Friday, November 18, 2011

'Kardashian' with a Konscious? - Ctd

My cheeky little post on Aliaa Magda Elmahdy yesterday was intended to a be a diversionary one-off (OK, OK -- I couldn't resist the nudity angle). Well, lo and behold, the New York Times, the Gray Lady herself, has picked up the story in Cairo. They devoted not one but two reporters it. (And, no, it's not about the page views, right? Um, right?) Apparently, Elmahdy was "striking a blow for sexual equality and free expression in Egypt when she posted nude photographs of herself on a blog." Egyptian politics per se had little to do with it. My initial source (The Daily Beast) implied that Ms. Elmahdy belonged to the political movement that unseated ex-Pharaoh Mubarak. This, as she confirmed on Twitter, wasn't true. In fact, per the NYT, the liberal (but amazingly chaste) April 6th Youth Movement "raced to disavow any connection to her" and all but called Elmahdy a slut after the media catapulted her into the news. “[T]he movement does not have any members who engage in such behavior,” an aghast spokesman told the NYT. Heavens. Anyway, given this background, Elmahdy's blog (and the nudity that graces it) suddenly makes sense. It ain't about politics, it's about publicity. I still suspect Elmahdy is a sort of "Kardashian with a Konscious." However, if she's willing to go all pin-up girl in the service of breaching the Walls of Jericho in sexually uptight Egypt, then more power to her. Unwittingly, perhaps, Elmahdy is provocatively advancing the timeless words of Abe Lincoln: "Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves."

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