere else-to present themselves as a sex object.

            I fear I see a depressing sort of alliance being formed here. On one hand we have Islamists who claim that women’s bodies are so toxic and injurious to society that men must be protected from them; an outbreak of ‘uncovered’ women will cause fitna; planes will fall from the sky if male pilots catch a glimpse of an uncovered strand of female hair (or an uncovered female neck, face, arm, leg, etc, etc). And, on the other, we have certain feminist groups who insist on a particular level of female modesty since the very sight of a female nipple will undoubtedly send most men into fits of delirious, lecherous, masturbatory frenzy.

            As a man, I find this sort of view of my sex rather offensive, not that my ‘offence’ matters a jot:
            I think the only coherent position to take here is that, when it comes to women’s rights over their own bodies, the preferences of men do not merit any consideration. It is not feminist to cover up because Islamists tell you to (or because your holy books, written by long-dead misogynists tell you to), nor is it feminist to keep yourself covered because you assume men may like (or dislike) what they see when you don’t.

            You have apparently missed some decades of Feminist theory that says we are sick of being made to be sex objects. Although I agree with Amina’s goals completely, No one has to agree with her tactics. Most American Feminists will not.

            It doesn’t matter how many American feminists agree or disagree with Amina’s actions: all of them could disagree and they could still be wrong. If you cannot make a coherent argument in support of what you assume to be the majority American feminist position then I’m inclined to think that you, and they, are wrong.

            I’ve not yet heard anything other than knee-jerk, emotional responses from those feminists critical of Amina. It is not enough to say that feminists are cynical about this sort of thing and sick of “being made to be sex objects”: Amina has not made herself a “sex object”; the women joining the protest in solidarity have not made themselves “sex objects”.

            Amina’s photos, and those of her supporters, certainly are not exercises in sexual objectification tailored for male consumption – it is perfectly clear that these are unvarnished, real women pictured on their own terms: they don’t become meek, compliant vehicles for male gratification just because you (or anyone else) say so.

          • In reply to #62 by skeelo:

            It doesn’t matter how many American feminists agree or disagree with Amina’s actions: all of them could disagree and they could still be wrong. If you cannot make a coherent argument in support of what you assume to be the majority American feminist position then I’m inclined to think that you, and they, are wrong.

            Maybe you just want us to be wrong and haven’t done your homework to understand just how complicated this issue is for women.

            As to whether American Feminists support this type of protest, I will say that we are conflicted. Personally I don’t care one iota if we are conflicted. It’s a big movement that is getting us where we want to go and has changed all our lives for the better, men and women. It won’t always go smoothly and I don’t expect it to. I feel the same way about my fellow Atheists. I don’t need to agree with all of us and don’t expect to. As I’ve said before, I think Atheism and Feminism both benefit greatly from having a variety of approaches to the same issue, and as long as we are moving in the right direction then I’m happy. If either one of these groups to which I belong issued a straight party line of what we believe and don’t believe and here’s what everyone must think- I’d be running in the opposite direction! Here is an explanation of the decades long disagreement within the movement on this topic. Several decades of angst and disagreement reduced down to a Wiki page:

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feminist_views_of_pornography

            I think it does matter what American and European Feminists and all progressives think about the sexism in the Muslim world. It is affecting us here in the West. Not only that it’s affecting us, even if it wasn’t affecting us most women would be disturbed that women are being treated as reproductive slaves in their own cultures even if they are far away.

            As I’ve said in numerous other comments on other threads in the past, it is extremely frustrating for women of the industrialized West to engage in discussion with the Muslim women intellectuals. It usually starts out with all encouraging agreement about many ideas having to do with tactics and strategies for advancement of women in their domains, only to slam into a brick wall over their refusal to reject the Koran and their prophet. I am often in despair over how in the world they will pull themselves out of their black hole of an existence when they won’t work with us as equals. At this point I acknowledge that we can’t just go storming in there and fix everything for them. They have to do it themselves as a grassroots movement and it won’t be easy. We are however, waiting in the wings.

            As I stated on the previous thread on Amina, I share her goals one hundred percent and I hope she survives the shitstorm and goes on to be a ferocious advocate for the rights of Muslim women. Even if the Feminists are divided on her choice of tactics, I am very confident that they will rally for her in support of her goals.

            What is really not helpful is to characterize those of us who have reservations about her choice of tactics as being prudish or unsupportive or dimwitted. This is false.

          • In reply to #76 by LaurieB:

            Link

            Critics of anti-pornography feminism accuse their counterparts of selective handling of social scientific evidence. Anti-pornography feminists are also critiqued as intolerant of sexual difference and is characterized as often indiscriminately supporting state censorship policy and are accused of complicity with conservative sexual politics and Christian Right groups.

          • In reply to #77 by Peter Grant:

            In reply to #76 by LaurieB:

            Link

            … are accused of complicity with conservative sexual politics and Christian Right groups.

            Which brings us back full circle to the fundamentalist Muslim women who protest for the right of women to wear what they want, (in support of Amina) which is for them-hejab and burka etc. In every rights revolution there are always the saboteurs. Nothing new under the sun.

          • In reply to #79 by LaurieB:

            Which brings us back full circle to the fundamentalist Muslim women who protest for the right of women to wear what they want, (in support of Amina) which is for them-hejab and burka etc. In every rights revolution there are always the saboteurs. Nothing new under the sun.

            Saboteurs is exactly what they are and they should be called out for it.

            Epistemic liberties do not serve as a basis for claims, powers or immunities in the realm of conduct. Having crazy religious ideas doesn’t give them any special rights.

          • In reply to #76 by LaurieB:

            Maybe you just want us to be wrong and haven’t done your homework to understand just how complicated this issue is for women.

            I think you are wrong. I have seen no argument (at all) from you or anyone else to make me think that you are right. But I am happy for you to show me that you are right and I am wrong. Telling me that women find this issue “complicated” does not constitute an argument.

            As to whether American Feminists support this type of protest, I will say that we are conflicted. Personally I don’t care one iota if we are conflicted.

            I don’t really care either, but it’d be good to see more feminists reacting to this protest (and others) in a rational manner, rather than in a dogmatic one.

            As I stated on the previous thread on Amina, I share her goals one hundred percent and I hope she survives the shitstorm and goes on to be a ferocious advocate for the rights of Muslim women. Even if the Feminists are divided on her choice of tactics, I am very confident that they will rally for her in support of her goals.

            I hope you are right, but I’m not sure I share your confidence.

            What is really not helpful is to characterize those of us who have reservations about her choice of tactics as being prudish or unsupportive or dimwitted. This is false.

            I don’t think those characterisations would apply to you, but there have been several comments made across the two threads that would fall rather easily into one or more of those categories. I notice that many of these posts have now been removed. However, this thread still features an attack on a fellow poster for daring to post an image (to the campaign) in support of Amina, as well as repeated speculation that Amina may just be an “attention-seeking twit”.

          • In reply to #80 by skeelo:

            In reply to #76 by LaurieB:

            I don’t think those characterisations would apply to you, but there have been several comments made across the two threads that would fall rather easily into one or more of those categories. I notice that many of these posts have now been removed. However, this thread still features an attack on a fellow poster for daring to post an image (to the campaign) in support of Amina, as well as repeated speculation that Amina may just be an “attention-seeking twit”.

            I will only answer to the comments I made here. I understand that there were comments made by others that you find disturbing but I can’t control that. If you want to address those comments by all means, knock yourself out.

            I also can’t change the fact that American Feminists have been divided on the issue of porno and sexual imagery for decades. There will not be a unified statement on this topic so don’t hold your breath waiting. What we can all agree on is that women are suffering under Islam and that is the message that we can rally around. Tactics are open to discussion.

          • LaurieB

            Sorry for my belated reply, a couple of powder days got in the way of “work.”

            I’m afraid you seemed to have missed the point of the topless protest too! It’s hard to believe that there are people in the world, including you, that can only think of sex when they see the beautiful human body. Maybe it’s my arts back ground rather than the more engineer/science background of the typical RD net user but to me it speaks of the struggle and rage of Amina not a pair of tits.

            I’m sorry you are having trouble seeing the beauty and thought behind the image but not all of us are and you certainly don’t know what I’m thinking. You are not gross just ignorant. This is not Amina making herself a sex object of her self, she doesn’t think it is – your opinion is not valid, her intent and clear (written) message is. It is precisely the act of showing random people that makes it so powerful! Think how annoyed the clerics are, success!

            I’m surprised that anyone else would be, let allow suggesting a set of rules like Atheistengineer! How appalling and repressive! I didn’t miss any of the last 30 years of feminism but you clearly missed art and politics altogether!

            PS Old fashioned is a reference to a comment on AEs comment and clever was a reference to the relatives who cannot support her.

            In reply to #35 by LaurieB:

            In reply to #33 by alaskansee:

            Hey Atheistengineer

            I disagree with your somewhat old fashioned thoughts on the art of the topless protest but the worst was the idea that the photos should only be shown to the islamic clerics! That would seem to be exactly what would make it into pornography! I can just imagine them gathered around it with fear in one hand and…

            Don’t worry, clerics aren’t the only ones with the hand thing going on. Exactly what we didn’t want for the women of North Africa or anywhere else-to present themselves as a sex object.

            I was disappointed when I saw the image with censorship black bar and happy to see it here.

            Can you even hear yourself? Gross.

            It is precisely the lack of control of her body that she is protesting. It is currently not her right in her society/country to do so, that’s the point which you seem to have missed.

            Atheistengineer didn’t miss anything. What is this tone? You have apparently missed some decades of Feminist theory that says we are sick of being made to be sex objects. Although I agree with Amina’s goals completely, No one has to agree with her tactics. Most American Feminists will not.

            Thank you Amina on behalf of those who can’t thank you and the ones not clever enough to support you. As a big hairy guy I can’t think of anything more important that equality for the sexes/sexual orientations.

