Stealthy Freedoms, Persia and signing off.

I wrote last week about ‘cultural  Marxism’, with a context of female flight attendants for Air France being asked to cover their heads when landing in Iran.

The BBC reports that the women have won their battle (or, rather, Air France have side-stepped the issue rather than tackling the issue head on).

The issue also raised the profile of the My Stealthy Freedom social media group, whom we’ve previously written about in SL Naturist. They’ve asked all female visitors to Iran to remove headscarves, and to highlight the ‘freedom’ involved in doing so, and many women are posting photos and memes to the group’s Facebook page.

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SL Naturist has sometimes been about personal freedoms in the issues we write about, with naturism (in the real world, as in Second Life) certainly being a personal freedom we make our demands to pursue, sometimes in the face of opposition. While it certainly doesn’t have the same implications for an avatar, there may be sanctions. Stepping outside the norm in Second Life can leads to bans from certain sims. Being a furry, or another type of non-human styled avatar, might result in a ban from a sim. Being naked, in human form, might lead to a ban from a sim. Going out in public, without a headscarf, in the real Islamic world, could lead to fines or worse (note: in respect of this last link, I’ve no idea if that blog has a demonising of Islam styled agenda in presenting these facts).

I don’t wish to focus too much on Iran, as it is a country that is opening up (as the resumption of the Air France flights demonstrate) much more under a reforming President (although it still has some way to go in terms of how we, in the west, might frame ‘freedoms’). Then again, in some respects, is it the west’s place to interfere in the politics and society of somewhere else just because it’s not our way of doing things? Anyway, people are people, not demons. Iran, meet Uncle Sam. Soccer Mom, meet Iraqi mother.

Really, tell me honestly, how often have you travelled and been delighted by the friendliness of strangers? How much have strangers’ lives mirrored that of your own? ‘I worry about my child…can they get a better life than I have had?’. It’s never any different. We have the same hopes, fears, aspirations as everyone else, and it’s only the damned politicians who mess the world up for the rest of us.

I know that Iran, or rather the wider ‘Persian Empire’, is a region steeped in history and a deep, rich culture, and it’s a shame that it is on the other side of an ‘us and them’ fence. Because ordinary Iranians, Iraqis, Syrians, Jordanians and so on are just normal, ordinary people, and it would be a delight to have a greater, deeper insight into the history and culture of the region rather than being seen as ‘westerners’, or them being demonised as ‘religious nut jobs’. In almost all instances, it’s doubtful they’re anything other than beautiful people under the cosh (as we are in the west) of idiotic politicians working to a ‘divide and conquer’ agenda.

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Tehran, like any other modern city, is in parts beautiful and exciting, while simultaneously being a congested place with the same issues as anywhere else.

I know that Islam suggests that women need to cover their heads, but it’s an Islamic patriarchy who determine this rule over women. I know we read articles written by a metropolitan elite about how women decide to wear a headscarf of their own free will (and an equal number of articles saying this is anti-feminist). Those women wear headscarves of their own free will, some say.

I know I’m rambling a bit here, trying to haul a few thoughts together, but it has some relationship to my next job, editing the Lingerie Lunacy blog. Sales of lingerie by British high street store Marks & Spencer are worth £200m per annum in their Saudi Arabia stores. So you might want to suspend your misconceptions just a little, and I’ll be kicking off my tenure at LL with an examination of that particular fact, and how women around the world look at their purchases of lingerie, how they display it for partners and so on.

I’ve had great fun working at SL Naturist, but I’m also looking forward to developing LL in the coming months. Thanks for reading my stuff, and giving me feedback. But this is my last blog posting for the blog and I’ll be moving onto LL as from now. I expect we’ll have some new posts up by next weekend.

Best wishes and enjoy your naturism, real or virtual,

Abigail

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