Tunisian Feminist Amina Tyler Gets Something Off Her Chest

Amina tyler Topless

How can nakedness used to raise environmental awareness be artful and “good”, yet nakedness in the name of feminism is scandalous porn?

Twenty-first century, my foot.  Make that my bare foot. Amina Tyler, a 19-year old Tunisian, recently posted topless photos of herself on Facebook. The first image shows Amina kicking back with a book and a smoke, Arabic script across her torso declares, “My body belongs to me and is not the source of anyone’s honor”.

Another shows her in aggressive stance, “F*** your morals” written across her chest: activist behavior that got a fatwa issued on her pretty head.

Last February, Tyler founded a Tunisian outpost of feminist movement FEMEN,  Ukrainian-based activists who gained notoriety protesting against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Italy’s octogenarian playboy politico, Silvio Berlusconi. The group’s now turning its sights on the Middle East.

FEMEN tunisia amina tylerTyler told a Tunisian newspaper that she posted these pictures to protest gender inequality laws being imposed by the Ennahda ruling party.

Tunisian imam Adel Almi, chair of the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, allegedly proclaimed that Tyler “deserves to be whipped or stoned to death”.

Rumors circulated saying that Tyler was taken by her parents to a psychiatric hospital in Tunis, but women’s rights activist Bouchra Bel Haj Hmida confirmed she was home safe with her family.

Millions of Arab women support protests for gender equality.

Women played a pivotal role in the Arab uprisings, yet the political beneficiary of change appears to be the rise of conservative Islamic movements, threatening the fragile rights of Arab women.

Last August, a Tunisian parliamentary panel defined a woman as “a complement with the man in the family and an associate to the man in the development of the country,” and not an equal.

Outrage and debate ensued. American-Tunisian activist Wafa Ben Hassine described this on her blog as robbing “from the potential of Tunisian women – both within society and within themselves.”

“Viva Topless Jihad, there will be million Aminas! Our breasts are more dangerous than your stones.”

In reaction, FEMEN declared April 4 International Topless Jihad Day, urging supporters to rally topless outside Tunisian embassies across the world and send topless pictures of themselves to the authorities.  They released a statement on their social media outlets stating:

“On 4 April, we will remind the fanatics and the world that the real epidemic and disaster that must be challenged is misogyny – Islamic or otherwise…  (This is the) beginning of a new, genuine Arab Spring, after which true freedom, freedom without mullahs and caliphs, will come to Tunisia!”

International demonstrations broke out. Police dragged FEMEN members from a Kiev mosque; bare-chested demonstrators protested in front of Milan’s Tunisian consulate; and Paris activists burnt salafists flags.

The initiative was embraced by naked Egyptian blogger Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, who describes her postings as a “scream against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy”.

In a thoughtful editorial on New Statesman, writer Bim Adewunmi says:

“Femen’s imperialist ‘one size fits all’ attitude shows a deafening inconsistency in their own ideology: “Women!” they seem to be saying. “Your bodies are your own – do with them what you will! Except you over there in the headscarf. You should be topless.” It can’t work like that. It won’t work like that. It simply doesn’t work like that.”

Images from FEMEN- Tunisia

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9 thoughts on “Tunisian Feminist Amina Tyler Gets Something Off Her Chest”

  1. Joe says:

    This story highlights the double standards prevalent in the Middle East: A Muslim man can marry four women, but a woman can only have one husband. A Muslim court requires two women witnesses Vs one male. In many countries Muslim women require a male family members permission to go out the house, but the male has freedom of movement. A Muslim male on business or on holiday alone, can ‘marry’ another woman (traveler’s marriage) but the wife cannot do similar. Etc. It’s time people to reflect on these ‘traditions’ and see just what you have become….

  2. Meira says:

    How can you say she has no morals. Shame on you! Does she steal, lie, murder? No, she merely exposes the body that god gave her. If this is disgusting to you then you have the problem. If it isn’t disgusting to you and you don’t like it, it’s still your problem. Do you think women are not full people who should have full rights to try to have the life they want? You either think women are real people or you don’t. It’s that simple.
    And don’t talk to me about roles that men and women are supposed to enact. This is the real world and some women don’t have men who cannot support them. Privileged men seem to think that poor women should just cease to exist. And we are not worth less if we have had sex. Sex is what makes life. Sexual energy is life force energy. Are you worth less because a classmate beat you up?
    You know we humans hate unfairness, we crave justice. But we deny it for so many women. How is it just to kill women for having sex? That is not equitable. How is it just to deny women anything that a man may have or do that does not hurt anyone else?
    Oh and fahad, you sound like a caveman. Why would you think that a woman who gets horny would lay with animals? Have you met men? Most women who like men can have sex with a man anytime they want. They don’t need to resort to animals. And even if we do get horny, we can control our urges. Just like you can, except better. You pig.

  3. layla khoury says:

    fahad alwakil, your mentality is the mentality that makes this desperate attempt to get the message across necessary. She didn’t need to get her view across by being naked, but maybe it will work. The ideology of women being behind their man and being an accompaniment rather than his equal is ridiculous and does not have a place in the 21st century, nor should women not have the choice of whether they cover themselves or not. Wake up. Is wearing make up “not appreciating the beauty god gave you,” too? And why do piercings mean they don’t appreciate the beauty given by god, yet covering that beauty is what is expected?

  4. fahad alwakil says:

    i think you missunderstand the whole view, originally the woman was created for the man for what? for reproduction of the human life on earth and she was considered the first desire for the man not anything else.
    woman was dignified by the god and by messingers of god and that is what it must be . some men hurt the woman and did not give them ther real rights .
    now the women got angry she want to reving from the man, she did every thing wrong she can do she sold her body claiming its for living as porn stars fashion models etc.. and she wants to role the man by working with hem and asking for equality what a mentality? and even she changed the creation of god by tattoing her body and peircing holes allover her body which means even she is not getting enough beauty by god.
    generally she crossed and crushed all the red lines which was created to protect her and to insure a bitter life for her before she is 30 years old she make sex with men when ever she feels horny even with animals some of them wants to be humiliated before sexuality what a life as a wife she wants the man for her only and some of them no problem for threesom or foursom the women of these days are trash bags full of many men sperms no purity no dignity of the sol and body most of the kids are from other sexual activities go to hell this is the only place for those kind of women and all therespect to all the other women
    for sister sara blushi if you are from muslim origin i hope you see the light because you are totally blind

  5. ihab says:

    femen they have no morals.

  6. layla says:

    how will nakedness bring equailty? women are sexualized all over the world for their body… amina is just adding fuel to the fire. (i am sure many men enjoyed her photos) i believe she was brainwashed by femen who are very aggressive and also being paid. is our value our naked body? this is an insult i would never stand with femen they have no morals.

    1. sara says:

      I think the point is–why do you consider a naked female body sexual? ‘What is naked’, ‘what is socially acceptable in public’ and ‘what is sexual’ are cultural perceptions that are not the same every corner of the world–or even every corner of every home. Femen is trying to give women like this–who are fed up with a “norm” that is entirely male-created, a way to be be true to their own definitions for once.

  7. Sara Blushi says:

    I think all these poor helpless Saudi women should walk in the streets naked, in protest to womens rights and these hypocrites Sheiks of Saudi Arabia

  8. Teresa Toole says:

    What is wrong with men? One thing I know is that they have the capacity for self delusion on a major scale. FEMEN, I am with you. I am you. And I will never let the men in the United States who are trying to drag us back 200 years,with birth/death control, etc., succeed. We here in the US, admire your guts in making a stand. You risk much. Thank you.

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