There was an accident this week on Riara Road involving a matatu and an SUV. It was the matatu driver’s fault and the owner of the other car called the cops to the scene. They arrived at the same time with the matatu owner, a woman, who had also been called to the scene by her driver.
She wanted to resolve the issue with the owner of the SUV, but the cops called a tow truck. Upset, she used “The weapon”, which is rarely used and when it happens, is only used as an anguished last resort.
This weapon is the female body. She stripped. The curse of nakedness is invoked only under the most extreme of circumstances. The symbolism of it is that we came into the world through the birth canal. By exposing her body, a woman is saying that you are dead. That she wishes she had not given birth to you. That she has no respect whatsoever for you. It’s a form of social execution that men are terrified of. This curse is meant to be powerful enough to make a man’s life a living hell.
Women usually invoke this curse for the big stuff; Like when people are messing with the environment and that kind of thing. To protect future generations, you will find elderly women participating in this kind of social protest that always makes men back down.
I’ve never seen anyone invoke it over something as trite as a traffic incident. As I mentioned before, this curse originates from the idea of the birth canal so it doesn’t work both ways. A man can’t curse in this fashion.
I’d like to point that out (especially to Fred Ouda, a Siaya County MCA), who stripped in his office last June, protesting against a Tweet that came from a Ruto parody account. You cannot use the power of the vulva if you don’t have one!
This is not just an African belief. The Greeks called it Anasyrma. Gorgons baring their vulvas were depicted on armour as a way of warding off enemies. Same case in Italy. Stories abound of enemy ships retreating in shame, in countries such as Turkey when women pulled down their garments (as is the case with the warrior Bellerophon).
A similar thing happened in Ireland when, faced with 150 naked women, a famous warrior, Uster, lowered his eyes to avoid looking at them and was thus overcome easily. There are other examples in China, Mexico, India and numerous other countries where wars were quelled due to women raising their skirts.
In France, there is a popular story of a woman who put the very devil to flight by showing him her vulva. In Africa, it’s a regular occurrence. From Nigeria, to Cameroon, Ivory Coast to Senegal and Mali, indeed, all across the continent, stories about the power of the vulva are told.
In Kenya, in 1922, a woman exposed her body to galvanise youth to try and free Harry Thuku. Wangari Maathai is another example. She had joined some elderly women who were on hunger strike to pressure the government to release their sons, who were political prisoners.
The police attacked the group of women (who were protesting peacefully at Uhuru Park) and beat them senseless. To protest the violence, they stripped naked. The police immediately retreated and the country turned against then President Moi, who was blamed for pushing these elderly women to that desperation point.
The vulva is sacred. All around the world, for centuries, it has calmed seas, stopped wars, corrected injustices and saved the environment. Exposing it for a traffic incident is a grotesque abuse of power. Only call on those big guns when it’s very, very important.