12 March, 2009

How much nudity is acceptable while promoting "Health" or "Lifestyle"?

Particularly in Dubai, often you'll see that esp. the so called "health" or "lifestyle" magazines are sprinkled with abundant dose of nudity in different forms, denoting "life" or "health" or "fitness".

I've been tracking one of these magazines in UAE from the stable of a respectable largest English daily, for the last 6 months, which adds to the numerous others available here.

Examples: An article on Running shows 3 ladies in sleeveless running suit, but sharp focussed on one who's bust peeks out most; a self promoting ad on "Dental Health" shows a nicely dentured woman in her sleeveless deep necked top; an article reviewing a spa shows two bikini clad ladies sitting face to face, smiling; etc. etc. see here!!!

Is it really an acceptable way to promote health and lifestyle? Or am I too prudish by culture standards? Aren't there better ways promote health and lifestyle - stylishly? Or is it the norm of the industry? I'm sure this type of display is neither necessary nor acceptable in any part of the world??I'm more interested in how much skin-show will be and is acceptable TO PROMOTE HEALTH / LIFESTYLE in this country?


Comments added on 8th Apr'09: I had always wondered why no one talks about this subject, despite having a Shariah law here. But I'm overwhelmed now by the discussions which ensued on this post. Thanks to all of you who put their hearts in this discussion.

45 comments:

KJ said...

My friend in the advertising business told me this a couple of weeks ago:

"My boss wanted me to design a print press ad for a hotel so that people flock to it. He says people associate hotels with sex, and therefore we need to sell sex in the ad, in a subtle way though... so that people feel aroused and visit the hotel"

When this kind of mentality leads the press industry (and the music industry), this is the results you get.

Anonymous said...

It's so true that a woman in abbaya from head to toe will promote healt/fitness much more efficiently. You agree?

Check out more open-minded countries, it's not even a surprise to find naked women/men everywhere on ads. I can even think of a special ad for a camping tent with a naked woman. Too much? Maybe.. but on the other hand, sex is not a taboo anymore in those countries.

Talk about culture, religion or whatever... In my opinion..it's all nonsense.
The more you try to hide it, the more people will get curious and search for it.

Anonymous said...

Are you serious? No, really.. are you !@)#(!@# serious?!

Anonymous said...

so in order to understand what is acceptable in dubai you must post pictures on the community blog?

a) nudity in my face - i object.

b) if youve ever been in a gym or a sauna, you will find naked and / or semi nude women walking around. i could take pictures and post them on the community blog too, just to prove my point, but it might seem a bit distasteful.

Media Junkie said...

hmmm - depends mostly on how its done. but as most times, its more of selling the magazines - or 'sex sells' - rather than the relativity of pic to content.

PS: I'm sure we're going to get alot of people saying 'Dubai is going to hell because of foreigners publishing dirty stuff - so lets get rid off them' comments.

Anonymous said...

PS: I'm sure we're going to get a lot of people saying 'Dubai is going to hell because of foreigners publishing dirty stuff - so lets get rid off them' comments.

Yeah, but lets not overlook the point that these are magazines for first and foremost women, they are also targeted to the ex-pat market.

People should just stop winging and vote with their money, don't like it, don't buy it.

Rose in Dubai said...

Don't be ridiculous. A sleeveless top does not constitute nudity. Seems to me like you are looking hard for something to be "offended" by.

Anonymous said...

From what I understand of the censor here, nipple and genitalia are not allowed and are blacked out with a marker from foreign publication. Tiny bikini are apparently ok.

So I don't know if you are too sensitive but you are definitely more so than the censors :)

samuraisam said...

HOLY SHIT GUYS!

PEOPLE WEARING SWIM SUITS WHILST THEY SWIM!

Lirun said...

i have two questions about nudity in arab cultures: but by far my biggest question about nudity is whether the rules are to be applied equally or whether this is an avenue to contain the freedoms of women that are afforded elswhere..

would any emirati even for a second be offended by an advertisement for a gym with men in sports gear.. would any be prepared to enforce against men a regime whereby they needed to cover up fully and not show any parts of their body other than by choice..

i often see muslim families come to the beach where i surf and the wife will be hijab clad wearing jeans and a coat (in summer!!) as she enters the water in her shoes.. while the man will frolick around in a basic regular bathing suit..

secondly - why is it different for mankind and other animals.. why have we been made as we are if we are supposed to invent a whole new epidermis other than for environmental and weather reasons..

for those that support the prohibition of nudity for reasons that are religious i am curious how they view this.. is this a divine design defect in the engineering of man?

