The Nudism Gender Problem Part 2: Addressing Harassment

| December 22, 2016 | 11 Comments

Nudism & Gender Issues: Let’s Talk About Safety and Harassment

It was good to see that my last article about naturism and single male policies generated a lot of discussion on our website and on social media. It seems like most people actually agreed with us that naturism should be inclusive rather than exclusive.

I’d added a poll at the end of my article asking if nudist resorts, clubs, groups, etc should restrict entry to single men in order to have a better gender ratio. Out of over 400 votes, the overwhelming majority – nearly 80% — said “No.” Twelve percent voted yes, and about 9% said “Not sure.”

nudism gender balance nudist clubs poll results yna

Some of the online discussion around my article focused on a different issue related to men – harassment and /or behavior by men that makes women (and / or others) feel uncomfortable.

Like it or not, harassment does happen and nudist places are not exempt from such behavior. (Guys, even if you don’t see it yourself, it does. Ask a woman.) And when it does happen, more often than not, the target is a woman and the perpetrator is a man. I know there are times when it’s couples and even women doing the harassment, and men have experienced it too. But as I said, the vast majority of the time, it’s men doing it to women.

Harassment is seen as a secondary justification or excuse for restricting men’s presence. But I don’t think it should be. I think the important question is not, How do we keep the male creepos out? so much as it is, How do create a more comfortable environment for women?

Here’s why. For one thing, harassment at nudist facilities is not that common – far less than just walking down NYC streets. (Sexual assault or more serious crimes are even less common.) Most men, single or not, behave as they’re expected to and don’t cause problems.

I think a woman is more likely to be harassed, aggressively pursued or groped by a stranger at a bar (or by a non-nudist family member perhaps), than within a nudist club. Private naturist clubs, events and nudist groups screen their guests and have strict rules in place. There’s a place / person to report bad behavior, and management can swiftly deal with it.

If we’re going to restrict or ban single men with the idea that it’ll reduce the pervert count, we might as well ban all men.

As I previously noted, clubs have also been known to treat all single male visitors like they don’t belong until they prove otherwise (in essence they are guilty until they prove they’re innocent). I think this is really unproductive and bad for business. People should be judged by their behavior, not their gender. Like they say at Freedom Fields Naturist Ranch in Canada, “Your behavior is your passport.”

Public nude beaches can be a very different story as far as harassment goes. They definitely attract more weird people, and it’s not as easy to confront someone on your own. On some nude beaches people are pretty good at scouting out creeps and looking out for each other. I swear I’ve also seen more women at Gunnison Beach than I have at certain nudist clubs!

I think that when harassment does occur in a nudist place, the bad behavior may be more subtle. Like a guy who stands just a bit too close, invading your personal space. Maybe he also puts an arm around you. Or a guy who just quietly stares or leers at you. Or maybe he looks you up and down or offers an unsolicited “compliment” about your naked body.

This type of behavior is difficult for others to witness (and confront right then). It’s also more difficult to report. I think that these guys are trying to do whatever they think they can get away with. They know they’re doing something wrong but they push the envelope.

However, that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be reported. Women (and people in general) should always be encouraged to say something when someone has done something to make them feel uncomfortable. And whatever the reported behavior is, it should always be taken seriously. I actually have heard stories (not many) of clubs that have brushed off women’s reports of someone harassing them. That should not be happening, EVER!

We must remember that outside the nudist world, female victims of harassment, sexual assault or rape are very often not taken seriously. They are dismissed, discredited and even blamed for what happened to them. For this and other reasons, a large percentage of sexual assault crimes and sexual violence go unreported. With rape for example, even when it is reported, very few cases result in jail time or punishment for the rapist. And don’t get me started on the crazy backlog of rape kits across the country.

Some women experience sexual harassment on the street every single day. For many, safety considerations are a normal part of everyday decisions – like what might be the safest route to take home or how late to stay out.

Harassment at a nudist place can possibly ruin a woman’s experience and completely turn her off nudism forever. For a female first-timer, any form of harassment may be compounded by the fact that she is naked and already feeling vulnerable.

I think we need to keep all of this in mind when we’re considering how best to maintain a safe and comfortable nudist environment for women.

So how DO we make women feel safer and more comfortable?

I wish that increasing women’s sense of safety in naturism were as simple as coming up with new anti-pervert policies. I said we should instead focus on the above question, but this one is much harder to answer. Why? Because we’re talking about an internalized problem.

In the single men article, I talked about our concern that women will show up to a male-dominated naked party and feel like they just walked into a social event for male voyeurs. Even if every guy is respectful and not creepy, to the woman it feels like “danger ahead.”

nudism gender imbalance issue women nudist men yna

I’ve known some women who really have trouble enjoying a nudist setting because they are so preoccupied with the idea that men are looking at them, whether in a sexual way or not. (Like the author of this Buzzfeed article for example.) It’s unfortunate but also an obvious result of our culture.

