Nudism and Feminism Part 2 – Closets are for Clothes!
Nudism and Feminism Continued:
In my last post, I discussed a feminist blog about nudism, Go Naked; it’s good for everybody (but particularly for women) by CP Reece. Reece concludes her piece by discussing society’s overall disconcerting malaise in regards to nudity and what we can do to change that. She says, Naturists are often treated as gay people used to be.. How’s that for some perspective? Are naturists as repressed as women once were? As gay people once were? (Or still are in many ways.) Can we really make that comparison? Gay people have long been dealing with discrimination, oppression and denial of human rights, and by no means do I wish to trivialize their struggle with such a comparison. But there are some similarities in how gay people and naturists are viewed by society. Naturists are afraid to come out to their friends and families and feel a need to hide behind pseudonyms and separate profiles for their naturist identity. They fear employers or job recruiters firing or not hiring them because of it. They are treated unjustly by police and the law. Some U.S. states would have convicted Nigel Keer as a sex offender for taking a nude stroll out in a scenic rural area. Naturists are denied the right to go nude in public and even on their own property if visible to others, because someone might get offended or upset. They are labeled perverts, swingers, and exhibitionists as well as harmful to children.
If you are a naturist, you have probably spent much time and energy trying to dispel the misconceptions and puritan attitudes towards nudity (see: Shit Clothed People Say). But Reece says rationality and argument / influence might not be enough anymore. If we’re finally going to get equal rights like everyone else, we need radical action! And I think it’s safe to say that we are far behind in America compared to many European countries. We freak out about a nip slip on television during the Super Bowl and even waste time issuing fines. The Supreme Court is currently occupying itself counting the number of seconds that a butt can be shown on cable TV. Most of our World Naked Bike Riders can’t really be naked. Nudity is supposed to be allowed for the sake of protest or art, but arrests, fines and court dates will surely ensue if you try it. No topless beaches. Men gained the right to go topless in public in the 1930s. Over 80 years later, women still can’t do the same in most states. (But even when it IS legal, you can still get arrested. See: my Wall Street experience.)
Nigel Keer says he plans to appeal the court decision of a 315 fine for his public order offence of hiking in the nude. And I really hope he does! (If not for a nudism win, then for the sake of contesting them basing his guilt off of an unknown distressed female victim.) In any case, I think we need more activists like Nigel to push the envelope for naturists’ rights! Some might say Nigel’s actions were over the line, offensive and forcing his naturist beliefs on people. (Aren’t clothed people forcing their beliefs on us?) I think he is a great activist and will hopefully help naturists obtain the right to hike nude, which isn’t illegal there in the first place! Of course he gets fined anyway because he’s breaking the rules (Nudity rule #518: Thou shalt not show thy penis on a nature trail). Reece says she’ll be going nude in her garden, at the beach and wherever she can. Here in NY I’ll be going nude or topfree wherever I can!
I also want to share this quote from the Nurba blog:
“It’s funny, isn’t it? Funny that we can promote the right to be naked, to enjoy our body, to feel freedom, all from the comfort of our own home. And we can pretend to disregard the idea of shame, all the while we tuck ourselves away into the remotest corners, into the forest, into the desert, in our own home, where nobody will find us. We haven’t fought for our rights, we have simply found places where they aren’t challenged. We haven’t proven that we feel no shame, in fact we have proven the exact opposite, that we don’t have the courage to be outspoken, that we are complacent living secretly amongst everyone else: we have proven that there is shame where there should be none. People fear what they do not know, and we have almost deliberately denied them the understanding of nudity that we have always known.” -Nurba
A call to action! Does this describe most nudists and naturists? Are we being all too complacent and secretive, perpetuating the nudity-is-shameful mindset? He’s right, it is easy to be complacent, quiet and go nude where it’s not challenged. But we want to challenge people and society.
To all of you reading this, I encourage you to push the envelope. To defy cultural norms. To ignore what society tells you to look like and just be as you are. To get radical. Ladies, to challenge patriarchal rules and put down that magazine telling you to diet diet diet, buy a lot of make-up, and obsess about your looks / body. It’s all nonsense; a pernicious way of distracting women from their true power. To walk your visible or invisible dog while topless. To talk to as many others as possible about naturism. Hell, just use the nude beach and visit nudist clubs, resorts and campgrounds to support them. We are constantly working on making these more accessible to everyone and used by everyone.
Spring is just about arrived, and summer will closely follow! Let’s go nude everywhere we can and exercise the rights we do have as naturists!