You can have the choice we’ve made for you (3)

Let’s not kid ourselves we’re doing anything wonderful here at SLN. We’re a niche lifestyle blog about a niche online game. Yeah, we’ve regularly featured pixellated nudity but…wow, so what? We’ve featured possibly the first gay kiss in the SL blogosphere but, again, wow, so what? There’s more important stuff going on.

And so we come to a trio of posts which have precisely nothing to do with SL, or SL naturism, but issues that need to be addressed, as those of us who use SL love the freedom it provides for whatever sexuality we have, all reflected within our politics-free virtual globe. And for those of us who are RL naturists, I think we must almost reflexively side with those whose rights are being eroded or denied.

In the ‘real’ world, rapidly becoming the surreal world, personal freedoms are constantly being eroded. I take a keen interest in this, as naturism (the RL variety) is constantly under threat from idiots with an ignorant view of it, and thus I do fight to ensure the hard-earned liberties won by previous generations aren’t removed in a world becoming less free. Of course, the right to be naked in a public location is pretty small beer compared to the travails being suffered by those featured in this mini-series. I urge you to read all three, just to remind yourself that we are all under threat -be it as naturists, as part of the gay community, as part of womanhood, as part of free individuals making free, individual choices threatened by small-minded zealots.

 

***

While gay rights (or lack thereof) in Russia, or womens’ rights, in patriarchal Iran, are serious, I think, of the three posts in this mini-series, this post is the most serious of all.

A pregnant Sudanese woman has been sentenced to be hanged for ‘apostasy’ (the act of renouncing one’s faith) because she married a Christian and was, despite being raised as a Christian, is the child of a Muslim man and therefore was tried as being Muslim herself. In the eyes of the Sudanese court, she didn’t have the right to make a choice as to which deity she should worship. Additionally, adherents of ‘the religion of peace‘ have sentenced her to a flogging for ‘adultery’, having married a non-Muslim.Islam01

Nice work, boys! I’m convinced your ilk has the right to tell women what to do*

Amnesty International have, quite rightly, said that it’s a flagrant breach of international human rights law. Hardly an earth-shattering revelation, though. Human rights, particularly in the case of women, and Islamic women, are routinely breached. Since 2005 the US has given $8bn in aid to Sudan. The UK $135m. The UN $225m. While Amnesty are doing the right thing, it seems that the more immediate chance of ensuring this poor woman’s survival is a clear message that there won’t be another brass farthing, ever, in aid if she is flogged or hanged.

And are we fast approaching the time when those of us in the west demand that not another cent of our taxes is allowed to support these barbaric regimes being played out on the lie that they represent ‘peace’?

Ella

*This image was taken during a rally in London, the city of my birth and upbringing, some years ago. But it’s clear that, whatever the year, ‘freedom’ can ‘go to hell’ where the rights of women, and the rights of women not to be Muslim, or wear the symbols of Islam, are concerned.

You can have the choice we’ve made for you (2)

Let’s not kid ourselves we’re doing anything wonderful here at SLN. We’re a niche lifestyle blog about a niche online game. Yeah, we’ve regularly featured pixellated nudity but…wow, so what? We’ve featured possibly the first gay kiss in the SL blogosphere but, again, wow, so what? There’s more important stuff going on.

And so we come to a trio of posts which have precisely nothing to do with SL, or SL naturism, but issues that need to be addressed, as those of us who use SL love the freedom it provides for whatever sexuality we have, all reflected within our politics-free virtual globe. And for those of us who are RL naturists, I think we must almost reflexively side with those whose rights are being eroded or denied.

In the ‘real’ world, rapidly becoming the surreal world, personal freedoms are constantly being eroded. I take a keen interest in this, as naturism (the RL variety) is constantly under threat from idiots with an ignorant view of it, and thus I do fight to ensure the hard-earned liberties won by previous generations aren’t removed in a world becoming less free. Of course, the right to be naked in a public location is pretty small beer compared to the travails being suffered by those featured in this mini-series. I urge you to read all three, just to remind yourself that we are all under threat -be it as naturists, as part of the gay community, as part of womanhood, as part of free individuals making free, individual choices threatened by small-minded zealots.

