Sunday, August 19, 2007

Toplessness Is not Nudity. You must be 18 to read this article.

This ceremony is watched all over the world.
 Zulu virgins during their Annual Reed Dance.

President Sarkozy of France.

   If those virgins are nude, then those presidents are nude too, since all are exposing their breasts.

President Jacob Zuma receives King Makhado Bravery Award

President Putin of Russia
Chelsea Handler

The topic of nudity is very sensitive that even amoral people have a say. Many missionaries, teachers and tourists have visited Africa and in most videos and books, the climax is usually the topless virgins. As novices to the African culture, they return to their various homes with the conclusion that Africans walk naked, so they need clothes to wear. True, you have some places where people walked naked but to them, it was not a sin. Those ones cannot be defended. My preoccupation is to show that toplessness is not part of nudity through biblical exposition, cultural narratives, psychological interpretations, historical perspectives and syllogical presentations . I believe that nudity starts and ends with genitals; consequently, Africans should feel comfy to keep dancing bare breasted as they used to, without fear of sin. Therefore, stay with an open mind as you read this paper.

Does a farm, bush or forest become a super market because it was cleared? Does beer become oil because it was put in a bottle? If the bush is cleared, virgin, desolate, barren or fertile, it is still a bush. If the bush is exposed, no matter its state, it is nude. The bush may be wrinkled and crinkled or smooth and sauve, it does not matter. Once there is no covering on the genitals, it is nudity. Nudity is lacking a covering on the genitals as you will soon realize.

Here is Eto'o's wife caught with no bra. The title says , "topless" and not nude.

When the Africans did not know that exposing the woman’s breasts was a “sin”, no one condemned those who walked bare breasted. That correlates with the Bible as explained in Rom. 7:7-8. Some people contend that bare breastedness will make us lust, and lust just on its own is sinful. That is unbiblical either! Why is it that we have not stopped eating food which makes us sin when we eat too much? We control our appetites, and those who do not, use their mouths to kill themselves with obesity.

In addition, bare breastedness is not tantamount to lust because if two bare breasted women were standing in front of us, and one due to too much mileage has her breasts sleeping on her chest while the other one with less mileage has her oranges, people will look and lust more after the less mileage. Would these pictures below have the same effect on a man? If no, then lust per se is not sin; it is merely a catalyst or a generator of sin.

Perhaps I should juxtapose two verses that seem to invoke some contradiction.  The words of Jesus in Matthew 5:28 and those of James in James 1:15. If we look carefully, Jesus is talking about consumption of the sin in your heart, and James is talking about fantasizing about the object. If we say that fantasy is sin, then when you feel like to have a cold yogurt, you have sinned because you will be lusting. Until fantasy conceives on the forbidden, we do not talk of sin. It becomes sin when you fantasize for anything that is forbidden. For example; if you have sex with someone’s wife in your heart; whether you do it in person or not, it is sin. That does not make it sin simply by wishing if you saw the same woman and wished (lust) she was your wife or she was in bed with you. Even those who are married will tell you that they have seen some people and wished they were married to them, or those who are single have seen some people and wished they were their spouses. Does that mean they have sinned because they express an inner desire?  
More so, although lust is just ingrained in the human heart, it must conceive to give birth to sin (James 1:15). It was not established that women who were wooed or lured into fornication or adultery were all bare breasted at the time the sin was taking place. Whether a woman is covered from her head to her feet, people will still lust after her. Some men just need to now this is a woman, and their lust engine goes into motion. Am I lying ladies and gentlemen? If covering eradicates sin, then there will neither be adultery nor fornication in those Muslim countries where the women cover themselves with burqas.

Biblically, the breasts of a woman have not been shown as part of nudity that God set an injunction against. When Adam and Eve sinned and realized they were naked, they lacked only dross. When they realized they were naked, the Bible says they made themselves /aprons/ (Gen 3:7), in Hebrew chăgôrâh which has the English equivalence of a belt for the waist. Take note.. it is the waist and not the chest. The breasts are found on the chest and not waist, if you have forgotten. Please pardon my reminder, but I had to do it! The word apron is used only twice and in the second place where it is used: Acts 19:12, it simply means narrow covering. It would befit my explanation considering that when compared with the aprons chefs use, it would be misinterpretation since Paul would not have had that type because they did not exist by then. The Bible says God sewed animal skin for them to cover their nakedness (Gen 3:21). God had made coats of skins to clothe Adam and Eve not to cover their nudity only but to protect them from air borne and skin diseases that could easily ensnare them if they were topless.

Historically, during the Roman Empire, the buckles, belt plates and aprons were metalic. Around the 1800s, aprons were used by women to protect their skirts (worn from waist downwards) during working hours. Again, a little reminder, skirts were not worn on the chest level. If Aprons were meant to cover only the waist then nakedness did not involve the chest. That will again support the fact that the aprons Adam and Eve made did not reach the chest level. I hope you do remember that the breasts are on the chest. Sorry, I have to keep reminding some of you.

