Daniel C wrote in another thread, Once the lady at the deli started yelling "put a shirt on" when I asked "why should I", she said because it isn't fair. No matter how hot it gets I am not allowed to take my shirt off".
I laughed as I read that. Then I thought more seriously, we will have made significant progress as a society when the day comes that I could have the following jovial exchange with a textile on the street:
"put your pants on Mr." when I asked "why should I", he/she would say "because it isn't fair. No matter how hot it gets I am not allowed to take my clothes off". With that kind of public sentiment behind us, the law's days would be numbered. Maybe that goal should be the inspiration and guidance behind some of our patient ongoing conversations about nudity with the textiles in our lives. I could see myself instigating the scenario described above and enjoying it, yet my pragmatic side follows closer to the following and I find my approach to our dilemma of how to go about swaying public opinion switching back and forth between the two. My instinct says that we must remain agile and compassionate in our approaches.
Here in New England, I still feel compelled by social custom to wear at least a beater or muscle shirt when out and about on weekends shopping in the bigbox stores or casual dining out, etc. Topless for men or for women for that matter, is seldom seen in indoor public spaces around here anytime. Outdoors of course, it is quite common to see men shirtless on the street, in the park, in the garden, driving, etc. But never nude of course, YET! Were nudity to suddenly become legal here, I doubt that initially this picture would change much on the indoor side, nor even outside on Main Street. I suspect that I would be content with that state of affairs for a start as it would be so much better than what we have now. I guess that the New Englander in me is speaking out here and I wouldn't want to invite pushback after such a hardwon victory, but I suspect that in time, I would begin venturing onto Main Street, into the stores and at the food takeouts in the nude, as our local society's norms began to relax further. This is the "socially moderated CO" scenario which I have stated in other posts that I would be content with and feel comfortable pushing the envelope within. Just get the law off our backs and out of our faces, thank you.
Incidently, I have not worn anything that places fabric between my legs for at least eight years. More recently the kilts and manskirts that I have worn exclusively everywhere for both day-job and play in that time, have been getting briefer for my weekend errand running tasks. I have discovered and own a couple of loincloths marketed as the Running Kilt on the web (runningkilts.com). They are minimalist and mighty comfortable. Just long enough to barely cover my dangly bits if I don't bend over at the waist too blatantly, this garment has singularly and increasingly made it possible for the nudist in me to coexist with the prudes around me on my slack days even off Main Street (as in "off Broadway" in theatre parlance). I am now sitting in one in my office at work on a slow day, as I write this post.
I make the above side observation because, come to think of it, I don't believe that I could have gotten away with any of this casual display of skin outside of my garden gates a mere ten years ago. So I guess progress is being made, even in notoriously proper Boston. And I think that it is the diplomacy as Richard J suggested elsewhere that has been largely responsible for the change.