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No AccessComparative Perspectives Symposium - Gendered Bodies in the Protest Sphere

New Feminism as Personal Revolutions: Microrebellious Bodies

In March 2013, the nineteen-year-old Tunisian woman Amina Sboui, affiliated with the group Femen, posted two topless pictures of herself on the Internet. She marked her chest with the expression “Fuck your morals” and, in Arabic, “My body belongs to me, and it is not anybody’s honor.” The controversy over Sboui’s semantics of the body inspired a group of women to form Femen Morocco on March 23, 2013. Inspired by the epistemology of the naked body, women started to post topless pictures of themselves on Femen Morocco’s Facebook page. Much earlier, in August 2011, Woman Choufouch, a Moroccan anti–sexual harassment online network, planned to organize a SlutWalk to draw attention to the bodily oppression of women and the sexualization of their presence in public space. The nude marks the visual memory of the revolutionary square, inviting a new power/knowledge configuration and a new politics of remembering along sexualized scripts, rather than moralizing ones. When inserted in the paradoxical spaces of the revolution, disruptive nudes and sexually scripted bodies create an immediate temporality in which women’s bodies and sexuality are not suspended (as usual) but are remembered as part of the entangled sensibilities of the revolution and its visual memory.