A Naked Woman?

Posted by Rewati Karan in Sexism And Patriarchy
March 7, 2017
Editor’s note: This story is in response to Youth Ki Awaaz’s topic for this week – #WomensDay to start conversations on how we can achieve a gender equal society. If you have faced gender-based violence, sexism or misogyny, would like to propose policy reforms or write about what families, friends, workspaces and partners can do to ensure gender parity around them, write to us here.

A naked woman. A taboo. The most confined, yet most sought after. A naked woman. The one who fires eagerness. A naked woman. The reason for a substantial number of offences and crimes. Offences that happen to her. A naked woman. Titillating. Tempting? A naked woman. She sells. A naked woman. A commodity.

A naked woman. An inspiration for poets, artists, writers. A naked woman. Imagined. Fantasised. Hallucinated. A naked woman. Loved. Adored. A naked woman. Looked down upon. Frowned upon. Lured upon. Lusted upon. A naked woman. Scanned beneath her robe. A naked woman.

A plethora of rules levied upon as to when she should be a naked woman and when she shouldn’t be a naked woman. A naked woman. Society’s scapegoat for every frigging bad thing. Society’s laaj. Society’s sharm (shame). Society’s hayaa. Society’s asset. Society’s liability. A naked woman. Defined by the amount of fat she has in her body. Skinny. Slim. Fit. Fat. Stout. A naked woman. Breasts. Bigger ones. Not so bigger ones. A naked woman. Vagina? Yes. Vagina. Drooled upon. A naked woman. A slut. A naked woman. A random girl passing by on the street.

Travelling in the metro or the bus. A naked woman. A colleague. A naked woman. A boss. A naked woman. A lover. A naked woman. A wife. A naked woman. A mother. A naked woman. A sister. A naked woman. A maid. A naked woman. Your girlfriend’s friend. A naked woman. The one writing this. A naked woman. The one reading this. A woman. A naked woman. A physical attribute. A body. Just a body. Who is a naked woman?

Is that who you’d call a naked woman? Is she who you know as a naked woman? Is that how you’ve seen a naked woman? Is that it? These words are just a narrow and restricted definition of ‘a naked woman’. Just an aspect of a naked woman largely emphasised upon. Just the bark of an ancient tree. Just the tip of an iceberg. Just the bed of the ocean. How often can you claim that you’ve seen a naked woman? How firmly can you assert that you have known a naked woman? You haven’t. You haven’t because you haven’t tried. You haven’t because you haven’t sought hard enough. You would see her. You would know her. Only when you take a halt and stop adhering to the clichéd definition of a naked woman. Only when you realise how farcical the image of the said naked woman is. Only when you seek, not see, a naked woman.

A naked woman is not just defined by the physical attribute. She is not just a body without clothes. She is not what is behind her robes. She is not the one you’ve seen on magazine covers. She is not a poster girl. She is not the one you had sex with. She is not the one you got laid with. She is neither the skin nor the soul. She is the amalgamation. Of skin. Of soul. Of stories. Of history. Of thoughts. Of desires. Of passion. Of rage. Of revenge. Of love. Of lust. Of fire. Of peace. Of her darkest secrets. Of birthmarks. Of scars. Scars not just on the skin.

Scars which are engraved on her soul. She is the poem. A set of words but numerous perceptions. She is the mirage. No matter how much you strive to chase her, you won’t have her. She is tear droplets. She is droplets of dew. She cannot be restricted by a definition. She is much more. She is an enigma. She is bland. She is brusque. She is classy. She is rustic. She is the power of imagination. She is art. Of renaissance. She is the desired expression. She is nature. She is everything she can be. She is everything she hasn’t been. She is everything. She is the unequivocal cluster of all that a human being can be.

A naked woman. A woman. She is not just a bare body. She is skin deep. She is known to many, yet unknown to all. She is a naked woman.

Image source: Wikipedia