I salute today’s young generation for their creativity and courage to go out on a limb to get themselves heard.

I think it was the second time around that the Alyansa ng Nagkakaisang Lakas ng Kabataan did the naked protest on the same lingering issue of unaffordable quality education for all. It somehow worked for Arroyo who lambasted the education officials for the backlog in classrooms nationwide. It somehow worked as well for the Congress who increased education budget by four billion pesos.

Be that as it may, I was totally shocked to have seen my fellow men (although they’re definitely much younger than thirtysomethings like me) completely bare.

Going public naked from the waist down never crossed my mind. I can only admire those capable of doing it.

I remember when I was in Grade 2 school, I was one of the talkative pupils. Our teacher caught me chatting (even when I was doing it silently) with a seatmate while she was teaching us. She angrily asked me and my seatmate to stand up and go in front of the class, together with three other boys caught in the same ‘misdemeanour’.

We were totally clueless as to what she would do to us as a penalty. I was the first kid in the row, so I was the first one penalized: She unbuttoned my short pants and pulled them down, enough to expose my penis. All four other guys were meted the same draconian penalty. I remember one of us struggling against the teacher not to proceed with it. Two of us cried. I sobbed.

The class voyeurs were not united in reaction. Some laughed, some were evidently relucant to see in dislike (maybe they were religious or taught by their parents that seeing dicks their young age was bad).

From there on, I have developed a sense of embarassment even of the thought of exposing that part of my body to many people. Yes, I have done it several times, for instance, with colleagues in a group shower room but I think I will never do it in public.

I wish today’s teachers have improved their ways of instituting discipline in the classrooms. They must cherish their profession as a God’s calling for them to develop confidence, not embarassment, to their protege. As for my kids, so far, so good. They have so far been treated by their teachers like human beings.

Now, back to the topic. The question is: Is an ordinary man (I mean, one that has not been traumatized like me) willing to show his wares to the public, just for a great cause? Or, to put it more bluntly, can a thirtysomething or fortysomething at the very least sacrifice privacy (if that’s the apt phrase), even to the point of revealing a secret about his manhood, for a great cause?

I don’t know, but maybe, if naked protest is the ONLY way to change the society, I may give in. I wonder if you guys agree.

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