If nakedness comprises the breasts, then since God made both Adam and Even with breasts, the chest of a man is part of nudity. That too would not be true because the Old Testament priest was cautioned not to climb right high less he shows his nakedness (Ex 20:26). Remember he was wearing his garment, yet they said he should not climb up the stairs not to show his nakedness. How would he have shown his nudity if he had his cassock on? It is not metonymical since the same expression is repeated in most passages in Leviticus. That entails only the genital was nudity since the priest was covered till the ankle, but he did not have an underwear. Don't be alarmed; priests did not wear underwear.

Another case was that of Noah. In Genesis 9, Noah was lacking underwear. Even our drawings and pictures have always shown Noah lacking only underwear. That is what the Bible called nakedness (nudity): exposing the peacemakers.

Is Barack Obama on a Hawaii Beach nude? Now, could you imagine Michele Obama in the same posture? The media would have read: "Sacrilege in America; the president's wife goes nude!" I don't know how much the journalist would auction the photograph because it would look like some special breasts, and special breasts they would be. 

Culturally, most societies using the nakedness of the woman as a curse have never used the breasts. The old women in Africa washed their genitals to curse or threaten to curse culture and customs defaulters. A virgin was never included in the process because she was still considered pure. Until the coming of the Whiteman, Africans walked naked, but there were no rapes. Furthermore, sex was not a commodity too. Clothes were only worn by prostitutes.

If eternity is in the heart of all men as the Bible says, it means that, God would have made the entire humanity aware that bare breastedness was a sin, even before the arrival of the Whiteman to Africa. The Bible again says that those who did not have the word of God before they died, their consciences would be used as the canon to judge them (Rom 2:12-15). By implication, the innate fear of God is put in the hearts of all humans because truth is not relative. That means; if God put bare breastedness as nudity in the hearts of the Westerners, then He would have put the same thing in the hearts of the Orientals. Adultery is considered wrong in all cultures; Christian or heathen, agnostics or Atheists!

Remember it was not because the Westerner was more civilized than the African since civilization began in Africa (Egypt) and not in Europe or America. The Africans who did not cover their genitals was not because they did not know it was sinful; it was because they did not have the constant covering. Most of them sewed their clothes from leaves and ropes to cover their genitals, way before the Westerner could even bring fanciful clothes. One has to remember when clothes were invented. Immediately after the fall. Therefore, bare breasts is a sin to be invented, defined and introduced by the Westerner into the African culture. As such, women should be allowed to walk barebreasted without being condemned. 

Africans should feel comfortable to keep dancing as they used to without fear of sin. The inclusion of the female breast as part of nudity is because of the male chauvinistic influence on language. The man has always tried to make a woman subservient to him. By defining her breasts as nudity, he regulates the dress code of the woman to his proclivity. There is nothing immoral about the breasts of women.

Why have we never cried foul when topless male models appear on Fear Factor and other TV programs? Did America not cry foul when Janet Jackson’s nipple tugged its head outside to catch some fresh-air? It was called a wardrobe malfunction. That is male chauvinism in action! When Hilary Clinton had her First Degree, people said she had a bachelor. Why is a woman having a Bachelor Degree instead of a Spinster Degree or a Mrs Degree for the married? Language has been structured to favor men and so does dressing too. Some woman should sue her university for naming her bachelor rather than spinster.

However, there is a fear the excesses of the Reed Dance could lead to nudity because people could be tempted to emulate their morally bankrupt counterparts as screened in western pornographic movies. The Africans should only watch against its immoderations. One thing most people do not know is that all those girls dancing in the Reed Dance are virgins. How many of these Western girls at that age who cover themselves from toe to head are virgins? Which is better: dancing barebreasted and keeping yourself chaste or dancing with your clothes on and being promiscuous? American women cannot even breastfeed in public, but they can watch porn. Actually, the Reed Dance is a time when young girls come face to face with their bodies and develop the perfect self esteem to deal and accept their bodies. The Reed Dance would actually help western kids to accept their bodies and avoid breasts, vagina, lip etc plastic surgeries. In the Reed Dance, every body type is celebrated. Westerners should start organizing their own Reed Dance. I don't mean stripteasing or Nude camps. because those are exploitative and sinful. Anytime you expose your vagina or penis in public, you have sinned. I mean just have these adolescents and teenagers dance bare-breasted to celebrate their bodies.

Therefore, the Zulus should continue their Annual Reed Dance for virgins without fear they are inviting the wrath of God. It has never been a sin; it is not a sin, and it will not be a sin if we stay only on the toplessness. That which was sinful has been established and put in our hearts time immemorial, so anything introduced yesterday or today would only be a continuation of the “Whiteman’s Burden”. Woe unto Africans if they should encumber that egregious religious or vestal lumber the second time!

Until then, nudity starts and ends with the genitals.

Prince and PA Hamilton Ayuk
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