Nude lady. The horror.
It’s amazing the power we have under our clothes. Simply by taking of our clothes, we can immediately shock and/or attract everybody. Aliaa Magda Elmahdy posted nude photographs of herself on her blog as a rebellion against Egypt’s conservative culture and “sexual complexes”. That conservative culture bit back in droves, with even liberals distancing themselves from her.
“Try nude models who worked in Fine Art Faculties in the early 1970s, hide all art books and smash naked archaeological statues,” read the statement, alluding to some recent protests staged here by ultra-conservative Islamists known as Salafis. “Then take off your clothes and look at yourselves in the mirror, then burn your body that you so despise to get rid of your sexual complexes forever, before subjecting me to your bigoted insults or denying my freedom of expression.” (Nude Blogger Riles Egyptians of All Stripes)
I’m not going nude anytime soon and, honestly, I don’t think female nudity would shock Sri Lankans that much. Recently a woman from Agalawatte said she was blackmailed with nude photographs by a rapey douchebag (over Facebook), and the government made move to prosecute ‘actresses’ in pornographic images. The tendency is to blame women, while every woman I know is publicly abused on the streets without recourse. Sri Lanka’s puritanism, however, doesn’t run that deep. In Egypt it seems to.
I think it’s a great statement by Elmahdy, if self-immolating. Seriously, what is so terrible about a nude female body? Arabs have just as much if not more of an appetite for porn, but a woman exposing herself, under her control, that’s shocking. Well, perhaps people need to be shocked. It’s just a naked body. We’ve all got one under our clothes.