Ok so what do you get when you cross a Zionist-loving, colonized, House Arab with the liberal pseudo-feminism of Russia’s Pussy Riot? A Mona Eltahawy pornographic pseudo-poem entitled “Sekhmet’s Tits” no less. A poem even more degrading to women and Orientalist than her controversial piece “Why Do They Hate Us?”
After much debate and tiring back and forth it seems as though doctors have finally come to agree as to the definition of ‘brain death’; it is to enjoy reading anything by Mona Eltahawy.
Mona Eltahawy, self-described “columnist and international public speaker on Arab and Muslim issues”, seems to have ‘poet’ to add to her long list of ego-stroking monikers. “Sekhmets Tits“, a poor attempt by Eltahawy at what one may only assume is erotic poetry, looks to be part of another piteous attention seeking ritual by Eltahawy; the poem is ghastly – no poetic structure, clumsily narrated with rushed, elephantine references to her alleged personal adventures: the breaking of her arms by Egyptian security forces, her spray painting over Pamela Geller’s NYC Islamophobic “hate ads” etc. alongside what one believes to be Eltahawy’s typical claim to fame – her rebellious adventurism. Afterall, an Arab, Muslim woman using the words tits, pussy, fuck, cum, cunt and orgy? She is breaking barriers, proving once again that she is liberated, unconstrained and able to do and say as she pleases. Unlike the cloaked and ‘faceless’ women of colour Mona constantly berates and attempts to release from bondage she epitomizes what it means for one to be ‘free’.
“I’m the proud savage” writes Mona. “Savage”, the pejorative colonialist word, used to refer to a barbarian, one seen as uncivilized is worn high-handed in this ‘poem’. Instead of removing the violently imposed crown of thorns that is the colonial word “savage” Mona has decided to decorate it and make it more appealing for her readers. This coincides with the latest exploits of Ali-al-Mahdi who is heralded by colonial feminist groups (the white liberators of the oppressed women of colour *warning: embedded link contains nudity) as a savior of sorts, applauded for her bold nude activism work. Most recently Alia al-Mahdi stood alongside other women in Stockholm, naked, holding (respectively) makeshift copies of the Qur’an, Bible and Torah over their genital regions (warning: embedded link contains nudity). The very concept, that the less clothes one wears the more ‘free’ or ‘democratic’ they are and that the more clothing one wears the more ‘oppressed’ and ‘subjugated’ one is happens to be archetypal of orientalist arguments. Alia al-Mahdi is publicized by Femen as an Egyptian woman who has stunned the entire world, her place of origin is intentionally exhausted over and over, the intent being to utilize her background and make her action that much more scandalous – afterall, Arab women are covered from head-to-toe by their male partners/relatives, i.e. abusers, in the despotic “Arab world” and al-Mahdi has defied the very values her authoritarian culture demands of her. She is naked, for all the world to see, and for this she is a revelation. These actions are an orientalists deepest, darkest fantasies come to life; whether they be Eltahawy’s use of coarse language meant to shock and leave one wide-eyed or Alia al-Mahdi’s nudity, comically described as “apocalyptic” by Femen, the group orchestrating the nude protests.
And if it was not enough, that this poem seems to lack even the most integral part of any sort of writing, poetic or otherwise, that being something called meaning, Eltahawy uses references from music by Oasis, Um Kalthoum, Massive Attack and The White Stripes, thanking them at the well-awaited end of this poetic disaster. The lyrics are made victims, casualties of sorts.
Critics of Mona’s “poem” are branded by her bedazzled fan base as being ”misogynistic” or not courageous enough to handle the blunderous context and by Mona herself as being part of the “right wing” or as being too cowardly to take part in such brave proceedings. Afterall, coming from a society where “koss” (or ‘pussy’) is used freely in curses it must be extremely daring for Mona to remind us of the existence of this word, or even that she has one.
“…my pussy fought for the revolution from my bed”, writes Eltahawy. I am not sure nor can I confirm or deny that her “pussy” was doing any figurative (or literal) fighting from her bed but many Egyptians have suggested, and continue to suggest, that Mona Eltahawy uses the Egyptian revolution to ‘fight’ (i.e. publicize herself) from her activist armchair.
“Does Sekhmet cry when she cums?”, asks Eltahawy. Sekhmet, the Egyptian deity, warrior goddess, may be crying, but not due to her experiencing any sort of sexual euphoria, or sexual climax, instead her tears may be due to the use of her name in this haggard, bumbling collision of words marketed not as a comical train wreck but as a ‘poem’.