            Again, really, what in the world does it have to do with cleverness or old fashioned? That’s not what the disagreement is about at all.

      • In reply to #11 by atheistengineer:
        Lest RD net gains a reputation as a site for living in the past with regard to women.

        This is not prurient. To say exhibition of the female body is inherently prurient is sexist, demeans women. That’s the problem with Islam and John Ashcroft.

  2. It’s funny. There are lots of Tunisians around the Gulf and one of the first things they delight in telling you is how European their mentality is. Well prove it! Get this girl out of that damned country and into safety.

  3. What suffering and desperaton must have caused her to do this. A whole life in front of her, in which she will be ruled by men and denied her autonomy and human rights. Her right to pride in her body and free sexual choice, imprisoned in the chains of family honour and medieval moral theology. This was probably the only protest open to her, I hope that she can find a way to escape the consequences that her family and their religious leaders seem to have in store for her.

  4. Maryam Namazie:

    All religions have a disturbing view of the female body. Islam is no different. The perfect woman under Islam is invisible. Islam is only worse in many ways because of its access to political power via the far-Right Islamic movement. Sharia law and Islamic states legislate and impose misogyny and perpetrate the debased view of women.

    Women in North Africa and the Middle East will be freer the more Islam is relegated to a private affair and Islamism is pushed back from the public space. Actions like Amina’s help to challenge Islamism at its very core.

    Islamism’s obsession with women’s bodies and its insistence that women be veiled, bound, and gagged means that nudity breaks taboos and is an important form of resistance.

    Nudity is the antithesis of veiling. Of course it is not the only way to resist Islamism and the veil but it is a very modern way of doing so. Islamists want us covered up, hidden, and not seen and not heard; we refuse to comply.

    But nudity is not just a protest against Islamism and religious misogyny. It is fundamentally a protest against discrimination, the commodification of women, and the religious and chauvinistic culture built upon it – which is why it is on the increase and has been a part of the women’s liberation movement for some time.

    Commodification relies on an objectified image that is separate from the reality of women’s bodies, minds and lives. This image is used to regulate, control and suppress. And this is what religion and pornography share, albeit in different forms. The actuality and frankness of women’s bodies as a form of protest challenges and upsets both.

    Nudity is deeply humanising and revolutionary because it challenges the religious/pornographic view of women’s bodies and reclaims a tool used for women’s suppression. Nudity outrages and offends because of this very challenge.

    • In reply to #12 by skeelo:

      Maryam Namazie:All religions have a disturbing view of the female body. Islam is no different. The perfect woman under Islam is invisible. Islam is only worse in many ways because of its access to political power via the far-Right Islamic movement. Sharia law and Islamic states legislate and impose misogyny and perpetrate the debased view of women.Women in North Africa and the Middle East will be freer the more Islam is relegated to a private affair and Islamism is pushed back from the public space. Actions like Amina’s help to challenge Islamism at its very core.

      Right so we see hundreds of men who reached positions of power and influence by taking their clothes off. It really is the way to get to the top is it. Where are all the men adopting this form of protest.

      Islamism’s obsession with women’s bodies and its insistence that women be veiled, bound, and gagged means that nudity breaks taboos and is an important form of resistance.Nudity is the antithesis of veiling. Of course it is not the only way to resist Islamism and the veil but it is a very modern way of doing so. Islamists want us covered up, hidden, and not seen and not heard; we refuse to comply.But nudity is not just a protest against Islamism and religious misogyny. It is fundamentally a protest against discrimination,

      ROFL. When I see as many images of nude males as I see of nude females that might actually have relevance. Until then I would say that very imbalance is perfect evidence of discrimination. Where are the nude males on RDnet protesting for anything.

      the commodification of women, and the religious and chauvinistic culture built upon it – which is why it is on the increase and has been a part of the women’s liberation movement for some time.

      Ah the commodification of women by – er – showing them naked for men to look at. Or did all the men here avert their eyes and look only at her face.

      Commodification relies on an objectified image that is separate from the reality of women’s bodies, minds and lives. This image is used to regulate, control and suppress. And this is what religion and pornography share, albeit in different forms.

      Well we’re agreed on that at least.

      The actuality and frankness of women’s bodies as a form of protest challenges and upsets both.

      It might upset religion, I doubt very much it upsets the porn industry or the people the porn industry is aimed at.

      Nudity is deeply humanising and revolutionary because it challenges the religious/pornographic view of women’s bodies and reclaims a tool used for women’s suppression. Nudity outrages and offends because of this very challenge.

      Nudity doesn’t offend at all. A surfeit of images of naked women on the other hand, with few men without their pants does!

      When there are men adopting this as a method of protest, and when those protestors are pictured large and clear on the RD front page, then what Namazie says will be true.

      However at the moment it looks very much to me like a cynical ploy to exploit an vulnerable teenager to get Maryam in the news.

      And whilst we’re debating it a girl in the Maldives has just received 100 lashes for the crime of being raped! She doesn’t seem to be here at all. Why, is it she is clothed.

      • In reply to #16 by atheistengineer:

        Two points in response to your utterly misguided comments:

        1) skeelo’s quote from Maryam Namzie (in comment #12) explains the point of this protest very clearly and unambiguously.

        2) You say:

        It might upset religion, I doubt very much it upsets the porn industry or the people the porn industry is aimed at.

        What in the world does this have to do with “porn” or the “porn industry”? Where did you get that idea? Seriously, I’m baffled.

        I posted a photo, as did many other women that I (and, most likely, many of us reading/posting here) admire. And, although I have zero problem with legal pornography, neither my photo nor any of the other photos has anything to do with porn/the porn industry. Re-read skeelo’s comment #12. You’re missing the point by a country mile here.

        • In reply to #23 by mirandaceleste:

          In reply to #16 by atheistengineer:Two points in response to your utterly misguided comments:1) skeelo’s quote from Maryam Namzie (in comment #12) explains the point of this protest very clearly and unambiguously.2) You say:It might upset religion, I doubt very much it upsets the porn industry or the people the porn industry is aimed at.What in the world does this have to do with “porn” or the “porn industry”? Where did you get that idea? Seriously, I’m baffled.I

          Well if you’re baffled as to where the releation to porn comment comes from perhaps you should have read Skeelos comment more closely to see where it came from. Lets put it into fuller context shall we. Skeelo

          “the commodification of women, and the religious and chauvinistic culture built upon it – which is why it is on the increase and has been a part of the women’s liberation movement for some time.

          My response

          Ah the commodification of women by – er – showing them naked for men to look at. Or did all the men here avert their eyes and look only at her face.

          Skeelo

          “Commodification relies on an objectified image that is separate from the reality of women’s bodies, minds and lives. This image is used to regulate, control and suppress. And this is what religion and pornography share, albeit in different forms.

          Here we see the first mention of pornography from Skeelo, ooh shock horror I didn’t mention it first merely reacted to it thus

          Well we’re agreed on that at least.

          Skeelo

          “The actuality and frankness of women’s bodies as a form of protest challenges and upsets BOTH

          Ah the relevant quote! Which puts your out of context quote into context. My response

          I doubt very much it upsets the porn industry or the people the porn industry is aimed at.

          As for your implication that I’m offended by nudity. Lets just add one more comment from the long exchange shall we. To put it into greater context. Skeelo

          “Nudity is deeply humanising and revolutionary because it challenges the religious/pornographic view of women’s bodies and reclaims a tool used for women’s suppression. Nudity outrages and offends because of this very challenge.

          And my response

          Nudity doesn’t offend at all. A surfeit of images of naked women on the other hand, with few men without their pants does!

          When there are men adopting this as a method of protest, and when those protestors are pictured large and clear on the RD front page, then what Namazie says will be true.

          Has that helped you understand where the comment came from now?

          • In reply to #46 by atheistengineer:

            Well if you’re baffled as to where the releation to porn comment comes from perhaps you should have read Skeelos comment more closely to see where it came from. Lets put it into fuller context shall we. Skeelo

            If you’d read my comment more closely, or read mirandaceleste’s comment more closely you’d be aware that I was quoting Maryam Namazie – those are not my words.

            As for your implication that I’m offended by nudity. Lets just add one more comment from the long exchange shall we.

            This was not an exchange at all – you simply inserted some comments into the quote from Namazie, illustrating only that you’d completely misunderstood what she’d said.

          • In reply to #55 by skeelo:

            In reply to #46 by atheistengineer:Well if you’re baffled as to where the releation to porn comment comes from perhaps you should have read Skeelos comment more closely to see where it came from. Lets put it into fuller context shall we. SkeeloIf you’d read my comment more closely, or read mirandaceleste’s comment more closely you’d be aware that I was quoting Maryam Namazie – those are not my words.As for your implication that I’m offended by nudity. Lets just add one more comment from the long exchange shall we.This was not an exchange at all – you simply inserted some comments into the quote from Namazie, illustrating only that you’d completely misunderstood what she’d said.

            I found it easier to write Skeelo than Skeelo quoting from Maryam Namazie – however I understood what Maryam was saying very well indeed. And was merely disagreeing with what you’d posted which in anyones book is an exchange of sorts.

            And if you read Miranda Celestes post you will see she was asking where I found the ref to porn and implying I’d somehow made it up – so I was merely pointing out that the oiginal ref was from Maryam Namazie.

          • In reply to #61 by atheistengineer:

            I found it easier to write Skeelo than Skeelo quoting from Maryam Namazie -

            You could have just written “Namazie”, wouldn’t that have been just as easy?

            however I understood what Maryam was saying very well indeed.

            You have yet to demonstrate that.

            And was merely disagreeing with what you’d posted which in anyones book is an exchange of sorts.

            No, just in your book, I think. An exchange is what we’re having now. When you presented your earlier post as an exchange between me and yourself, (to paraphrase: skeelo said this, then I responded with that, then skeelo said this, and then I said this, etc) you completely misrepresented it.

