The Misguided Cover Up

From the Global Post, by Iva Roze Skoch

After complaints, statue of naked Prometheus gets undies

It isn’t clear who exactly complained about the nudity of the Greek God Prometheus, whose bronze statue now graces the area opposite the Parliament building in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, but that’s part of the mystery behind this story.

According to this article in the Balkan Insight, the complainers were “unidentified women’s organizations.”

What is clear is that good old nude Prometheus — who in Greek mythology is a symbol of self-sacrifice because he stole fire from the gods — suddenly appeared a few days ago decked out in brand new tidy whities.

Made out of bronze, naturally.

The speedy official response and “cover up” have sparked debate in Macedonia, prompting some to speculate whether other statues, like the giant sculpture of a woman breast-feeding a child, which is yet to be erected just a few hundred meters from the Prometheus sculpture, will also get a cover up.

Vladimir Velickovski, Skopje-based art professor, told the Balkan Insight:  “Our environment is small and frustrated and this (speedy cover-up) reflects hypocrisy and self-censorship….In private everything is allowed while in public everything is disputed.”

Then again, this isn’t the first time Macedonia has been accused of hypocrisy when it comes to their treatment of Greek heroes. Continue reading

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Breast Feeding … The Time Magazine Cover

We’ve all seen the cover of Time magazine this week, so I’ll show you a different picture. Breast feeding … I don’t get what all the controversy is about. It’s about the most natural, and one of the most beautiful visuals I can imagine. They say women shouldn’t flaunt it. What’s that all about? What’s flaunting it? Why have we sexualized female breasts to the extent they are considered indecent, even at a beach? Despite all the positive and beneficial qualities of most religions, this is a perfect example of one of the negative impacts religion has on society.

There were complaints the child was too old to breast feed. Many logical, thoughtful people see it this way. On the other hand, many psychologists believe there is nothing wrong with it, that breast feeding until age three or four nurtures the child emotionally, causing him to grow into adulthood better adjusted, more independent and better prepared the face the challenges of life. I’ll buy that.

Don’t forget to eat more Oreo Cookies.

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Small Game Hunters

From The Telegraph, United Kingdom

Zimbabwe ‘sperm hunters’ picking up male travellers

Gangs of women in Zimbabwe have been picking up male travellers to have sexual intercourse and harvest their sperm, according to reports.

Gangs of women in Zimbabwe have been picking up male travellers to have sexual intercourse and harvest their sperm, according to reports.

Susan Dhliwayo claims she pulled her car over recently to pick up a group of male hitchhikers and they refused to get in, because they feared they were going to be raped.

“Now, men fear women. They said: ‘we can’t go with you because we don’t trust you’,” 19-year-old Miss Dhliwayo recounted.

Local media have reported victims of the highway prowlers being drugged, subdued at gun or knife point – even with a live snake in one case – given a sexual stimulant and forced into repeated sex before being dumped on the roadside.

The sperm hunters first surfaced in the local press in 2009 but police have only arrested three women, found with a plastic bag of 31 used condoms in October. The attacks have continued since they were nabbed for allegedly violating 17 men. Continue reading

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From Scallywag & Vagabond dot com

Exiled Iranian women pose nude to protest against sexual oppression.

‘I believe in the equality of women and men’ and ‘my thoughts, my body, my choice’.

The above words are part of a slogan courtesy of a group of Iranian women who have taken to creating a new video that is meant to be a defiant message to Iranian leaders who have in essence condoned oppressive discrimination towards women in their home country.

The video which depicts the participating women in the nude was released in tandem with International Women’s day on March 8th in the hopes of boosting sales of their project, ‘The Nude Revoluntionary Calendar.’

Aliaa Magda Elmahdy

The video comes as a tribute to an Egyptian woman, Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, a 20 year old university student who last year incited Islamic authorities when she chose to release a full length picture of herself on her blog in the nude to bring attention to what she deemed to be her right to do so or not and not that of authorities. The blog posting led to the woman being denounced as a ‘prostitute,’ and bombarded with insults across the Middle East. Continue reading

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Shaking Things Up In Egypt

Meet Aliaa . . .

