by Peju Akande
A woman’s body is a real piece of art; face, boobs, waist, hips, legs.
It’s no wonder the world is obsessed with women’s bodies because when you think you’ve seen it all, you are confronted with fresh sights to see. Some of us women, too, sometimes get fascinated with one another and I’m not talking lesbianism here; having gone to an all-girls school plus my experiences at the university girl’s hostels where we unashamedly discussed our bodies and swapped tales about how best to get our goods working. I’ve generally come to the conclusion that what works for Eve may not work for Rachel.
I remember when I went to the family planning unit at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital some years back for an (IUD) Intra Uterine Device. I met with a huge and mean spirited midwife/matron with a retinue of student doctors. The matron, who looked to be in her 60s clearly considered the Family Planning Unit her palace.
While I waited my turn, I listened as terrorized other out-patients with her poisonous tongue. She told one, who’d had three children in three years, that she was a slut; told another she would seal her vagina if she had the power to, as she seemed to have no use of it – the woman had had four Caesarean sections.
When it got to my turn, Mama Matron pointed to the gurney and asked me to take off my undies, lie on the gurney and spread my legs. “Spread it wide as if daddy wants to do his thing,” she instructed.
I saw the student doctors trying hard to look professional. My nakedness wasn’t clearly the first they would see, because its common knowledge that these students have their clinical at regular intervals at different departments within the hospital complex, but I wasn’t ready to have those medical ‘kids’ gaze at my body and I told Mama Matron so.
“Ehen, Ki lo wi!” She bellowed. I made her day with my refusal. I saw her eyes light up as she pulled on her latex gloves and settled those tyre-like arms on her thick waist.
Matron: This is a teaching hospital, and your nakedness is nothing to us. Missis World are you going to remove your pant now? I stood my ground and stared her out. She baulked and agreed to have just one female student doctor. But she wouldn’t let me enjoy my victory.
Matron: I hope you are not one of those ashawo women who shave their pubic hair.
Me: Ashawo ke.
Matron: Yes. Two harlots came here earlier, they had shaved their bush. They were bald like gorimapa.
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