 

***

There’s a Facebook page, My Stealthy Freedom, which is dedicated to Iranian women publicly removing their hijab, and posing for photographs. If we separate Iran’s theocracy from its populace, I think there’s an ideological gap. Many Iranians will still recall the days of the Shah -the Peacock Throne– which wasn’t perfect, but probably preferable to the Ayatollahs. In his last days, the Shah removed a multi-party system to reinforce the power of his monarchy, for example, so not a fully democratic system. But Iran probably has some sense -in it general populace- of being quite modern and, in a sense, western-looking in its approach to life. For example…

Original-Black-Cats-in-Tehran-1960s

…the photo above is ‘The Black Cats’, a rock-jazz combo from Tehran (with a hint of ‘mod’ about them, given the scooters on show) in the 1960s. Their cultural touchstones don’t seem far removed from teenagers forming bands elsewhere in the world at the time.

So…there’s a legacy there, a freedom of thought and deed, that runs counter to that of the Ayatollahs. There’s a clear and obvious danger in demonising an entire nation by the actions of a minority. Not all Iranians loathe the west. Indeed, I’d suggest many would welcome a return to a more secular society.

Indeed, that may be a view that permeates across the entire Middle East. When British High Street store Marks and Spencer (M&S) opted to open up to a global market, the Middle East was one of the markets they explored, and opened up in. The view in the UK is that M&S is the store that effectively puts the knickers on British women, and there’s something to that. M&S lingerie can probably be found in almost every underwear drawer in the UK. And when moving to the Middle East, their first store in the Lebanon (probably not quite as puritanical a nation as other Middle Eastern countries) was dedicated solely to ‘lingerie and beauty’.

And I do recall reading, with some surprise, that their supply of lingerie couldn’t be maintained when they opened their first store (in the UAE, possibly) such was the hunger for women there -many of whom would maybe be wearing a full Islamic burqa- to buy! So there’s the odd juxtaposition, perhaps, of hijabi-wearing women clad, under their veils, in racy lingerie.

98260987_64f503f73f

The concept of the ‘sexy burqa’ is something of an internet meme, but often published simply for the purpose of offending others, which is shameful.

sexy-burkas

Real? Or simply made up for the purposes of demonising someone else’s belief system?

Lingerie store Liaison Dangereuse even managed to cause a stir with this advert which marries the burqa to sexuality. At the time it was seen as ‘provocative’. It was, but in two ways. One, yes, it could be seen as offensive. Two, it could be an accurate reflection that despite the burqa (and who is to say that those who wear it are forced to do so or choose to do so? I think we can accept that there are times where either apply) women can and do maintain beauty and sexuality, a trait that exists whether or not the Imams like it or not. I see the advert less as ‘provocative’ as ‘thought-provoking’.

And that brings us back to this latest internet campaign wherein women lose their hijab in a bid for ‘stealthy freedom’. Now…I don’t do Facebook, so I’m not in a position to judge their page,  but you can see some of the photos here. Or look for it on Facebook if you have an account. As is usual, Fox News misses the point entirely, with remarks about ‘beatings’ and (obviously) picking up on phrases about ‘Iran’s enemies’. This just in: whatever the rhetoric from Iran, remember it’s just rhetoric. Please try and separate the theocracy from the general population!

What is remarkable is that the women undertaking this act of defiance are uniformly gorgeous! And, returning to idiotic Fox remarks, where are these beatings coming from? I’m guessing that, back under the hijab or burqa, the morality police won’t have any idea if that’s x, y or z from Facebook, thus making the idea of being subjected to a beating unlikely (not impossible if ratted out by someone else, but certainly unlikely).

Stealthy-Freedom-Facebook-page

Stealthy Freedoms Facebook Page

Anyway, it seems the ‘choice’ for Iranian women (in public) has been the choice to wear a hijab in public, another example of a patriarchal society imposing its will on others. The freedom to choose is off the agenda.

Ella.

You can have the choice we’ve made for you (1)

Let’s not kid ourselves we’re doing anything wonderful here at SLN. We’re a niche lifestyle blog about a niche online game. Yeah, we’ve regularly featured pixellated nudity but…wow, so what? We’ve featured possibly the first gay kiss in the SL blogosphere but, again, wow, so what? There’s more important stuff going on.