            And if you read Miranda Celestes post you will see she was asking where I found the ref to porn and implying I’d somehow made it up – so I was merely pointing out that the oiginal ref was from Maryam Namazie.

            Namazie makes very clear, for the avoidance of doubt, that these protest pictures are absolutely not equivalent to porn. You used that as an excuse to start claiming that they were.

  5. Of course this image of Amina is sexually appealing, to most men and even to some women I know. What is wrong with that?

    Her image appeals to us intellectually, emotionally, morally and on many other levels as well.

  6. Moderators’ Message

    Again we remind users about the requirement a) to remain on topic and b) not to use every possible thread as an opportunity to bang the drum for subjects close to their own particular hearts but not necessarily of direct relevance to the OP.

    The mods

  7. I don’t understand how you can look at this in a sexual way at all? It’s a protest, and I can’t think of a bigger protest against Islamic misogyny than to expose that which is feared the most by the animals of that world: the female form.

    She’ll have known what was coming to her yet she did it anyway. I’ve got nothing but admiration for Amina.

  8. From the OP:

    Our beloved Amina, this is for you…

    I’m sorry, but has Maryam even met this girl? For all she knows, Amina Tyler may just be an attention-seeking twit, like most of the members of FEMEN.

    Calling someone you’ve never encountered “beloved” just because they ostensibly take the same philosophical stance as you makes this girl want to vom.

    Pussy Riot, now they showed dignity, class and humor. And they did it all with their tops on.

    You can’t deny that FEMEN are serious about their politics, though:

    While most of the protests have been confined to going ‘topless’, in October 2010 Shachko exposed her buttocks outside a locked toilet in a demonstration to protest about the lack of public toilets in Kiev; and four of the group members staged a similar protest in Kiev in February 2011.

    Vive la révolution!


    In reply to #23 by mirandaceleste:

    1) skeelo’s quote from Maryam Namzie (in comment #12) explains the point of this protest very clearly and unambiguously.

    From what I’ve read by and about Maryam Namazie, she seems to be an idiot. I wouldn’t be taking what she says as any sort of cue. You do know that the photograph you posted will exist on the internet forever, don’t you?

    My God, what the hell has happened to feminism?

    [Removed by moderator]

    • In reply to #25 by Katy Cordeth:

      Pussy Riot, now they showed dignity, class and humor. And they did it all with their tops on.

      Why is that at all virtuous? Why is nudity bad? You are operating off of unstated cultural assumptions with no rational backing, which is the very problem.

      As a political activist I often run into this know-it-all attitude. The standard reply is DIY. If you know so much, do it yourself. In the meanwhile, the rest of us will continue with our tactics. Right now there is an international shitstorm, meaning her protest was very effective. The barbarism of Sharia law is in the limelight. She did that by taking her shirt off. What have you done? I’ve never done anything so tremendous and powerful, and probably never will. I’m curious about what happens. Our opinions are irrelevant. Based on evidence, she an extremely effective activist.

      Her body does not exist for the sake of anyone’s honor, or ideology. It is her own to do with as she pleases. Criticism against her self-determination only brings shame on her critics, and validates the evil brought against her. There is no reason to be upset with her. There is no reason to speak ill of her or her actions. There are reasons to respect and admire her.

      • In reply to #97 by This Is Not A Meme:

        Why is that at all virtuous? Why is nudity bad? You are operating off of unstated cultural assumptions with no rational backing, which is the very problem.

        I assume you’re not asking why dignity, class and humor are virtues, and you mean their keeping their kit on. I wasn’t suggesting that Pussy Riot’s actions were admirable because they didn’t disrobe when they were protesting.

        When did I say nudity was bad? Nudity is perfectly fine. What I do object to, though, is the characterization of those of us who dare to question its use as a form of activism as wet blankets.

        As a political activist I often run into this know-it-all attitude. The standard reply is DIY. If you know so much, do it yourself. In the meanwhile, the rest of us will continue with our tactics. Right now there is an international shitstorm, meaning her protest was very effective. The barbarism of Sharia law is in the limelight. She did that by taking her shirt off. What have you done?

        Darling, I’ve been on more protest marches and sit-ins than you’ve hot dinners. I’ve been arrested, pepper-sprayed, beaten with police batons, sprayed with water cannon. I try to make an effort, in other words, in spite of your baseless assumption that I’m apathetic when it comes to politics.

        You’re right when you say her protest seems to have been effective. It’s certainly caught the attention of a lot of people who otherwise might not be that interested in the issue of women’s rights in Tunisia. It’s just a shame that it’s taken several hundred years for women to cotton onto the fact that instead of throwing ourselves under horses at race meets, going on hunger strike and doing the myriad other things that have been attempted to raise awareness of sexism and inequality, all we really needed to do to achieve social justice was get our norks out.

        I’ve never done anything so tremendous and powerful, and probably never will. I’m curious about what happens. Our opinions are irrelevant. Based on evidence, she an extremely effective activist.

        I have to ask, This Is Not A Meme, what is so tremendous and powerful about posting a topless image of yourself on the internet? If you and others want to laud Amina Tyler as a feminist hero, then knock yourself out. If you think FEMEN’s activities are equally admirable, that’s also fine. But I wish you wouldn’t try to portray those of us who prefer to use what’s in our heads rather than our shirts as being behind the times.

        Hey, how old is Malala now? I bet she can’t wait ’til she’s eighteen, when she can become a proper protester.

        Her body does not exist for the sake of anyone’s honor, or ideology. It is her own to do with as she pleases. Criticism against her self-determination only brings shame on her critics, and validates the evil brought against her. There is no reason to be upset with her. There is no reason to speak ill of her or her actions. There are reasons to respect and admire her.

        Criticism of her right to self-determination does indeed bring shame on her critics. Questioning her motives and her methodology, however, is perfectly valid. Particularly if she is ever to be seen as more than just a pair of funbags.

        P.S. One thing I have found encouraging about the comments on this thread and the related one is how many here are supportive of a woman’s freedom to wear as much or as little as she chooses. I’m confident now that if any government tries to introduce a ban on the burqa, as France did, all those RDnet members who have spoken so passionately about Muslim women’s rights will show up to protest or at the very least sign any petition which condemns such legislation.

        • In reply to #109 by Katy Cordeth:

          I’m confident now that if any government tries to introduce a ban on the burqa, as France did, all those RDnet members who have spoken so passionately about Muslim women’s rights will show up to protest or at the very least sign any petition which condemns such legislation.

          Too right. Telling people what they must and must not wear is nannying and despicable in my view. This too is despicable-

          Questioning her motives and her methodology, however, is perfectly valid. Particularly if she is ever to be seen as more than just a pair of funbags.

          So YOU smear her by this, try to instil shame in her, then say that you are saving her by it. No-one else has so reduced her. No, you haven’t thought this of her, of course, you have presciently thought it of her on others behalf.

          Shame.

          • In reply to #111 by phil rimmer:

            I’m sorry, but in what way was do you think I was smearing Amina or trying to instil shame in her? I’m genuinely confused.

            Is it not okay to question the motives and methods of someone who enters the political arena? How do you think I’ve tried to reduce her, Phil?

            Yeah, shame on me for thinking women should be admired for anything other than our physicality.

          • In reply to #113 by Katy Cordeth:

            In reply to #111 by phil rimmer:

            I’m sorry, but in what way was do you think I was smearing Amina or trying to instil shame in her? I’m genuinely confused.

            Is it not okay to question the motives and methods of someone who enters the political arena? How do you think I’ve tried to reduce her, Phil?

            Not a single commenter here has reduced her to just funbags or just anything. But you offer it as a likely attitude people will have of her resulting from her actions………Funbags…. I suspect your criticism of her methods will be very similar to her father’s. “You know, Amina, men will just think of you as a pair of funbags. That’s all you will be to them now. You can never be free of their judgment you know.” You reduce her to a foolish woman complicit in her own downfall and degradation (and this last part is your shame, turning up the heat on the degradation bit)

            Well her judgment is good. No one here thinks “just anything” about her.

            Yeah, shame on me for thinking women should be admired for anything other than our physicality.

            What!? No. And you know it.

          • In reply to #111 by phil rimmer:

            In reply to #109 by Katy Cordeth:

            I’m confident now that if any government tries to introduce a ban on the burqa, as France did, all those RDnet members who have spoken so passionately about Muslim women’s rights will show up to protest or at the very least sign any petition which condemns such legislation.

            Too right

        • In reply to #109 by Katy Cordeth:

          P.S. One thing I have found encouraging about the comments on this thread and the related one is how many here are supportive of a woman’s freedom to wear as much or as little as she chooses. I’m confident now that if any government tries to introduce a ban on the burqa, as France did, all those RDnet members who have spoken so passionately about Muslim women’s rights will show up to protest or at the very least sign any petition which condemns such legislation.

          I would not. I have always been in favour of banning the burka, the French got it right this time.

          • In reply to #118 by Katy Cordeth:

            Quelle surprise.

            Epistemic liberties do not serve as a basis for claims, powers or immunities in the realm of conduct.

          • In reply to #119 by Peter Grant:

            In reply to #118 by Katy Cordeth:

            Quelle surprise.

            Epistemic liberties do not serve as a basis for claims, powers or immunities in the realm of conduct.

            Just the security aspect is justification enough for the ban on the burqa. Who knows what might be under that cover. Perhaps a robot with a bomb?

            Also ….blah de blah. So many other reasons. Some would be a bit insensitive to mention on a public forum.

  9. Here’s an interesting juxtaposition to reflect on: Isn’t it a shame that by creating a soft-porn image of herself she can draw as much if not more sustained attention and support than a Buddhist monk could by self-immolation during the Vietnam war or the Chinese occupation and genocide in Tibet?