Aliaa Maghda Elmahdy, an atheist and self-described “secular liberal feminist vegetarian individualist Egyptian,” posted pictures of herself, nude, as a protest against “a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy”. She calls her blog A Rebel’s Diary, which features herself and other nudes, male and female, and has become an overnight sensation. Since Egypt needs a new president, I hereby cast my vote for Aliaa. I can think of a few more Middle Eastern countries that could use a girl like her.


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Circumcision … A Jewish Perspective

From the Jewish Daily Forward

By Jay Michaelson

For several decades, opposition to circumcision has been building in the United States and within the American Jewish community. This year, the people of San Francisco will see on their ballots a proposed ordinance banning circumcision entirely, with no exception for religious Jews or Muslims. As others have written in these pages already, this measure is offensive and overbroad, and at least some of its proponents are clearly guilty of anti-Semitism. (It is also, in my view, unconstitutional.) Civil liberties groups and Jewish organizations have roundly condemned it, and defeat seems likely.

But San Francisco is a harbinger of things to come, and critiques of circumcision are not limited to the lunatic fringe. Opponents say that circumcision is a brutal, nonconsensual mutilation of a child that results in a permanent loss of sensitivity. Our society doesn’t allow parents to abuse their children, this argument runs, so why should we allow this particular form of violence, which is irrevocable and damaging? Proponents counter that circumcision reduces the risk of HIV transmission and of some STDs, that the “mutilation” in question is relatively minor, and that, in the case of religious communities, it is time honored and religiously mandated.

Personally, were it not for my Jewish heritage, I would never circumcise a child of my own. (I do not have children, though my partner and I are considering it.) There is no question that circumcision reduces sexual pleasure, which I find philosophically repugnant. In fact, whether or not this was the original purpose of the mitzvah, the power of circumcision to reduce pleasure was well known to Jewish sages; Maimonides, for example, praises circumcision for just that reason. In addition, it is an unnecessary form of surgery, and it is indeed permanent; your son cannot change his mind about it later, even if he were to discontinue Jewish religious observance. And all of us who have been to a circumcision ceremony know that — for some babies, at least — it does seem to hurt. Finally, while there may be marginal health benefits to circumcision, I’d rather invest the time teaching my son about safer sex than slice into the body that God and nature have formed.

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Is Hollywood Coming to Terms With Male Parts?

This from Newsweek

Hollywood Confronts the Last Taboo

Why are so many actors dropping their pants?

A film’s success rises or falls on the smallest of details. And so it was that the director of this month’s medieval stoner comedy Your Highness found himself in a boardroom with the suits at Universal Studios, discussing every last facet of his minotaur’s manhood. How to light the half-man/half-bull’s prosthetic appendage? How large should the dimensions be? And what would the anatomy suggest about the beast’s religious leanings? “We took the leap, culturally, and we circumcised him,” the director, David Gordon Green, explains.

Yes, much has changed in Hollywood since Clark Gable pushed the boundaries of taste by appearing without an undershirt in 1934’s It Happened One Night. For decades the dividing line between an R and an X rating was decidedly phallic-shaped. Not anymore. Male genitalia are getting unprecedented screen time at the multiplex and all over premium cable. “Male nudity has a humorous value because it’s taboo,” says Green, whose film garnered an R. “There’s a gracefulness to the female form that’s subject to this Last Tango in Paris, Jayne Mansfield–type of adoration. Where guys just don’t get the same shot. So that, for me, is where it’s ripe to come in and pull the pants down.”

Full-frontal dude-ity isn’t limited to visual punchlines in comedies like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and this summer’s The Hangover Part II. Male genitals (or, to use the now popular Hollywood vernacular, “peens”) are cropping up across the cultural grid, on cable shows like Starz’s Spartacus: Blood and Sand and HBO’s Game of Thrones, and in blue-chip Broadway fare like Equus, where Daniel Radcliffe showed he’s more than just Harry Potter. Over the years, A-list actors like Richard Gere, Tom Cruise, and Ewan McGregor have also played the full-monty card to establish their dramatic bona fides, but the full-frontal shots were fleeting. Now nude guys get much more hang time.