Addressing these types of internal feelings is much harder than coming up with a new policy. As I’ve said before I think it requires a major cultural shift. It’s slowly happening but I think it’s going to take a while.

We can’t regulate feelings and we can’t prevent every incident of bad behavior in co-ed nudism. But we can set clear, solid rules of behavior. We can respond quickly when inappropriate behavior occurs. And we can also make sure everyone knows how to report an incident and that we always want them to come forward – “if you see something, say something.”

With the standard rules of harassment, I think some words about consent would also be helpful. “Nudity is not consent” is a good feminist rule.

I also think being straightforwardly inclusive and LGBTQIA-friendly would help convey that a naturist place or event is a safe environment for women and everyone.

nudism nudity consent gender issues naturism yna

Nudity does not equal consent

The Naturist Living Show Podcast

I recently discussed my last article and nudist gender issues with Stéphane Deschênes for the Naturist Living Show podcast (stay tuned for this episode to come out!). It was interesting to get the perspective of a club owner (he owns Bare Oaks Naturist Park).

He talked about how they deal with the occasional misbehaving male visitor at Bare Oaks. They’ll give out warnings (“you’re making others uncomfortable”) for the more subtle inappropriate behavior, but every incident is handled on a case-by-case basis.

Stéphane said that he’s not only concerned about reported behavior but about incidents going unreported. And that’s a concern that every club and group should share. You can’t address something you don’t know about.

He brought up the question of how to tell every new visitor to report any harassment without it seeming like it’s happening all the time. Of course we can put it in the rules (which some may not read). But I think the best approach is to simply tell everyone to come forward if anyone makes them uncomfortable in any way.

You can hear more of our discussion on the upcoming podcast episode, which should be available within a few days.

I’d also like to hear from the community on this and especially from women. Have you experienced harassment in a naturist place? Was it handled well? What else can we do to make women feel safe and comfortable in social nudist settings?

Young Naturists & Nudists America

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Category: Felicity's Nudist Blog, Feminism and Women's Issues, Naturist Living Show Podcast

About the Author ()

Author of Felicity's Blog. Co-founder of Young Naturists America. 3rd-generation nudie. Avid reader. Feminist. 70% vegan, 30% vegetarian. When I'm not busy eating, I'm writing about naturism, censorship, topfree equality, body image and other fun topics. I like feedback, so plz leave a comment when you've got something to say!
  • DavidPabian

    One SCNA Member’s Response, not intended as reflecting the views of SCNA membership or association.

    D.P. Pabian

    I read with interest the SCNA February newsletter article by Felicity Jones on “The Nudism Gender Problem,” as well as her earlier related article posted on the Young Naturists & Nudists America website, and came away feeling that both were missed opportunities on a too-familiar theme in nudist discussions, publications and other online forums.

    Her poll and its results are interesting, her own thoughts on the responses generally insightful. But ultimately the article is yet another warning to predator men (or “creeps,” as she puts it twice) to just stay away if they can’t behave. Wait— no, it’s really saying that all men should stay away if they can’t behave, and that’s what got me — this business about behavior, and all the onus for behaving being put on men.

    In an increasingly postfeminist world it’s chilling to encounter advocacy amounting to not only replacing women on pedestals, but making sure those women are formed of the most delicately tempered glass, durable when carefully handled but guaranteed to explode in a fury of shards if not. In this context, “if not” might translate as some guy offering a friendly smile as he timidly tiptoes by. We can all agree on the “empowerment” of women being a good thing, but the word is debased when expressed as vague rules of behavior and threats of venue expulsion to be heeded specifically by men. Are the equality goals of feminism not enough, is purity-policing the goal now? It’s certainly empowerment of a type — it’s called passive aggression.

    Ms. Jones doesn’t seem to be guilty of subscribing to the deranged fantasy some feminists hold that men are flawed creations of bad programming that makes them do all sorts of things that are, to use the insipid adjective of victimhood, “inappropriate,” and strongly states her opinion that it’s “unproductive and bad for business” for nudist venues to see single men as probably predatory until they prove they’re not, and that people should be judged by their behavior, not their gender. This is all laudable and I think it would be irrational and unproductive in the extreme to disagree with any of it.

    But as the article continues, postmodern puritanism rears up, very subtly suggesting that there are just two kinds of men — the enlightened that follow the rules set down by women who proclaim their right to feel “safe” wherever they go, and the boors and creeps who don’t. In fact, the latter are more likely just not interested in the edicts of often narcissistically contrived social trends, but still know how to be civil and, yes, gentlemen, in social environments, clothed or not. There are beings on this planet whose bodies and behaviors are fueled to a considerable degree by testosterone; they are called “males,” and exist throughout the animal kingdom. Aside from those prohibiting physical force or obvious intimidation and unarguable harassment, behavioral proscriptions based on current socially constructed fashions that torture a basic fact of nature into some kind of permanent liability for which women must be ever on the alert can be a very destructive thing psychologically for the women who buy the false concept.

