Posted by: Philip Carr-Gomm | November 5, 2012

Iranian Women in Naked Protests

When I was working on A Brief History of Nakedness, which is due out in a paperback edition in the UK & USA next month, I decided to devote a third of the book to the political dimensions of nudity. As I researched this, the fascinating fact emerged that it was women who were the driving force behind many of the uses of the naked body as a means of protest. I found examples from many cultures, but I could only find one instance of the use of naked protest that had emerged out of Islamic culture.
To protest against the Iraq war and the Israeli occupation of Palestine, Syrian artist Hala Faisal wrote ‘Stop the War’ on her body in English and Arabic and stood in Washington Square Park fountain in New York city in August 2005. I managed to track her down and she kindly gave me permission to use her photograph in the book. What a courageous woman!
But times are changing and more courageous women are daring to make a stand against inhumanity and oppression, even in the Islamic world. Recently Femen, based in the Ukraine, have been receiving widespread publicity for their topless protests, and now campaigner Maryam Namazie has launched the Nude Photo Revolutionary Calendar 2012-2013 in support of Egyptian Aliaa Magda El Mahdy and the Manifesto for a Free and Secular Middle East and North Africa.
She is the Spokesperson for Equal Rights Now – Organisation against Women’s Discrimination in IranOne Law for All Campaign against Sharia Law in Britain and the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain. She works closely with Iran Solidarity, which she founded, and the International Committee against Stoning. Here is a video about her project. Her blog is here. If you feel moved, do support her work!


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  2. Worth noting that in North Carolina they are currently amending the definition of “private parts” to include female breasts.

    How people will breast feed in public is beyond me, that the proponent of this is a woman just beggars belief.

    • Your link provided the answer in the text of the bill:
      23 (b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a woman may breast feed in any public
      24 or private location where she is otherwise authorized to be, irrespective of whether the nipple
      25 nipple, or any portion of the areola, of the mother’s breast is uncovered during or incidental to
      26 the breast feeding.

  3. Hi there! This article could not be written any better!
    Looking at this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He continually kept preaching about this. I’ll send this information to him. Fairly certain he’s going to have a good read.
    Many thanks for sharing!

  4. Hi there, this weekend is good for me, because this moment i am reading this
    great educational article here at my home.

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