Naked Rights

I have to say I’m in great admiration of Urban Nudists including Steve Gough for challenging people’s comfort zone where applicable. “Hey man, it's just a dick” nicely sums up the whole crux of the situation.

People have this misconception that the sight of a naked body is going to scar them for life, or cause their children to be sexual deviants. That of course is a ridiculous notion.

Although it sounds like nitpicking, the second someone says, “we should cover up so as not to offend people,” or “we should be mindful of other people’s sensitivities," what you’re really saying is that the naked body is offensive, and should be covered up at all times, except for special circumstances.

Although the Universal Bill of Rights (http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml) and International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (http://www.ohchr.org/en/professionalinterest/pages/ccpr.aspx) take some sifting through, one of the things that they uphold is “the dignity and worth of the human person”. Taken in context, what these documents state is that all people have inherent dignity and worth irrespective of their nationality, sex, religion or cultural beliefs. Therefore, it isn’t possible for a naked person to be offensive, as the human person has inherent dignity and worth.

Although it might be difficult for some people to comprehend, let alone fully understand, if the human person has inherent dignity and worth, acceptable nakedness is non-contextual. In plain English that means it's not the place or situation that makes being naked okay, it is this inherent dignity that makes the nakedness okay. This has been tested in NZ court cases.

Without realising it, many naturists and nudists are caught in a trap of thinking nudity is only acceptable if it's in the right context. This is bourne out by numerous posts, past and present, that attempt to insist that the Naktiv site is a naturist site. Alternatively that particular images should met some naturist standard.

Inherent dignity and worth dictates that whether you're dressed in a business suit, grass skirt, crotchless leather pants or are stark naked, you are of equal worth and dignity, with the same human rights as anyone else. These documents trump any other law, culture or religion that's ever existed, where the bill of rights is written into law.
You as an individual are free to limit your rights according to your individual cultural or religious beliefs. What you're not permitted to do is infringe the rights of others based on your beliefs.

The underlying point everyone should understand, is that acceptable nakedness is unconditional. A dick is a dick is a dick, just as breasts are breasts, buttocks are buttocks, and vulvas are vulvas. Any body part in plain sight isn’t in and of itself offensive. Whether it’s the only part you see due to attire, whether it’s on an urban street, or at the beach. None of that is relevant under the universal bill of rights. If you examine cases where indecent or offensive exposure is alleged, and the bill of rights exists in law, you’ll find that there needs to have been intent to offend involved, and proof of lewd behaviour. Under the bill of rights, mere nakedness is not grounds for offence.

However uneasy some people may feel about the ramifications of these rights, they are the only way forward. They nullify meaningless cultural conditions that change with the times. The vast majority of current fashion would have had you arrested under indecency laws less than a century ago.

The envelop does need to be pushed because equality can’t exist when you need to meet some momentary pseudo standard in order to have your worth and rights recognised.

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18 thoughts on “Naked Rights”

  1. I love nude recreation, and I love to go to the local nudist resort where I can be among other like-minded people and use facilities I don't have at home, but why should I have to go to a resort to work on my all-over tan? The answer is that I live a county with one of the most restrictive anti-nudity ordinances in Florida. That ordinance was written based on the prevailing social-norms without regard to our universal human-rights, and reputation-aside, I don't have the resources to fight it if I ran afoul of the law.

    I can only be and live nude inside my 300 square-foot home or in another "acceptable" place. "Rights" aren't RIGHTS unless we have the resources to fight for them, and we are NOT going to get any help from AANR, which is committed to keeping us restricted to dues-paying resorts.

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    • It's unfortunate that in a country so vocal about freedom, democracy and individual rights there exists so much draconian law that ultimately oppresses and criminalises it's citizens.
      Two essential elements I can see from an outside perspective is the level of commercial interest in the US who have the power and financial influence to control and manipulate the system to their benefit. The other element is the ultra right wing conservatism that rides rough shot over liberal values in the name of moral justice.
      I suspect that until the social fabric of US society changes dramatically, it will remain a country where there are citizens that are arguably as oppressed as the North Koreans in terms of personal freedoms. They are probably just as convinced as most US citizens that they are in fact free, despite the reality that their universal human rights are possibly not even written in to law. That's certainty the case in Australia. To write the universal declaration into Australian law, numerous significant policy changes would need to occur. Particularly around the treatment of Aborigines and Refugees.

