Video: Exiled Iranian women pose
nude to protest against sexual
‘I believe in the equality of women and men’ and ‘my
thoughts, my body, my choice’.
The above words are part of a slogan courtesy of a group
of Iranian women who have taken to creating a new video
that is meant to be a defiant message to Iranian leaders
who have in essence condoned oppressive
discrimination towards women in their home country.
The video which depicts the participating women in the
nude was released in tandem with International Women’
s day on March 8th in the hopes of boosting sales of their
project, ‘The Nude Revoluntionary Calendar.’
|'The Nude Revoluntionary Calendar.'
The video comes as a tribute to an Egyptian woman, Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, a 20 year old university student who last year incited Islamic
authorities when she chose to release a full length picture of herself on her blog in the nude to bring attention to what she deemed to be her
right to do so or not and not that of authorities. The blog posting led to the woman being denounced as a ‘prostitute,’ and bombarded with
insults across the Middle East.
The Iranian actress, Golshifteh Farahani who in part this video nude calendar was also inspired by was last year banished from Iran for daring
to pose nude in a black and white art photo whilst abroad. The image was initially published in Madame Le Figaro.
Reiterates Maryam Namazie, who produced the calendar:
‘Islamism and the religious right are obsessed with women’s bodies. ‘They demand that we be veiled, bound, and gagged. In the face of
this assault, nudity breaks taboos and is an important form of resistance.’
Ultimately one is inspired to wonder to what degree faith based doctrine cultures impose discrimination on the equality of genders (would
religious leaders be up in arms if the nude subjects were male?) and why such discrimination is indeed tolerated. Curious to explore how
attitudes towards women both in the West and the Mid East stack up this author decided to guage a variety of reader’s reactions from various
blogs that have written on the subject. Some of the comments were quite revealing indeed:
dailymail.co.uk: Sure it’s an
individual’s right to decide whether
or not they want to be publicly
shown naked. But most women
aren’t interested in this. Most
importantly what they should have
a right to is an education, the right
to determine how they make a
living, other than being dependent
on a male and the right to be
respected as intelligent human
beings and not just available for
the gratification of men to be
bartered for dowries. Then again,
there are some who think equality
means lowering themselves to the
worst male behaviour such as
swearing, getting drunk and being
promiscuous. That is what choice
huffpo: What a sad day it is when women have to resort to antics of this sort to gain attention for their/a cause. Actually, infact it is not at all
difficult to perceive what is in fact going on here. I wonder who put them up to it! The “exploiters” will use any and every reason for advancing
their agendas. Fools fall for it. Foolish women fall for it. Intelligent, smart, clever women don’t. If I were an Iranian woman, I would not stand
for their sisters being exploited in this manner. There are more honorable ways of standing up and fighting for a cause. I pity these women
and curse the people who exploit humanity;man or woman, for their own ends.
ranian women living in exile in Europe have stripped off for a video to promote their nude calendar in an effort to fight sexual oppression in
their home country.
“My nudity is a ‘no’ to stoning to death,” say the defiant women in the YouTube video, posing topless to scream against “a society of violence,
racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy."
In analysts' opinion, nudity is a powerful protest tool in the Islamic world, where women cover every part of body, except the face and hands,
with loose shadow-proof robes. In Iran, a Muslim woman wearing shorts may spend up to four months in jail.
The controversial promo is set to boost sales of the Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar released for global sales on International Woman’s
Day. The calendar honors an Egyptian blogger, Aliaa Magda Elmahdy. In November Elmahdy, outraged with a ban on nude models in
Egyptian universities and books, set the Arab world on fire by posting a full length picture of her naked self on the web.
In the late 1970’s Egyptian official art schools saw a social ban on the tradition of nude models. Besides hindering arts studies, the ban
brought certain censorship into mainstream arts, including cinema.
“Islamism and the religious right are obsessed with women's bodies. They demand that we be veiled, bound, and gagged,” sighs Maryam
Namazie, the human rights activist behind the nude calendar featuring Iranian women.
Namazie’s initiative sends one more message of homage – to the Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani. After posing topless in Madame Le
Figaro magazine, the actress received a phone call from the Iranian government, who warned her against returning home.
“Islamists want us covered up, hidden, and not seen and not heard; we refuse to comply,” Namazie writes in her blog.
In Iran, the nude calendar and promotional video stirred controversy even among local feminists.
Azar Majedi, of the Organization of Women's Liberation in Iran, has slammed the initiative for exploiting women's nudity for profit, just as the
tabloids do, reports The International Business Times.
Majedi adds that the calendar is an “absurd caricature” of Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, as fighting for Muslim women’s rights in tolerant Europe is
nothing compared to raising your head in Egypt.
"One does not have to live in the Middle East and North Africa to feel the threats of Islamism," Namazie replies in her blog. "But, nonetheless,
threats or no threats, in Egypt or not, isn't this the whole point of international solidarity?"