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Sunday, April 13, 2008

Reflections on Nudity

This note was triggered by three thoughts; I wanted to look up the difference between nude and naked, I was thinking of the origin of inhibitions, and I wish there would be a nude beach in Egypt.

Wikipedia answered my first question saying that "a "nude" person is unclad by choice and is generally shameless; a "naked" person is involuntarily caught undressed and is generally embarrassed"

I agree .... nude celebrities are famous people who posed without clothes on and were not ashamed. Naked celebrities implies that they were caught off guard with no clothes on ... and they were violated.

Inhibitions ... how I hate them and loathe their suffocating effect. I used to have birds and I am the sensual type ... meaning I relate to most things using my senses ... I loved the first couple I got the most. I was 12 and I named them Tootie and Sweetie:) I loved looking at them, listening to them, and by time I grew a certain addiction to the scent of their feathers. I would sneak a finger every now and then between the bars in an attempt to touch their colorful feathers .. but that was not enough .. I wanted to hold them in my hands ... my father said they were scared and they might fly away.

Tootie and Sweetie "got married" - this is what mom said to justify the eggs in the nest. I will not get into details about the mating itself ... this is another story:) Sweetie laid one egg and when the egg hatched, Fruitie was born. He had blue feathers like his parents but his feathers were shinier, fuller, and way more tempting for me to touch. I opened the door and reached inside the cage, Tootie and Sweetie hid in their nest while Fruitie just stood there. I caressed his back ... and he stood there ... I patted his head ... and he stood there ... I touched his beak .. and he stood there ... I curled my fingers around him and took him out of the cage .. he did not struggle ... I put him on my stretched forefinger .. he stood there and looked at me ... I kissed his head ... he did not fly.

A week later, I wanted to show a friend how my baby bird loved me ... I put my hand in the cage .. Tootie, Sweetie, and Fruitie hid in the nest and my experiment failed. Where did he get this fear from when he was born fearless? I can understand fearing fire when you get burnt or fearing pain when you get hurt but is it possible to fear things that we were told to fear? Is it possible to fear something that exists only in our head? Is that how it works with society? We were told by our parents who were told by their parents who were told by their parents that we should fear people and their opinions of us, that we should fear our bodies and where they could lead us, that we should fear anyone or anything that looks, sounds, or feels different because we do not know what harm it could do, and that we should just fear the unknown.

I think of Fruitie a lot ... I like the original form he was born into ... I like the original form I was born into ... I am striving for utter and complete nudity ... in my writings I am nude ... and the more I expose of myself the more my readers connect with me ... whether they agree with my ideas or not, they respect my nudity ... there is a sweet sense of liberation that comes with shedding off inhibitions ... I no longer make love to words in the dark ... I no longer insist on keeping the cover ... I no longer feel ashamed of myself ... my scars no longer embarrass me ... We were all born nude ... not just physically nude ... mentally and emotional nude ... then we deteriorated!!

This is where my third thought comes in ... the nude beach ... when I first met SandMonkey, he asked me to name a dream ... I told him that I wished there was a nude beach in Egypt. He laughed. He understood. I am not advocating vice or sin now, but look at it this way ... having a nude beach in Egypt is the optimum freedom ... if such a beach exists it would mean the following:

1) Muslim Brothers finally understood that Islam is not about judging people and pointing fingers at those who differ

2) Mulsims and Christians will have no issues because we have all developed something called tolerance

3) The government, by approving this idea, will have finally grasped the true essence of democracy

4) Opposition will have no case to argue for or against ....

5) People - us Egyptians - will realize that we all have a choice ... a choice in what to hide and what to expose ... I am not just talking physically

6) Relationships will grow beyond lust

7) Women will finally come to terms with their bodies (No more .. I want a bigger this or a smaller that)

8) Beauty will have a new definition .. a more realistic one

9) Men will know that being "a good girl" is not a matter of dress code

10) After people are done criticizing the nude beach and condemning me of immorality, they might get some work done.


Anonymous said...

