100 Women (Amina Sboui-Tyler’s experience)

One of the first ‘real life’ stories that Ella reported on away back in December 2011 included Egyptian Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, who blogged herself naked (apart from red shoes), and faced the wrath of  the country’s fundamentalists.

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She later fled the country, to Sweden, where she became involved with Femen, the radical feminist group, and joined them for protests.

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Later, she would continue her photographic exploits by publishing a photo of herself menstruating on an ISIL flag.

In turn, her initial actions would lead to several further protests in support of her, from women in Israel…

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…and a wider international campaign called Nude Photo Revolutionaries which produced a calendar.

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Some time later, Tunisian feminist Amina Sboui would also post a topless photo to social media, something else Ella reported on while challenging Femen’s tactics (Ella refers to her as Amina Tyler, the name given for her at the time, one she adopted after Stephen Tyler from Aerosmith).

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Amina Sboui/Tyler would later be jailed for writing the word ‘Femen’ in a cemetery, and while aligned with the group for a while, left it because she felt that they were being disrespectful towards the Muslim world in some ways (her criticism of the group coming a couple of months after Ella had reached the same conclusion).

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More recently she has penned her autobiography, ‘My body belongs to me’.

She has recently come back into the news in the UK thanks to the BBC’s 100 Women series, which explores the experience of women from different parts of the globe. A video of Amina Sboui explaining her actions is available here (possibly only available to UK users) and an article explaining the background to her experience is here.

Early in 2015 Amina plans to publish a magazine, called Farida (it means ‘unique’ in Arabic) which will be a ‘feminine feminist’s magazine’, and printed only in Arabic, aimed at a readership of 15-25 year olds. It will be interesting to see how the Arab world reacts to it, or if it begins to change the hearts & minds of women in some Arab countries.

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While the BBC isn’t cherished by our politicians, it is by the rest of us, exactly for projects like ‘100 Women’.

Trine

 

 

 

Continuing our ‘southern’ hemisphere tour: the onsen

Onsen are Japanese hot springs and they’ve featured in SL Naturist before, away back in 2012. I thought it might be time for an update on these bath houses as they do feature nudity, and because it also allows us to examine the naked cultures of the south(ern hemisphere). Yes, yes, yes, I know Japan isn’t in the southern hemisphere, it’s actually on a similar parallel to Spain or the northern states of the USA, but I think that when we exit Europe (or north America) we often tend to think of ourselves as ‘heading south’, and it’s the reason why I will be including ‘the Far East’ in our winter tour of ‘the south(ern hemisphere)’.

I know I’m playing fast and loose with the earth’s geography, but it makes some sense, to me, to include Japan and its attitudes to nudity, in our ‘winter tour’ (alongside S.Africa, Australia, Brazil et al). As the winter progresses we may also include the Indian sub continent (northern hemisphere) in our ‘tour of the south’. So please don’t write in to say ‘you do know Japan/India etc are actually in the northern hemisphere’. Yes, I do know.

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I’ve tried to include ‘real’ photos of onsen, and part of the elaborate washing and bathing rituals involved, a task made difficult by the internet’s preference for ‘posed by models’ photographs and almost entire absence of males, who also use onsen.

The etiquette of using an onsen is explained on this page (external link), and also in this video

A further video explains why tattoos are a ‘no no’ in onsen.

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Sai No Kawara-Kusatsu is the largest outdoor bath in Kusatsu. The natural spa is one of the most prolific outpourings of hot water of all the hot springs in Japan. The springs produce sulfurous spa waters with high acidity that are said to be effective against neuralgia and skin diseases. The town has been a popular destination since the 13th Century.

Sai No Kawara-Kusatsu is the largest outdoor bath in Kusatsu. The natural spa is one of the most prolific outpourings of hot water of all the hot springs in Japan. The springs produce sulfurous spa waters with high acidity that are said to be effective against neuralgia and skin diseases. The town has been a popular destination since the 13th Century.

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It’s hard to know just what the exact etiquette is regarding nudity. Some sources say that mixed onsen are available, others suggest the bathing is segregated.

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The onsen is a popular build in SL, with a variety of locations to enjoy them. The photographs above show numerous beautifully located onsen, and the SL builds are no different, uniformly being photogenic sims.

I began at the Sabai Sabai onsen, where males and females can pick up free towels (for both body and head).

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I confess that I was so confused by the conflicting opinions about nudity in the onsen that I…erm…checked out a user, hahaha, and yes, he was using the onsen as nature intended! Others arrived and waded in, although I noted that the ladies tended to use the onsen wrapped in the free towels while the men generally went nude.

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I moved on to the Empire Paradise onsen, which had a very realistic washing area, such as those shown in real life photos further up the page.

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Note how the entrance at Empire Onsen closely resembles the entrance to a real life onsen.

