Naked unless someone is offended.

Many people, in the clamour to be seen to be politically correct, seem to believe in the principle that you should not do something if somebody will be upset by it. Being naked in a public space, for instance. While at first sight, this might sound a most honorable viewpoint, I'm not sure people have thought it through entirely.

For instance, would you be happy to join a WNBR, where nudity IS accepted, and then during the course of the ride if some one person was upset at seeing naked people, you would immediately get dressed?

If so, this seems to me to be the very problem with society today (and maybe forever). If we only ever accept a situation on the basis that nobody (pun intended) will ever be upset, then we should bring back racial segregation because somebody is upset that there are blacks on their side of the street. We should also deny women the vote because someone might be upset, (at least half the population of Appenzell in Switzerland), that women should have any say in the running of the country. We should make gay people illegal (wtf! eh?) because somebody doesn't like gay people, or is upset by the idea of somebody being gay, or is "offended" by the very thought. Etc. etc. etc.

As Bertrand Russell famously said in a letter to The Times: "In a democracy it is necessary that people should learn to endure having their sentiments outraged …"

True then, true today!

79 thoughts on “Naked unless someone is offended.”

  1. Let's stick to the Human Rights:
    First there is no Right "not to see". In most cases, the "right" not to see… (e.g. blacks, judes, …) is a strong violation of Human Rights.
    Second, it is explicitely stated (Art. 30), that nobody shall use Human Rights to restrict the rights of other people. If you don't want to see something, you always can look the other way, unless you are physically aggressed, which is obviously a very different thing.

    • It ought to be made clear at this point that several different countries are represented on this site, laws & regulations will be different in most places. Nudity is a 'difficult' situation in many US states. Whilst nudity is legal in the UK it is not usually possible or practical to be naked in publically accessible places.

      • You are Right ! – Unfortunately, although the Human Rights are universal, they ar not respected in all countries. And even countries which claim to respect them, still have a long way to get there.
        This is the reason why I believe, it is improtant to permanently reassert, that human nakedness is a human right.
        Practicality is a very different aspect. The right to be naked *does not* exclude the right to be clothed !

  2. There is a lot of hypocrisy in our politically correct world. For sure there is a need to protect the weakest in our society, which does include religious and cultural minorities, and yet on social media we often see public shaming where a single individual’s behaviour is seen as wrong by a group who then decide to shame the individual.
    In this safe environment, I am more than happy to express my views on nudity, but in other places I’d be much more cautious for fear of being branded a pervert or worse.
    I am finding the discussions on here fascinating and hope to be able to pluck up the courage to share them with a wider non naturist audience.

  3. I don't think it is possible to be politically correct and enact laws that please everybody. Ever since the dawn of civilization, people have come up with different viewpoints on social behaviors for just about everything. This makes us humans contradictory, From your examples, bring back racial segregation and some people will complain about lack of diversity. Take away women's voting rights and a few of them will scream bloody hell. Increase leg space for airliner seats for increased fare and the taller folks will be cussed out *ducks and runs*.

    Back to the point, laws regarding nudity should not try to please everybody, either. Some people will always get ticked off no mater what the law says. I'd like to see a law that imposes a "clothing tax" for clothed people in some way, like hiking the cost of clothing items to a very high level through taxation to persuade people not to use/wear them all the time 🙂

  4. A blog a year old and still you get commentary; you should be proud, sir, for forming such a thoughtful composition.

    If you're post was titled "Naked Unless Someone is Harmed," then this would be a very different conversation.

    Dibs on that blog!!!

  5. Today I received a very "interesting" comment to this post which I reposted on my blog, linking back to the Naktiv site:

    The comment:
    You don’t have the right, and you SHOULDN’T have the right, to force your nudity on others. Be naked at home or where others like you are comfortable with it. There is already too much nudity in our entertainment… We don’t need it forced on us in public, as well.