Kyle said...

Lirun:

You've asked pretty straightforward questions for which I have no answers.

i often see muslim families come to the beach where i surf and the wife will be hijab clad wearing jeans and a coat (in summer!!) as she enters the water in her shoes..

As a matter of fact, before your comment, Samuraisam wrote one in similarity. Since then, I've been trying to find an exact snapshot I had come across at Mark Ames' Exiled page. I'm still searching so you guys would have to bear with me.

In response to your quoted comment. I guess everybody has their own way of doing things. I don't mind their way, so long as they don't object to our way of frolicking in the water in our birthday suits for all I care!!

Proud Emirati said...

What is acceptable is what abide with Islamic values, anything other than that is indecent.

Anonymous said...

have you not seen the recent advertising then for K-Lynn underwear in Dubai??? The advertising agency also is from Dubai. Google it and see the latest ad (which has NO clothes on at all)
but here's one from like a month ago.
http://www.coloribus.com/paedia/prints/2009/03/01/288882/

i*maginate said...

"It's so true that a woman in abbaya from head to toe will promote healt/fitness much more efficiently. You agree?"

You obviously haven't been to Mercato recently.

...

I'd rather not see a blue penis in the local sauna (or a floppy one at that), but sex sells, and so does this post.

Would you believe the word verification is 'shag'

Lirun said...

proud emirati

could you please explain the value.. because i dont believe i am necessarily properly informed..

my understanding of the traditions accords with this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modesty

but i dont understand the connection with the value.. why a man can walk around with shorts only as long as they reach his knees and ride up to his navel while his woman needs to be draped..

by the way i question my own religion in the same way..

i simply fail to see how this embodies modesty.. a vlue which can be portrayed perfectly even by someone in shorts and a singlet and a value that is far from guaranteed even when someone is fully covered..

on that note there is an interesting site on sexual assault myths that says:

MYTH: Rape is an impulsive, uncontrollable act of sexual gratification.
FACT: This myth is sustained by those who argue that most rapes are spontaneous—that is, a sexually frustrated man sees an attractive woman and just can’t control himself. In fact. the majority of rapes are planned rather than being spontaneous. The rapist does not choose the victim because she is young, pretty, or provocatively dressed: he chooses a woman who is vulnerable. He may select a woman who is smaller or weaker than he is, who is alone, who is handicapped in some way, or who does not suspect what is about to happen. All evidence indicates that rape is a brutal act of violence and a display of power, rather than an act of passion or sexual gratification.

http://www.turningpointservices.org/Sexual%20Assault%20-%20Myths%20and%20Facts.htm

Anonymous said...

I don't have much specifically to add, but I must say that I appreciate how limited access to nudity and porn are here. In the US it is everywhere and "in your face" is an understatement.

All that to say - I agree with you - publishers could exhibit a little more restraint...

A Blessing in Tragedy said...

Talk about culture, religion or whatever... In my opinion..it's all nonsense.

LOL. What makes humans humans, culture, food, language, religion, is all nonsense! great!

I'm sure the many civilizations (western, easter, and middle eastern) with their many differences had the point that after 4 or 5 thousand years, a blogger would call the essences of their collective being nonsense!

Media Junkie. Go back to India. You asked. you got.

Lirun, I have said this once, I'll say it again, out of all the people on this blog, YOU are probably the one that I most admire. Your ability to see both sides, and accept difference, and better yet, accept that "laws" and "rules" are DIFFERENT even within the same country makes me wonder if Muslims could learn a thing or two from you.

I will answer your questions:

i have two questions about nudity in arab cultures: but by far my biggest question about nudity is whether the rules are to be applied equally or whether this is an avenue to contain the freedoms of women that are afforded elswhere..

Your 1st mistake. "freedoms" Islamically speaking, these are not freedoms. You must stop basing all comparisons on ONE set of morals. I often say things like all muslim countries should leave the UN. I say things like this because the whole fabric of the UN ( as an example ) is based on a TOTALLY different moral structure. One that often is in directly against Islamic morals. Same here. These are not freedoms. Something that is forbidden is not an option.

would any emirati even for a second be offended by an advertisement for a gym with men in sports gear.. would any be prepared to enforce against men a regime whereby they needed to cover up fully and not show any parts of their body other than by choice..

