Book of the Month

jollyroger's picture

"Slut walk, Cairo: feminist facebooks the naked truth about life under the new/old regime."

Dispatch from the siege and fall of the Patriarchy

 

Ever since human females, alone among mammals, evolved the ability to hide from their reproductive partners the onset of estrus, human males have responded with varying levels of paternity insecurity syndrome.

The earliest laws, and the most detailed, have to do with female sexuality, the control thereof, and the consequent enhancement of paternal identity certainty.

So floridly have the several semitic Yahwist tribes manifested the urge to lock that pussy down, that it is instructive to see how the heirs of the actual Patriarchs struggle with the forces of modernity, aka sex, drugs, and rock 'n roll.

I have always been of the opinion that the latter set of impulses for intergenerational alienation would inevitably undermine the theocrats of all stripes.

I confess that I did not realize that the energizing revolutionary sexuality was going to be female sexuality.

A flurry of  battles around the periphery of the siege of the patriarchy are evidence that the upheaval crosses cultural lines and that it is serious as a heart attack.

Heart attacks, apparently were provoked by Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, who at 20 is a stomp down in your face feminist, doing a virtual slut walk through Cairo.

Leaving aside the tut-tutting from The Beast ("Is she simply an exhibitionist..?", the worldwide support is encouraging.

As we have been taught,

The personal is political.

/a

Nudity as a political tactic can be pretty effective. 

Whether this young woman is the Lady Godiva of our time or the James O'Keefe of Egypt remains to be seen, I suppose. Or is seen through the eye of the beholder, or something.

In thinking about nudity as a political tactic, I was reminded of the Sons of Freedom (Freedomites), an offshoot of the dukhubor (sp?) sect of Russian religious dissidents who emigrated to Canada in the early 1900s. Right up through the 1960's, the Freedomites punctuated acts of disobedience by the removal of their clothing, which caused consternation in the sleepy, picturesque towns of southern British Columbia.

http://archives.cbc.ca/war_conflict/civil_unrest/clips/13097/

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

http://thedependent.ca/news-and-opinion/this-day-in-vancouver/day-vancouver-september-20th/

The best thing about the third photo, I think, is the look on the face of the Mountie, who seems to be trying to appear as calm as possible despite profound embarrassment. I am told that although those young men would normally welcome the opportunity to watch a woman take off her clothes, the experience of trying to arrest middle-aged, naked, crying Russian ladies was pretty upsetting for them.

One useful thing about oddball political tactics is that they often force people to be more specific than they would normally be about the issue of how much freedom is enough--in Elmahdy's case, she seems pretty clear that the new freedom for women just isn't different enough from the old freedom for women. And I'm pretty sure she's right. 

 

I was going to say something like "this is what naked courage looks like..." but feared being taken for cute, because her courage is enormous.

Earlier examples of Muslim women who claimed control of their own sexuality have not been entirely without serious costs to the woman, no matter where located. Soufiah Yousof mirrors Aliaa as being a self-aware feminist intellectual, insisting on being impowered by her sexuality, not made invisible on account of it.

I could have added a bit of in your face nudity from right here at home (in the vein of your reference).  Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh waxed apoplectic about topless women at OWS, let alone the occasional instance of young love in a sleeping bag.

After considering further your example, I have had to re-assess my proposed regime for obviating pre flight metal detection--"Fly Naked, Fly Safe."

Let's face it, we all have a place, (some of us have two...) where explosives can fit.

Well, that one made the list of links I wish I'd never clicked on.

**

Personally, I've always felt that flights would be nicer if we all got bathrobes and fluffy slippers to wear in the air.

well, the odd thing is, body cavities aside, a lot of dangers are obviated if people board naked and then receive your aforementioned robes and fuzzies...but our sex negative culture is so automatically on full danger alert at any suggestion that modesty might actually be a pathological (as all are) manifestation of shame.

Hence, safety and convenience are sacrificed, and we have to take off our damn shoes, anyway!

"This babe was having so much sex it's amazing she could still walk." Thus did Rush Lmbaugh present us with a western version of the same PscyhoHaredinHoHatin' that's been evoked by the cairo slut walk and the third grader.

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