There’s a number of other onsen around the grid, but I’ve just picked a couple to give you a sense of what they look like and how they resemble the real life equivalent. I’m off to explore a bit more of Japan (in Second Life) before joining up with Trine again and jetting off somewhere else, hopefully this time properly in the southern hemisphere!

Abigail

 

 

 

 

Some bits and bobs…

Let us get back to Second Life after a week of being news junkies here in Europe.

I got a heads up about a new-to-me male orientated store called Irocu. They have some super hairstyles there, some also highly suitable for females, as model Valerie demonstrates (below).

After that Val zoomed off to EFM (Ever for Men, the mens’ department of Ever an Angel), where she picked up the mens pyjamas she’s also wearing (L$0, no group fee)

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Over at Ever an angel itself is a female set of pyjamas (L$0 group gift, but L$100 group join fee), pictured below. I know this is a naturist blog, and there are well documented reasons why sleeping nude is healthier for you, but we’re in the middle of a cold snap in the UK and, hey, naturists aren’t stupid. If it’s cold, we cover up! 🙂 Friday night was the first time I’ve worn anything in bed since the spring.

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A couple of Iron’s hairstyles are pictured below, and I think they look fresh and new, a bit ‘wild’, which I like about them.

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Finally, with Christmas approaching, we’re starting to think about decorating SL Naturist Central, and Aphrodite has a free (L$0) drinks trolley that can get your party started with a bang!

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While our naturist summer is now just a distant memory, I hope that next week we’ll be continuing our ‘southern hemisphere’ tour with some naturist potential.

Trine

 

 

Nous sommes unis! by guest contributor Ella Keng

Nous sommes unis! (We are united).

I didn’t expect to be sitting at the SLN computer quite so soon, or even ever again, but Trine contacted me and asked me to comment on Friday night’s events in Paris.

I don’t wish to trivialise those events by comparing them to something as unimportant as Second Life or even naturism. Yes, Second Life is important to those of us who may be reading this, and naturism is also important to many readers, but both pale into insignificance when compared to what went on in Paris.

We began the year reporting on the murders at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris, and witnessed the SL community express solidarity with the paper, with Paris, with France, for freedom of speech. It touched many of us in SL because we are used to a sense of freedom within the game, a largely apolitical zone, a virtual space where the world comes together as one. If you’ve been playing SL for any length of time you will probably have friends from different countries or continents and will be aware that, beyond politics, their hopes, dreams and aspirations aren’t so very different from yours or mine.

While I had no intention of returning to the SLN keyboard, it had been my intention to make a now more occasional foray into SL on Friday night and join some old friends at Commune Utopia for their regular Friday night dance. We’d cracked open a bottle of wine at the end of the working week, kicked off our shoes, put the children to bed and my husband had settled down with some music, I with my laptop, reading to log-in around 10pm (GMT).

My husband uttered an oath when he clicked into his computer -a rare enough event in itself- and reached for the TV remote, an even rarer event, switched on BBC News 24, and the lids of our computers closed simultaneously. We were still there at 200am, having watched the death toll rise from 6, to 19, to 40….

Prior to our current Spanish naturist holiday arrangements, we were regulars at numerous French campsites and resorts, and we’d say that we’re proud Francophiles, and delight in the country’s culture in all of its forms, from literature to cinema to food to music. We were horrified by what we saw. Our horror at Friday night’s events has only increased as the weekend has progressed and the death toll risen beyond all comprehension.

We must be careful to separate ‘Muslims’ from ‘radicals’. In real life I have Muslim friends in a multi-cultural UK, and they’re as horrified as I am. It’s easy to mix this up and deliver the notion that all Muslims are an ‘enemy within’. They aren’t. Indeed, many of those fleeing Syria to arrive in Europe are doing so precisely because they face the horror visited upon Paris on Friday on a daily basis, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, whatever you want to call these stains on humanity, visiting the same horrors on their Muslim co-religionists every day. That is why they flee.

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On Friday night our way of life in liberal democracies was challenged. The attacks were on ‘normal’ stuff. A soccer match. A rock music gig. Bars and restaurants.

As a naturist, I am aware just how vile that lifestyle would be regarded by these morons, how they would challenge my right to go naked, challenge my freedoms as a woman, challenge everyone’s liberal, democratic lifestyles. Which is why I become so angry at Friday’s events, when these ‘wicked’ or ‘evil’ things we take for granted -music, soccer, socialising, eating, loving, living- are attacked.

Now is a time to stand united, as Europeans, as inhabitants of western democracies, against such pure evil.

I’ve been reading a bit about how it’s ‘retaliation’ for western involvement in the Middle East. What these apologists for death and violence fail to grasp is that western involvement in the middle east is often because, as people with humanity in our souls, we can’t stand idly by and watch some death-cult butcher their fellow countrymen for the slightest deviation from their fascist path.