YES. I am an Emarati man and find it disrespectful when I see a guy, in just speedos, jogging. I never forced my moral system on anyone in the US. why? Because I was a foreigner there, and Its not my country, and I have to adjust to their rules.

Sadly, for 2 generations, Emaratis have been ok with almost anything as long as their pockets were lines with money and they had 2 BMWs. Now, as the 3rd generation coms into it's own, It starts to expect what the last 2 gave away. This causes a rift, and often a dilemma between past and present generations. I, unlike most, dont place the bulk of the blame for anything "going to hell" on foreigners heads. But on my father and grandfather. THEY allowed this.

i often see muslim families come to the beach where i surf and the wife will be hijab clad wearing jeans and a coat (in summer!!) as she enters the water in her shoes.. while the man will frolick around in a basic regular bathing suit..

This is a misunderstanding of Islam, and usually is attributed to Arab Muslim culture. Lets be frank, Arabs are (for some reason) the LEAST muslim of all muslims. Example, I have an Indian employee, he is at his station always, except for 5 minutes around prayer time. Why? He is praying. I also had (HAD) an Egyptian employee. He wouldnt vanish to pray once a day at noon... BUT would vanish about 6 times a day... to smoke.

Arabs (culturally) find it ok to have double standards. Im talking about the men. They will expect their women to abide by "God's words" but they themselves dont. (I am ashamed to say that I have seen Emarati guys drinking in hotel restaurants, BUT if their wives even left the house without permission they'd shoot them.)

Part of the reason (your beach example) happens is because women for the last few generations have become used to it. And many dont even know their rights ISLAMICALLY. They follow what their mothers do, and what their husbands tell them to.

The A'wra is basically set in stone. A woman must cover up everything but feet, hands, and face, a man must cover up from his waist to his knees. But as you said, at the beach, so many "muslim" men run around in speedos, junk bulging, knees showing... It's sick.

The newer generations of Muslim women are (as I have seen it) 2 types. Those who are saying fuck it all together and being the worst muslims ever, or those (like my fiance) who, being educated, and curious, told me outright, I expect from you what you expect from me, and both of our expectations are in this book (she had a copy of the qur'an in her hand)

THAT is a real woman. She knows he rights, DEMANDS them, but also understands that "freedoms" of other cultures are not an option.

Mind you, My fiance is 1/2 British! And until 2 years ago didnt wear a hijab. She prayed, kind of, she fasted, kind of, and she tried to be a good human.

But when push came to shove, she accepted that she was marrying into a very different culture, and even though her father is Muslim (supposedly) and Arab (He's Jordanian) she knew that oh, this Islam and the one my father showed me arent even the same. She was used to MEN get everything, women get nothing, and so was very not religious.

We met while taking a course in the same university (computer course) and she was very surprised at how varying the term "Islam" is.

My personal opinion, if it's set in stone, it cant be changed, that which isnt set in stone, can be debated. Luckily (or unluckily for some) Islam came with a manual. A good one. The bad part is the manual has been shoved into a drawer for a while and almost forgotten.

secondly - why is it different for mankind and other animals.. why have we been made as we are if we are supposed to invent a whole new epidermis other than for environmental and weather reasons..

Lirun... you just asked why it is different for humans and animals... EVERYTHING is different for humans. I believe you are Jewish. Were WE (as humans) not given everything differently? This question isnt one I will even begin to answer because I dont hold a degree in religious dogma. I wont overstep boundaries. You could ask this question to 10 different Imams/Rabies/Priests and get 10 different answers.

for those that support the prohibition of nudity for reasons that are religious i am curious how they view this.. is this a divine design defect in the engineering of man?

I support a standard in MY country that meshes with MY ideals. morals, and life. I, unlike most, dont care what others do with their lives in their lands. But I do agree, especially after spending 2 days in Dubai this week, that a PROPER and ENFORCEABLE code of dress, behavior, and conduct be implemented.

They actually have this in Sharjah, though hardly ever enforced, and vague.

Some would say oh, if that happens, 1/2 of the fined would be young Emaratis. Yes, yes they would... if you arent able to be you in your own country, slap them with fines!

I would however like to drive down a street in my own country and not see blondes in daisy dukes and a halter-top.

i simply fail to see how this embodies modesty.. a vlue which can be portrayed perfectly even by someone in shorts and a singlet and a value that is far from guaranteed even when someone is fully covered..

