It’s been a pretty intense week for me, and I ran into a problem today when I was trying to write. Everything I wanted to write about was so personal that I don’t feel comfortable posting it here. I scanned the greater blogosphere, but nothing jumped out at me as good writing fodder.
So I’ll just take a moment to ponder the boundaries of blogging in general and this blog in particular.
It’s the 15th of the month again, and that means it’s time to look at my site stats for the last 30 days. Of course when I say site stats, I really mean the search terms, because everything else, while useful info, is a little boring.
So here’s what people searched for that led them to my blog over the last month. As usual, search terms are in bold, while my comments are italic. Read the rest of this entry
A couple days ago I wrote about Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, a young Egyptian woman who posted naked pictures to her blog to “call attention to a violent society, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy”. I believe I called her one of the bravest people I’ve ever heard about, and I stand by that statement. It probably doesn’t surprise you at this point to learn that some Egyptians want to have her whipped.
Look, if someone says that you are violently oppressive and their stance of defiance against your alleged violent oppression is to publicly post photos of themselves, then calling for them to be brutalized, possibly executed, really just tells the world that they’re right.
I’m far too tired to do this subject justice. So I’ll just ask you a question. What’s more obscene, posting public naked photos, or having some publicly whipped?
Aliaa Magda Elmahdy is an Egyptian student who posted nude pictures of herself on the internet in the name of women’s rights. Here’s an article about it, and here’s Elmahdy’s blog, which now has many pictures of naked people. It’s caused a surprising amount of backlash: surprising to me, at least.
The comments on her blog are in many languages, so I’m stuck with using Google Translate to get the gist of most of the discussion. And most of them are from outside Egypt, outside the Mid-East, even, and are overwhelmingly supportive.
That gives me some hope, maybe the hardline Muslims will look at that and have a moment of introspection. Maybe they’ll think “If the rest of the world sees our policies as oppressive and archaic, relics of a dark age, could we be mistaken?” I know that’s pretty unlikely, not only because religious fundamentalism leaves little room for introspection but because these movements to expand religious power and take rights and freedoms away from people are expanding. Read the rest of this entry