Does nudity offend you?

Posted by me at Nude Movement:

Does nudity offend you?

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I got pulled over by a policeman on the side of the road the other week. He took my breath. He thought I was drunk. One of the reasons he thought I was drunk, was because I was nude. As he approached my car window I covered my penis with my towel. The conversation went something like: Policeman: “Why are you naked mate?” My reply: “I love being nude.” (I reveled in my honesty and pride.) Policeman: (In expression of shock and unreasonableness) “Did you know that trucks and SUVs of a sufficient height with children in it can see you nude? My thoughts: Why would children care? Policeman: “What if you suddenly had an accident and had to get out of the car to help someone on the road?” My thoughts: If someone’s life needs saving I’m pretty sure nudity is the last thing people are going to be concerned about. My reply: “I’d put my shorts back on.” Then there was some more back and forth, about how, from my point of view, I didn’t believe I was doing anything illegal under the law of ‘willful exposure’ in the jurisdiction I was driving in – even quoting a case that had tested the law that ended up being thrown out of court. Policeman: “Any reasonable person would find your nudity offensive.” My thoughts: Not this reasonable person. My reply: “Well I’ve got a lot of thoughts on everything you’ve just said and I’m not sure if you want to hear-“ Policeman: “No I’m not interested in hearing what you have to say.” My thoughts: Gee, thanks policeman. So you think you are the law and I’m not? I thought the law was interpreted in court – by judges – not you or me. Policeman: “I’m going to be looking into this. Expect a possible summons in the mail about the nudity.” My thoughts: Excellent, a chance to finally test this in court! The letter never came. Of course it didn’t. He had no proof I was driving naked. So I expressed my appreciation at him looking into the matter, and wondered what he would find. I and my lawyer know what exactly he would have found. In reflecting on this, I understand how this man felt. He felt a sense of duty. A duty to do the right thing. By the law. Well I feel a sense of duty too. A duty to do the right thing. For humanity. And in that light, I don’t want to prod the law before society is really ready to support it. It’ll hurt the chances of non-sexual public nudity having its beautiful light of day again. It’s been a long night since the open nudity days of Sparta – or men and boys bathing nude in public everywhere until just 100 years ago . We have to promote nudity strategically – in show of numbers, in special events, in protests, through seeding trends, by capturing zeitgeists – and doing it in major, media-grabbing ways. This is exactly what Nude Movement plans to do. And in hindsight, I can empathize with the policeman’s non-legal take on the matter as well. Maybe he is right – most people are still ‘offended’ at seeing an unclothed person in public. But is it really true? In this era of 2016 – when people enjoy Game of Thrones as entertainment, send snapchat dick pics and watch pornography openly as a cultural norm, with sex increasingly liberal and free – is this assumption from that policeman all that accurate? I wonder what the stats would be if a worldwide poll was done. Why not ask your friends and coworkers – people whose view you didn’t already know – would they be ‘offended’, shocked, appalled, morally outraged – to the degree of ringing the police to have a naked person locked up, fined, or put on the sex offender register? Is the law out of date? Does nudity offend you? (Image courtesy of Aleta Rodriguez used under Creative Commons licence https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/ )

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22 thoughts on “Does nudity offend you?”

  1. I don't like the sign; it does not imply that nudity is acceptable anywhere; to believe otherwise is to infer something that cannot be known from the picture. The sign only states for certain that nudity is strictly prohibited here, as apparently some have tried to be nude here in the past. Hopefully it will be ignored and discarded in the near future.

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  2. I like the concept of this sign. This sign implies that nudity is the norm everywhere else. Otherwise nudity would not need to be prohibited in a certain area behind the sign.

    Those who are afraid or otherwise don't want to see human beings should have to create reserve spaces and post "Nudity Prohibited." Perhaps they would need a high fence to prevent seeing the rest of the world. Special beaches could be established in remote areas where Nudity Prohibited would be posted.

    It should be our goal to make clothists have to make special clothing reserves and beaches which are posted to prohibit nudity.

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  3. Great experience and well handled. Not sure how I would have handled it, but the author's confidence in the face of the law was just right and of course nothing more came of it.

    I love to drive nude too, but I'm (perhaps too) cautious: usually only at night and definitely well covered in built-up areas. Maybe I'll take a stronger stance and be a bit more adventurous in future.

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  4. Like this sign, which is bent and scraped, and whose frame is scratched and rusted, still stands for now… prudish laws are neglected, often ignored, and even flaunted in the frame of cyberspace, yet still stand warning of the lingering power of a dated culture

    As society steadily grows more appreciative of, and accustomed to the human body, we will see the laws, and signs warning of them, will rapidly begin to fall.

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  5. I drive nude. I have gone through a drive through restaurant nude. I hike nude. I have watered my flowers and weeded in my front yard when I was nude in daylight. I take out my trash to the curb nude. I live in suburbia.

    What I have found is this, people are not so offended as you might think. Most do not care. Most look away. Some will smile. None have engaged me in a hostile manner or reported me in 15 years of doing it.

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  6. I have driven naked across the US from Washington state to Georgia and therefore many of the places between. I mostly drive daytime, and usually get out of my rig naked to put on shorts at gas and rest stops. People mostly are not looking, an if looking don't care. I've never been harassed by police. I enjoy getting out naked at roadside attractions or side roads. The more we all push being naked the more it becomes common and therefore acceptable.

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  7. Some attitudes will be perpetuated unless they are confronted. Jim Crow laws in the US confronted by the Civil Rights movement and anti-homosexual laws confronted by the gay-rights movement are two examples. There will be backlash by those who resist the change.

    I believe the biggest hurdle to laws changing is the perception (you mentioned) that children will be harmed. It's the ideological equating of nudists to child molesters (ENORMOUSLY bigoted against nudists). You are correct; much of society will accept public nudity to varying degrees but laws won't change until the child injury idea is overcome.

    As movements go, a good book to read talking about how ideas reach critical mass is Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Point. https://www.amazon.com/Tipping-Point-Little-Things-Difference/dp/0316346624

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  8. My ex-partner often drove naked, usually at night time on our way home from a club we used. She was once stopped at a 'traffic control point' for around 5 or 6 minutes and a plain clothes police officer came over to chat. He showed us his i.d and leant onto the car as he talked, he easily saw that Angie was naked even though she put a small cloth over her pubic area. I was naked waist down wearing a thin shirt of linen around my shoulders and arms.
    There was no problem at all as we drove through the control point slowly & about 6 other men peered into our car. We travelled the same way exactly a week later fully clothed, we were allowed straight through ? coincidence? maybe.

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