Agreed. I have seen many "muslim" women running aroundd the malls in crystal studded abayas, hair out of their hijabs, high heels that would make a hooker blush, and tight leopard print pants.

And trust me, the English woman in jeans and a shirt looked MUCh more modest and MUCH less whorish than those girls.

But that is again, a human flaw. They make their own choices. Somethings in Islam were open for debate (by scholars, not bloggers) but some are set in stone. Islam was never meant to be a hard religion, but it also isnt one that is specific to a tiem in one's life.

You cant say, oh! Im a muslim! So I am. No, you have STARTED being one. Islam, is in both mind and actions, and takes a LIFETIME to come into being.

CAse in point, to be a muslim, just a run of the mill muslim, you have to abide obviously by what the Qu'ran and Sunnah say, but you also have 5 duties that MUSt be performed.

So lets say you are an AMAZING muslim, BUT never went on Hajj. And you have the capability to do so. You are infact NOT a muslim yet. You are on your way, but not there.

This is one reason why when someone asks "are you Muslim" the correct answer isnt "Yes, I am" but "God willing, I will be."

Hope I gave you some insight, and I hope you will never hesitate to ask, as I sometimes do on your blog. Allah ikhaleek ya Lirun.

Anonymous said...

wow, knees, seriously ? whats so immodest about knees ? is it the knee specifically or just anything above the knee ?

i think people on both sides of the debate are getting stuck on the details. You might choose to call it bending the rules or being sneaky, but there are people out there who recognize the problem of muslim women not being able to swim in public for example, so they came up with a special 'modest' swimsuit (I think it was called a "hashema" or something like that). I'm not qualified to judge if this specific example is acceptable or not, but others seem to think so, and if anything I can foresee non-muslim adopting something like a hashema as something that liberates them from having to worry about ogling eyes or having to lose weight around the thighs etc etc etc

And seriously, unless you're fit, and in any case once you're past a certain age, no one, NO ONE wants to see your junk hanging out, I dont pollute your visual space so dont pollute mine thank you very much.

Coming back to the original topic, if you're worried about objectifying/sexualizing women in magazines, maybe you should start with some of those video clips coming off arabian satellite tv...

psamtani said...

So basically once again the new breed of expats tries to impose their sense of what is moral and right on the Emiratis. I grew up in Dubai before the money boom, and I much preferred the Dubai of that time.

More time for family, good moral values, a better lifestyle overall. You people need to understand that the UAE is a Muslim country and YOU MUST respect the culture. You need to adapt to the UAE, not the other way round.

The reason men can remove their shirt is because the awrah of men is from the navel to the ankles. Technically they shouldn't be wearing shorts. For women, the awrah is the entire body except the face and hands, therefore they are covered.

Recently, I saw a post about a manager complaining about an employee being unprofessional because he kept a beard and did Salat at lunchtime during the mandated time for afternoon prayer. Can you imagine that in a Muslim country, someone is called unprofessional for being a practicing Muslim??

And for the record, I am not Muslim, and I was an expat living (and born) in the UAE. I just happen to believe that you should respect the culture of the place to which you move. The same goes for Muslims moving to Europe. They need to adapt to Europe when they move there, and us expats need to adapt to Islamic culture when we move here.

A Blessing in Tragedy said...

The reason men can remove their shirt is because the awrah of men is from the navel to the ankles.

Incorrect. Min as surra illal rukba. meaning From the waist (technically belly button) to the KNEE. Not ankle.

Aside from that, I found your post VERY spot on. I also have noticed a difference in foreigners from say, 12 years ago, and the oh so full of themselves ones that have shown up these days.

And although I do sometimes wish Abu Dhabi was as it was 15 years ago... fantasy is just that.

psamtani said...

Thanks brah. What I don't understand is the people who come to the UAE then talk shit about the local culture. I love the UAE as my own home, I grew up in Dubai. Now I can barely recognize it when I come back to visit.

psamtani said...

Also, I think the biggest mistake the UAE government made was disallowing permanent residency to loyal expats. For example, if the government had granted permanent residency to people born in the UAE who fulfilled certain conditions:
- Learnt about Emirati culture
- Spoke fluent Arabic
- Had a deep understanding, learning and respect for Islam
- Truly loved the UAE

I am fine with disallowing citizenship as this would change the entire nature of the UAE, but granting permanent residency and the right to own land under these conditions would have been a huge boon, and would have encouraged the understanding and love of Emirati culture.