    My reaction to it:
    If you refer to ‘nudity in our entertainment’, are you referring to all kinds of sexual innuendo?
    Nudism has nothing to do with sex or sexual implications. That’s a big misconception that “our entertainment” has forced upon everyone, to fill their pockets. Because sex sells. If you have a problem with nudity (more precisely the wrong ideas that surround it, as decreed by ‘our entertainment’) then please complain at the right address.

    No true nudist wants to force his or her nudity on to others. We’re not like christians who try to convert others into doing what they feel is right.

    Thank you for your reaction, I hope you appreciate (or understand, or at least read) mine.

    • I had a somewhat similar argument leveled at me by a flat-mate many years ago in Sydney, by a Northern Irish girl (or woman technically), who was spending all her time in bed with her boyfriend, a British soldier stationed in Belfast. So, in between sleeping with her boss, work-mates, clients and occasionly her boyfriend when he could get to Australia, she didn't want to see me naked around the house because she already had to put up with looking at her boyfriend's genitals…and every one else she was sleeping with on the sly :-S
      Being an old 26yo, the other 2 of the household were young 19 and 20 yo's, and the Nth Irish girl was I think about 23. Funnily enough, the British born girl and the Australian girl had no issue with my nudity…
      It really is about sexual hangups, influenced by religious "morals".

  6. I agree with Shane's points here. Its the overcoming of intolerance and achieving that balance where we have the right to be naked and others can be as over-dressed as they choose.

    I used the term 'over-dressed' as that's how I see some people's choice in what they wear in many situations. Obviously nudists are at one extreme in the clothing debate, but how many of us object to people being over-dressed? People wearing swimming costumes/shorts etc in a clothing optional sauna is one example that I do find odd, but have never objected to. I would in a sauna where nudity is expected though. I do object to being expected to wear clothing when the situation I'm naked in makes no sense to 'have' to wear anything.

    Generally though its the nudists who make the effort to 'comply' with dress codes, the law helps influence that! We're tolerant of textiles in most situations. Achieving the balance where we can be nude on more occasions is a big hurdle we need to overcome, to gain acceptance for our preferred state of undress.

    Without taking a proactive approach to gaining the right to be naked in public more often, I don't see how we can achieve this. The WNBR events are a good example of taking nudity to the masses. We are widely accepted on them, similar events on a more regular basis seems like a way for us to gain a better balanced state of tolerance.

  7. I agree with the different points of view here. What I was highlighting however is when everyone firmly stands by their principals without giving any ground, everyone loses. It's like a middle Eastern standoff. An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth.

    In my view I should have as much right to be naked as another person has to dress head to toe with no skin showing. My rights shouldn't interfere with theirs, nor theirs with mine. Tolerance IS a two way street, but more often than not, it has one way traffic.

    When there is imbalance and intolerance, it is necessary to push your cause. In order for you to be successful however, middle ground is required. In order for you to go naked, somebody else dressed head to toe must put aside their preference not to see naked people.

    You can only please some of the people some of the time. Everyone has to give ground to live harmoniously.

    • Yes and no 🙂

      In order for you to go naked, somebody else dressed head to toe must put aside their preference not to see naked people.

      This is not strictly correct, because it is perfectly possible for the person who is dressed head to toe to see me naked, and for them to be NOT offended, if they so CHOOSE. The fact that this might be unlikely does not support the fallacy that it is a necessary consequence, one of the other.

      For instance, it is entirely possible for me to be naked, and to be hiking with a clothed person, and for neither of us to be offended by the other. This has happened to me numerous times (in both directions), and I find this to be a demonstration of a truly tolerant environment:

      For instance, the scene at the mountain hut where the lady of the hut would not dream of undressing, but is entirely comfortable for our mixed group to be naked on her restaurant veranda. This is true tolerance for differences amongst different peoples.

  8. I'll gladly occupy as much of that space as I can Richard, naked of course! BTW much of my family is very supporting, some joining in on occasion. Something that I am very grateful for. And God bless my mother. She gets it and at 87 she is trying new things at my lead whenever she gets a fancy to.

