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1 stabby  Fri, Apr 5, 2013 5:37:06pm

“the protests were distressingly and distractingly Islamophobic”

My reaction to that is obscene and might get me banned. I’ll let you imagine it.

That many members of an extremely oppressive religion might not be happy with people rocking the boat is not surprising. If Muslim women were capable of freeing themselves of oppression they’d have done so by now.

2 theheat  Fri, Apr 5, 2013 5:51:27pm

Ultimately, theocracy is to blame. It doesn’t matter if it’s Islam or fundamental Christianity, this is what happens when your moral code is dictated by a bunch of un-evolved perverts with their own set of hangups.

People in North Carolina take notes.

3 hellosnackbar  Fri, Apr 5, 2013 6:08:36pm

I’m wondering whether this ladies movement is gathering momentum?
It’s a test for the MSM as to whether they publish it?

4 Destro  Fri, Apr 5, 2013 6:14:42pm

re: #3 hellosnackbar

It is in Europe.

5 Aligarr  Fri, Apr 5, 2013 7:43:05pm

re: #2 theheat

Dead on . If they had their way , there would be sex in the missionary position only , no BJ’s , no doggie stuff , no muff , and no rubbers .
My theory is men like that hate what they cant control . No matter what they do or think , put a nude beauty before them and they’ll get a woody , like it or not . So lets beat the shit out of the cause ….women.

6 Dark_Falcon  Fri, Apr 5, 2013 7:55:58pm

re: #4 Destro

It is in Europe.

What Destro said. It’s not nearly as visible in the US for legal reasons. Even many bright blue cities in the US such as Chicago will arrest women engaging in this type of protest on public nudity charges. Exceptions are sometimes made, but only for events scheduled long in advance; Femen’s “wildcat” style of topless protest carried out in New York City would result in the NYPD literally throwing a net over the protestors and then carting them off to Central Booking.

There is also the matter of career consequences here in the US. A woman who was photographed protesting topless and going after religion in the US might well lose her job, especially if that job involved direct interaction with the general public. Especially if the protest violated the law, since in the US it is very seldom possible to legally claim Wrongful Termination when the termination was for unlawful activity.

7 Gus  Fri, Apr 5, 2013 8:02:25pm

Everyone has their agenda to transmit. Those for and against FEMEN. Those against Islam. From where I sit I see Amina being treated like a psychopath. She has been sent to a psych ward for posting topless FEMEN. She’s not a westerner. She’s not an imperialist. She’s a young Tunisian woman. I see no moral ambiguity here. I see no cultural chauvinism.

Have we forgotten that we’re supposed to be a global community. That human rights are global rights for all regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, etc. What the Tunisian authorities are doing to Amina is simply wrong. What FEMEN does in the end is seemingly counter productive and puts the focus on their agenda. Our concern should be for the women of Tunisia and most importantly, Amina.

8 Dark_Falcon  Fri, Apr 5, 2013 8:09:22pm

re: #7 Gus

Everyone has their agenda to transmit. Those for and against FEMEN. Those against Islam. From where I sit I see Amina being treated like a psychopath. She has been sent to a psych ward for posting topless FEMEN. She’s not a westerner. She’s not an imperialist. She’s a young Tunisian woman. I see no moral ambiguity here. I see no cultural chauvinism.

Have we forgotten that we’re supposed to be a global community. That human rights are global rights for all regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, etc. What the Tunisian authorities are doing to Amina is simply wrong. What FEMEN does in the end is seemingly counter productive and puts the focus on their agenda. Our concern should be for the women of Tunisia and most importantly, Amina.

True, but FEMEN has only one mode: Topless, Angry, and Confrontational. They haven’t shown an ability to adopt the kind of tactics this situation would require, which are largely quieter and organizational. FEMEN is a woman whose only tool is a hammer, thinking all problems are nails.

9 Gus  Fri, Apr 5, 2013 8:14:50pm

re: #8 Dark_Falcon

True, but FEMEN has only one mode: Topless, Angry, and Confrontational. They haven’t shown an ability to adopt the kind of tactics this situation would require, which are largely quieter and organizational. FEMEN is a woman whose only tool is a hammer, thinking all problems are nails.

It’s kind ridiculous for people to think that a country like Tunisia can change overnight. It’s not about a religion and it’s more about culture. If we are talking about women’s rights here I think it’s important to remind people that the great advanced America didn’t pass the 19th Amendment granting a woman’s right to vote until 1920. We have people who are still alive that were born before 1920. It’s taken us, the USA, the great shining beacon of freedom, a very long time to “modernize.”

