My friend K in Austin, TX has a friend who is a Naked Woman Who Doesn’t Brush Her Teeth.
“So… how does that happen?” I asked K, on the phone. “Does she march in your apartment and strip? Does she always walk around sans clothing? Does her breath stink?”
I was horrified. Fascinated. Troubled. Disgusted. Intrigued.
Apparently, this woman felt like clothing and tooth-brushing were both… well, bunk… social ideas that she could live without materializing in her daily life.
This woman had eggs. Ovaries. Guts. Balls. Hutspah. Cahones. Nerve.
A lot of confidence and not a lot of modesty…
At the base of my sputter-sputter laugh-laugh reaction to K’s description was a small seed of jealousy. There are many times I wish I had the gall to state definitively that I oppose Conventional Wisdom, even Science, Propriety, and What They Say, to just strip, stink, and stew in my own juices.
My own rebellions are small.
I hate bras, for instance. Truly truly. I am aware that for some people, the lack of a bra denotes a foundational neglect of one’s personal respect, hygiene, style, adherence to custom, logic (your boobs will sag like the women in National Geographic!).
I, however, have seen my grandmother’s boobs; and, despite 80 years of stringent stringing up of the old things, they sag. I don’t even think she breastfed. Put in her in a hulu skirt and my granny is a native.
And what is the custom about, anyway? Don’t let anyone see them bounce, swing, move? Don’t let your nips show?
That reminds me of preparing for my first ballet recital as a young girl, our teacher telling us we needed to stick bandaids over our “headlights” to keep them from protruding to the audience under the hot stagelights… ballet is, of course, all about strapping and stringing up your body parts to make them aesthetically pleasing, whatever the blood from your feet speaks…
I also remember my mom’s story about when she first went to college, back in the 50s, when the school officials would watch female students to make sure they were wearing bras and girdles… not wiggling and waddling their flesh too much, you know…
But real life? I feel like if the boys can’t take Real Live Women, unrestrained, then the boys need to go back to training pants. What’s so scary about nipples?
I’m not only sick of this anti-breastfeeding crap in our culture, I’m sick of this “I have raging hormones and I can’t control myself because I’m a guy” schtick from the males. Learning control, and accepting the functions and shapes of the human body, these are marks of maturity, for men and women alike; grow up.
If you think my anti-bra stance is irrational, please do me a favor and go read Egalia’s Daughters, a novel that flips our gendered society on its head. Instead of women wearing bras, men have to wear ‘pehoes’ to hold in their male members; they even have a pehoe-burning in their masculinist revolt. The book is a lot of fun, but it also really makes you think again about what you believe to be true and factual with regard to gender and sex in our society.
But back to the naked woman with the dirty teeth – can you imagine?!!
What crazy anti-social thing would you do, if you felt you could get away with it?