Egyptian blogger Aliaa Mahdy is a brave young woman. Mona Eltahawy writes for the Guardian about Aliaa’s stance against increasing patriarchal opression in Egypt, noting that Mahdy’s naked stance is a revolutionary act designed to expose not only her body, but the hypocrisy and degradation of the so-called ‘virginity tests’ carried out by SCAF in recent months. Mahdy’s blog has, of course, attracted reams of comment – some particularly negative. As Eltahawy notes, Mahdy knows how to defend herself:
“Put on trial the artists’ models who posed nude for art schools until the early 70s, hide the art books and destroy the nude statues of antiquity, then undress and stand before a mirror and burn your bodies that you despise to forever rid yourselves of your sexual hangups before you direct your humiliation and chauvinism and dare to try to deny me my freedom of expression”.
Eve Ensler is a formidable writer and in this article for the Huffington Post, she lets rip her rage at the persistence of ‘rape culture’ around the globe. In her inimitable style, Eve entreats us all, women and men, to stand up and say “I’m over it”:
I am over rape victims becoming re-raped when they go public.
I am over starving Somalian women being raped at the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya, and I am over women getting raped at Occupy Wall Street and being quiet about it because they were protecting a movement which is fighting to end the pillaging and raping of the economy and the earth, as if the rape of their bodies was something separate.
I am over women still being silent about rape, because they are made to believe it’s their fault or they did something to make it happen.
I am over violence against women not being a #1 international priority when one out of three women will be raped or beaten in her lifetime — the destruction and muting and undermining of women is the destruction of life itself.”
On February 14, 2013 a billion women and men will rise up in a global protest against rape and rape culture. I’ll be there, because I’m also OVER IT.