Then I think you wouldn't have this shitty "I'm only here for a while" mentality that most of the new expats have. This idea that you can temporarily import workers, and not impact your own culture is deeply flawed.

Lirun said...

ahlan ABIT wa shukran ashen your explanation and the time and effort you took to consider my questions..

i guess there are two broad approaches that can be taken that seem somewhat dichotomous..

the first is the determinative/divine approach and the second is the cultural/philosphical/moral and ethical approach..

with respect to the first the conversation is really a brief one.. it does not matter if man's common understanding of morality accords with a divine decree or not.. it does not matter if women are treated differently or whether the navel or the knees are chosen as delimitations.. as long as the divine decree has been promulgated.. the one question that remains unanswered there is why such a creature would be created.. if gods creation was inherently offensive unless the creation itself took measures to modify its appearance then theologically it sounds like the creation of man has been imperfect.. and theologically i cannot imagine accusing god of being responsible for imperfect (insofar that it is intrinsically immoral to look at) output..

if we resolve this or even if we dont - the other spectrum of examination is endless.. we could ask questions till the end of time about this issue and we probably wouldnt find a solution..

i can accept that the muslim/arab value system diverges from the western structure but basing the argument on that has its flaws..

because as suggested by psamtani - submitting for example that a dress code should be imposed based on local culture and that it shold apply to foreigners as well would be highly controversial if it were implemented in western countries..

it really is an interesing topic..

i think ill stop hogging this space and leave room for other opinions now..

:)

thank you for welcoming my inquiries and thoughts - wishing you all a pleasant weekend..

rosh said...

'Run yourself slim' hmm..seem to focus on the chest, shouldn't the tummy be a focal point?

'Dental health' - what does that woman and dental health have in common? She's doesn't seem to have teeth at the left-end corner? But hey! cleavage rocks!

'Summer style updates' - get into a pool with all the jewelery (safety), whorish make-up, adorning micro-miniature 'swim wear' - a pair of stunning eyes and provocative pout! yum yum!

'Girly getaway' - let's not even go there..

Here's what I don't get. Ever seen one of those car adverts where you've got a pretty girl lying on top of it, twirling around it, throwing her hair and smile at you, enticing you to get that car? Does she come with it?

*sarcasm over*

When did a little modesty go out of fashion? A picture is worth a thousand words, they say. Sort of defeats the purpose of media/journalist censorship/restrictions when this stuff is out in the open.

Media Junkie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Media Junkie said...

ABIT:
Media Junkie. Go back to India. You asked. you got.

WTH has that got to do with this topic?

This my home too so zip it already. This is the last time I'm going to say this.

Media Junkie said...

@pstami:
I agree with most of your points. :)

Proud Emirati said...

Dubai introduce a dress code

muhahahahahahaaaaaa

keep tuned

MT said...

bravo ABIT! bravo! very well said. cud not agree with u more. and congrats on having a sane n smart fiance. hope u 2 have a wonderful married life.

i too cannot understand y men today expect only the women to follow islam word for word, but when it comes to them its relaxed when they please. ur wife cannot talk to another man but the husband can go around "howwwuuudoiiiinnn" to every other lady and its ok!? sheesh!

an overdose of sex in western societies has just made ppl 'neutered to the idea of nudity'. its not shocking anymore. plain ol sex n nudity is so passe. and i don't think such a state of mind is a good place to be :-/ (being a community blog i won't say more)

hemlock said...

@ lirun: if gods creation was inherently offensive unless the creation itself took measures to modify its appearance then theologically it sounds like the creation of man has been imperfect..

the Quran says: Allah has created the human in the best of forms. (chapter 95, verse 4) {the opposable thumb - and the free will - might have something to do with it :)}

caviar and sushi aside, human beings eat (or are expected to eat) cooked food, live in non-cave shelters and use a host of cognitive process in their daily lives.

it just doesnt make sense to apply the laws of the animal kingdom to a species so far evolved (the evolution part can be debated, i agree). there exist in 'isolation' certain cannibal tribes who dont yet subscribe to woven /stitched cloth. i believe the nat geo refers to them as 'uncivilized'.

wearing clothes is not "modification of appearance" - cosmetic surgery is =)

Lirun said...

hemlock

are you suggesting that the holy quran regulates/prescribes whether or not you boil your food or eat raw and that you must live in complex architectural structures and that it requires you to stay at the forefront of technological advancement?

