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"Each individual should allow reason to guide his conduct, or like an animal, he will need to be led by a leash."
Diogenes of Sinope

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Thousand Flowers tapestry (15th Century) - Beaune, France (detail)

Monday, July 29, 2013

That's great, sweetheart - can we see your boobs now?

You know, nothing gets the point across about our patriarchal society's objectification of women's bodies like showing off your tits on Parliament Hill.

Three Quebec teenagers did just that on Thursday to protest the plight of Nathalie Morin, a Montreal woman trying to get her children out of Saudi Arabia:
The nation’s capital caught a glimpse of the FEMEN movement Thursday as three Quebec teens ripped off their shirts on the steps of Parliament Hill in support of women’s rights.
As a scandalized youth-group leader shepherded her young charges away from the half-nude protesters, the teens shouted “Freedom for women!” and “Free Nathalie Morin!”
Morin is a Montreal woman who says she is trapped in Saudi Arabia. She moved there in 2005 to be with her Saudi husband and now says the Saudi government won’t issue passports to her three children. The Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development has previously told reporters that consulate officials in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia are assisting Morin while respecting the Saudi legal framework.
The topless protesters said the Canadian government should be doing more to bring Morin home and believe that if enough people know about the woman’s plight they will pressure the government to do exactly that.
And how better to raise awareness, they thought, than to have young women bare their breasts in public?
“If we were just three of us there with our shirts on, it wouldn’t do anything,” said 18-year-old protester Julie-Anne Beaulac.
FEMEN is a radical feminist group founded in the Ukraine whose Canadian branch, according to their Facebook page, is trying to "to develop the leadership, intellectual and moral qualities of women in Canada". Well isn't that great. Admittedly, being gay, the sight of a woman's naked breasts in front of the Peace Tower probably doesn't stir the same sense of political outrage in me that it would in a straight man, but really? Displaying your bare breasts in public while shouting "Freedom for Women"?

I'm not sure what the young ladies expect the Canadian government to do about a situation that is the fault of the authorities in Saudi Arabia. To be perfectly blunt about it, how did Nathalie Morin expect to be treated when she married a Saudi man and moved to his homeland - a medieval theocracy where women are not allowed to vote, drive cars or leave the house without being escorted by a male relative, and are not allowed out of the country without their husbands' permission?

I've got a suggestion for Ms Beaulac and her two friends; go protest in front of the Saudi Arabian embassy - it's just down the street from the Parliament Buildings at 201 Sussex Drive. She must be aware that while women in Ontario are legally free to be topless in public, the penalty for "sexual misconduct" in Saudi Arabia is death by stoning. She can have a nice chat about the intellectual and moral qualities of women in Canada with His Excellency the Ambassador.


Anonymous said...

Well, it's a start. These feminist groups usually don't care about women's rights in Muslim countries. And like the PETA group in Montreal with the naked lady, they know this is the only way to get media attention.

Rick Thomson said...

Man...tell the fatties to keep their shirts on. Nobody wants to see that.

Alain said...

I'll risk being called heartless by stating that you cannot protect people from their own stupidity nor the consequences of their stupidity. Morin is a prime example, since the word has been out for a very long time about what happens when a Western woman marries a man from a country under Muslim law. Yet she chose to ignore this.

As for the protesters, you are right in that they are protesting at the wrong location. It is Saudi Arabia and the stupidity of Morin that are responsible for her situation, not the Canadian government.