Equinox Fitness Club’s new print advertising campaign depicts four nuns – wearing habits and rosary beads around their necks – sketching the figure of a nude man. Actually two of the nuns are sketching, the other two are gawking. One of the nuns, who is seated, has her skirt hiked high enough up her thigh that you can see a garter and the exposed flesh of her leg. They are all wearing make-up, including lipstick and rouge. 

The ad is both stupid and cowardly. The NY-based Equinox and its ad agency are secure in the knowledge that Christians treat such juvenile attempts at provoking them as their cross to bear, and do not react with threats or acts of physical violence. But had the nuns been replaced by four women in chadors, alone in a room with a naked man, with their faces, legs and arms exposed, there is a real danger that heads would roll. Just a couple of days ago, Danish police arrested three people for plotting “a terror-related assassination” of one of the 12 cartoonists who drew caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad in 2005 that touched off murderous mayhem by Muslims throughout Europe and the Middle East. 

In a brave defense of free speech several Danish newspapers republished the cartoons to show barbarians and Islamofascists that cartoonists and editors will not be intimidated by threats on their lives. This is edgy, daring and defiant. The Equinox ad is just pointless posturing.

Note: The Stiletto writes about politics and other stuff at The Stiletto Blog.

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