Take the Showtime reality series Gigolos, which follows the sexploits of high-priced male escorts plying their trade in Las Vegas. Even when the men aren’t shown servicing their female clientele, the show features no shortage of man parts. “Depending on your perspective and upbringing, more male nudity can be viewed as less repressed and more balanced with what we see of women,” says Gigolos executive producer Jay Blumenfield. “Or it can be a sign of the coming apocalypse. Our feeling is that a naked body is nothing to be ashamed of.”

The trend has Hollywood directors facing the kinds of casting decisions that used to bedevil their porn-making brethren. For a sequence in March’s raunch comedy Hall Pass, Owen Wilson’s doofus character passes out in a gym hot tub and is revived by a naked man in the locker room. The nude guy was a small part, but the movie’s directors, Bobby and Peter Farrelly, had to vet reams of actors’ photos to find someone who, uh, fit the bill. Once they’d found their man and were shooting the sequence, Wilson began to fret about photos of the scene leaking from the set. “That was Owen’s biggest fear in doing that scene,” Bobby Farrelly says. “Someone’s going to snap a picture of that on their phone, and it was going to get out before the movie was released. At least now there’s context for him hanging out with this giant penis.”

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Nude at Work

British Software Firm Seeking Nude Programmers

By Bob Johnson,

BUCKINGHAMSHIRE, England — A local British computer software company is recruiting web coders to work in the nude.

The nudist-run software developer, Nude House, is a division of a larger company, Songbird, founded in 1977 by naturist Chris Taylor that markets a promotional e-commerce application called “Move your Mouse.”

The software product reportedly enables customers to display “hot spot” images on their websites that gives product information or links to email addresses when users roll over with their mouse.

A CraigsList ad from Nude House said it is looking for “lots of very attractive, nude young girls — 20-39″ who should be practicing nudists to sell its software and who can code.

The company is also looking for “attractive young, nude men” although no age was listed.

The jobs pay $37,600 a year.

Company spokesman Chris Taylor told The Register, “As far as I am aware this is not only the first U.K. office job for naturists in web-coding or web-selling, but is also the first worldwide facility for naturists to earn substantial sums of money from work that incidentally provides them with the capability to work entirely without clothes.

“Because it is the first establishment in the world it is difficult to advertise — many seem to confuse the issue of being without clothes as being a place without concerns for personal freedom, where sex is paramount in its many varied forms.”

The spokesman noted that the nudist jobs aren’t about sex, but on sales and technical ability and customers will never know they’re dealing with naked employees.

A web page for the company states, “New applicants will be required to work in the nude from the time they arrive at work until they leave to go home. Nude means no clothes whatsoever and no shoes either. Each of you — male or female — will behave decorously.”

The response so far has been modest, according to the company, that’s looking to fill up to 17 positions.

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Nude Photos Raise Questions about Private Lives of Judges

Judge Lori Douglas

From … Toronto Edition

By Tracey Tyler

Allegations that nude photographs of a senior Manitoba judge in bondage, chains and performing oral sex were posted on an Internet porn site have kindled debate about how much of a judge’s private life is private.

The Canadian Judicial Council’s Ethical Principles for Judges — which judges are encouraged but not required to follow — say they should strive to conduct themselves with integrity and avoid conduct that would diminish public respect for the judiciary.

Can someone who poses naked with a whip be considered a person of integrity, or does the question open the door to inappropriate moral judgments about an individual’s personal life?

“Do we imagine that judges never disrobe or that judges never have sex lives? Of course they do,” said Bruce Ryder, an Osgoode Hall Law School professor who teaches in the area of judicial independence and ethics.

Ryder worries that “prurience” and “moral prudery” will drive the debate over whether Associate Chief Justice Lori Douglas of the Court of Queen’s Bench of Manitoba should be removed from office.

Manitoba Chief Justice Marc Monnin announced Wednesday that Douglas, of the court’s family division, has asked to be “temporarily relieved of her duties as a sitting judge” and will work in an administrative capacity until a complaint to the judicial council is resolved.

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