The naked truth…

…is that the naked ape seems to have a problem with his own nakedness. Sorry, it’s not his nakedness but her nakedness that everybody seems to be bothered about. Society, religion, culture, everywhere they’re stubbing their toes, big & small, on this one, all-important issue of what & how much or how little a woman can or should wear. Among the 5,000-odd mammal species on earth we are the only ones who are effectively naked, which means without fur. And the only thing that’s hindering our progress is the lack of a proper dress code, it seems.

Six to eight million years ago we began to get rid of our fur because we came out of the virgin (!) forest to live in semi-aquatic regions & open savannahs. We retained some of our fur, such as on the head, as a protection against the sun, whereas the rest of the body hair was retained presumably for sexual purposes such as enhancing pheromones.

The moment we’d got rid of the fur, we started ‘borrowing’ the skins & the fur of other, far more clever animals to make up for our lack of – and why just skins & furs? Fig leaves, borrowed feathers, the barks of trees, we used everything to hide our nakedness because – yes, because nakedness got irrevocably & inextricably entangled with sexuality & sexual selection, where we again have to diffentiate between the state of nakedness and the quality of nakedness – what?

Shut up? Okay, I shall.

To begin again, the sight of nakedness arouses sexual desire – about the first programme that Evolution wrote. A smooth, hairless, unblemished skin is taken to be a sign of health. The female wishes a strong & healthy male partner in the (subconscious) hope that the progeny will inherit the genes of the father. The male prefers a healthy female partner so that she will be able to carry, give birth to, have enough milk to feed and generally rear the child – including running away from other predators, both animal and human! – with greater speed & agility.

And then came property, power & authority, on the one hand, and inheritance, succession & primogeniture, on the other. The male wanted to hand over his territory & his possessions to his own progeny – hence the nature & duration of the bond between the male and the female, or marriage, in other words, began to play a role. Not just a role but the most incisive & divisive role in mankind’s attempts to control & regulate the nakedness of womankind.

From the cuckold to the cuckoo’s egg, what causes all the Misery for Man? It is the sexual attractiveness of the woman which is like a private birthday bash announced on FB that has gone public & viral through an inadvertent post by – Evolution, who else, eternally worried about not getting enough bees to pollinate its flowers. Bees pollinate flowers and human beings have children even in the midst of war, drought, famine & the bubonic plague, if necessary – that’s something Evolution should have known.

Clothes can enhance or diminish the sexual attractiveness of women. We see two schools of thought here: women are all for clothes which enhance their sexual attractiveness, even to the point of removing some/most/all of the aforesaid clothes if deemed strategically necessary and/or effective. Men are also for clothes which enhance the woman’s sexual attractiveness – but only in a one-to-one situation; one man, one woman – or maybe one man, more than one woman, why not? – but always one man, if you get what I/we mean. Otherwise we – by which I mean mankind – are in favour of restricting the disturbing & harmful & excessive attractiveness of women. If evolution made a mistake, overdid it, in a certain sense, then it is up to civilisation to exercise damage control – since there is no way of ensuring (a) that women will be born entirely without sexual attractiveness in the future and (b) get their fashion tips from the nearest nunnery.

Somehow it brings us back to Adam and Eve. ‘You need three fig leaves while I need just one,’ Adam was teasing Eve. ‘Let’s go the beach, there I’ll wear just one – it’s called a figini, I believe,’ Eve was telling Adam. ‘From fig?’ ‘No, from figure, something you won’t have much longer if you keep eating like a pig. In any case, I need a proper suntan,’ Eve declared. ‘You know what suntan means in Sanskrit? A child, or a son. Wonder how they make one?’ Adam pondered. And then he turned serious again: ‘Let’s go back to the Garden of Eden and chop down all the fig trees. They are the root of all evil, I’m convinced.’

‘Now, that sounds like human logic,’ God remarked en passant & sotto voce to the snake.

‘No fig tree, no leaves. No leaves, no…’ Adam had continued.

‘Yes?’ Eve said.

‘You’d look rather nice in a figini, you know.’

‘I know.’

‘You do?’

‘I asked the Tree of Knowledge.’

‘What did the ToK say?’

‘‘I’m off. Just google it, will you?’’


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