"I no longer make love to words in the dark" :)...I LOVED IT :):)
Actually it is very true, I think most of us do it in the dark and it goes like the following,

He is attracted to her (his words), she is so interesting and beautiful and most important she is just what he wants, when they’re together, he feels the real him, the nude him, he feels he is Mr. Tarazan (with all meanings of Tarazan ), and she by her turn let him feel it, that’s her role, that why she is there with him, that’s why he choose her, but the problem here is that…he can’t show in public with her, specially if he is married to another words that is representative and decent and most important accepted by the community and government, people see her a SLUT, she’s not an image for such a decent man, she would ruin his reputation, he would be attacked by community and government, most probably if they saw them making love together, both will get in jail, that’s why he is afraid to say it in public that she is related to him, once he is finished with a long, hot night in the dark with her, he would just leave her behind and go as if they’ve never met, moreover he would share the same offensive opinion with people about her.

What a multiple layers we have in our lives, always there is one at least in the dark and at least one in the daylight.

Marwa, I was right when I said that you are a just a great inspiration for many, I’ve started with myself and trying to flatten my layers to be only one :).

Now I’ve to get back to work cos I spent much time writing this, my boss will kill me for not finishing the task that I have :S

Mostafa El khafif

Eventuality said...

Although I don't necessarily agree with your point of view, but these points in specific:

6) Relationships will grow beyond lust

7) Women will finally come to terms with their bodies (No more .. I want a bigger this or a smaller that)

8) Beauty will have a new definition .. a more realistic one

9) Men will know that being "a good girl" is not a matter of dress code

do not apply 7'ales. In countries with nude beaches, take your pick of any European country, have they overcome these points? Bel3aks they are worse. So why would we be any different. All these points have to do with human nature, or at least the "evolved" human nature of today.

What we need is spiritual nudity, and we don't have to reach that level through physical nudity. I think others have tried it and failed, maybe the answer lies somewhere else then?

Anonymous said...

( and I wish there would be a nude beach in Egypt.)

why and how Marwa you say that ?!!!
it is a very bad idea ,i don't understand you and there's no logic here
i red your words more than one time couz i wanted to find something may i don't understand it right

your are not a bad person to say something like that
you are an effective girl so please think carefully or rethink again about that

there's no realtion between that and politics and democracy or even freedom

i wish if you didnt think like that and write it

maybe i'm hard but that because i like you and i respect you

Anonymous said...

GUYSSS...there is something called "FIGURE OF SPEECH"...try to understand what's behind the lines...!!!

Think logic, do u really think that Marwa's dream is to have a nude beach in Egypt??

Come on guys, u can think deeper...!!!

Mostafa El-khafif

River Nael said...

There is absolutely no link between the existence of nude beaches and the ten points you provided. This is an oversimplification of complex political, social and cultural processes.
For example, Nude beaches existed in totalitarian states, where democracy was absent, corruption ubiquitous and tolerance missing. Nor did nude beaches stop Yugoslavia from sliding into a bloody civil war that harvested thousands of victims.
Similarly, a myriad of theoretical foundations and empirical evidence could be used to refute the rest of the points.

River Nael

Anonymous said...

Marwa’s nude beach dream and the harsh realities.

Can Egyptians afford a Filet Mingon in the Fava beans country?

While one can not hide the cheering thoughts that come to mind just by discussing and imagining Marwa’s dream being actualized some day. My internal giggling comes to a halt when I realize the painful facts that surround such a topic.

1) The Muslim Brothers will never understand that is not about judging people and pointing fingers at those who differ. Islam and nudity can not/will not come to common grounds and peaceful terms. The two simply can not live together, in theory or in practice.
2) Muslims and Christians will definitely have more tolerance in a nude beach. They will be busy looking at each others private parts and will postpone the religious debate till they leave the beach arena.
3) The government by approving the idea will assist the public in fighting high clothing prices and ease the suffering of 60% of Egyptians who live under the poverty line.
4) Opposition can go to the topless beach if they disagree with the mean stream nude sun bathers.
5) People- us Egyptians – will have a choice in what to hide and what to expose. I am talking physically.
6) Relationships will grow beyond . . Underwear.
7) Women will come to term with their bodies by reviewing the response and analyzing data gathered from on lookers of both sex depending on their sexual preferences. Action/medical intervention will be determined after few visits to the nude beach.
8) Beauty will have new definition.. A more realistic one.
9) Men will know that being a good girl is when the girl turns around and sleep on her stomach if they stare too much.
10) After people are done criticizing the nude beach and condemning Marwa of immorality, they will either search the web for pictures of women in a nude beach or find someone else to condemn.