  10. Some interesting comments on here about this.

    What I hope is that everyone involved in the “International Day to Defend Amina” recognises and remembers is that this issue is not about the plight of Amina, who obviously deliberately provoked a reaction, but about the issue she wished to highlight, which is the plight of millions in the Islamic world who’s only “crime” is to be born female.

  11. I have been so upset by the inability to see an uncensored version of this image. Censoring her nipples validates the evil acts brought against her. I even spent a bit of time looking, but the Western media seemed to support the vilification of women’s bodies, with no sense of irony they censor her medium.

    I’m grateful to this site’s demonstration of reason, and for enabling me to see what she wanted to be seen.

  12. I have mixed views about the photo. Frankly the cigarette, bandage on her wrist, and expression is more disturbing than nudity. I do not know what her intention is and as someone else here pointed out – Is she an “attention-seeking twit?” On one hand, she should have the right to do as she pleases instead of being forced into a burka. It’s her life. On the other hand, her response is extreme because it is a response to an opposite extreme which is highly restrictive. (It’s probably not beneficial to her, but my guess is that she doesn’t have the “smarts” or skills to approach the injustices of her culture otherwise. She’s working with what she’s got – a bad ass attitude.) I have noticed in my travels around the US, extremely fundamentalist/religious parts of Tennessee and Colorado Springs have a hidden “black magic” or Satanic undercurrent. More liberal areas have this as well, but it’s more balanced and less reactionary – perhaps more Wiccan or Pagan. Suppressed cultures need their Aminas. Yes, some may address injustice with intellectual debate and challenging thought while others express their sexuality and personality. They are working towards the same goal – just using different approaches.

  13. The “Feminist” reactions here are so depressing. Their obsession with breasts can’t be healthy. “You must always hide your breasts, or you’re presenting yourself as a sex object (!), and I don’t care about the context.” The Islamists are the ones that are supposed to be obsessed with the female body, and that’s exactly the reason why this form of protest makes sense. We are supposed to be past this kind of judgmental nonsense. Oh well, it used to be ankles, so at least there’s progress.

    • In reply to #38 by Nigel S:

      The “Feminist” reactions here are so depressing. Their obsession with breasts can’t be healthy. “You must always hide your breasts, or you’re presenting yourself as a sex object (!), and I don’t care about the context.” The Islamists are the ones that are supposed to be obsessed with the female body, and that’s exactly the reason why this form of protest makes sense. We are supposed to be past this kind of judgmental nonsense. Oh well, it used to be ankles, so at least there’s progress.

      The fact that there is any “charge” or issue surrounding nudity reveals that our own society needs to do some growing up and re-examining of our own perceptions. If nudity was a non issue, people would simply see a topless woman and think nothing of it. Amina is clearly the antithesis of her culture and maybe reveals some of the sexism of our own – right here on RD.net.

  14. What is sexual or pornographic about this photo? It shows a topless woman with writing on her body. She has some make-up on, is smoking a cigarette and has a bandage on her wrist. The bandage might suggest being suicidal. Certainly all of these three features — the nudity, smoking and make-up — are forbidden in the strictest Islamic countries. She is clearly challenging this Islamic control over women. I think it is a very effective protest. The fact that she is now being victimized by the same Islamic thought police certainly validates the symbolism of the bandage on her wrist. This young woman is heroic. She deserves our support.

    • In reply to #40 by prietenul:

      Certainly all of these three features — the nudity, smoking and make-up — are forbidden in the strictest Islamic countries.

      I hope you’ve got something to back that ludicrous claim up with. Only 1 of those is forbidden.

      • In reply to #53 by Virgin Mary:

        In reply to #40 by prietenul:

        Certainly all of these three features — the nudity, smoking and make-up — are forbidden in the strictest Islamic countries.

        I hope you’ve got something to back that ludicrous claim up with. Only 1 of those is forbidden.

        I’m assuming nudity is one. I’m not sure you are right about the others:

        Make-up outside the confines of the house — I assume that covers posting on the internet

        Smoking — I suspect this is more confusing as lots of people in Islamic countries smoke. But it seems that if you accept that smoking harms your health then it’s not acceptable.

        Of course Islam seems like the kind of religion where you can find another opinion fairly easily.

        Michael

        • In reply to #56 by mmurray:

          In reply to #53 by Virgin Mary:

          In reply to #40 by prietenul:

          Certainly all of these three features — the nudity, smoking and make-up — are forbidden in the strictest Islamic countries.

          I hope you’ve got something to back that ludicrous claim up with. Only 1 of those is forbidden.

          I’m assuming nudity is one. I’m not sure you are right about the others:

          Make-up outside the confines of the house — I assume that covers posting on the internet

          Smoking — I suspect this is more confusing as lots of people in Islamic countries smoke. But it seems that if you accept that smoking harms your health then it’s not acceptable.

          Of course Islam seems like the kind of religion where you can find another opinion fairly easily.

          Michael

          It is written that there is no problem with the wearing of make-up as long as they don’t look like the kaffir woman.

          Now, smoking. Cigarettes. Not invented during Mohammed’s lifetime so I’d be amazed if the word is even mentioned in the Quran. And as we all know the smoking of a shisha has been widespread in Arabic culture for the last 500 years so I’d love to see if that is mentioned in the Quran.

          The biggest argument would be the verse that dictates you should do yourself no harm, but that’s interpreting the word of Allah rather than following it, so I’d say that smoking wasn’t harram but it should be now. So what we’ve got to do is find a fatwa making it so…..

    • In reply to #40 by prietenul:

      What is sexual or pornographic about this photo? It shows a topless woman with writing on her body. She has some make-up on, is smoking a cigarette and has a bandage on her wrist. The bandage might suggest being suicidal. Certainly all of these three features — the nudity, smoking and make-up — are forbidden in the strictest Islamic countries. She is clearly challenging this Islamic control over women. I think it is a very effective protest. The fact that she is now being victimized by the same Islamic thought police certainly validates the symbolism of the bandage on her wrist. This young woman is heroic. She deserves our support.

      Thank you. I had not thought of those elements. I noticed them but have largely resigned myself to not understanding her statement at all. I am vehemently opposed to FEMEN, but as her personal expression I don’t even box her protest into their mission statement. She’s speaking from a place and culture which I am not initiated in.

  15. Sorry for interrupting but there is another story that has not gotten nearly as much attention but where lives are also at risk. Maybe some of you are in positions to help? Please take a look at the “Freethinking in Bangladesh” Discussion by atheist.asif and the related News story “Bangladesh atheist bloggers arrested”. Assuming atheist.asif is who he seems to be, Taslima Nasrin reports he has also been arrested in this blog post http://freethoughtblogs.com/taslima/2013/04/03/an-atheist-who-was-brutally-stabbed-by-the-islamists-is-now-arrested-by-the-government/

  16. Surely there is a simple solution to the “what should we post” question. You post a picture of her face like on the current front page, you describe the picture that is causing her problems and then provide a link to it.

    At the very least lots of people catching up on their RDnet reading in their lunch breaks at their desks would be grateful for you doing this!

    Michael

  17. Can anyone give me one good reason why this was posted with the full image here?

    As a protest I showed it to friends and colleagues. All the men simply commented on her breasts as I would expect. That is the natural reaction of men when presented with bare breasts lets not kid ourselvs.

    And all the women simply questioned her motives and suggested she might actually be more of an attention seeker than a genuine protestor. They also looked at her arms and suggested that may offer more clues to her motives than Islam. As as already been said they wrote her off as an attention seeking twit.

    So as a protest it might actually work better with just her face.

    Also if we charitably agree it was a genuine protest – than its target was Islamic clerics. In the UK we have very different problems though. There are now protests against the increasing sexualisation of women. Concerns at the effect that increasing sexualisation is having on younger childrens abilities to develop healthy relationships and real concern by serious bodies such as the NSPCC and the teaching unions and various parents groups that something needs to be done.

    In printing the full image rather than just Aminas face RD net has blatantly disregarded those concerns and done exactly what those groups are concerned about, i.e. turned this site into yet another of the ubiquitious ones where women are presented naked for men to react to. There is no other real reason for publishing the full image if we’re blatantly honest. Islamic clerics do not come here (no pun intended)

    Nobody is offended by the actual nudity and Namazie claims the intention is to offend. Hence publishing the full image is gratuitous nudity for what purpose? As some have already pointed out – sexual purposes. I have no real issue with regulated porn but do object to it being placed on sites which are supposedly dedicated to other things.

    For the above reason I may not be offended by the nudity but I am hugely offended by the fact RD net published it.

    Aminas aunt has stated she is mentally ill. Anyone bothering to look away from her chest and to her arms will see clear evidence of self harm. Therefore unless RD net has checked whether or not Amina owns a large and vicious cat I would suggest they are guilty of exploiting a mentally ill girl.

    Many women have put or found similar images of themselves on the internet and regretted it deeply later on, when applying for jobs. Why more widely publicies a picture I suspect she will regret later on if she wishes to be taken seriously.

    The women for whom this so called protest was for clearly didn’t want it. For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction and in this case it seems to have been to drive them closer to Islam

    I’m still unclear what she is protesting about? Shes wearing western jeans and until the 2011 revolution wearing the burkha or any symbol of Islam was forbidden in Tunisia. So it is hardly as if shes protesting against years of Islamic oppression.

    Lasty two of the people I showed the protest to are teachers. They pointed out that their child protection policies from their LEAs clearly state that viewing porn at work would seriously call into doubt their ability to work with children. Their schools use forensic grade software to moniter that. It would have picked up the image straight away as porn as that is what it is geared to look for and alerted their IT depts. They would have risked not only their jobs but their careers. So not putting a clear NSFW sign on it was deeply irresponsible as well.

    • In reply to #45 by atheistengineer:

      Aminas aunt has stated she is mentally ill. Anyone bothering to look away from her chest and to her arms will see clear evidence of self harm. Therefore unless RD net has checked whether or not Amina owns a large and vicious cat I would suggest they are guilty of exploiting a mentally ill girl.