  9. I seldom hide anything about my nudist lifestyle from my family and friends. However in being open, I find that there are those within my family, a son and an in law in particular, with whom I must tread that middle ground that Shane describes. I am challenging them, maintaining the firmly held belief that I am patiently moving them towards the ground of which Yvonne speaks ie that they are becoming more accepting and proud to count me as family as they undertake the task of trying to understanding me and my needs. The pitfall for me working through this process is allowing my selfish agenda to stand in the way and show itself through intolerance that I may inadvertently direct towards their beliefs and needs, the very thing that we are all working to minimize from this world. The fact that fear and intolerance can work both ways for all of us, makes life all the more interesting and rewarding for those of us who are working to advance our most dearly cherished cause in our less than perfect society.

    • Yes Daniel Kidwell , sometimes we need to exercise restraint and our own tolerance. Tolerance of others' prejudices and so forth. Sadly. But this is the real world, and we have to make our own way through it, either like a brazen Stephen Gough pushing nudity into the courts, or like a secretive nudist never leaving the safety of their private exclusive gates, or somewhere inbetween. And "in between" is a big space.

  10. Perhaps unlike some others I have a very complex, multicultural family situation, so many things are rarely cut and dry, nor black and white.

    In an ideal world, you and those around you should be tolerant and accepting of others. I myself find myself in difficult situations as on the whole I am tolerant and accepting. That frequently puts me in a situation where friends and family are very misaligned, with radically different views, perspectives and value systems.

    A great many problems in the world come down to intolerance and selfish agendas. When one examines many of the problems society faces, including the issues we all discuss around public nudity. I think in many cases you'll find the crux is one of those two things, if not both.

    Sometimes you have to walk a middle ground whether you like it or not. At times refusing to do so makes you as big a part of the problem as other stakeholders in the situation.

    On the whole wisdom should prevail.

    • Yes, Shane, many faceted is what the world is, and being "tolerant" is one of the most important things we can do towards maintaining a working relationship with all around us. We need to remember though, that this tolerance works both ways.

  11. Thanks Richard for bringing the Bertrand Russell quote to our attention. That is a gem. I shall have some occasion to use it to good purpose no doubt in the future when the matter of my nudity comes up for discussion amongst the less supporting types whom I must still count within the larger number of folks that comprise my family and circle of friends.

  12. Sometimes it is important what other people think, I do consider the thoughts of my family. As for who might be 'offended' by my state of dress or undress, that is more difficult to moderate for. Too many 'senses' are too easily offended.

    • And adults are continuously brainwashed into that. Part of it comes from religion, I am sure (the guilt-issue, Adam and Eve being kicked out of this garden), and the clothing industry supports it too as that's where their gain is. Not sure if there are more factions involved but it's sad.

  13. You make some interesting points. Slowly, things ARE changing for the better.Up to fifty years ago, bars and taverns in Toronto had to have window coverings, so nobody could be offended by the sight of people drinking. Twenty years ago, a legal clothing optional beach in Toronto would have been unthinkable. When it went to council for approval, there was a great hue and cry about all manner of depravity occurring should it be allowed. In 1998 it passed, and the money the city makes from the beach at Hanlan's Point has offset any concerns, and the people using the beach are, for the most part, quite law-abiding and respectful of others. When people marching naked in Toronto's Pride parade were arrested for public nudity a few years back, a judge put paid to any future arrests by his decision, stating that so long as participants were wearing shoes, they weren't technically naked, and there were acquittals all round. It would seem that while there's still a lot of "wink wink, nudge nudge" surrounding public nudity, people who would normally take offence are learning to "suck it up", maybe snicker, and move on. We still have a long way to go, but attitudes seem to be gradually softening. We just have to be diligent in our efforts to "educate" and lead by example, when and where possible.

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