Guest Author - Gina Cowley
I have a confession to make - and it is best to get such things out of the way at the beginning - as we make our introductions, dear reader. Brace yourself: I am a woman, possessed of womanly attributes, two of which are: breasts. Brave reader, don’t turn away! I presume to believe that you are likewise possessed and if not in the way that I am, to be sure your mother is. Peruse this site. Take comfort where you may find it. Many, if not most of the editors herein are women also possessed presumably of breasts.
I have planned to pen many articles I am hopeful will entice you, provoke you, stoke you; not one of which is about breasts. I could not have predicted a need for a piece on breasts and was sadly surprised this week when I learned that the prime minister of Italy, you read correctly dear reader, Italy! so as to avoid offending any nipple sensitivity in that country where church and bosom have resided for hundreds of years side by side ordered veiled the breast of Truth, (yes reader, truth was allegorically depicted more often than not in antiquity as a woman, partially naked - as she should never be cloaked).
You sense my dismay that as did former Attorney General of the United States John Ashcroft several years ago in the Great Hall of the Department of Justice with the statues “Majesty of Law” (male) and “Spirit of Justice” (female), sadly did Silvio Berlusconi this week to Tiepolo’s “Time Unveiling Truth,” both men having suffered the misfortune of single breast backdrop exposure during press conferences. Ashcroft’s exposure handled by the hanging of blue drapes in 2002 over the offending breast and Berlusconi’s exposure covered by simply retouching the photograph of Tiepolo’s painting which depicts a gnarled Father Time de-cloaking a beautiful and scantily clad Truth, as in time reveals all truths, so as to cover the troublesome nipple.
A truth revealed here today is that women have breasts. We now know, women, that our issues as numerous and wonderful and tragic and political and as fraught with contempt and worry and heartache and politics and longing as they are prone to be, begin with our bosom. Where children may nurse and are comforted or beg forgiveness - where a loved one finds peace in an embrace. The bosom: of which little boys dream of their first glimpse, of which little girls dread or embrace the coming. I say before we decide “what” we are: conservative or liberal; feminist or womanist or any other “ist;” that we say, united, to the world, do not fear the breast! That we say so that we can continue to progress: whether American or Italian, it is a breast, only a breast and everything.
Perhaps there is hope still in France.