    I think it’s a mistake to re-define civility, politeness and consideration to fit the “special” environment of co-ed social nudity by tacking onto these humane attributes censorious rules for heightened sensitivity when naked with others. It makes the default human condition, naked, an even more suspect state to enjoy socially in the minds of those who hate the idea to begin with. Overloading more than a century of common sense rules for social nudist behavior with unwritten but stringent amendments involving personal space, comfortability and feeling safe as requirements for being naked with others, we might as well be saying, “Nudism isn’t about sex, but it sure would be if we ever let up on our paranoia.”

    For me, one goal of nudism is actually to relax and forget we’re in a “special” environment, we’re just with friends who for whatever reason enjoy life without the encumbrance of clothes. Trying to over-refine the conditions allowing that natural state of being might actually work against us, giving some women who might be interested in nudism reasons not to be interested, e.g., “Wow, women really seem to have lots of problems at these nudist joints, men are always hitting on them and stuff. Forget it.” And fun in the sun’s not such fun when experienced through a murky layer of ill-defined, one-sided decrees.

    Once Jones gets past her poll, which involves real people and real numbers — leading me to think the rest of the article would be a more detailed discussion of it, with maybe specifics from some of the respondents — she drops the poll completely and tumbles into the pit of vague subjectivity with: “Some of the online discussion around my article focused on a different issue related to men — harassment and/or behavior by men that makes women (and/or others) feel uncomfortable.”

    It’s nice to see her fairness in following that up with her observation that harassment and sexual assault are less common in nudist facilities than elsewhere, and that “even women” can harass and that “men have experienced it too.” I’ve experienced women (men also, but I’ll focus on women’s harassment as did Jones) complimenting or throwing an arm around me or buying me a drink, and I appreciate it no matter who they are, whether they’re sober or not, 20 or 90 or whatever. I’m glad they’re comfortable doing it and so I’m comfortable too. If more is suggested I might say, “I’m very flattered, but I’d better stick to my plans today,” at which both of us might feel a little uncomfortable, but such feelings come and go at any social gathering. The concept that a purely subjective level of one’s comfortability should impact anyone but oneself is just a tad crazy. That men should consult some invisible rule book at every contemplated action to check if it could conceivably make any one of the nearby women they’ve never met uncomfortable is getting close to a description of insanity.

    No one, short of being confrontational with intention to offend, threaten, make overt suggestions or demands by word or action, is responsible for someone else’s emotional state, which might be based on real or imagined events that have nothing to do with the present situation. And some nearby conversation or glimpse of fleeting non-exhibited erection is also of no concern to anyone beyond those personally involved, however offended a witness might be (thinking one has a right not to be offended is such offensive self-regard it absolutely offends me).

    But there are indications in Jones’s article that it’s okay for a third party to somehow determine the motives behind an action the third party finds offensive and inform someone else of it. This amounts to ruling by implied threat and the word for it is fascism.

    “And we can also make sure everyone knows how to report an incident… —‘if you see something, say something.’” This blanket “let’s all be alert little snitches for the good of the group” is a disturbingly paranoid and repressive aspect of America today, and it’s terrible to see it eagerly embraced by those who probably consider themselves progressives. I think it’s much sicker in the larger social context than the occasional individual who might make a clumsy but totally ineffectual and easily rejected play for someone.

    Jones seems to think it’s up to men to negotiate the invisible inner workings of the minds of women they may not even know, and gets a bit higher on her horse to righteously proclaim that, although it’s difficult, people should report the following examples of “harassment”:

    “… a guy who stands just a bit too close, invading your personal space. Maybe he also puts an arm around you.” Or maybe he doesn’t. Do you still report him? Maybe you do if he looks like John Malkovich on a bad day, and maybe you reconsider if he looks like Ryan Gosling on any day. But one’s personal space should be of concern only to the one claiming the real estate and is very likely somewhat malleable in circumference anyway, depending on any number of personal factors. The non-science of proxemics being hashed around in some narcissistic head for outrage potential while sitting by a beautiful pool under a beautiful sky is actually a pretty sad image.

    Then there’s this one: “Or maybe he looks you up and down or offers an unsolicited ‘compliment’ about your naked body.” Here Jones plays a bit of a game and cues the reader for the proper reaction by using the obviously unnecessary term “naked body” to make her example more salacious sounding, thus more of a threat, and to actually appeal to negative preconceptions of shame and secrecy. And I guess I know what she means by “an unsolicited compliment,” but I can’t resist asking if she considers it okay for women to be soliciting them.

    Jones admits that these subjective reactions to perceived offenses are indeed “internal feelings,” and so senses the problem with her thesis but doesn’t fully see it.