      Apparently, Amina appeared on the Tunisian talk show ‘Labes’ on March 16 to discuss bringing the Ukranian women’s activist group Femen to Tunisia, the talk show host then suggested that Amina be committed to a mental institution. According to Femen leader Inna Shevchenko, After Amina’s family discovered her facebook page with the topless photos, Amina dissapeared. Shevchenko also claims that she had gotten reports that Amina had been delivered by her parents to a psychiatric hospital in Tunis and had also been informed of a video in which Amina’s aunt claimed her niece had decided to kill herself and so posted nude pictures of herself online.

      Take from that what you will, just remember that for centuries, women who stood up for themselves have always been labeled ‘mentaly ill’.


      As to evidence of self arm, are you qualified to make such judgments? You see self harm, have you spoken to Amina? Have you maybe thought that it could be inflicted harm?

      The mind boggles as the the depths some feminists will stoop to further their own agendas, to suggest that RD net of exploiting anyone goes beyond the pale here.

  18. How sad. A brave protest by a young woman turned into diatribe against the porn industry and men’s sexual obsessions in general. Protesters have the right to decide their form of protest themselves, provided they do not injure anyone or indulge in an orgy of property destruction.

    Busybodies should learn to mind their own business, even when they consider the protest inappropriate or crass, and feminists should support Maryam’s stand against moral repression by Islam, even if they find the chosen form to be distasteful. By harping on the girl’s bare breasts both sides have advanced the cause of the mullahs and repressive Islam and I think that atheistengineer should take most of the blame for this. The few silly and insensitive remarks posted at the beginning of the string should have been dismissed quickly and decisively and the discussion moved on to the substantive issues raised by Maryam’s protest.

    The website was wrong to censor the original photograph; no-one else has the right to tamper with the form chosen by the protester. If you don’t like it, don’t show it. The whole episode is a wasted opportunity, born of inter feminist squabbling, prudery and lack of focus; meanwhile the brave girl is left hanging out to dry, with those who should be giving her total support indulging their own repressions.

    • In reply to #48 by Kevin Murrell:

      The website was wrong to censor the original photograph

      By website do you mean RDnet ? They didn’t censor the photograph they took it, as it was, from the dailylife.com.au site. A poster on that thread said it was censored when uploaded to FaceBook.

      Petition signed.

      Michael

      • In reply to #54 by mmurray:

        In reply to #48 by Kevin Murrell:

        The website was wrong to censor the original photograph

        By website do you mean RDnet ? They didn’t censor the photograph they took it, as it was, from the dailylife.com.au site. A poster on that thread said it was censored when uploaded to FaceBook.

        Petition signed.

        Michael

        In reply to #54 by mmurray:

        In reply to #48 by Kevin Murrell:

        The website was wrong to censor the original photograph

        By website do you mean RDnet ? They didn’t censor the photograph they took it, as it was, from the dailylife.com.au site. A poster on that thread said it was censored when uploaded to FaceBook.

        Petition signed.

        Michael

        Sorry. I hardly know how to use the web, other than at the most basic level, and I don’t speak compubabble, so I accept that I have inadvertently wronged you. Someone or other censored it, with them lies the fault.

        • In reply to #59 by Kevin Murrell:

          Sorry. I hardly know how to use the web, other than at the most basic level, and I don’t speak compubabble, so I accept that I have inadvertently wronged you. Someone or other censored it, with them lies the fault.

          Hi Kevin,

          No you haven’t wronged me — not at all. I was just trying to clarify what went on with the other thread.

          Michael

          • In reply to #63 by mmurray:

            In reply to #59 by Kevin Murrell:

            Sorry. I hardly know how to use the web, other than at the most basic level, and I don’t speak compubabble, so I accept that I have inadvertently wronged you. Someone or other censored it, with them lies the fault
            Thanks Michael, Kevin.

            Hi Kevin,

            No you haven’t wronged me — not at all. I was just trying to clarify what went on with the other thread.

            Michael

          • In reply to #67 by Kevin Murrell:

            In reply to #63 by mmurray:

            In reply to #59 by Kevin Murrell:

            Sorry. I hardly know how to use the web, other than at the most basic level, and I don’t speak compubabble, so I accept that I have inadvertently wronged you. Someone or other censored it, with them lies the fault

            Hi Kevin,

            No you haven’t wronged me — not at all. I was just trying to clarify what went on with the other thread.

            Michael
            Thanks Michael, Kevin.

  19. Signed. Let’s get the lady out of that country and send her to a safe place, asap. Here we have a piece of Stalinism- sending dissidents to psychiatric centres- applied in an Arab country.
    The “Arab Spring” in Tunisia is becoming an Arab Nightmare.

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  21. It’s really upsetting to see, how many fraudulent pseudo-moralists in the western world still exist, too! They get scared by a topless photo even if it’s completely asexual. So actually Aminas protest is not only aimed at fundamentalistic Islamists, but against all chauvinistic pseudo-moralists!!

    • In reply to #51 by Corbyn42:

      It’s really upsetting to see, how many fraudulent pseudo-moralists in the western world still exist, too! They get scared by a topless photo even if it’s completely asexual. So actually Aminas protest is not only aimed at fundamentalistic Islamists, but against all chauvinistic pseudo-moralists!!

      In what way exactly is it completely asexual? And in what way has anyone been scared by a topless photo? And what are psuedo moralists?

      • In reply to #60 by atheistengineer:

        In reply to #51 by Corbyn42:

        It’s really upsetting to see, how many fraudulent pseudo-moralists in the western world still exist, too! They get scared by a topless photo even if it’s completely asexual. So actually Aminas protest is not only aimed at fundamentalistic Islamists, but against all chauvinistic pseudo-moralists!!

        In what way exactly is it completely asexual? And in what way has anyone been scared by a topless photo? And what are psuedo moralists?

        Pseudo-moralists are all who get their attitudes to moral from a “holy book” that is hundreds or thousands of years old.
        Apparentely scared (by the meaning of intimidated) by this photo are the ones who think it has to be censored.
        And in what way SHOULD it be sexual?!? (Perhaps for someone who has never before in his life seen a photo of a bare female breast it could be.)

  22. I’ve not yet heard anything other than knee-jerk, emotional responses to from those feminists critical of Amina. It is not enough to say that feminists are cynical about this sort of thing and sick of “being made to be sex objects”: Amina has not made herself a “sex object”; the women joining the protest in solidarity have not made themselves “sex objects”.

    What are they then? In more precise terms.

    And as a protest what exactly is happening to Amina? No news website has reported her imminent stoning at all. Type Amina into any reputable newspapers search engines and you get several different women with thte same name from different countries under real and reported threats for things like having boyfriends or sending seditious e mails. But the only thing I could find on bare Amina from Tunisia was five lines on Femen storming the great mosque of brussels after a girl had caused a bit of a scandal in Tunisia by appearing topless on a website.

    And can someone explain why the petition is going to Amnesty. If she were under threat she’d be on their radar already. Other petitions on other cases are going to the heads of state why isn’t this one.

    So what exactly is the fuss about this particular case when far worse is definitely happening to women whereas this seems to be all based on suppposition, rumour and nothing. Please throw some light on why you are alll so concerned with something that doesn’t actually seem to be happening in the real world? And why its warranted not one but two outings on RD net?

    • In reply to #65 by atheistengineer:

      What are they then? In more precise terms.

      If you wish to make the claim that Amina and her supporters have turned themselves into “sex objects” then the burden of proof is upon you.

  23. Given that the whole point of Amina’s pose is symbolic, I too worried about the smoking (from a role-model point of view, which I suppose again is part of the point). Everything seemed to fall into place when somebody here said that her smoking would be disapproved of in Islam, and the cigarette, too, is an act of defiance. However, somebody else on our site has disputed this. I’d really like a definitive word on that, if anybody authoritative is reading this. Is the cigarette making a decent point?

    I salute the women who are posting pictures of themselves in support of Amina. It is of course nasty and nonsensical to say there is anything pornographic in them. Quite the contrary.

    Richard

    • In reply to #69 by Richard Dawkins:

      Given that the whole point of Amina’s pose is symbolic, I too worried about the smoking (from a role-model point of view, which I suppose again is part of the point). Everything seemed to fall into place when somebody here said that her smoking would be disapproved of in Islam, and the cigarette, too, is an act of defiance. However, somebody else on our site has disputed this. I’d really like a definitive word on that, if anybody authoritative is reading this. Is the cigarette making a decent point?

      I salute the women who are posting pictures of themselves in support of Amina. It is of course nasty and nonsensical to say there is anything pornographic in them. Quite the contrary.

      Richard

      My take on that is religious texts are irrelevant (somewhat, anyway). The current group of Muslim leaders (all Men) interpret Mo’s writings and their interpretation becomes what Islam actually is.
      I’m pretty sure that conservative Muslims (who I think the picture/protest is aimed at) would be very disapproving of a female smoking. I certainly can be wrong, though.

    • In reply to #69 by Richard Dawkins:

      Is the cigarette making a decent point?

      As a smoker, I think so. Individual freedom should include the right to harm oneself.

      I salute the women who are posting pictures of themselves in support of Amina.

      Me too!

      • In reply to #78 by Peter Grant:

        In reply to #69 by Richard Dawkins:Is the cigarette making a decent point?As a smoker, I think so. Individual freedom should include the right to harm oneself.I salute the women who are posting pictures of themselves in support of Amina.Me too!

        Me too, but not only women, men did it too, it was a humanizing message.

    • In reply to #69 by Richard Dawkins:

      Given that the whole point of Amina’s pose is symbolic, I too worried about the smoking (from a role-model point of view, which I suppose again is part of the point). Everything seemed to fall into place when somebody here said that her smoking would be disapproved of in Islam, and the cigarette, too, is an act of defiance. However, somebody else on our site has disputed this. I’d really like a definitive word on that, if anybody authoritative is reading this. Is the cigarette making a decent point?

