Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Sexuality, Power, and Culture


Al-Jazeera reports on Laylat Suqout Baghdad (The Night Baghdad Fell), a political fantasy film from Cairo. It plays in the backdrop of Arab, and Egyptian fears of a US invasion, and the quest of two men to create a deterrent weapon for Egypt. The Abu Ghraib photos provide a prominent backdrop, portraying how the sexual abuse was a way of subjugating, and claiming superiority over the Iraqi population. One of the men fantasizes about having sex with Condoleeza Rice.

I think it will be a good film to watch. Some excerpts from the Jazeera review:

"These aren't sexual scenes," explains Amin. "They're sexual meanings. It's a universal language that everyone understands: The active partner - in this case Tarek - in a sexual act is always in the dominant, more powerful position. Tarek hates US officials so he defeats them in bed in the form of Rice."

... In a scene where Tarek's deterrence weapon falters, Shaker's hopes fade and are replaced by a nightmare that his daughter is raped in Abu Ghraib.
I think it provides a good example of how violence is sexualised in Arab and American culture. If our conservarive values are really for promoting for healthy, natural and strong family values, why are these sort of ideas not attacked by the cultural vanguards? I am not attacking the artistic expression in the film, for it only portrays an already prevalent mindset. Is it any suprise then, that women are the principle victims of ethnic or national conflicts? How is it possible to have healthy, and positive relationships in this atmosphere?

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February 10, 2010 6:13 PM  

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