Alpine skier Jackie Chamoun’s photos for an Austrian sports calendar three years ago made the Lebanese Caretaker Youth and Sports Minister Faisal Karam ask the Lebanese Olympic Committee for an investigation to secure “the protection of Lebanon’s reputation.”
The decision caused outrage online. The social media community expressed their support by mobilising behind the campaign #StripforJackie.
The Facebook page, I am not naked, was created for the cause, gaining over 1000 likes in its first 7 hours. People are encouraged to join the #StripforJackie campaign by having their nude photo taken with the tagline “I am Not Naked/I am a (Enter Job description).”
According to the Facebook page, the campaign is about ”recognizing the true definition of a person. We are who we choose to be and what we choose to do.” The description continues, “Some women are beaten or killed, others are raped, and the media shifts their attention to a confident talented beautiful woman who represents her country at the Olympic games. This is about telling our ‘peers’ to set their priorities straight. This is to fight censorship.” The text ends with, ”This is for freedom.”
An Avaaz petition has also been created calling for the government to drop the investigation against the Olympic skier, saying that "our government believes the bodies of women are public property -- despite not doing anything to protect them. Let's challenge that disgrace right now."
The petition also stated that "It's unbelievable that a minister was able to mobilise resources and react on the very same day to this non-event when the lives of thousands of other Lebanese women are at risk thanks to the lack of movement on violence against women legislation. Just last week a teacher was beaten to death by her husband right in front of her two children!”
The reactions on Twitter have also been strong and numerous, including:
Mohamad Najem محمد @MoNajem
I bet you that this Facebook page will reach more than 8K by the end of today! https://www.facebook.com/pages/I-Am-Not-Naked/511858472265918 … #StripForJackie
Others wanted new hashtags…
While some were critical of Chamoun…
Chamoun herself wrote in a statement on her Facebook wall:
“Now that I’m at the Olympic Games, these photos that I never saw before are being shared. It is sad. All I can ask to each of you who saw this, is to stop spreading it, it will really help me (focus) on what is really important now: my training and my race.”
ALSO READ: VIDEO - “Because I’m Happy” in Tunisia