10 electrotek  Fri, Apr 5, 2013 8:18:34pm

Does it amuse anyone that FEMEN’s tactics are being cheered on by wingnuts when we all know if they were to do so at a church in the U.S. they would be subjected to an array of death threats?

11 EPR-radar  Fri, Apr 5, 2013 8:25:09pm

re: #9 Gus

It’s kind ridiculous for people to think that a country like Tunisia can change overnight. It’s not about a religion and it’s more about culture. If we are talking about women’s rights here I think it’s important to remind people that the great advanced America didn’t pass the 19th Amendment granting a woman’s right to vote until 1920. We have people who are still alive that were born before 1920. It’s taken us, the USA, the great shining beacon of freedom, a very long time to “modernize.”

It is also arrogant for clueless outsiders to opine about what forms of political action/protest will work in a particular setting. I have no idea how to agitate for better rights in Tunisia, but I’m reasonably certain that US/European models will be completely inapplicable, or will at least need extremely heavy modification to have a hope of working.

It reminds me of a chilling alternate history short story I read many years ago. The Nazis had won WWII, and there was a trouble maker by the name of Ghandi in the German Raj…

12 Dark_Falcon  Fri, Apr 5, 2013 8:26:59pm

re: #9 Gus

It’s kind ridiculous for people to think that a country like Tunisia can change overnight. It’s not about a religion and it’s more about culture. If we are talking about women’s rights here I think it’s important to remind people that the great advanced America didn’t pass the 19th Amendment granting a woman’s right to vote until 1920. We have people who are still alive that were born before 1920. It’s taken us, the USA, the great shining beacon of freedom, a very long time to “modernize.”

Yes, but there are always people who think things can go faster than they really can, or who just plain don’t care what others think and want what they want RIGHT NOW!. Those are especially common in the US, due to child-raising and teaching practices that promotes a swollen ego.

13 Gus  Fri, Apr 5, 2013 8:27:44pm

re: #11 EPR-radar

It is also arrogant for clueless outsiders to opine about what forms of political action/protest will work in a particular setting. I have no idea how to agitate for better rights in Tunisia, but I’m reasonably certain that US/European models will be completely inapplicable, or will at least need extremely heavy modification to have a hope of working.

It reminds me of a chilling alternate history short story I read many years ago. The Nazis had won WWII, and there was a trouble maker by the name of Ghandi in the German Raj…

It would have to occur within Tunisia. It’s also kind of absurd to think that conservative Tunisia would go from where it stands now to saying that women’s rights is about being able to post topless pics on Facebook. Seems like a low bar to me.

14 Dark_Falcon  Fri, Apr 5, 2013 8:43:23pm

re: #11 EPR-radar

It is also arrogant for clueless outsiders to opine about what forms of political action/protest will work in a particular setting. I have no idea how to agitate for better rights in Tunisia, but I’m reasonably certain that US/European models will be completely inapplicable, or will at least need extremely heavy modification to have a hope of working.

It reminds me of a chilling alternate history short story I read many years ago. The Nazis had won WWII, and there was a trouble maker by the name of Ghandi in the German Raj…

You don’t even have to go that far, just imagine what would have happened had the Indian city of Minapur fallen to the Japanese in 1944 and had its inhabitants used Gandhi’s strategy of “non-violent non-cooperation”. The Imperial Japanese Army (IJA) would have responded by killing, killing, and continuing to kill until the city was a graveyard or the people did what they were told. Japan had few moral restraints on such actions abroad, and IJA actions far worse than the justly infamous Amritsar Massacre were seen by Imperial Japan as non-problematic.

15 Gus  Fri, Apr 5, 2013 8:44:33pm

Bottom line is that Tunisian feminists are concerned about a loss of women’s rights within the current power shift. Making these concerns about toplessness is counter productive. It’s about housing, employment rights, education, etc. If Tunisian feminism is made to looks as though it’s about women posting pics on Facebook it will only accelerate the deterioration of women’s rights in Tunisia. Which is not to say that Amina’s rights should be abused. But there are larger issues here than online nudity. It’s a distraction.

16 CuriousLurker  Fri, Apr 5, 2013 8:51:20pm
You know that there’s something wrong with your protest when its ardent supporters find it appropriate to repeatedly call the women they are “saving” stupid and to affirm that they have no capacity for making decisions of their own.

THIS. They’re just adding to the abuse.