    The problem is endemic to the issue of sexual harassment everywhere, as news stories abound with statistics and percentages culled from women who say the’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted in places such as schools, the military, work, at parties, etc., and the numbers are often shocking and sometimes unbelievable. Serious harassment and assaults unfortunately occur and particularly egregious cases are reported by the media. But surveys conducted to determine a general idea of the problem fall very short of establishing anything tangible. I have not heard or read one news story on polling about harassment where the reporter asks the obvious question, “What actions besides overt taunts or threats, physical attack or rape constitute sexual harassment and/or assault?” That opens a messy can of worms and reporters may intentionally avoid the answer gotten away with in the past – “whatever makes a woman feel harassed or assaulted,” which can mean anything and so means nothing.

    Laws, rules and social theories that have any meaning always and only come from specifics. I’ve heard affirmations made publicly by some feminists in defense of women who’ve made claims against men from subjective perceptions. I don’t think Felicity Jones qualifies as a member of the resentful gender police herself, but she might take those who are a little too seriously. Too many self-proclaimed feminists (as well as non-feminists and even men) take any opportunity to demonstrate their hyper-sensitive outrage at any imagined slight or perceived harassment they witness, and waste everyone’s time with rules that can only be enforced with, “I know it when I see it, and you just broke it, Malkovich.”

    Having said all this, it really boils down to my belief that this whole issue of women needing to feel “safe” at a co-ed nudist venue is a phony one — at best it’s micromanaging solutions for a problem that rarely exists, at worst it’s a muddled theory looking for a place to land. If you ask people if they’ve ever been sexually harassed you’re likely to get a lot of positives. If you break it down to categories or specific crimes, lots of pesky negatives and defensive waffling start showing up.

    Jones ends her article with some questions for women, two of them being: “Have you experienced harassment in a naturist place? Was it handled well?” But where is, “What was the nature of the harassment?” It’s a pretty important question and one would think a relevant one. I’m sure many women who answer Jones’s request will probably voluntarily fill in that blank, but its absence drops into the room a big naked elephant begging the question. I hope Jones is as fair in reporting the responses as she is in showing the results of her poll, and is wary of canned answers; it’s a sure bet that the seriousness of any issue is suspect when people expressing their opinions on it never get beyond the catchphrases and buzzwords of its current public discourse.

    Over several decades we’ve been subjected to fads such as, “I’m being objectified,” “I feel violated by the male gaze,” “I have an inner child,” and many other glib banalities that have lost all meaning if they ever had any. The need to feel “safe” is one of the more recent modes of the infantilizing sentimentality of victimhood, and like all those before, it will eventually get quietly put away in the Embarrassing Psychobabble drawer (to make way for new ones, alas).

    Women who claim to be worried that men might look at them — men who are naked themselves in a controlled nudist environment — couldn’t be seriously interested in nudism to begin with. I actually witnessed a young woman arrive at a nudist party where she met the hosts, looked around the room at a very even mix of women and men and said, “Too many men here, I don’t think I’d be comfortable,” and left. What did she think she was going to encounter there? Her agenda was apparently only to establish her delicate super-sensitivity and make everyone regret that someone of her specialness wasn’t going to stay and share the preciously kept secret of her nudity. That’s the generous evaluation. The non-generous one is a bit more earthy.

    Jones says at the end of her article, “… I think the best approach is to simply tell everyone to come forward if anyone makes them uncomfortable in any way.” In any way! Wow. She doesn’t mean directly antagonistic approaches or aggressive physical contact or anything that would amount to targeted confrontation, just amorphous, unreal and unrealistic “uncomfortable in any way.” That’s the worst approach. Maybe before a woman comes forward with her charges she might stop to consider in what way she’s uncomfortable and what exactly it is she feels, and also if the discomfort could really affect anyone but herself to the point of even mentioning it, and whether it’s typical of the setting for most people there to react the same way to what she’s been made uncomfortable by. If she’s new to the venue, it and many people there probably predated her on the planet and have heard, seen and experienced a lot more, so before nailing her new rules of order to the trees she should probably try to figure out how things work there. And finally, how different her response might be if someone else had committed the action of offense–

    “I saw how you looking at me, creep, and I’m reporting you! Oh, hi, Ryan, I didn’t see you come in. No, there’s plenty of room, I’ll just scoot over… a little.”

    It’s very easy to turn disapproval into discomfort. Women or anyone else who are encouraged to believe that in taking off their clothes socially they are given a mandate to make and enforce rules beyond their magic domain of “space” are not ready for social nudism because they’re not even ready for life.

    After fifty years of strong feminist momentum it’s discouraging to think that any woman would want to be a delicate little flower at the mercy of men the way women were defined by the Victorians. I have met many nudist women over the years, in fact since I was a kid, and I cannot remember one who couldn’t deal with any man on equal footing. Going to the owners or managers to report someone was a last option, not the first. Of course I’m not referring to any kind of physical attempt or direct threat of harm, which definitely has to be immediately dealt with by the management or the law if necessary.

