Activist's Nude Photos Should Spark a World Revolution

red bowFor most Americans, sexy pictorials of women -- especially online! -- aren't exactly shocking. But in Egypt, where a 20-year-old Egyptian feminist and political activist named Aliaa Mahdy has posed in the buff on her blog, the nude images (warning: X-rated) are incredibly controversial. People are freaking out over the post, which includes a full-frontal image of the young woman wearing only thigh-high stockings, red shoes, and a red bow in her hair. For this, unsurprisingly but disturbingly, Mahdy has already been subjected to thousands of "threatening comments."

Mahdy, who is fighting the rising influence of Islamist parties that may win a major share of seats in upcoming Egyptian parliamentary elections, knew the photos would shock and upset many of her countrymen and women. She knew that stripping down to stand up "against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment, and hypocrisy" would get her in hot water.

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But it's for that reason that she deserves a standing ovation. Not just from political activists in her country, but over here on American soil, as well.

We all know that when a woman strips down on film here in the U.S., it's pornography, entertainment ... or more often, a plea for attention. Sadly, there's rarely anything artistic about posing for Playboy, leaked nudie pics on Twitter, or a fame-spurring sex tape. Even if it's done tastefully, the attention-grubbing way celebs like LiLo or Kim Kardashian get naked doesn't really earn them respect. (Alicia Silverstone may be the exception, as a woman who posed in the buff for a good cause, but most of us still find the whole sexy PETA campaign at least a little contrived.)

For this reason, seeing Mahdy use her body to make an incredible statement about freedom of expression should shock us here, too! We may be desensitized to the nude female form in a tabloid-y way, but it's not every day we see it used to fight for freedom. So, as far as I'm concerned, what this young woman is doing is not just game-changing in Egypt. It's progressive and impressive on a world scale! When it comes to sexuality, politics, and repression, Egyptians aren't the only ones who could learn something from Mahdy. She's showing the rest of the world the light, as well.

What do you make of Mahdy's statement?

 

Image via trazomfreak/Flickr

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