Women in Muslim-majority countries will eventually find their way—at their own pace and on their own terms—just as European and American women have done (and are still doing) and as African, Indian, etc. women will do.

If many of the culture’s presumptions about women are wrong, and they are, you must certainly abandon any habituation and conditioning if you want the slightest access. Oddly enough, the first presumption your mind must demolish is that women lack the latitude of individuality of men. This is not the less difficult for being so obvious. I suspect that the source of so much feminine anguish in political and social terms is the same for anyone who is purposefully misunderstood. From birth to death someone is always yelling a name in your face that is not your own.

—Jim Harrison, “First Person Female”, The New York Times Magazinee 1999

I’m sure she’ll correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure VB posted this because she also gets annoyed with people trying to “save” Orthodox Jewish women.

17 Gus  Fri, Apr 5, 2013 8:51:43pm

You can’t expect to impose our norms on Tunisia. Those same so called western norms are also fluid or on a spectrum since the USA doesn’t share the same norms with many European nations. Those same norms are frowned upon here. While many on the right will cheer FEMEN only because they appear to take an anti-Islamic stance they’ll turn around and cheer some guy that beats his daughter mercilessly with a whip for posting a video of herself shaking her booty on Facebook.

18 stabby  Fri, Apr 5, 2013 10:42:29pm

re: #10 electrotek

Does it amuse anyone that FEMEN’s tactics are being cheered on by wingnuts when we all know if they were to do so at a church in the U.S. they would be subjected to an array of death threats?

upding plus 100 internets

I enjoy the confusion of wingnuts trying to find some essential reason to support FEMEN while still hating American feminists.

I read some comment saying that he supported FEMEN (calling them French even though the group is centered in Kiev) but not American feminists because the Americans are all communists…

Well the moderate part of French left call themselves Socialists and some of the women photographed are in a Communist party…

19 Destro  Fri, Apr 5, 2013 11:33:14pm

re: #6 Dark_Falcon

What Destro said. It’s not nearly as visible in the US for legal reasons. Even many bright blue cities in the US such as Chicago will arrest women engaging in this type of protest on public nudity charges.

In New York City, females going topless is legal.

blip.tv

Moira Johnston: Topless in NYC - BTR Pulse [ep80]

According to a 1992 law, women in New York have the right to go topless anywhere a man can, so long as they’re not engaged in commerce. Yet many people still don’t know this is legal twenty years after the ruling. This week, on BTR Pulse, Lauren Hawker caught up with Moira Johnston, a female rights activist from Philadelphia who has ditched her shirt to raise awareness about a woman’s legal right to be topless in NYC.

20 Destro  Fri, Apr 5, 2013 11:42:57pm

re: #10 electrotek

Does it amuse anyone that FEMEN’s tactics are being cheered on by wingnuts when we all know if they were to do so at a church in the U.S. they would be subjected to an array of death threats?

re: #18 stabby

I guess these hypothetical Americans of yours are not very good Christians. In any case, feminism scares and disturbs religious and fundamentalists and “traditionalists” a lot.

You know that there’s something wrong with your protest when its ardent supporters find it appropriate to repeatedly call the women they are “saving” stupid and to affirm that they have no capacity for making decisions of their own.

I am pretty sure in these traditional societies (not just Islamic) women do not have the capacity for making decisions of their own. Face it, outside of Europe and the Americas women are not as free and equal as their male counterparts and even in parts of Europe and the Americas there are far from equal.

21 Cardio (formerly JRCMYP)  Sat, Apr 6, 2013 5:50:56am

When I was in grad school many, many years ago there was alot of discussion by western men and women about the burqa as oppression. I found the more interesting arguments were made by non-western women who were invariably more knowledgeable about cultural context—which is complicated. I’m not trying to suggest that western perspective isn’t helpful or useful in the movement toward global women’s rights. But what I learned is that westerners need to educate themselves about the cultures they think they can “help.” We have so many assumptions about other cultures. And it’s tempting for us to think we know how to “help.” But I think the fate of cultural symbols should be left up to those living in that culture.

And Destro, I disagree with you. Women everywhere have the capacity for making decisions on their own. What many of them don’t have, however, is a political or legal context where those decisions are honored consistently. Westerners need to stay away from the cultural symbols and perhaps support women’s agency through legal or political channels. Just my two cents.

22 calochortus  Sat, Apr 6, 2013 8:09:49am

re: #16 CuriousLurker

I updinged you, but with the caveat that sometimes it’s not just a matter of finding one’s way. Sometimes an oppressed group needs outside help.
That doesn’t mean that anything an outside group does-even with good intentions-is helpful.