And so we come to a trio of posts which have precisely nothing to do with SL, or SL naturism, but issues that need to be addressed, as those of us who use SL love the freedom it provides for whatever sexuality we have, all reflected within our politics-free virtual globe. And for those of us who are RL naturists, I think we must almost reflexively side with those whose rights are being eroded or denied.

In the ‘real’ world, rapidly becoming the surreal world, personal freedoms are constantly being eroded. I take a keen interest in this, as naturism (the RL variety) is constantly under threat from idiots with an ignorant view of it, and thus I do fight to ensure the hard-earned liberties won by previous generations aren’t removed in a world becoming less free. Of course, the right to be naked in a public location is pretty small beer compared to the travails being suffered by those featured in this mini-series. I urge you to read all three, just to remind yourself that we are all under threat -be it as naturists, as part of the gay community, as part of womanhood, as part of free individuals making free, individual choices threatened by small-minded zealots.

 

***

Last weekend saw the ‘Eurovision Song Contest‘, a collection of lowest-common-denominator ‘songs’ performed, year after year, by people we’ll never hear from again. Not something I would give the time of day to, but conceived to bring together a disparate continent. It’s a ‘simulcast’, and countries get to vote for songs with an eventual winner emerging. More of a circus than actual, proper songs, but the ‘Song Contest’ is something of a misnomer, it’s more of an ‘light entertainment contest’. Sadly, there’s no opt-out. The BBC, Britain’s ‘state’ broadcaster (or as close as we have to one), is one of the major contributors to this charade and isn’t, under EBU (European Broadcasting Union) laws, to withdraw. A shame, because the money wasted on it might be otherwise more reasonably diverted into a decent bit of costume drama.

Austria won this year, with a song from bearded lady Conchita Wurst. A drag act with a beard, actually. And with Russia’s current poison aimed at its gay community, it caused all forms of anger (from Russia) and a demand the bearded lady be edited out. This wish was refused.conchita-wurst

I’ve not heard the song, I’m sure it’s dreadful, but I do like the fact that this pointless competition suddenly was akin to poking a nest of hornets with a stick.

The Russian Orthodox church  got involved too, denouncing Conchita. And Russian twitter users responded to the Russian Orthodox Church’s apoplexy about ‘bearded men in skirts’ with…

 

BnlJnQxIQAE6NgC.jpg-large

 

 

“The ROC categorically opposes bearded men in dresses!”

Russia now threatens to leave the EBU to hold its own ‘straight’ version of the Eurovision Song Contest (don’t let the door catch your backsides on the way out). I’m not sure…is Conchita Wurst even gay? It’s a fella in a dress, but I’ve not read anything on Conchita’s sexuality. A good thing, because it shows how little we, in the more enlightened bits of Europe, actually care. The ultimate irony would be if Conchita ‘came out’ and said ‘I’m actually hetero’, now that Russia have wound themselves into a lather over it.

Under Putin, ‘rights’ are under threat, most notably against the LBGT community. But having suppressed them…who’s next?

Clearly, this story has absolutely nothing to do with SL or SL naturism, but it shows constant vigilance is required out there in the real world to keep morons like Putin and his anachronistic world-view firmly under check. And just to show how far out of step the political classes are with the populace, Russia’s ordinary television jurors voted Conchita into third place. Meanwhile, Putin and his cohorts seem increasingly ridiculous.

bearded lady_001b

Anti-Putin, pro-freedom. A male SL avatar puts on a ball gown in solidarity with Conchita Wurst.

Ella

It’s Topless…Thursday (again).

djenly tt2_001b_Fotor jelena tt_001b_FotorMy apologies. I thought I had posted the following on Tuesday evening, I went to bed, and then didn’t get the opportunity to look at the blog again until this morning, Thursday, at which point the post appeared to be missing from the blog. Yep, I’d pressed the ‘preview’ rather than ‘publish’ button and when I closed down the wordpress programme, the post defaulted to a ‘draft’ again, rather than appear on the blog.

We’ve done a topless Thursday post before, by design rather than accident, but in this instance it’s accident rather than design.

So…here’s Topless Tuesday Thursday, something of a very popular meme amongst avatars.

 

fannymouille tt5_001-001b_Fotor

 

Let me just remind you that there’s a flickr group dedicated to the meme which you can find here. I keep threatening to sign up, but I’m put off by the fact that another social media possibly means spreading the SL time available to me ever more thinly, which is why I keep resisting.

Ella