The Politics Issue ‘prequel’: Nudity as an abuse

The BBC is reporting on a Pakistani couple paraded naked in front of their entire village because they were ‘trying to have sex outside marriage’. The report does not make clear what ‘trying to have sex’ means. About to imminently have sex? Planning to have sex? Thinking of having sex? Neither does it make clear how it came to the attention of the authorities that the act was imminent.

Either way, the couple were stripped, beaten, abused and the police, who were doing the stripping, beating and abusing, filmed the incident on their mobile phones. They have, thankfully, been suspended following a public outcry.

The BBC also reports of another Pakistani woman stripped as punishment for her son having an affair with a woman from another family.

One of the more consistently popular posts we’ve done on this blog is the case of Aliaa al-Mahdy, the young Egyptian blogger who posed naked for photographs and was abused for her daring in challenging Egyptian society’s ‘moral’ code. The same post also references Pakistani actress Veena Malik for her decision to pose ‘nude’ (maybe she did, maybe she didn’t) for a magazine in a case that scandalised Pakistan, and of Chinese artist Lu Zhuangping, for his decision to pose naked for photos.

In each case, the ‘authorities’ exceeded their powers, their influence, their concern and acted as moral judges on others. In the most recent case of these Pakistani women, they resorted to abuse and used nakedness as a form of humiliation as punishment.

These cases always attract my attention because they do seek to humiliate and degrade women. I’m a naturist, of course, so I’ve no shame in my naked body being visible in circumstances where it’s right and acceptable. I’d never dream of stripping where it’s not the proper context (exhibitionism) and even though I’ve intermingled, naked, with thousands upon thousands of people over the years, I would still feel humiliated and degraded to be forcibly stripped and paraded through the main street of my town for any reason.

There exists the ‘politics of nudity’. For that reason I’ve had a ‘SLN Politics Supplement’ planned for quite some time, to explore how they may trickle (and sometimes flood) into SL, of how RL attitudes from nation to nation are reflected in SL, despite how we make think this is some alternate universe. I hope and expect to have this published late this forthcoming week.

Ella.