    Jones asks, “So, how DO we make women feel safer and more comfortable?” I would suggest by informing them of the long-standing general rules of nudist venues, making sure that both women and men understand them and have equal respect for one another, and that if offended by behavior directly or indirectly, to honestly consider how their personal prejudices or opinions or mental state or unrelated emotional associations might factor in their judgement, how much the issue really has or does not have to do with them personally, and to consider the fact that unfocused sensations of not being safe or of feeling uncomfortable are not grounds for reporting anyone. EVER.

    Actually, in the sixth paragraph of the article Jones offers a good start for making anyone contemplating social nudity feel more comfortable and safe, and something like it should be quoted in any venue’s information packet:

    “Harassment at nudist facilities is not that common — far less than just walking down NYC streets. (Sexual assault or more serious crimes are even less common.) Most men, single or not, behave as they’re expected to and don’t cause problems.”

    I think that says it all and is far less offensive to both men and woman than exploiting the Delicate Butterfly of Threat angle.

    Nudism is about freedom. For everyone.

  • DCLXVI Dave

    An SCNA Member’s Response
    Young Naturists America and Southern Calif Naturist Assoc.

    Felicity Jones’s poll and its results are interesting, her own thoughts on the responses generally insightful. But ultimately the article is yet another warning to predator men (or “creeps,” as she puts it twice) to just stay away if they can’t behave. Wait— no, it’s really saying that all men should stay away if they can’t behave, and that’s what got me — this business about behavior, and all the onus for behaving being put on men.

    In an increasingly postfeminist world it’s chilling to encounter advocacy amounting to not only replacing women on pedestals, but making sure those women are formed of the most delicately tempered glass, durable when carefully handled but guaranteed to explode in a fury of shards if not. In this context, “if not” might translate as some guy offering a friendly smile as he timidly tiptoes by. We can all agree on the “empowerment” of women being a good thing, but the word is debased when expressed as vague rules of behavior and threats of venue expulsion to be heeded specifically by men. Are the equality goals of feminism not enough, is purity-policing the goal now? It’s certainly empowerment of a type — it’s called passive aggression.

    Ms. Jones doesn’t seem to be guilty of subscribing to the deranged fantasy some feminists hold that men are flawed creations of bad programming that makes them do all sorts of things that are, to use the insipid adjective of victimhood, “inappropriate,” and strongly states her opinion that it’s “unproductive and bad for business” for nudist venues to see single men as probably predatory until they prove they’re not, and that people should be judged by their behavior, not their gender. This is all laudable and I think it would be irrational and unproductive in the extreme to disagree with any of it.

    But as the article continues, postmodern puritanism rears up, very subtly suggesting that there are just two kinds of men — the enlightened that follow the rules set down by women who proclaim their right to feel “safe” wherever they go, and the boors and creeps who don’t. In fact, the latter are more likely just not interested in the edicts of often narcissistically contrived social trends, but still know how to be civil and, yes, gentlemen, in social environments, clothed or not. There are beings on this planet whose bodies and behaviors are fueled to a considerable degree by testosterone; they are called “males,” and exist throughout the animal kingdom. Aside from those prohibiting physical force or obvious intimidation and unarguable harassment, behavioral proscriptions based on current socially constructed fashions that torture a basic fact of nature into some kind of permanent liability for which women must be ever on the alert can be a very destructive thing psychologically for the women who buy the false concept.

    I think it’s a mistake to re-define civility, politeness and consideration to fit the “special” environment of co-ed social nudity by tacking onto these humane attributes censorious rules for heightened sensitivity when naked with others. It makes the default human condition, naked, an even more suspect state to enjoy socially in the minds of those who hate the idea to begin with. Overloading more than a century of common sense rules for social nudist behavior with unwritten but stringent amendments involving personal space, comfortability and feeling safe as requirements for being naked with others, we might as well be saying, “Nudism isn’t about sex, but it sure would be if we ever let up on our paranoia.”

    For me, one goal of nudism is actually to relax and forget we’re in a “special” environment, we’re just with friends who for whatever reason enjoy life without the encumbrance of clothes. Trying to over-refine the conditions allowing that natural state of being might actually work against us, giving some women who might be interested in nudism reasons not to be interested, e.g., “Wow, women really seem to have lots of problems at these nudist joints, men are always hitting on them and stuff. Forget it.” And fun in the sun’s not such fun when experienced through a murky layer of ill-defined, one-sided decrees.

    Once Jones gets past her poll, which involves real people and real numbers — leading me to think the rest of the article would be a more detailed discussion of it, with maybe specifics from some of the respondents — she drops the poll completely and tumbles into the pit of vague subjectivity with: “Some of the online discussion around my article focused on a different issue related to men — harassment and/or behavior by men that makes women (and/or others) feel uncomfortable.”