are you suggesting that the good people of fiji and samoa and vanuatu are immoral because they live in straw huts and eat fresh fish - all the while wearing basic coverings at best?

some of the most amazingly modest and humble people i have ever met were from these places.. and they didnt need to cover up to be that way..

my question is whether theologically it is perceived that god creation (man) is an excessively sexual "product" such that gods very own creation requires man to cover it up..

doesnt that seem bizarre to anyone?

if god wanted us to appear modest and the divine decree is that exposed humans are immodest inherently then why make us this way.. why not produce us with only internal sexual organs like fish..

hemlock said...

lirun: are you suggesting that the good people of fiji and samoa and vanuatu are immoral because they live in straw huts and eat fresh fish - all the while wearing basic coverings at best?

no. in fact, i am very sure that having evolved in the middle of nowhere with minimal external interaction, they would have a highly developed tribal culture, following a leader/a group of elders, and abiding by a set of rules and a code of conduct.
btw, a straw hut is a non-cave dwelling - not that i have anything against living in caves.

my question is whether theologically it is perceived that god creation (man) is an excessively sexual "product" such that gods very own creation requires man to cover it up.

IMHO just like any other animal, humans have/share the basic needs of breathing, eating, drinking, sleeping, excreting... and procreating.
in addition, the humans' ability to think sets them apart from 'animals' and the indolent pleasures of the beasts.

if god wanted us to appear modest and the divine decree is that exposed humans are immodest inherently then why make us this way.

speeding kills. why dont car companies stop making cars that go over 60kmph?
the fact is, a car has the capability of being driven at over 220kmph even in a 40kmph zone. the responsibility of observing rules and limits depends on the driver and his better judgment.

Allah has provided for us opportunities to better ourselves, or screw ourselves over, and has given us the intellectual capabilities to know what paths lead where. the choice walk either of the paths is left to the individual, his conscience, and in the end his free will.

Rose in Dubai said...

My understanding of dress codes is that they apply to MUSLIMS only. Non Muslims can wear what they like and Muslims have no business criticising non Muslims for their clothing or anything else for that matter.

If someone's clothing offends your delicate sensibilities don't look and don't buy the magazine.

tenali ramon said...

"speeding kills. why dont car companies stop making cars that go over 60kmph?
the fact is, a car has the capability of being driven at over 220kmph even in a 40kmph zone. the responsibility of observing rules and limits depends on the driver and his better judgment.""


Hemlock: I think this is the point Lirun also is making. The responsibility "of observing rules and limits depends on the driver and his better judgment".

Irrespective of the fact that portions of a person's body may be visible to a member of the opposite sex...and that those visible portions may in fact afford the possibility of exerting sexual attraction on a viewer of the opposite sex, the responsibility of exercising restraint (in thought and deed) remains with the viewer, and indeed, if one does not wish to be aroused by the sight, then to avert one's eyes if need be (since all do not dress alike--and one cannot define what may be acceptable down to the last millimetre--and one person may be aroused by a mere outline of the shape even if fully covered while another may not--); and similarly the responsibility for restraint remains with the wearer in choosing what to wear, taking into consideration the effect it could have on the opposite sex...without being expected to be responsible for each and every person's reaction to a particular item of clothing...

Therein I think lies responsibility and restraint...like in the example of the motor that you gave. Which I think also was the same point Lirun was trying to make.

Anyhow, religions which originated many centuries ago have tried to help us out in this moral dilemma by providing guidelines in terms of dressing...the emphasis being (quite rightly) on modesty, rather than on specifics...where specifics are mentioned there presumably must be a reason for it (some of which may possibly have lost their relevance in this day and age...or perhaps not...it depends on how strictly one interprets these things...and as we know, there are various groups using varying degrees of strictness in their interpretations....)

...the problem arises when one group attempts to impose its interpretations on everybody else...

tenali ramon said...

"I support a standard in MY country that meshes with MY ideals. morals, and life. I, unlike most, dont care what others do with their lives in their lands..." (--ABIT)

This is a not uncommon standpoint that one comes across in many Arabic or Muslim-majority countries. It appears that the majority population in such countries, when they open their eyes and look around them, would like to see everyone else looking like them (in terms of dress code etc) and behaving like them (in terms of socio-cultural standards) and generally make every effort to link this to religion, possibly with a view to negating any possible opposition to it.