      I salute the women who are posting pictures of themselves in support of Amina. It is of course nasty and nonsensical to say there is anything pornographic in them. Quite the contrary.

      Richard

      A few google results for ‘smoking and islam’ brings up the following.

      ‘”In view of the harm caused by tobacco, growing, trading in and smoking of tobacco are judged to be haram (forbidden). The Prophet, peace be upon him, is reported to have said, ‘Do not harm yourselves or others.’ Furthermore, tobacco is unwholesome, and God says in the Qur’an that the Prophet, peace be upon him, ‘enjoins upon them that which is good and pure, and forbids them that which is unwholesome’” (Permanent Committee of Academic Research and Fatwa, Saudi Arabia).’ – From an about page.

      islamawareness

      islamunveiled

      • In reply to #86 by veggiemanuk:

        A few google results for ‘smoking and islam’ brings up the following.

        ‘”In view of the harm caused by tobacco, growing, trading in and smoking of tobacco are judged to be haram (forbidden).

        Islam is one thing. Tunisian mores might be more relevant to her statement.

    • In reply to #69 by Richard Dawkins:

      Given that the whole point of Amina’s pose is symbolic, I too worried about the smoking (from a role-model point of view, which I suppose again is part of the point). Everything seemed to fall into place when somebody here said that her smoking would be disapproved of in Islam, and the cigarette, too, is an act of defiance. However, somebody else on our site has disputed this. I’d really like a definitive word on that, if anybody authoritative is reading this. Is the cigarette making a decent point?I salute the women who are posting pictures of themselves in support of Amina. It is of course nasty and nonsensical to say there is anything pornographic in them. Quite the contrary.Richard

      Why do you salute the women taking pictures of themselves in support of Amina rather than the ones writing about womens rights in that country or elsewhere? What are they actually achieving when most people seeing them won’t have a clue what they’re on about and will just see bouncy boobs a la page three? Running around naked is fine, pretending it is significant is the problem. Pretending it is a significant way to protest is a backward step for women.

      And you seem to be missing the point that its not the nudity its the imbalance of the sexes in the naked protest stakes that is disturbing. The fact all the men here seem to be lauding it as some kind of great protest to be supported yet are all keeping their clothes on. Why? If it were a great means of protest, great men would have adopted it years ago.

      All atheist conferences would be advertised in the bible belt by the men attending them being photographed in their pants wouldn’t they? But they don’t seem to be. Surely that would be a great leveller given the way religon (and atheism it would seem) treats women as objects – to present men to them as objects as well. Now that would be a great protest.

      So where are all the men posting pictures of themselves naked in support of various human rights abuses? The Bangledeshi men who were arrested for blogging, for example, all kept their clothes on.

      Or if we’re just concentrating on the rights of Tunisian women to wear what they like why has equal space not been given to the woman protesting in favour of being allowed to wear the burkha that has been pretty much going on alongside this one. Where is her picture – its on the BBC website. Or are we only fighting for the right for women to hold the opinions atheist men think its ok for them to hold?

      And were are the femen women supporting the rights of those women?

      Or far more importantly, why is their no space given to to Tunisian women bloggers, just as scared as Amina but writing about it? Risking their lives far more cos at the end of the day Islam is far more terrified of an educated woman than it is a naked one. Amina is far easier for the Islamists to deal with because in terms of the global view of women she’s actually taken a backward step into their mindset of us. If they had any sense, all they’ll need to do is ignore her and she’ll change nothing.

      But the women with something to say won’t – they’re the real danger to Islam, the Malalas of the world. They’re the ones really moving womens rights forward in the Islamic world. Why aren’t you lauding them as role models when they’re the ones that’ll change things suficiently to kill off Islam. Education not breasts will change the world and breasts will just hamper their fight by stopping women taking that step. How many parents do you think will want to send their daughters to school after seem Maryam Namazies boobs?

      From a role model point of view, if its a good role model for protesters everywhere – where are the men stripping off to provide great role models for other men in a standing up to religious oppression sense? And if Amina is a role model, apart from the smoking, how many men get to the positions of power and influence or stand up effectively for human rights by taking their clothes off? Where are all the role models for men to do that. Cos thats what I’m really confused about.

      Everybody has now seen Aminas breasts but nobody really knows what Amina has got to say for herself or what her actual thoughts on the process are or even really what her protest is about. If it were a man that would be what we knew before we even knew what he looked like.

      • In reply to #124 by atheistengineer:

        Everybody has now seen Aminas breasts but nobody really knows what Amina has got to say for herself or what her actual thoughts on the process are or even really what her protest is about.

        “Fuck your morals.”

        “If I posted a picture of myself wearing a T-shirt with that slogan, it wouldn’t have any impact,” she said. “I want the message to be read this way. [A woman's] body is hers – not her father’s, her husband’s or her brother’s.”

        Hope that helps.

      • In reply to #124 by atheistengineer:

        And you seem to be missing the point that its not the nudity its the imbalance of the sexes in the naked protest stakes that is disturbing. The fact all the men here seem to be lauding it as some kind of great protest to be supported yet are all keeping their clothes on. Why?

        All right, all right! I will do my part; I will post a photo of myself with my shirt off. That’ll show them damn misogynists. In fact, I’ll do more than that; I want to support those brave women in Saudi Arabia who drive cars in protest at the ban on female drivers. I’m going for a drive!

  24. The cigarette is of course unfortunate. When I was a lad few girls smoked, until the industry started to target them. As with the alcohol industry which got into the act at about the same time, the codes used in the adverts were all to do with liberation and empowerment for attractive young women and girls. These themes were of course parasitic on the early stages of the women’s lib movement of the later 50s and early 60s and occurred at the time when girls were beginning to have some disposable income of their own. Fags, booze and freedom was an easy and very powerful connection to make.

    I wonder how many women were killed as a result?

  25. We shouldn’t use Middle Eastern women to judge whether smoking is acceptable for Tunisian women or even women of the Maghreb. When I lived in Algeria in the 80′s I never saw a single woman smoke a cigarette except for myself. The Middle Eastern women do smoke hookah pipes and so I guess I wouldn’t be surprised to see them smoke a cigarette too. I’ve never seen hookah pipes in the Algeria used by either sex. The Maghreb is not always comparable with the Middle East. My in-laws live just over the western border of Tunisia in Algeria. I have initiated communication with my young adult and teen nieces and nephews to get a view of what the smoking situation is there for women of their age. It could be that young women who smoke (if they do) won’t do it in front of the older generation. I think that the cigarette in Amina’s hand is very definitely a provocation but let’s see what the young people, her peers say about it.

  26. As Flaubert put it, ‘inside every revolutionary there’s a policeman’. In this case, reading the censorious diktats of some of the feminists on the page, I think that the appropriate word might be “policewoman.”

    • In reply to #84 by Kevin Murrell:

      As Flaubert put it, ‘inside every revolutionary there’s a policeman’.

      Did he? Where? He also apparently said (per wikiquote)

      Soyez réglé dans votre vie et ordinaire comme un bourgeois, afin d’être violent et original dans vos œuvres.

      Be regular and orderly in your life like a bourgeois, so that you may be violent and original in your work.

      – Letter to Gertrude Tennant (December 25, 1876)

      In so far as your quotation has truth in it, revolutionaries are driven by a view of how the world should be ordered. A policeman (in stereotype) sees the world as being ordered as it should be. So one might conclude that once revolution succeeds, they feel the world needn’t change any further. I don’t think that’s true of actual rank-and-file revolutionaries when you look at how they behave, but putting that aside… Who wouldn’t be a revolutionary of some kind, be it social, technological, scientific or political? Who sees the world as being as it should be, evermore?

  27. One Algerian niece in her mid twenties reports that she was aware of several women students at University who smoked, but only at the school and not in the family.

    One Algerian nephew, 16, is generally apoplectic about the whole situation. I sent him the link because oddly, even though he spends much of his day on the internet, he didn’t know about this Amina situation. He says the picture is not blocked for them. We are working through this on Skype. He is disgusted with the idea of this image and claims that it is scandalous that she is smoking.

  28. Amina needs to fix men. They are (especially local to her) seriously broken in some sense. They have shucked off all responsibility for their own behaviours even the brutish ones. By making her responsible for their own failings by imposing variously guilt and shame they have imprisoned her in a wildly unequal culture.

    Joining with the brutes and the clerics is a simple betrayal of what she clearly demonstrates we all need to do. Adding to her shame by pointing out that men may well feel lust at her appearance and is therefore in some sense risky for other women is to slide backwards, when there is no real risk to women here due to inflamed male passions. Maybe many men and some women will feel a frison of the erotic from the image. It is stunning and intensely powerful. It is a piece of art in my book. These thoughts are simply human and cannot legitimately be policed.. Men actually acting on them and talking about them are our only concerns.

    The cultural disconnect between European and American feminists is notable in their differing balances between the promoters of body indifference and the no-male-incitement-lest-they-rape proponents. The Europeans appear to more strongly favour the former approach, having already experienced its extra freedoms. Northern European young men seem cooler in their response to nudity and nudity with an erotic component, than do their American counterparts. The control of male passions by impoverishing the more accessible middle ground of nude and erotic nude imagery leaving the contrast of chaste or pornographic imagery is a road to a middle eastern management style of the problem.

    Male behaviour is often the problem but changing male behaviours by tackling them directly (taking rape seriously as in Sweden for instance) better fixes the problem than creating a female cordon sanitaire.

    Even Ophelia Benson could see that safe spaces for women (as created by the thoughtful organisers of a recent Lawrence Krauss debate in London) was a condescending step too far. It is virtual burkas versus tackling men’s behaviours, (and not what they see or what they feel).

