There is such a thing, if you're wondering.
Did you know that the more obnoxious you are, the more extreme you are, or the more controversial stuff that you post, the more traffic that you get to your blog. The picture I posted showing two veiled women with a topless woman in a swimming pool got my blog a peak in traffic. People want to see it, simple. I wasn't trying to be obnoxious or to shock anyone, but it was just so real, and it was really up to people to draw their own conclusions. Some people could find it odd and funny, others see tolerance, understanding and diversity in it. I personally, just found it ugly (meaning that the picture is not a pleasant sight --especially if you've seen the original thing with the breasts unblurred).
I didn't take that picture if someone is wondering. A friend sent it to me, but I made an assumption that its real, because I've personally seen it in real life alot before. The new thing is that they're posing so close to each other, you even see one of the veiled women is literally touching the topless woman's breasts.
That picture brought up some thoughts that I've had for a while, not about topless women, but about women who swim fully dressed. I know some people have their minds set already that its disgusting, and some others have it set that its the only respectable way to swim. I; am not sure, but here are some thoughts.
Ofcourse, there are the topless (and the nude, but that's not in Egypt as far as I know), the bikinis, the one piece swimsuit, the "Islamic" (conservative) swimsuit, and then those who swim fully dressed.
The first three in the list are well-known. The conservative swimsuit covers more flesh than the one piece swimsuit. More like a wetsuit I suppose with some kind of a skirt over it. There are different models of it I think, some go down only to the knees, some don't cover the whole arm and so on.
I'm trying to think of alternative options of how these conservative women can manage to get in the water and swim whilst not revealing too much of their bodies, which they're trying to protect so hard from the gazes of the male species. Considering how much I value water and swimming, avoiding swimming all together is not an option that I can consider, and I just don't know how those who sit on the beach fully dressed not enjoying the water can do that. So then the options to me are to either swim at times and places those are not available to men, or to integrate and swim along the males, but segragate their bodies by swimming conservatively (while dressed conservatively that is).
In most swimming pools here there are certain times where the pool is only available for women. They are ofcourse taking from the men's rights and giving it to women, because women get exclusive time with the pool for themselves where men can't access it, while men don't get the same. So I would think that some conservative men could complain that they need men-only pool hours where they wouldn't have to mingle with unconservative women. Considering the number of conservative women here whom are not willing to reveal the parts of their bodies that typical swimsuites reveal, it seems very reasonable to have this policy of having women-only pool hours --as long as they're very few hours a week and at very odd times! Fortunately, I have access to a pool that doesn't (and can't) implement this policy, so I don't really care how other pools do it, and am glad they give a chance to conservative women to enjoy the water.
Those women who choose to integrate with men in the water however, or atleast swim when its not guaranteed that men won't be around, they go for the option of swimming in a conservative swimsuit. I'm not sure if the point of it is to reveal less of the body so that if we look, we don't see much skin or body parts, or that it should look so ugly that we're not interested to look in the first place regardless of how much skin it reveals or not. Those who can't afford that special consevative swimsuit or think its still revealing, and usually don't have access to swimming pools with women-only hours, will swim fully dressed --with their clothes on.
Now, there is a difference between that conservative swimsuit and swimming fully dressed. The most important difference I think is the material of the garment. I like to think that I don't mind that conservative swimsuit at all. Really, its not like they're covering me with it, its what they're wearing in the water, why should I care. Plus, if they're really swimming, you'll never notice how long or short the swimsuit is. Some hotels here forbid swimming in that conservative swimsuit. I think the argument is that its against the common sense taste in the hotel, or something like that. And the argument I've heard against that ofcourse is that they're allowing topless women to swim freely (in Egypt the Islamic country), while forbiding others from swimming in an Islamic conservative swimsuit. So you either reveal more of your body, or you're not allowed to swim! I think part of it also is that revealing less, covering more, and doing it in such an obvious way (special swimsuit) is traditionally associated with lower economic classes of our society. And we have a hidden cultural policy not to have different classes of our society mingle together.
For those who swim fully dressed however, I can't quite make up my mind about that. Its certainly not a pleasant sight for me, but I tend to think that its their right as well to swim with their normal land-clothes. As someone commented at the earlier picture post, it seems that sometimes those wet clothes do not end up to be as conservative as they might think. I also can't imagine how they can possibly enjoy the water with their clothes on, totally wet. Must be a terrible heavy and itchy feeling. I think it might be natural for people to find this an unpleasant sight, because maybe its unnatural to get wet with clothes on. You get naked before you jump in the shower. When it rains you try to avoid getting your clothes wet. Clothes will make you heavier in the water and will make you drown. So the first instinct is that the sight of a woman (or a man for that matter) getting in the water fully dressed is an unpleasant sight, but as soon as I start thinking about it I say its really non of my business regardless of how much distasteful it might be to me. As long as no one is forcing me to dress up before jumping in the water, nor to get naked, than I'm fine (although taking off that swimsuit makes a whole lot of a difference!).
Monday, August 22, 2005
There is such a thing, if you're wondering.