23 Destro  Sat, Apr 6, 2013 10:00:32am

re: #21 JRCMYP

And Destro, I disagree with you. Women everywhere have the capacity for making decisions on their own. What many of them don’t have, however, is a political or legal context where those decisions are honored consistently.

The capacity I was was mentioning was the legal/political one. I was not commenting on the internal capacity (self awareness, etc) of women but their legal recourse, rights, etc.

It is very clear in many parts of the world, not just Islamic societies, that women do not have secular freedoms.

24 CuriousLurker  Sat, Apr 6, 2013 11:08:14am

re: #22 calochortus

I updinged you, but with the caveat that sometimes it’s not just a matter of finding one’s way. Sometimes an oppressed group needs outside help.
That doesn’t mean that anything an outside group does-even with good intentions-is helpful.

Right. I didn’t imply—or at least I didn’t intend to—that all outside help should be rejected, only that if one expects the help to be welcomed & appreciated, then it should be offered with civility and an awareness of cultural context that allows those being helped to maintain their dignity. I don’t know of anyone who responds positively to being regarded as an object of scorn or pity, no matter how dire their situation.

25 kmg  Sat, Apr 6, 2013 12:09:49pm

re: #21 Cardio (formerly JRCMYP)

Should we also leave alone the cultural symbol of female genital mutilation? After all, it’s cultural. Who are we to judge, right?

26 CuriousLurker  Sat, Apr 6, 2013 2:32:11pm

re: #25 kmg

Should we also leave alone the cultural symbol of female genital mutilation? After all, it’s cultural. Who are we to judge, right?

What an absurd response. JRCMYP neither said nor implied anything of the sort.

27 Decatur Deb  Sat, Apr 6, 2013 2:43:38pm

re: #24 CuriousLurker

Right. I didn’t imply—or at least I didn’t intend to—that all outside help should be rejected, only that if one expects the help to be welcomed & appreciated, then it should be offered with civility and an awareness of cultural context that allows those being helped to maintain their dignity. I don’t know of anyone who responds positively to being regarded as an object of scorn or pity, no matter how dire their situation.

Find the line between scorn/pity and solidarity. Suggest it’s somewhere around an anti-apartheid boycott.

28 Glenn Beck's Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut  Sat, Apr 6, 2013 3:45:42pm

re: #6 Dark_Falcon

What Destro said. It’s not nearly as visible in the US for legal reasons. Even many bright blue cities in the US such as Chicago will arrest women engaging in this type of protest on public nudity charges. Exceptions are sometimes made, but only for events scheduled long in advance; Femen’s “wildcat” style of topless protest carried out in New York City would result in the NYPD literally throwing a net over the protestors and then carting them off to Central Booking.

The fuck you talking about? Toplessness for women is perfectly legal in NYC.

29 Glenn Beck's Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut  Sat, Apr 6, 2013 4:13:26pm

re: #21 Cardio (formerly JRCMYP)

It’s perfectly fine to protest for the right of women not to wear the burqa. It’s wrong to protest that Islam is a big bad stupid thing and women who believe in it are slavish fools.

30 kmg  Sat, Apr 6, 2013 6:00:23pm

re: #26 CuriousLurker

Well if you can’t extend “his” argument and see the connection, you are absurd.

31 Cardio (formerly JRCMYP)  Sat, Apr 6, 2013 7:20:16pm

re: #29 Glenn Beck’s Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut

It’s perfectly fine to protest for the right of women not to wear the burqa. It’s wrong to protest that Islam is a big bad stupid thing and women who believe in it are slavish fools.

Absolutely.

32 Cardio (formerly JRCMYP)  Sat, Apr 6, 2013 7:20:39pm

re: #25 kmg

Should we also leave alone the cultural symbol of female genital mutilation? After all, it’s cultural. Who are we to judge, right?

What the hell? And I’m a woman.

33 CuriousLurker  Sat, Apr 6, 2013 7:30:28pm

re: #30 kmg

Well if you can’t extend “his” argument and see the connection, you are absurd.

Go crawl back under your rock.

34 Ace-o-aces  Sun, Apr 7, 2013 8:08:57am

Consider that women make up over 27% of Tunisian legislators, a higher percentage than both the US and Israel (18% and 22% respectively). That’s not to say we shouldn’t be concerned with Women’s rights in Tunisia, but to portray them as utterly helpless victims who need white women to swoop in and save them is insulting and ignorant.


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