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      • The government has to keep hiring larger and larger gangs of armed thugs to enforce all the laws and tyranny that the people don't want. They rule our lives by violence and fear. And the punishments for exercising even a little freedom are great. Millions of men rot in their prisons.

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        • Sadly you are both right. We are seeing our freedoms being eroded before our eyes. Our police are being increasingly-militarized as commercial-interests rule more and more of our lives. Florida has a LOT of nudist resorts but very few nude beaches, because there is more money in resorts than there is in beaches, and nobody would make any money if we were allowed to be clothes-free in our own yards and neighborhoods. They who have the gold make the rules, so this country is ruled by the almighty-dollar.

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  2. I totally support the wording contained within the Universal Bill Of Rights as written into Shane's blog.
    It is true that in the UK (& possibly other places)that whilst being naked is not illegal the law tends to be used of "breach of the peace" or "behaviour likely to cause alarm or distress" in rare cases the police use wrongly use "behaviour likely to create a disturbance to public order"
    I can also see that many people are unlikely to be prepared to be taken to court on any of the above charges, however wrongly they are applied, just to be able to be naked in a public place such as a local high street or area immediately adjacent to a primary or nursery school.
    The fear is not of the law itself, it is a fear of local feelings and perceptions around nudity, or the inherent fear that young children & young females are in danger of sexual abuse or assault by the naked person. The average person would fear more that his/her reputation & social standing would be vastly diminished by a court appearance and subsequent reporting in local & national press.
    No matter the innocence of public/social nakedness, the primary cause of concern would be as described. How many naturists/nudists are prepared to walk naked in any locality near their homes and then go through any subsequent press & social criticisms? I think that not very many would suddenly take to being naked outdoors locally, I agree this is a very wrong situation, but it is what it is. I am not prepared to go onto my local streets nude.

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    • The reason disturbance of the peace etc is cited is because within the bills I quoted, that charge is allowed for. I'd say in the UK, cases might not have been tested. IE: The onus is on the police to prove disorder was actually occurring. There's every possibility the UK breached the bill of human rights numerous times with Steve Gough.

      In NZ in 2005 a big change took place in Brooker v Police. The Supreme court determined that the 'time, place and circumstance' test, should be replaced by the test of conformance with the Bill of Rights Act." (http://www.freebeaches.org.nz/legalaspects.htm)
      What that means is unless I'm behaving in a disorderly manner, mere nudity not being disorderly, or intending to offend, requiring proof of a lewd act. I'm not committing an offence.

      Of particular note in the rulings of the Brooker case Chief Justice Elias ruled that "What is essential however is that the behaviour is disruptive of public order and is not simply a private affront or annoyance to a person present or to whom the behaviour is directed." In this case freedom of expression.

      Justice Blanchard ruled that "Someone should not be convicted of disorderly behaviour unless there has been a substantial disruption of public order in or about a public place … Causing annoyance, even considerable annoyance, to citizens does not suffice." (https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooker_v_Police)

      On that last ruling alone, unless your being naked agitated people to the point of riot you'd be in the clear. That is what you need to be wary of however. Tipping people from annoyed to taking some kind of action.

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  3. "Without realizing it, many naturists and nudists are caught in a trap of thinking nudity is only acceptable if it's in the right context."

    I see that a lot too. Its a theory that has been promoted for decades by the nudist resort industry, nude is OK only in one of their paid resorts, on your vacation, not in your normal life. They are about "nude recreation" not nude living. I'm about nude living, not nude recreation.

    Human bodies are inherently beautiful, and as you point out have dignity and worth. Seeing a human being is NEVER a harmful experience for anyone of any age. For children seeing other human beings provides an educational experience about the human condition, about the child's species and biology. Depriving children from knowledge is harmful and hurtful to children. Anyone who is "offended" by seeing another human being is creating their own pretend self "harm." They need to be told to get a life, humans are inherently beautiful, normal, natural, and dignified.

    There is no legitimate authority of governments to outlaw basic human dignity or declare that my body is "obscene" by my nature.

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    • I love this statement Bob: "I'm about nude living, not nude recreation."

      I previously had a lot of difficulty pinpointing just what it was about the nudist movement that's never quite appealed to me. When I absolutely condense it down I clearly understand that nudism has no appeal to me at all. Why? Because all I really aspire to be is a human. As such when it's sunny and warm I want to enjoy the sunshine. When I swim I don't want to be encumbered by soggy swimwear. In fact, irrespective of place or circumstance, when the mood strikes me to simply relax and soak up the sunshine, I should have the legal right to do so.

      It is about living and not recreation.

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