    It’s nice to see her fairness in following that up with her observation that harassment and sexual assault are less common in nudist facilities than elsewhere, and that “even women” can harass and that “men have experienced it too.” I’ve experienced women (men also, but I’ll focus on women’s harassment as did Jones) complimenting or throwing an arm around me or buying me a drink, and I appreciate it no matter who they are, whether they’re sober or not, 20 or 90 or whatever. I’m glad they’re comfortable doing it and so I’m comfortable too. If more is suggested I might say, “I’m very flattered, but I’d better stick to my plans today,” at which both of us might feel a little uncomfortable, but such feelings come and go at any social gathering. The concept that a purely subjective level of one’s comfortability should impact anyone but oneself is just a tad crazy. That men should consult some invisible rule book at every contemplated action to check if it could conceivably make any one of the nearby women they’ve never met uncomfortable is getting close to a description of insanity.

    No one, short of being confrontational with intention to offend, threaten, make overt suggestions or demands by word or action, is responsible for someone else’s emotional state, which might be based on real or imagined events that have nothing to do with the present situation. And some nearby conversation or glimpse of fleeting non-exhibited erection is also of no concern to anyone beyond those personally involved, however offended a witness might be (thinking one has a right not to be offended is such offensive self-regard it absolutely offends me).

    But there are indications in Jones’s article that it’s okay for a third party to somehow determine the motives behind an action the third party finds offensive and inform someone else of it. This amounts to ruling by implied threat and the word for it is fascism.

    “And we can also make sure everyone knows how to report an incident… —‘if you see something, say something.’” This blanket “let’s all be alert little snitches for the good of the group” is a disturbingly paranoid and repressive aspect of America today, and it’s terrible to see it eagerly embraced by those who probably consider themselves progressives. I think it’s much sicker in the larger social context than the occasional individual who might make a clumsy but totally ineffectual and easily rejected play for someone.

    Jones seems to think it’s up to men to negotiate the invisible inner workings of the minds of women they may not even know, and gets a bit higher on her horse to righteously proclaim that, although it’s difficult, people should report the following examples of “harassment”:

    “… a guy who stands just a bit too close, invading your personal space. Maybe he also puts an arm around you.” Or maybe he doesn’t. Do you still report him? Maybe you do if he looks like John Malkovich on a bad day, and maybe you reconsider if he looks like Ryan Gosling on any day. But one’s personal space should be of concern only to the one claiming the real estate and is very likely somewhat malleable in circumference anyway, depending on any number of personal factors. The non-science of proxemics being hashed around in some narcissistic head for outrage potential while sitting by a beautiful pool under a beautiful sky is actually a pretty sad image.

    Then there’s this one: “Or maybe he looks you up and down or offers an unsolicited ‘compliment’ about your naked body.” Here Jones plays a bit of a game and cues the reader for the proper reaction by using the obviously unnecessary term “naked body” to make her example more salacious sounding, thus more of a threat, and to actually appeal to negative preconceptions of shame and secrecy. And I guess I know what she means by “an unsolicited compliment,” but I can’t resist asking if she considers it okay for women to be soliciting them.

    Jones admits that these subjective reactions to perceived offenses are indeed “internal feelings,” and so senses the problem with her thesis but doesn’t fully see it.

    The problem is endemic to the issue of sexual harassment everywhere, as news stories abound with statistics and percentages culled from women who say the’ve been sexually harassed or assaulted in places such as schools, the military, work, at parties, etc., and the numbers are often shocking and sometimes unbelievable. Serious harassment and assaults unfortunately occur and particularly egregious cases are reported by the media. But surveys conducted to determine a general idea of the problem fall very short of establishing anything tangible. I have not heard or read one news story on polling about harassment where the reporter asks the obvious question, “What actions besides overt taunts or threats, physical attack or rape constitute sexual harassment and/or assault?” That opens a messy can of worms and reporters may intentionally avoid the answer gotten away with in the past – “whatever makes a woman feel harassed or assaulted,” which can mean anything and so means nothing.

    Laws, rules and social theories that have any meaning always and only come from specifics. I’ve heard affirmations made publicly by some feminists in defense of women who’ve made claims against men from subjective perceptions. I don’t think Felicity Jones qualifies as a member of the resentful gender police herself, but she might take those who are a little too seriously. Too many self-proclaimed feminists (as well as non-feminists and even men) take any opportunity to demonstrate their hyper-sensitive outrage at any imagined slight or perceived harassment they witness, and waste everyone’s time with rules that can only be enforced with, “I know it when I see it, and you just broke it, Malkovich.”

    Having said all this, it really boils down to my belief that this whole issue of women needing to feel “safe” at a co-ed nudist venue is a phony one — at best it’s micromanaging solutions for a problem that rarely exists, at worst it’s a muddled theory looking for a place to land. If you ask people if they’ve ever been sexually harassed you’re likely to get a lot of positives. If you break it down to categories or specific crimes, lots of pesky negatives and defensive waffling start showing up.

