Is This Islam-Themed Porn Movie Pure Hotness, or a “Fetishistic Fantasy Rooted in a White Savior Complex”? August 3, 2015

Is This Islam-Themed Porn Movie Pure Hotness, or a “Fetishistic Fantasy Rooted in a White Savior Complex”?

[CAUTION: All the links in this post should be considered NSFW]

If you like porn and you have a burning desire to get edumacated on the different types of Islamic women’s garments, I guess you could turn to the upcoming porn feature Women of the Middle East for, um, enlightenment. It features four scenes that each show

… a different type of veil — hijab, niqab, khimar, and burqa. [E]ach scene is meant to highlight or provide social commentary on a different aspect of women’s status in the Islamic world.

I don’t envy Vice author Mark Hay, who finds himself selling a bit of titillation in his article about the super-smutty film, while at the same time touting his culturally sensitive bona fides. Vice‘s headline reads “Shockingly, a Porno Featuring Hijabis and Niqabis Is Not Very Sensitive Toward Islam,” and Hay adds that

While the script tries to mix up the status quo of white male domination of brown women with a scene featuring a dominant veiled woman, and attempts to portray the lesser-seen world of conservative Muslim prostitution, it does so very ham-fistedly. What pops out may not be a demur [sic] hijabi getting gangbanged by aggressive Americans, but it’s still a fetishistic fantasy rooted in a white savior complex with a heavy garnish of Arabo-Muslim stereotypes.

Interestingly, the movie’s (non-Muslim) producer, a woman who goes by Kelly Madison, has decided to precede the steamy sex with titles

… unambiguously condemning veils as a sign of women’s blanket oppression in the whole Middle East and calling for their removal.

In an interview with Vice, Madison says

[I wanted] something that had a little bit of my own voice in it saying: Hey, what’s done to these women isn’t cool. But at the same time, they’re these beautiful, sexual beings and I want to show beautiful Middle Eastern women in a porn. …

I want to make sure that everyone knows I’m not trying to incite another Charlie Hebdo incident. But [our four scenes] basically represent different women from different regions in the Middle East, different kinds of ideas. [We’re] trying to be a little titillating, obviously, with the different kids of traditional dress. But I started the video by [thinking]: For Middle Eastern women, veiling is not just a way to suppress her sexual freedom, it’s a symbol for all the human rights violations against these women like rape and domestic violence. [It’s about] taking the veil off. Not condemning the Muslim religion, but showing that it’s sexually suppressing for women not being able to show their bodies, being hidden. So we thought we’d hit on that taboo… with an undertone of social commentary.

With that, Madison attempts to set herself apart from

… a bunch of people out there who’ll just say: Hey, throw a niqab on a girl for shock value and have her in the middle of a gangbang. Just try to make the fast cash and move on.

I’m not sure I buy any of it, but it’s nicely packaged that way. Porn traffics in make-belief and silly (if often attractive) bullshit anyway, so you could say Madison’s underlying message is par for the course.

Hay, for his part, insists that Madison’s movie

… conflates a vast swathe [sic] of diverse cultures, fashions, and social conditions into one big Muslim-y mixing pot of reductionist preconceptions. At its core, the film is a prime example of banal ignorance fueling bigoted imagery.

To be fair, there’s been Catholic-themed porn for decades (supposed priests and nuns getting it on), as well as Jewish-themed porn (much rarer) and porn fetishizing Mormonism. I see no reason why Islam shouldn’t be the inspiration for similarly feverish, outlandish fantasies, but I’m sure there are scores of people who’ll beg to differ. The comments are open.

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BONUS LINK: Imam’s Homemade Sex Movie Leaked, Hits the Interwebs


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