  29. The picture has true artistic merit and the cigarette if nothing else just adds a nice touch.

    By the way someone doing a thesis on the uses of parts of pigs found out that some part of a pig is used in cigarette filters. That caused quite a consternation where I live but it has since been conveniently “swept under the carpet”. (Very many muslims smoke in my neck of the woods.)

  30. I cannot see if the cigarette has a filter but if you look at where the smoke is going it seems that there is some more writing at the top of which the smoke forms a part.

    Maybe we are not seeing the whole picture?

  31. I liked QuestioningKat’s comment, except that I cannot for the life of me understand why everyone who has commented on this picture has had such a problem with the sexual/erotic aspects of nudity. Those who support Amina’s protest assert that the picture is not erotic, whereas those who condemn her, say that the pic eroticises and objectifies the female body. I don’t see why we have to say that, as red blooded males, we do not find this young woman’s body to be compellingly attractive, the more so since she is obviously at ease in her own skin.

    Everyone on the side of enlightenment asserts the right of gays, lesbians and transsexuals to celebrate the joy and beauty of their sexuality, yet that right seems to be denied to straight men and women. Surely a part of this brave girl’s protest, is the assertion of her right to celebrate her own body and sexuality. Good luck to her, I only wish that I was forty five years younger.

    • In reply to #101 by Kevin Murrell:

      I liked QuestioningKat’s comment, except that I cannot for the life of me understand why everyone who has commented on this picture has had such a problem with the sexual/erotic aspects of nudity. Those who support Amina’s protest assert that the picture is not erotic, whereas those who condemn her, say that the pic eroticises and objectifies the female body. I don’t see why we have to say that, as red blooded males, we do not find this young woman’s body to be compellingly attractive, the more so since she is obviously at ease in her own skin.

      Everyone on the side of enlightenment asserts the right of gays, lesbians and transsexuals to celebrate the joy and beauty of their sexuality, yet that right seems to be denied to straight men and women. Surely a part of this brave girl’s protest, is the assertion of her right to celebrate her own body and sexuality. Good luck to her, I only wish that I was forty five years younger.

      One of my favourite writers portrays herself:

      In a self-likeness, Natalie summed up: “I seem enthusiastic, exuberant, but it is only on the outside, that’s my way of releasing tensions that people bite inside. Inwardly, I’m stillness as an Eastern idol . But I’m not cold.I’m up to be deeply emotional. I put love in its entirety – the Love which comprises Eros, Agape (love or sublime), libido, and Filia friendship (…)

      I guess although I can assume whatever you might find (even erotic), it is the life and the rights of a teenager who will face death and if not, at least social exclusion that´s the real problem, and not that she is the antithesis of something because misogyny was -is- almost “universal” across cultures.

  32. Amina’s statement is simple and elegant. She could have dyed her hair yellow, put tattoos all over her body, whatever she wanted. She chose to make a statement in context the the country she lives in. She does not want to live by someone else’s judgement on what she is allowed to do, especially when that judgement is demeaning to women. Should she be bound by the thoughts of others, thoughts that view her body as pornographic. Should she be forced to cover-up completely to eliminate lustful thoughts in the male population. It is an amazingly brave and heroic statement to challenge the oppressive moral framework she lives in.

    In a different setting her desire to take control of her life could have her siting on an all white bus as a black women, or fighting to have the right to an abortion in the US bible belt or in an Irish hospital.

    It is the fight that makes this important and not the picture itself. That is why the picture is important as it represents the fight, nothing more.

  33. In my opinion, what has the potential to really threaten the authority of fundamentalistic Islamists would be a strong women’s rights movement in the Islamic world. So let’s support them (and of course especially Amina) as much as possible!
    And in doing so, let’s not forget that also Western societies still have a lot to do with regard to real gender equality!

  34. “all we really needed to do to achieve social justice was get our norks out.” Katy Cordeth

    Perhaps you may find my comment irrelevant, but…there it goes…

    I may recall an episode that surprised me: once a baby girl showed me her “sex” in some kind of displaying (it may have meaning, although I don´t know very well what it means)…

    An anthropology professor of mine used to tell us about the ritual previous to a fight that used to take place between some women: before getting started to fight, they exhibit each other their “sex” by pulling their skirts ( without underwear).
    As I say, although I may not know the exact meaning, I assume there must some (but why to assume there is no meaning at all when we really don´t know for sure?)

    • In reply to #112 by maria melo:

      “all we really needed to do to achieve social justice was get our norks out.” Katy Cordeth

      Perhaps you may find my comment irrelevant, but…there it goes…

      I may recall an episode that surprised me: once a baby girl showed me her “sex” in some kind of displaying (it may have meaning, although I don´t know very well what it means)…

      An anthropology professor of mine used to tell us about the ritual previous to a fight that used to take place between some women: before getting started to fight, they exhibit each other their “sex” by pulling their skirts ( without underwear).
      As I say, although I may not know the exact meaning, I assume there must some (but why to assume there is no meaning at all when we really don´t know for sure?)

      I didn’t find your comment irrelevant, Maria. If you think this girl was trying to communicate something to you, though, my guess would be she needed the potty.

      I am a bit nonplussed as to what the soft pornographic chairs you spoke about in your earlier comment are.

  35. One thing this thread has illustrated, is the self-guilt , self doubt, and undermining of self confidence, by the imposition of body images by religions, media advertising and cultural prudery.

    This is fed from different perspectives.

    From the one extreme we have the burka:- imposing a male view that any glimpse of a female body is shocking and sexual, and the female view that their bodies are shameful and must be hidden.

    From a relaxed self-confident view:- we have tribal peoples, who walk around naked or semi-naked, along with those who see swimming or sunbathing muffled up in clothes as ridiculous. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1296821/Two-Muslim-women-marched-swimming-pool-French-holiday-village-wearing-burkinis.html

    Tagged on to the “riddled with hang-ups prudery”,_ there is the ‘prudery is good’, but we will sell you ‘naughtiness’ as pornography, sub-culture of strip-clubs and film makers_. (Along with the do-it and confess-it of Catholicism)

    Added to this is the “We have cherry-picked, idealised, individuals as role models” industry:

    • complete with make-up, air-brushed images, drug enhancement, and cosmetic surgery, to present as a false norm.
      This is geared to money, and promoted by the fashion, cosmetics, sports, entertainment, and cosmetic surgery, industries; – all undermining people’s body self-image, to promote their products.

    When tacking religious repression, body guilt, with undermined self-confidence, and self denigration, it was almost inevitable that the discussion would encounter these related issues.

    There have been many idealised body forms in various cultures over the years. The “ideal” female image, has has spanned the “big-mamma” Earth Mother, anorexic Twiggys, and implant stuffed cosmetic freaks.

    There is of course a perfectly normal natural range of body shapes and sizes, which should not give their owners cause for concern, unless some injury or disability requiring treatment is involved.

  36. In reply to #116 by Katy Cordeth:

    “Soft pornographic” was the expression of someone here regarding nudity (I guess or as a connoisseur of it´s consume?), and I was just parodying (however regretting from having the post).

    As far as there was huge a supportive reaction among people, the communication has been effective (but not for you it seems).

    Was that you that expected that the communication of a 19 years should be “intellectual” rather than “physical”? (Actually we still use daily physical/facial expressions as a way of communicating, and as far as facial expressions can tell much more about the true intentions of someone than its entire counterintuitive speech, it is in fact effective).

    When someone has something to communicate, as far as it concerns me, I give the person its entire creative freedom (although this does not include killing and putting dogs to starve as form of art).

    I believe more in individual rights than in the rights of cultures, and actually human rights could not be acknowledgeable except within individual freedom context.

  37. Phil Rimmer:

    Not a single commenter here has reduced her to just funbags or just anything. But you offer it as a likely attitude people will have of her resulting from her actions………Funbags…. I suspect your criticism of her methods will be very similar to her father’s. “You know, Amina, men will just think of you as a pair of funbags. That’s all you will be to them now. You can never be free of their judgment you know.” You reduce her to a foolish woman complicit in her own downfall and degradation (and this last part is your shame, turning up the heat on the degradation bit)

    Well her judgment is good. No one here thinks “just anything” about her

    Really? Read the comments on the previous piece she appeared in. Why the first one referred to her beautiful boobies rather than her protest! And that continued for quite a while.

    Mayby I’m odd but I’ve yet to meet a man whose seen a pair of breasts and not reacted. Orr maybe I’m just choosing the wrong men? Maybe the sensitive men of RD net, would remove my bra and say ‘hey lets fight Islamic attitudes’ rather than suddenly ignoring every salient point I try to make about the political or religious influences of the day?.

    Every women knows that, even Amina I’d guess. Which is why so many women are so cynical of women who claim to be taking their tops off for other more noble reasons, Ask Peter Grant – he at least has been honest and admitted it is sexual.

    • In reply to #125 by atheistengineer:

      Phil Rimmer.
      Really? Read the comments on the previous piece she appeared in. Why the first one referred to her beautiful boobies rather than her protest! And that continued for quite a while.

      Mayby I’m odd but I’ve yet to meet a man whose seen a pair of breasts and not reacted. Orr maybe I’m just choosing the wrong men? Maybe the sensitive men of RD net, would remove my bra and say ‘hey lets fight Islamic attitudes’ rather than suddenly ignoring every salient point I try to make about the political or religious influences of the day?.

      Read my quotes and you will find I put my hand up to the erotic frison. Read what I have written and answer that. No one here has said she was just anything. Just. The frison negates nothing.

      My first complaint in the previous thread was precisely the counterproductive nature of the image reproduced. So too with Peter Grant.