    Jones ends her article with some questions for women, two of them being: “Have you experienced harassment in a naturist place? Was it handled well?” But where is, “What was the nature of the harassment?” It’s a pretty important question and one would think a relevant one. I’m sure many women who answer Jones’s request will probably voluntarily fill in that blank, but its absence drops into the room a big naked elephant begging the question. I hope Jones is as fair in reporting the responses as she is in showing the results of her poll, and is wary of canned answers; it’s a sure bet that the seriousness of any issue is suspect when people expressing their opinions on it never get beyond the catchphrases and buzzwords of its current public discourse.

    Over several decades we’ve been subjected to fads such as, “I’m being objectified,” “I feel violated by the male gaze,” “I have an inner child,” and many other glib banalities that have lost all meaning if they ever had any. The need to feel “safe” is one of the more recent modes of the infantilizing sentimentality of victimhood, and like all those before, it will eventually get quietly put away in the Embarrassing Psychobabble drawer (to make way for new ones, alas).

    Women who claim to be worried that men might look at them — men who are naked themselves in a controlled nudist environment — couldn’t be seriously interested in nudism to begin with. I actually witnessed a young woman arrive at a nudist party where she met the hosts, looked around the room at a very even mix of women and men and said, “Too many men here, I don’t think I’d be comfortable,” and left. What did she think she was going to encounter there? Her agenda was apparently only to establish her delicate super-sensitivity and make everyone regret that someone of her specialness wasn’t going to stay and share the preciously kept secret of her nudity. That’s the generous evaluation. The non-generous one is a bit more earthy.

    Jones says at the end of her article, “… I think the best approach is to simply tell everyone to come forward if anyone makes them uncomfortable in any way.” In any way! Wow. She doesn’t mean directly antagonistic approaches or aggressive physical contact or anything that would amount to targeted confrontation, just amorphous, unreal and unrealistic “uncomfortable in any way.” That’s the worst approach. Maybe before a woman comes forward with her charges she might stop to consider in what way she’s uncomfortable and what exactly it is she feels, and also if the discomfort could really affect anyone but herself to the point of even mentioning it, and whether it’s typical of the setting for most people there to react the same way to what she’s been made uncomfortable by. If she’s new to the venue, it and many people there probably predated her on the planet and have heard, seen and experienced a lot more, so before nailing her new rules of order to the trees she should probably try to figure out how things work there. And finally, how different her response might be if someone else had committed the action of offense–

    “I saw how you looking at me, creep, and I’m reporting you! Oh, hi, Ryan, I didn’t see you come in. No, there’s plenty of room, I’ll just scoot over… a little.”

    It’s very easy to turn disapproval into discomfort. Women or anyone else who are encouraged to believe that in taking off their clothes socially they are given a mandate to make and enforce rules beyond their magic domain of “space” are not ready for social nudism because they’re not even ready for life.

    After fifty years of strong feminist momentum it’s discouraging to think that any woman would want to be a delicate little flower at the mercy of men the way women were defined by the Victorians. I have met many nudist women over the years, in fact since I was a kid, and I cannot remember one who couldn’t deal with any man on equal footing. Going to the owners or managers to report someone was a last option, not the first. Of course I’m not referring to any kind of physical attempt or direct threat of harm, which definitely has to be immediately dealt with by the management or the law if necessary.

    Jones asks, “So, how DO we make women feel safer and more comfortable?” I would suggest by informing them of the long-standing general rules of nudist venues, making sure that both women and men understand them and have equal respect for one another, and that if offended by behavior directly or indirectly, to honestly consider how their personal prejudices or opinions or mental state or unrelated emotional associations might factor in their judgement, and how much the issue really has or does not have to do with them, and that unfocused sensations of not being safe or of feeling uncomfortable are not grounds for reporting anyone. EVER.

    Actually, in the sixth paragraph of the article Jones offers a good start for making anyone contemplating social nudity feel more comfortable and safe, and something like it should be quoted in any venue’s information packet:

    “Harassment at nudist facilities is not that common — far less than just walking down NYC streets. (Sexual assault or more serious crimes are even less common.) Most men, single or not, behave as they’re expected to and don’t cause problems.”

    I think that says it all and is far less offensive to both men and woman than exploiting the Delicate Butterfly of Threat angle.

    Nudism is about freedom. For everyone.

  • Damon means demon

    The women’s so-called movement “femeanists” are what’s wrong with North America and they are Satan’s deceivers who have been deceiving everyone since they tragically came into being. One of the ways they pulled the wool over everyone’s eyes is when Satan used them in the seventies by using six troublemakers.

