One day, long ago, my husband suggested a book for me to read with the glowing praise of "this is the type of book you might like." Not believing he had even paid attention to any of the books I read, I responded with a question. "What type of books do I like?" He paused and said "You know, about women." I grimaced. My husband, who is a pretty intelligent man, could only recommend a book to me based on the fact that it was about "women." He couldn't even fully explain what he meant by that. I didn't get angry, but I did become disappointed.
My husband, however, did redeem himself this past Christmas by giving me this book as a present. He said that when he saw it in Barnes and Noble that it looked like a book that I might like. I couldn't resist, and asked him why I would like it. "Because, it is a book about Black women talking about their bodies and society's influence on how they've been taught to think about their bodies. The essays are part sexuality and part sociology." A light bulb had gone off in my husband's head. Naked
is a book about women and it is a book that I would like. As a matter of fact, it is a book I absolutely love and I believe every woman should read it.
Every essay is a like miniature jewel. The best that I've read thus far is by Precious Jackson
--an HIV-positive woman and safe sex and AIDS activist. She goes on to recount her childhood and adolescence where her grandmother taught her to hate her body as early as age 6 and leaving her in the dark about puberty and sex. When she became a young lady, she learned the power of her body and became promiscuous while trying to find someone to fill that void of body/self-love. It wasn't until Precious became HIV+ that she learned to love herself inside and out and to care for herself physically and spiritually. That essay should be the foundation for every conversation about sex a caregiver or parent has with their teenager.