Anasyrma is the proper name for the gesture of lifting the skirt or kilt. You may think that this is simply flashing, but it goes deeper than that. Whereas flashing or indecent exposure is linked to personal sexual arousal, i.e. the flasher gets off on it, Anasyrma is done purely for the benefit of the onlooker, to either provoke or shock or scare them away.
From the Ancient Greek, and linked to ancient cults, the gesture is mostly associated (although not exclusively) with women, as their genitals are purported to contain powerful magic, not least the ability to give life. Female nether regions can also be used to influence the weather and frighten angry Gods, as well as to ward off attack.
In parts of Africa, Anasyrma is still used as a curse. It is used as a last resort because showing a man your personal areas in anger can induce impotence, madness and death, not to mention sore eyes.
In 1875, 10,000 murderous Afghan brigands were repulsed by a few hundred British soldiers in an engagement at the Khyber Pass. The Highland Regiment, vastly outnumbered, low on ammunition and expecting death, performed a mass act of Anasyrma, lifting their kilts in a final act of defiance which, unexpectedly, scared the aggressors away. Thinking about it, though, that’s just the end of ‘Carry On Up The Khyber’.
Anasyrma is not to be confused with mooning, not least because the latter is exclusively arsecentric so, effectively, is the exact opposite. The Maori people call this practice Whakapone, but in their culture it has a more symbolic meaning, whereas in our culture mooning is usually performed as an act of casual rebellion, mild contempt or whilst pissed up and trying to spark homoerotic feelings in a flat mate.