I never thought getting arrested would be a positive, or preferred, outcome of any given situation, but according to these protesters, it was a relief.

 

Last week FEMEN activists took to a mosque in Stockholm to protest the sharia, or Islamic moral code, in Egypt. These women donned long, black robes and shed them at Stockholm’s central mosque.

Phrases like, “My body is mine, not somebody’s honor” and “Gender equality” were written across their bare chests.

The trio of women, who were of Egyptian, Tunisian, and Swedish nationality, aimed to promote a woman’s right to make choice about her body. They were fighting for basic rights: she should be able to choose how to dress, what to believe or not believe, and force should never be implemented as a way to coerce people to behave in a specific manner.

 

These ladies say that they should behave and dress how they please as long as they are not hurting anybody, but that is not the case in their home countries.

Egyptian protester Aliaa Magda Elmahdy even asserted—with great relief—that at least she is only getting arrested for this protest. "If we did that demonstration in my country, we [would get] raped, we’re going to be cut with knives, we were going to be killed.”

Another protester added, "We should not be called whores or that we are doing something shameful -- like they were calling us today in the mosque. They were calling us whores, whores from hell."

A body is not a sin. Women should be able to decide what to believe in. It’s crazy for me to think that we still have to have this conversation in 2013. In a certain respect this is merely the beginning of an even larger conversation. The Women Spring is just starting to unfurl.

 

Many women living in countries with Islamic law, particularly in Tunisia and Egypt, thought that the Arab Spring would change the position of women in the country. In fact, just the opposite has happened and things have been getting worse. This is a direct point of what these FEMEN activists were demonstrating against in Stockholm.

FEMEN was founded in the Ukraine in 2008 as a radical feminist group. They have held protests and demonstrations from defending women’s rights and gender equality to attacks against theocracies, the church, and patriarchy. FEMEN even took a jab at top model Heidi Klum for posing an unbelievably high beauty standards and expectations. (Now, that’s not solely Heidi’s fault, but FEMEN is pointing out a cultural expectation that presents women and girls with an impossible vision of beauty).

 

We can only hope the FEMEN activists continue to bare their breasts in the face of injustice.

Source via The Huffington Post

Photographs via FEMEN

Tagged in: women spring, stockholm, mosque protest, Femen   

The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.


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