اللهو الخفي

Marwa Rakha said...

Hello you all:)

I decided not to respond to each one of you individually because I would hate to sound as though I am judging anyone ... I will do something now that I hate ... I will explain myself ... and I hate explaining myself ....

Bottom line ... nakedness = hypocrisy in our society ... nudity = ultimate honesty with one self .... nude beach = the fantasy of complete freedom of personal, social, and mental inhibitions.

If our Egyptian government allowed for a nude beach ... it means that we as people have freedom of expression, freedom of choice, and we no longer judge one another for their flaws or deformities ... and this is a high level of acceptance ... then we stopped attacking anyone who said or did anything different .. and this is a high level of tolerance.

Anonymous said...

Marwa, where have you been?!
Nude beaches are in existence in Egypt, I just saw that myself in Hurgada over a year ago..and it didn't really move even a villager like me..I mean that in the intellectual level)..LOL
all in all it's a nice post if it was meant to be metaphoric.
best regards.

Marwa Rakha said...

Hello Mahmoud:)

I guess I have been locked in my dark room:)

I did not know about that:)

But again ... the point is not about nudity .. it is about an official approval of such an idea ... like drugs in Amsterdam:)

Anonymous said...

Marwa I couldn't help a big audible laugh reading your response(it's funny in a good sense to me), and please forgive me for using much of your valuable space.
easy Marwa one step at a time, we are not done with nudity so far and you are taking me to Amsterdam.
I take it you are in a great mood today, i surely hope so today and for always.

MechanicalCrowds said...

Guys!! It's not a metaphor or a figure of speech. Marwa is wishing for real nude beaches.

Being in a nude beach for non-erotic reasons I'm afraid requires a very high level of maturity that I'm afraid is far beyond us today. Some of us can't even get over a non-veiled woman when they see one. But hey, Egypt is a land of contradictions... so maybe one day.

If that ever happens I think it'd be definitely a good sign for Egypt.

Anonymous said...

to Eventuality

WHAT in europe they still have these issues??
this is what the media makes you think (this is why we are much much better ofcourse)
i work with germans...
my whole life now revolves around them now and let me tell you this SEX is not there main concern!!! Nudity and checking out girls also is not!! and i am not talking about people who are old NO!!! i am talking about youg people ranging from 22 - 35...

i am an egyptian female too by the way..
and i was shocked when i started working with them...
cause really i never saw people who respect the woman more, who give her rights more and most of all who DON'T treat her as an object!!! and this is so not what i learned about the europeans and the westerners in general as a kid... what i learned ws quiet different... i learned they are kafara... why they some of them have good lives if they are so and god said he would give the good... the answer was because god doesn't love them anymore this is why he is giving them more "3ashan yo23o fi il khatee2a aktar" ofcourse you'd spend the rest of your life thinking your life is horrible because god loves you so he is examining you...


its us who only do this... because the woman's body is a TABOO and everyone just wants to see more and if he can he wants to touch more and all this shit we know about in our two face deluded community!!! virginity is a myth people!! moreover a HYMEN is a myth!!!

Anonymous said...

hello marwa, I was a subcriber for your blog untill I read this " reflection on nudity " it show a lot of the other side you was trying to hide of readers and that I started to notice in your latest artciles, and this nudity beach thing is the second part of the Moez and the DRESS CODE story, if you wanna walk nude its your opinion, save it to yourself! just by this " called article " I know you are not that writer to be a reader for, iam off here! goodbye marwa

Anonymous said...