It may be possible to some extent to take such an approach in largely homogenous population groups. Interestingly, it would be next to impossible to implement it in countries with a diversity in the ethnicity and religious beliefs of its population, such as, for example, India. (Example cited for reasons of comparison.)

In such countries the approach taken is "Live and let live." (--Thiruvalluvar in the Thirukkural.)

Anonymous said...

Clothing gives respectability to a human being. Unfortunately it has also spawned a mega empire fashion industry where the products are intended to tease, nay, seduce the viewer.

On the one hand we are what we are unclothed. Yet, modesty demands that we refrain from exploiting sexuality.

Common decency though demands that we all subscribe to reasonable levels of decency. What's acceptable in and around the swimming pool is certainly not acceptable in the lobby and the restaurant. That's why hotels have wrap-arounds to ensure that guests are decently attired.

It should certainly not be the norm for the mass media.

Lirun said...

i dont think clothing was invented strictly to serve standards of modesty..

to my mind clothing is primarily protective gear.. i want my private bits covered because they are physiologically sensitive.. but in the summer i dont like to wear as little as i feel i need in the circumstances..

kaya said...

I dont get it. the minute anyone talks about indecency/nudity everyone jumps on the MUSLIM/ISLAM bandwagon.
What? Sex sells so we should all dress like we are on the beach?
This is it? Irrespective of religion/culture are these the values we now have to live with.
Yes, Islam says to cover up, and even amongst those who are so called "COVERED" up muslims you get the whole skintight boobs/ass in face brigade.
Whether we are muslim or not, are you seriously telling me that exposure does not make you feel uncomfortable? That you dont mind sitting with kids/parents through an intimate scene on TV, or seeing someone barely dressed, or displays of intimacy?
It has nothing to do with religion, it has to do with ones own values and hpow we percieve modesty.

And I dont need a pair of 38DD to tell me I can get shiny sparkly teeth.

And this whole GO BACK TO YOUR COUNTRY thing is very childish and boring.

Lirun said...

kaya

i agree it has a lot to do with how you brought up..

to me nudity was never an issue which is the same reason that i dont attribute such significance to it from a modesty perspective..

i think when you look something away and make it a taboo it becomes all the more interesting..

i dont find scenes of sexual activities offensive as long as they dont depict violent/non consenual behaviour..

i recognise that this is the process that brought me to the world and that very few people do not engage in this behaviour..

i am much more disturbed by watching documentaries about medical procedures or footage of wartime atrocities or urban violence..

Keefieboy said...

I'm sick and tired of following this thread (but I don't know how to turn it off). So, our dear friend ABIT says

"But we shouldn't have to enforce these rules. WE NEED THE MUTAWAS! WE SO DO! And I want to be one!"

And I just think, 'get a friggin life. A real one, not an idiot Muttawa kinda life.'

And ABIT will come back and say, no really, that's what we need. And I, if I can be arsed to respond, will say 'no, you are talking poo.' And this thread will go on for ever and ever, and it has got beyond the stage where anyone can actually contribute anything new, so can somebody PLEASE just kill it?

kaya said...

This thread is snipped on the directives of Keefieboy.
*R.I.P*

Anonymous said...

This is all interesting reading. In coming to the UAE (I live in Al Ain - much much more conservative than Dubai), I have dressed very modestly - usually in slacks/jeans or a long sleeve shirt or t-shirt when it's very hot. I do this in respecting the muslim culture I am now living in.

As a feminist from the US, I get angry at the objectification of women in the US and otherwise. Seems like the US has gotten rather picked on here when US is much more conservative compared to Europe and South America. Here I get angry at how so much responsibility gets put on women to cover. There should be some middle ground in the world.

I do know that after spending time at the beach in Ajman recently (wearing a skirt and t-shirt) I stared at the ocean and longed to wear a bathing suit (one piece not bikini). I hated how hot it was and how I had to feel covered up here. It felt unnatural and stupid. I long to return home and be dressed more comfortably which is still quite modest compared to what I see many women under they abayas wearing (and let's not even go into their makeup which would be considered whorish by US standards).

This is all tiring. UAE, I understand the reasonings for these types of rules but you have opened yourself up to more than you can chew on. Clearly.

A Bit_ch said...

kaya, to cut a long story short.

Go

Back

to

your

own

Country.

I say.

kaya said...

@ A Bit_ch

Yawn.
Like I said before childish and boring.
Mashallah, how proudly one chooses ones moniker.
Says it all.

tongkatpower said...

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Regards

Tongkat Ali

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