Thursday, January 29, 2009

Government Censorhip in Kuwait

These are photos I took of magazines from a mall in Kuwait.  If you look closely, you'll notice sloppy, black blotches on the pages of these magazine.  The location of those blotches are no coincidence - this is the work of Kuwaiti government officials who apparently flip through these magazines page by page and marker over anything deemed "inappropriate".  

These pictures demonstrate the official's specific sensitivity towards any type of exposure or flaunting of a female's nether-regions, even if it is necessary for them to complete their athletic endeavors.

More blotching of anything that might expose skin near the woman's private areas.  

Clearly the officials did not appreciate the V cut in this dress.  


But they did appreciate the V cut dress of the "Illustrado" lady.

So this is what it means to have religious law overtly enforced over secular trends in society.  On the one hand, I understand how this approach can counter the media's trend of objectifying women into mere sex symbols.  This is part of the reason why so many women wear the hijab (head scarves) - it is a symbol of devotion to God and an upholding of the sanctity of monogamy.  

In the West, we criticize the presence of religious law in secular society and government.  Perhaps we would not object to the notion that women should not be objectified, yet we believe that these decisions come down to the freedom to choose.  The freedom of a model to pose in a bikini for a photoshoot.  The freedom of a curious teenager to buy the magazine displaying that photoshoot.  The freedom of the woman selling that magazine to dress as she pleases.  With freedom we may sacrifice many layers of conservatism, but we preserve that feeling of individualism so dominant here in the West.

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