مروة رخا كاتبة محترمة و موهوبة بغض النظر عن اتفاق و اختلاف بعض الناس معاها

و انا معنديش غير حبي و احترامي و
تقديري للأستاذة مروة


Marwa Rakha said...

To Anonymous who will no longer visit my blog ... Good riddance

SI said...

I see minitowel's business here hehe


Marwa Rakha said...

SI ... this is the cutest comment I ever got:)

Eyad Harfoush said...

عزيزتي مروة
الفكرة جديدة ، و المقارنة في أول المقال بين العري العرضي و التعري المتعمد تبين رمزيتها عن المجتمع الشمولي و المجتمع الليبرالي ، خاصة أن كل التطبيقات الواردة بها لا علاقة لها فعليا بشاطيء عراة، لكن لي رأيا أرجو أن تتقبليه بصدر رحب، فلي على اختيار الرمز ملحوظتان

من ناحية ، رمز العري يمثل وسيلة ذهبية ، ليس للتعريض بالمقال فقط ، و لكن للتعريض بمبدأك بوجه عام ، و التيار المقابل له خبرة و باع طويل في تحريف الكلم عن مواضعه ، فلن أتعجب لو وجدت مقالا بعنوان "كاتبة ليبرالية تدعو لسرعة إقامة شاطئ عراة بمصر و ترى فيه حلا لكل المشاكل" لهذا الحد يمكنهم أن يلووا ذراع المعنى ليروجوا سلبيا ليس لمروة فقط و لكن لليبرالية ، ألم ينجحوا في جعل كلمة علماني = ليبرالي = ملحد برغم البون الشاسع بين الكلمات؟

و من ناحية ثانية ، درجة غموض الرمز ستمثل عائقا أمام أواسط الناس ، تماما كفن شاهين و تلامذتهق ، فاذا كان الهدف هو وصول الرسالة ، فمن جودة عملية تكويد الرسالة كما تعلمين كخبيرة تسويق ، قابلية فك شفرتها من المتلقي بأقل قدر من التشويش على المعنى ، و هذا قد لا يتيسر

و أخيراً ، و هذا رأي شخصي بالطبع ، أرى دوما أن على مثقفينا الليبراليين أن ينزلوا درجة ، ليأخذوا بيد المجتمع لأعلى ، لا أن يمدوا أيديهم من بعيد ، فما رأيك؟ مشكلتنا أن الرسالة الترويجية للمنافس سهلة جدا ، و سلسة جدا ، و مقبولة سلفا ، هذه أزمتنا الإستراتيجية ، الرسالة الترويجية للخصم سهلة و سلسة و مقبولة سلفا، و ان كان وراءها الموت ذاته ، و رسالتنا محفوفة بأشواك ، و ان كانت فيها النهضة كما أثبت درس التاريخ البشري

عذرا للاطالة ، و بالنهاية ، مقال يثير الرياح كما عودتنا الآنسة "جرأة متجسدة" دائماً ، لن تكون أول معاركك و لا آخرها يا مروة

تحياتي و تقديري

Marwa Rakha said...

كلامك يا اياد كله صح

أكتر حاجة مفزعة فى التعليق بتاعك التشبيه بافلام يوسف شاهين

R. Elgayar said...

Marwa, I just returned from a lovely vacation in Cairo, and picked up a copy of your book and read it on my way back to Wash, DC. I thoroughly enjoyed it. And Marwa, I for one am always in the nude in Egypt:) I did meet some other nude Egyptians too and man did we have a great time. But you are right on target as usual, most Egyptians are naked and ashamed. Now my nudity in the states is no big deal, and no one turns a head or bats an eyelash. We are all basically nude here. But in Cairo, the whole nudity thing is such a novelty. People are so curious about something I take for granted. I love sharing my nude ideas with all my friends there and hey they were very receptive to the ideas I layed on the table for them. I can definately say that 99% of women I know in Cairo are totally naked and miserable in their marriages and sex lives. Nude women lead so much happier, healthier lives. Of course, I am referring to the whole emotional and mental nakedness vs nudity thing:) As far as the physical aspect goes, to each his own.