  • Martin

    When you are disrespectful and inconsiderate calling compliments a crime you mam are the one being a creep. Its really weird and creepy how many women like you believe your own lies about men’s compliments and whistling and you think that’s the truth. Just because someone here who reveals her name thinks its the truth does not mean it is. You see what you don’t realize is that it doesn’t matter if you think its so-called sexual harassment just because a guy says you have nice tits. That’s your lie you are gullible enough to believe in without any real evidence that you were hassled. Except when you play the victim and pretend you are being hassled as a nudist at a beach full of people being stupid savages not knowing how to wear clothes. Everyone who calls compliments sexual harassment are doing evil in the eyes of the Lord and should repent and apologize for calling compliments sexual harassment and that includes you and Baruch Obama, Trump and everyone else that seems to be self-deluded enough to punish men with useless years in prison over some imaginary crime that you blindly believe in without evidence.

  • Marcia

    Lets see. We “think” that we are being hassled at a nudist resort just because handsome strangers are complimenting our busts and cleavages so that makes it ok to use the Old Testament bible verse Isaiah 29:21 make a man an offender for a word to justify imprisoning men just because they said your bosom and cleavage is beautiful? The person here who is speaking about this has a screw loose as most women today to. They act like the rules don’t apply to them but it does men. Visionaries who don’t live in reality but in a fantasy world where they think that their actions wont have consequences. Like I think just because I can lie to all the U.S. presidents including Gerald Ford and trick him into passing a sexual harassment lie wrongfully turned into a law that it means that the means justify the ends. But punishing male customers at malls and supermarkets is morally and spiritually wrong. Women like you who think men belong in jail are part of the problem of what’s wrong with both society and the world as a whole. Women harassing men who whistle at them and make a rude, unasked comment about it being so-called “street” “hassling”. Satan said call whistling sidewalk hassling. If nudists practiced the golden rule instead of following your bad advice they would all be a lot happier. Jail is not the solution. Cops and you always fail when you put people in jail.

  • lie about compliments law

    Like when a female coward who hides behind a badge has the audacity to call you house after you complimented a few cashiers and audaciously calls your compliments controversial and keeps saying this lady and cant reveal her name and can only say about how your compliments supposedly makes them “uncomfortable”. Well it makes us men uncomfortable when misandrists lie to Baruch Obama, George Bush, etc. about compliments and use that law as a way to treat men like whipping posts. As if we are to be victimized by female self-deceived fools who think they can say or do whatever they want and there are to be no consequences. Every country in the world should abolish the sexual hassling law including North America that created this monster where women are the visionaries and criminals and the men are being traumatized and victimized by women’s lies about their whistling and compliments. Its taking Isaiah 29:21 make a man a offender for a word. out of context to justify threatening male customers with jail and then caging them if they return to malls and supermarkets. Today this Old Testament bible may as well be read like this, throw his ass in jail if he says your bosom and cleavage is comely.

  • sexual hassling liar

    Why women in public and sidewalks are harassers when they pass judgment on men, blame and complain and go around pointing the finger at men without looking at themselves. That’s the problem when North America passed that law that should have never gotten passed. It gives women a excuse to shift the blame without accepting responsibility for their own behavior and rationalizing excuses for why they think that men should be wrongfully punished for complimenting women’s breasts and cleavages while the liars at the supermarkets and baristas in malls are not held accountable for their harassment and disrespect and hatred of men when they make up false accusations of sexual hassling. Just because someone said your cleavage is nice does not make it ok for criminals wearing badges they hide behind to harass a male customer coercing him into making a insincere apology and then making a threat without saying it that its illegal to be a customer at that mall. That right there is a crime and a injustice that women are not sent to hellish prisons for lying about men’s bosom and cleavage compliments.

  • Femeanist visionaries

    Why Satan controls the women’s movement and used them to deceive the U.S. government into teaching cops its ok to harass male customers who compliment baristas cleavage and bosoms and cashiers clothes and to use the old intimidation trespass threat to scare them away permanently. Passing judgment on whistling and compliments is a sin of the devils against God. Tell congress to stop taxing people. Abolish the sexual harassment law. And stop listening to compliments as insults that its being misconstrued as intentionally because of your inability to know right from wrong.

  • Liar lies about compliments

    Women could make themselves more comfortable if they were less judgemental men they are looked at and complimented.

  • Damon which is demon

    People go to hell who call compliments a so-called crime of sexual hassling. And women who lie to other women about men’s whistling God sends to hell for disrespecting men who whistle. And of course we cant forget every time they do this they are blaming the men for what they are doing to those men. And the complaining because he said your cleavage is pretty immature to respond that way.

  • Walter

    Satan teaches you and deceives you into thinking that compliments of bosoms and cleavage is sexual so-called harassment. You also put the ass in harassment. Why the Canadians were the smartest people in the world when they did not listen to devils and make Satan happy by passing a lie as a law. That is what sexual hassling is. Its a lie that is used to hassle men who are being respectful when they compliment women’s bosoms and cleavage. But the devils tell them to get easily offended at hearing someone say your bosom is lovely.