Yesterday, Jason brought home the current issue of Vanity Fair magazine. This issue had apparantly created some buzz because Scarlett Johansson and Kiera Knightly were photographed nude for the cover(forgive me if I've misspelled, Jason took the mag with him and it is sign of getting old #157 that you can't remember new actors names).
I don't know why (other than the fact that America is highly bi-polar about sex) there was any fuss. The cover was well done, classic (and classy) nudes. The only problem I had was that the male in the picture was clothed and that's a sign of male dominance. But I won't go there.
Why do we make such a fuss about female nudes? Whether photographed, painted or carved? Everyone likes to look at them. Even women. The female form is beautiful to us. And it isn't about the sex act on an individual level. Not fully. I know there are men out there who just drool and lust without considering why they do so.
It is part of a deeply buried core memory if you will. This goes way way back before men decided to create a male diety and to use their physical strength to destroy the previous diety, which was the cult of the goddess.
Almost all ancient cultures worshipped a goddess. And why not? Women are the creators of life. Way back before they figured out what a sperm was, it was women who miraculously brought forth a new life. It was women who knew the plants to gather to ward off starvation when the hunts failed. It was women who the entire clan's lives centered around.
And the greatest of goddesses, we still know: Mother Earth. There is a reason why we refer to the planet as a female. She provided for our ancestors, animals to eat and their skins to wear, plants to gather for food and fire, water and rain for drinking. She still provides for us, oxygen to breath, food and water, timber and oil and minerals to fuel our modern life style.
Even though these days we treat poor Mother Earth more like we are a drunk husband coming home on a Saturday night to our bruised and battered wife rather than reverent and thankful worshippers of a goddess.
But that acknowledgment is still there, deep in our genetic code, that is why we find the female form pleasing to the eye. It is why the Christains scream immoral, it's why the Muslims make their women cover themselves from head to toe. It's why (observant) Jewish women must cover their hair and dress modestly.
Men fear the power of the female. We are the creators and keepers of life.