Marwa Rakha said...

Hello R:)

I have missed your comments and I would have certainly loved to meet up with you.

I am glad you enjoyed reading my book:)

This nudity post has been misunderstood by a lot of people ... some people who are quite liberal took it literally as a call for nudity and hailed the idea ... others who are quite conservative took it literally as a call for nudity and cursed me

Thank you for understanding my true call:)

R. Elgayar said...

Marwa, I'll be back to Misr most likely in Sept. Girl, I would love to meet you too. I think we would have a good meeting of the minds:)

Anonymous said...

Oh my God , u r an incredible writer I used to watch u on OTV and I thought u were just nice and progressive, but after reading a couple of your posts I see u as one hell of a writer and thinker..I didn't know about your book, but I was talking about this particular thing "virginity" to 1 of my friends the other day and I told him that u can never be sure that the girl is virgin and that the concept of virginity itself is not well defined does include making out or is it just about intercourse...we need a whole bunch of writers like u in egypt, I will check your blog and/or site frequently my best wishes in your career.

Marwa Rakha said...

Thank you Salama so much for your encouraging words:) Will wait for more on other posts

Anonymous said...

Your've gone nuts !!!!!
Beside being an oriental society,Egypt's society is mainly Muslims.Did u forget this? If u r not 1 of them, then listen:

sorry i must go now, so check this site and ill be back soon !


sorry again

hatemii said...

I apologies for starting my previous comment offensively, it's just coz I was dumbfounded after I read ur words.
Anyway, the article was about physical nudity related to morals and underlying principals.
Please I am pleading for your attention as this is very important and urgent Firstly, I'd like to add that physical nudity is a forced measure. The nudist walking in the streets thinks he's got his freedom. Suppose I don’t want to see him naked, why force me? You can't get freedom by depriving others from their own!! Don't tell me to look away coz there will be another one there! Besides, why should the solution come from me while he/she's the unusual!
Now, I'm going to talk about mental nudity u mentioned. If u mean that thinking without limits is freedom, then I can tell u that who thinks however he likes will do whatever he wants. Consequently, we mustn't be surprised if homosexuality increased, for instance!
Man was created for 1 reason: follow his Lord's orders without discussion. That never meant that one should switch his mind off, he'd be an animal then. It means that u have to think freely but with a filter that blocks what goes against his Lord's orders
It's all connected, your mind, just like your body, shall wear whatever it likes as long as it's according to Lord's (Allah) rules. Remember, we are not free, we're slaves to the Almighty and I am proud of that Finally, I doubt that mental nudity can improve Muslim-Christian relationship. You know, a Muslim insulting a Christian (whom Islam is innocent from) is mentally nude. Who told him he's free to take off his "mental clothes" and hurt others? Don't u agree? On the other side, physical nudity will definitely "improve" the relationship. Ah man, it'll be great! But u know, they won't be Muslims or Christians anymore!
thank u for your time, sincerest apologies for being offensive. I'd really like to contact u.
There's more to say but if u r too busy its ok to leave.
Physical nudity is medically, socially and religiously disapproved of.

continuous sexual arousal means continuous extra testosterone secretion which is toxic if remains for a long duration and causes prostate cancer (in men of course).
Socially, continuous sexual arousal means continuous distraction. People will be less productive as they're starring at their nude classmates or at job.
Besides, it ruins the family. Why would a man marry and pay much when he can see everything and even do everything. It's like real-time pornography! Not to mention, that rapists (مغتصبين) and illegal sex (زنى) will increase. As long as it's destructive, it is sinful (حرام). Islam is concerned with family preservation and (حفظ الأنساب) so it attacks whatever helps the spread of illegal sex. In addition you, as a slave, must know that God (Allah) is watching you, and He doesn't want you naked on the streets! Would you strip off in front of the president? Then why do u sit naked writing this in ur house? Can't He see u? Or are u not afraid of Him? Thank u again if u read this!
Check this out: http://www.ahl-alquran.com/arabic/show_article.php?main_id=256. and more in the way !