Posted by: aediculaantinoi | February 12, 2011

Sic Semper Tyrannis in Egypt and other things…

For the past few weeks, I have been following the developments in Egypt. And, given my previous post and the mention of the holiday of Regifugium on the 24th, the idea of the downfall of tyrants (particularly modern dictators) seems a thoroughly appropriate atmosphere to consider in the present context of Hosni Mubarak stepping down as ruler president of Egypt yesterday, after having said in a speech on Thursday that he did not plan to do so until his term ended in the autumn. I think Antinous the Liberator is pleased with this, and Antinous the Navigator will also be guiding matters in Egypt in the near future as well, with any luck…

One of the things which pleases me most about this, however, is the manner in which this revolution has been peaceful–despite there having been in the neighborhood of 300 deaths over the past few weeks, and a great deal of vandalism, looting, and wanton destruction. What is most encouraging about this is that a peaceful revolution that has toppled a Western-supported dictator has occurred by the will of the common people, and not an aspiring theocracy or a terrorist group. In fact, Al Qaeda has said in its propaganda repeatedly over the past decade that only violent revolutions and terrorist actions would be able to bring such dictatorships to an end–and now they have been proven wrong by a populous and generally prosperous Islamic majority country doing the exact opposite. With any luck, this situation will continue to go well for the people of Egypt–I sincerely hope so…

What I do worry about, however, is what this transition will mean for the rights of queer people in the region. Egypt’s record on treating homosexuals fairly isn’t exactly stellar in recent history. This is all the more unfortunate, given that it is likely that the two men pictured above–Niankhnum and Khnumhotep, from the fifth dynasty–were lovers, as both were buried together and had their names joined; they were the heads of the palace manicurists while alive (!?!). They are some of our oldest Sancti, in terms of being known by name from a very early period. If anything comes to light in this regard in the near future as far as the situation for queer people in Egypt goes, I will surely note it here.

In what would seem to be an unrelated matter, The Wild Hunt mentioned an article on the acceptance of queer people within modern Voudun in Haiti. (Some Voudun and other Afro-Diasporic religious practitioners see similarities, or even trace elements in their own religions directly back, to Egyptian prototypes; and a number of modern Kemetic practitioners have been involved in Afro-Diasporic religion in terms of their own reconstructionist methodologies.) I wonder if part of the push on the part of many Christian groups, who have gone to Haiti to proselytize more than they have to lend humanitarian aid, is because of this–which is to say, the desire to supplant the acceptance often present in Voudun for gender and sexual variation with their own brands of heternormativity, homophobia, and gender bias. Hmm…


Responses

  1. [...] as I have mentioned Egypt and the revolutions there over the last few weeks several times, now there is a further revolution in Libya underway, that is thus far much more violent and [...]


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