The picture of a mother clutching her naked breasts and raining curses on her child is bound to give chills to the average African who believes there is power in such an action. While there are no records to prove the effectiveness of the curse of the naked breasts, it is without question one of the most potent threat any mother can issue her child. Again, we know that a woman’s breasts is not only associated with curses or fear. It is beyond every reasonable doubt an object of fixation for the male of the species from a very tender age till they attain adulthood. It is amazing how these seemingly harmless organs can evoke several emotions at the same time. From fear to lust, the breast of a woman can be a willing tool for those who will use them.
Sure, the breast can be an effective tool. It turns out that women do not shy away from using them to state their grievances against authorities. In recent times, I have been bombarded by pictures of very attractive women of the Ukraine based FEMEN group who have been involved in nude protests against the lack of women in the Ukrainian government, the alleged mass fraud in the Russian December 4 parliamentary polls, Opposition parties, Euro 2012, legalization of prostitution, the lack of hot water, the ban on female driving in Saudi Arabia, the death penalty given to Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani by the Iranian government and so many others. If FEMEN’s objective is to get noticed, then they have certainly achieved it.
Baring of the breasts during protests was relatively strange and new to me until I was thirteen and stumbled upon a newspaper article of women protesting. I was a little surprised by the display of over hundred mammaries by some old and middle aged women clutching leaves. My mum told me it was a norm in most African cultures. The curse of nakedness. It turns out that women in Africa have long employed this method protesting in history. In the 1930s, members and supporters of the Abeokuta Women’s Union in Abeokuta, Nigeria, walked naked in protest of the Alake of Abeokuta’s political actions and forced him into exile. In 2002, about 600 Itsekiri and Ijaw women protested nude against Chevron, a major oil company in Nigeria. In Zambia women have protested nude over the government’s decision to ban miniskirts and tight pant trousers, and in 2001 Kenyan women numbering about 300 prevented a group of scientists from extending a nature reserve to tribal land.
The power of nude protesting can never be over stated. From feminist groups to animal rights groups like PETA, we have seen more than our fair share of very indignant naked people. While I do not fall into the category of controversial feminists, I actually prefer effective protests. If going naked will bring notice to the problems women face all over the world, then I advocate naked/nude protests. Although, I just might not be getting naked. 🙂
Written on March 7, 2012 on www.umariayim.blogspot.com