Once again, we stand with Paris, with France, with freedom.

Je ne pensais pas être assis devant l’ordinateur SLN si tôt, ou même jamais, mais Trine m’a contacté et m’a demandé de commenter les événements de vendredi soir à Paris.

Je ne veux pas banaliser ces événements en les comparant à quelque chose d’aussi insignifiant que Second Life ou même le naturisme. Oui, Second Life est important pour ceux d’entre nous qui peuvent être en train de lire ceci, et le naturisme est aussi importante pour de nombreux lecteurs, mais à la fois pâle dans l’insignifiance par rapport à ce qui se passait à Paris.

Nous avons commencé l’année des rapports sur les meurtres dans les bureaux de Charlie Hebdo à Paris, et assisté à la solidarité expresse de la communauté de SL avec le papier, avec Paris, avec la France, la liberté d’expression. Il a touché beaucoup d’entre nous dans SL parce que nous sommes habitués à un sentiment de liberté dans le jeu, une zone largement apolitique, un espace virtuel où le monde vient ensemble comme une seule. Si vous avez joué SL pour toute longueur de temps, vous avez probablement des amis de différents pays ou continents et sera conscient que, au-delà de la politique, leurs espoirs, leurs rêves et leurs aspirations ne sont pas très différente de la vôtre ou la mienne.

Bien que je avais pas l’intention de retourner au clavier SLN, il avait eu l’intention de faire une incursion aujourd’hui plus occasionnelle dans SL le vendredi soir et rejoindre quelques vieux amis à Utopia commune pour leur régulière vendredi soir la danse. Nous avions craqué ouvrir une bouteille de vin à la fin de la semaine de travail, débuté nos chaussures, mettre les enfants au lit et mon mari était installé avec de la musique, je avec mon ordinateur portable, la lecture de log-in autour de 22:00 ( GMT).

Mon mari a prononcé un serment quand il a cliqué dans son ordinateur -a assez événement rare dans itself- et atteint pour la télécommande du téléviseur, un événement encore plus rare, allumé BBC Nouvelles 24, et les couvercles de nos ordinateurs fermé simultanément. Nous étions encore là à 200am, après avoir regardé le péage mort hausse de 6, à 19, à 40 ….

Avant nos espagnoles arrangements naturiste de vacances actuelles, nous étions habitués à de nombreux campings et stations françaises, et nous dirions que nous sommes francophiles fiers, et de plaisir dans la culture du pays dans toutes ses formes, de la littérature au cinéma à l’alimentation la musique. Nous avons été horrifiés par ce que nous avons vu. Notre horreur des événements de vendredi soir n’a augmenté que le week-end a progressé et le nombre de morts augmenté delà de toute compréhension.

Nous devons faire attention à séparer «musulmans» de «radicaux». Dans la vraie vie, je dois amis musulmans au Royaume-Uni dans un multi-culturelle, et ils sont aussi horrifiés que moi. Il est facile de mélanger ce et livrer la notion que tous les musulmans sont un «ennemi intérieur». Ils ne sont pas. En effet, bon nombre de ceux qui fuient la Syrie pour arriver en Europe le font précisément parce qu’ils sont confrontés à l’horreur visité sur Paris le vendredi sur une base quotidienne, IS, ISIS, ISIL, Daesh, tout ce que vous voulez appeler ces taches sur l’humanité, la visite du mêmes horreurs sur leurs coreligionnaires musulmans chaque jour. Voilà pourquoi ils fuient.

Le vendredi soir, notre mode de vie dans les démocraties libérales a été contestée. Les attaques étaient sur des choses «normales». Un match de football. Un concert de musique rock. Bars et restaurants.

Comme un naturiste, je suis conscient à quel vil ce mode de vie serait considéré par ces abrutis, comment ils allaient contester mon droit d’aller nu, contester mes libertés en tant que femme, Défi, les modes de vie démocratiques libéraux de tout le monde. Qui est pourquoi je deviens tellement en colère contre les événements de vendredi, quand ces «méchants» ou des choses «mal» nous prenons pour acquis -Musique, le soccer, la socialisation, de manger, d’aimer, SALON sont attaqués.

Maintenant est le moment de rester unis, en tant qu’Européens, que des habitants de démocraties occidentales, contre ce mal pur.

Je lis un peu comment il est «représailles» pour l’implication occidentale dans le Moyen-Orient. Qu’est-ce que ces apologistes de mort et de violence ne parviennent pas à saisir est que l’implication occidentale dans l’est du milieu est souvent parce que, comme les personnes atteintes de l’humanité dans nos âmes, nous ne pouvons pas rester les bras croisés et regarder culte de la mort massacrer leurs compatriotes pour la moindre déviation de leur trajectoire fasciste.

Une fois de plus, nous sommes avec Paris, avec la France, avec la liberté.

Ella