Is The Petition For More Clothing-Optional Areas Worthwhile or A Big Waste of Time?
White House Petition for Clothing-Optional Areas
More clothing-optional areas – For those of you unaware, on January 13th, Larry Darter of the Dallas Examiner created a “We the People” petition that calls for all Federal lands to have clothing-optional areas. It’s puttered along for a few weeks and AANR has put their stamp of approval on it. Currently it has just over 2,500 signatures of the 100,000 needed. With only two weeks to go, it doesn’t look like it will meet it’s goal. Some may see this as an indication of the decline of naturism or that naturists have serious privacy concerns, making them scared to death of actually putting a signature on anything. I have a slightly different stance.
The “We the People” campaign was created by the U.S. Government in 2011 as a means to receive feedback from its citizens about political, social, and economic issues, giving the average person a way to petition the government about their concerns. Initially, only 5,000 signatures were needed for the White House to issue a response. Quickly after launch, the number jumped to 25,000 and today it’s 100,000. Even with the number of signatures needed ever increasing, reaching the goal doesn’t guarantee an official statement. In the past there have been petitions to label GMO food, legalize marijuana, and close Guantanamo Bay that have all exceeded the requirements, but still fell on deaf ears. Meanwhile other petitions, such as the one seeking to publish a White House Beer recipe, or to build a full-scale Death Star, or the recent one with the demand to deport Justin Bieber, received elaborate comedic prose without any political relevance. The White House is simply cherry-picking what they deem applicable and will get them the most press. Even if this petition for more clothing-optional outdoor spaces does reach its goal and the White House picks it as one of their important issues, there is no indicator that the reply will actually address the issue or be serious in any way.
Another thing to mention is that there currently aren’t any federal laws against casual, non-sexual nudity. All of the laws on record have been made strictly by the states. The implication of the petition is that every national park and forest would quarter off sections for clothing-optional use. After that, who dictates where these clothing-optional areas are? They could section off a five-foot square that is hundreds of yards from any trail, swimming hole, or major park area and designate it as clothing optional. Or how about the back of any cave occupied by a grizzly bear? Sure, they’re clothing-optional too. Now, with government sanctioned clothing-optional areas all over the place, there would need to be way to control all the naked people from wondering out of their designated areas. It wouldn’t be long before a federal law was signed, making all non-sexual nudity illegal. By taking this to the national level, there is the potential of it backfiring, because there is really nothing to legalize.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against a world with more nudie places. It’d be great if I turned out to be wrong, and the petition ended up receiving an official, positive response from the White House. YNA did post about the petition on Facebook and Twitter. Gaining acceptance of the human body is what it’s all about. But when it comes to social nudity, I don’t feel that creating small clothing-optional zones is the answer, and by utilizing the government’s “We The People” website, with its trivial responses and lack-luster track record, doesn’t help with the credibility of the cause.
It should be noted that the Naturist Action Committee issued an advisory responding to the petition (link below). While they didn’t discount it, some have been surprised by their less-than-enthusiastic response. Rather than urge everyone to sign, NAC basically said they leave it up to the individual to decide whether or not to sign it.
This guest blog about the White House Petition for Clothing-Optional Areas was published by – Young Naturists and Nudists America