      • In reply to #130 by phil rimmer:

        In reply to #125 by atheistengineer:Phil Rimmer. Really? Read the comments on the previous piece she appeared in. Why the first one referred to her beautiful boobies rather than her protest! And that continued for quite a while.Mayby I’m odd but I’ve yet to meet a man whose seen a pair of breasts and not reacted. Orr maybe I’m just choosing the wrong men? Maybe the sensitive men of RD net, would remove my bra and say ‘hey lets fight Islamic attitudes’ rather than suddenly ignoring every salient point I try to make about the political or religious influences of the day?.Read my quotes and you will find I put my hand up to the erotic frison. Read what I have written and answer that. No one here has said she was just anything. Just. The frison negates nothing.My first complaint in the previous thread was precisely the counterproductive nature of the image reproduced. So too with Peter Grant

        And you have validated every point I made. This is not a site for erotic frision unless it is balanced. Where are the naked males for the females erotic frision? If not it is sexism.

        • In reply to #133 by atheistengineer:

          In reply to #130 by phil rimmer:

          And you have validated every point I made. This is not a site for erotic frision unless it is balanced. Where are the naked males for the females erotic frision? If not it is sexism.

          Frison’s may happen, so what. Amina’s point is not about that. This isn’t the place to intentionally deliver frisons unless it is the subject of a discussion.

  38. Corbyn42

    Pseudo-moralists are all who get their attitudes to moral from a “holy book” that is hundreds or thousands of years old. Apparentely scared (by the meaning of intimidated) by this photo are the ones who think it has to be censored. And in what way SHOULD it be sexual?!? (Perhaps for someone who has never before in his life seen a photo of a bare female breast it could be.)

    Ok, so where have you found the psuedo moralists here then? As far as I’m aware nobody here takes their morals from any holy book do they?. I was certainly never brought up with any religon at all and have tried to read the bible recently as a piece of literature but stalled somewher around Noahs Ark (near the start) so have gained no real moral guidance other than don’t eat apples and if you see a big floating zoo hitch a ride pdq. Neither of which I’ve found have any real relevance here.

    As for never having seen breasts before? I see two every time I get undressed and have done since they first appeared on my rib cage about 15 years ago! I don’t personally get anything from looking at breasts but have yet to meet any male that doesn’t find at least something sexual about them. Maybe you’re the exception.

  39. Katy Cordeth:

    Criticism of her right to self-determination does indeed bring shame on her critics. Questioning her motives and her methodology, however, is perfectly valid. Particularly if she is ever to be seen as more than just a pair of funbags.

    Spot on – wish I could be half as concise.

    What she claims to be fighting for is absolutely right, everyone should have the right to self determination (unless of course they are women disagreeing with the sacred male guardians of atheism when they must be stopped, deliberately misunderstood or reduced to being prudes when nothing of the sort – maybe we need a campaign for self determination in the atheist world – I’ll get my funbags out and fetch a biro). But her methods? Nobody seems to really get that its the backward looking, old fasioned, male appeasing nature of her protest that is the problem. The exact opposite of what she claims to want.

    Get your funbags out on the internet and that is how you’ll be seen – end of -nobody will take you seriously. Many girls I know have made that mistake and regretted it bitterly and I’m glad the internet wasn’t as big a thing when I was her age.

    And to be perfectly honest had nobody pitched in to point that out or complain – the men here would probably be being far less gentlemenly about it all. More in tune with Peters take.

    As for Femen – I’m struggling to see their protests as anything other than from women looking for an excuse to get their funbags to be admired whilst pretentding they aren’t. In which case I’d say go ahead you don’t need a protest, there are plenty of places to do that. The images will still be there forever whether its for Tunisia or not. The real insult is pretending it is a valid method of protest rather than a bit of exhibitionism.

    • In reply to #128 by atheistengineer:

      Katy Cordeth:
      Nobody seems to really get that its the backward looking, old fasioned, male appeasing nature of her protest that is the problem. The exact opposite of what she claims to want.

      Why doesn’t this work with those backward looking, old fashioned Islamic men then? They are really old fashioned and they don’t seem appeased at all.

      There are certainly a few images of me naked out there on the internet, just to reassure you. The theatre company I was part off produced plenty of such images and a few movies. (Interestingly it was Hollywood repackaging of the movies that degraded the material by adding blood and tits at the front end to engage the attention American adolescents. I sincerely apologise for that.)

      Body indifference is my oft stated aim as a means of conferring maximum freedom from shame and its facilitation of moral blackmail. In my view some of the worst offenders in facilitating moral blackmail are those who see a woman’s body as collectively owned, each individual possessor of one being merely temporarily franchised.

      Concern yourself with men’s behaviours and you’ll win my undying support, but its contempt only for being the thought police.

  40. Phil Rimmer:

    reply to #124 by atheistengineer:

    “Everybody has now seen Aminas breasts but nobody really knows what Amina has got to say for herself or what her actual thoughts on the process are or even really what her protest is about.
    “Fuck your morals.”

    “If I posted a picture of myself wearing a T-shirt with that slogan, it wouldn’t have any impact,” she said. “I want the message to be read this way. [A woman's] body is hers – not her father’s, her husband’s or her brother’s.”

    Hope that helps.

    I agree with her every womans body is their own!! But surely it is those words rather than her breasts that are important and shes reduced their impact dramatically here by her method.

    What you also have to take on board is every womans mind and intellect and their rights to object to their depiction by other women as sex objects on serious websites is also their own. Which is what I think has happened here and which seems to be a far harder concept for the men here to accept!!

    Over in the west HER message means the right NOT to be seen solely as sex objects, and it is being eroded – dangerously so in the case of younger girls. When RD net Printed the full picture they contributed to eroding that right over here whilst adding absolutely nothing to what she said. That is the point you all seem so reluctant to grasp. Looking at naked women is fine but not where women are supposed to be equal.

    And if it is really HER message that was important THEN that same message actually takes a different form over here on this website. For her message to be valid in Tunisia the picture is fine. For her message to be valid here, where the right to own your own body is the right NOT to be depicted as an sex object, than printing the full picture is invalidating her message. It is saying over here we don’t have rights, men have more rights to see us as yet another pair of breasts than we do to be represented instead as people..

    So its either see her breasts and ignore the real meaning of her message, Or honour her message as she meant it, and just print her face and her story here. Unfortunately it seems the real meaning of her message has been lost in the need to see yet another pair of ubiquitous breasts on yet another site. In a way she’s been betrayed here as much as there.

    • In reply to #131 by atheistengineer:

      Phil Rimmer:

      reply to #124 by atheistengineer:

      “Everybody has now seen Aminas breasts but nobody really knows what Amina has got to say for herself or what her actual thoughts on the process are or even really what her protest is about.
      “Fuck your morals.”

      “If I posted a picture of myself wearing a T-shirt with that slogan, it wouldn’t have any impact,” she said. “I want the message to be read this way. [A woman's] body is hers – not her father’s, her husband’s or her brother’s.”

      Hope that helps.

      I agree with her every womans body is their own!! But surely it is those words rather than her breasts that are important and shes reduced their impact dramatically here by her method.

      What you also have to take on board is every womans mind and intellect and their rights to object to their depiction by other women as sex objects on serious websites is also their own. Which is what I think has happened here and which seems to be a far harder concept for the men here to accept!!

      Over in the west HER message means the right NOT to be seen solely as sex objects, and it is being eroded – dangerously so in the case of younger girls. When RD net Printed the full picture they contributed to eroding that right over here whilst adding absolutely nothing to what she said. That is the point you all seem so reluctant to grasp. Looking at naked women is fine but not where women are supposed to be equal.

      And if it is really HER message that was important THEN that same message actually takes a different form over here on this website. For her message to be valid in Tunisia the picture is fine. For her message to be valid here, where the right to own your own body is the right NOT to be depicted as an sex object, than printing the full picture is invalidating her message. It is saying over here we don’t have rights, men have more rights to see us as yet another pair of breasts than we do to be represented instead as people..

      So its either see her breasts and ignore the real meaning of her message, Or honour her message as she meant it, and just print her face and her story here. Unfortunately it seems the real meaning of her message has been lost in the need to see yet another pair of ubiquitous breasts on yet another site. In a way she’s been betrayed here as much as there.

      WHAT a convoluted argument. What exactly is it that you are so upset about? And as for calling female breasts “funbags”. I had never heard of the description before. Is that not being quite disparaging to the female form? Its a disgusting depiction in my book even if the intention is to elicit some particular emotional response.

    • In reply to #131 by atheistengineer:

      Phil Rimmer:

      reply to #124 by atheistengineer:
      What you also have to take on board is every womans mind and intellect and their rights to object to their depiction by other women as sex objects on serious websites is also their own. Which is what I think has happened here and which seems to be a far harder concept for the men here to accept!!

      No one has EVER denied your or anyone’s absolute right to an opinion.

      Looking at naked people is fine

      Fixed. Quotas, though, steal freedom.

      And if it is really HER message that was important THEN that same message actually takes a different form over here on this website. For her message to be valid in Tunisia the picture is fine. For her message to be valid here, where the right to own your own body is the right NOT to be depicted as an sex object, than printing the full picture is invalidating her message. It is saying over here we don’t have rights, men have more rights to see us as yet another pair of breasts than we do to be represented instead as people..

      As I commented on the other thread. If the image is seen as offensive over here then the clerics have every reason to feel justified with their own sense of offense. (“See even Dawkins sees it as lewd and unfit for general viewing”.) Indifference is truly the only way to keep Amina as safe as possible.

  41. I’m astonished by the polarity of the comments here. It seems like female nudity brings out extreme views of some sort or another. I’m not one to usually ride the rails on an issue, but I do here.
    I don’t feel very strongly either way. Full on honesty would have me admit that female nudity is attractive to me and it’s literally impossible to not be affected by it. Also, I would never want to pretend I’m not!
    But that’s definitely a combination of my sexual biologic nature, AND the way societies (and religions) have conditioned us to think of women as second class citizens.
    I’m really confused how so many people are so far to one side or the other about Amina’s tactics. – I don’t get it!
    If someone wants to get attention for a good cause, it’s their neck on the chopping block so they decide their tactics.

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