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  • Offence

    missouriboy

    "Yeah, some of us even to the extreme of coining non-existent ones, such as "the right not to be offended."

    Sometimes rights are offset other rights and consequently have to be balanced by duties. I have a right to drive my car but I have a duty to do so in such a way as not to cause danger or inconvenience to others.

    I have a right to use public places but I have a corresponding duty to have regard to the safety, convenience and comfort of others.

    As a part-owner off all the public places in Britain I have a right to be able to enjoy them in comfort and without inconsiderate minorities spoiling my enjoyment of these places. My duty is to reciprocate by behaving in a civilised, orderly and considerate manner.

    WNYjoe

    "Challenging our thought process is good, albeit curious though."

    The subject matter interests me and I love a good debate! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    "And I understand that you are in the UK, so phrasing may have different meanings. However, equal but separate really is not different than Jim Crowe laws. It says that a nudist lifestyle is wrong."

    You seem unable to think of the expression "equal but separate" from a non-American perspective - i.e. free from the associations of your own history. I am on a user committee of a leisure centre. We have equal but separate changing areas for males and females, equal but separate toilets and equal but separate saunas. Does that mean that we consider one sex is wrong so they must be put in a separate "ghetto"? Of course not! I'm not suggesting there should NEVER be any integration but, as a rule, nudists should remain with nudists at those times when they wish to be naked in public because it can offend those of us who aren't nudists - and you wouldn't want to offend textiles, now would you? If textiles don't mind being among naked people then they can go to a naturist venue. If naturists are willing to wear swimming costumes then they are welcome at any textile beach. This isn't an unreasonable expectation - it's the way things are and have been since he very inception of naturism as a phenomenon and the way most people want it to be.

    "But does that mean that the nudist lifestyle is wrong?"

    Who has said that the nudist lifestyle is wrong?

    "What is there to be offended by?"

    Nudity. Many people find out of context nudity offensive and unacceptable. You may think that's irrational, but that's the way it is. People are feeling, habitual creatures with values, sensitivities and sensibilities that aren't always governed by the strict laws of logic.

    "I am sure this can provoke controversy, but if you are offended because you see me nude, who is the one with the problem here?"

    If I am offended by seeing you nude in a shower room, or in a men's sauna, or at a naturist beach, then the problem is mine. If I'm offended seeing you nude when streaking at the opera, or walking down the street, or in my local park where I take my children, or at a non-naturist beach then the problem is yours. You have chosen to disregard the 'rules' that our society has to ensure people are able to enjoy public places free from offence and discomfort.

    "The thing is, we are at the point where education can go a long way. Nude beaches are considered "par for course" in Europe, but in America, it is a whole different concept."

    Have you ever been to Europe? I suspect not otherwise you wouldn't say such a thing. Sure, there are plenty of naturist beaches in many European countries BUT the vast majority of beaches are most definitely NOT naturist nor clothing-optional and if you get naked on them you would be at risk of arrest and prosecution.

    "A large part of the education process definitely ties back to the concept that nudity=sex, and that sex is wrong."

    Most people don't need educating, thanks. We know perfectly well that nudity and sex are not the same thing.

    "But it defintely goes deeper. To the concept that it is wrong to be nude".

    Nobody has said that. What is wrong is to be nude in such circumstances as are likely to cause offence. There is a time and place for everything - including being nude.

    "Bit by bit, some people are at least getting more able to accept the ideas of others. Nudity included. I just hope that it continues. On every level."

    There are limits and I personally think we've just about reached them as far as nudity is concerned. When naturists inevitably push the envelope that bit too FAR there will be, as there always is, a counter-swing and that will be followed by some sort of equilibrium. If they push the envelope too hard the counter-swing will become a backlash and naturism will be in for a hard time with the public and spearheaded by politicians and the media.

    I genuinely hope that doesn't happen for the sake of my naturist friends here. Evolution not revoluton - and take 'NO' for an answer.

    Stu

  • #2
    missouriboy

    "Yeah, some of us even to the extreme of coining non-existent ones, such as "the right not to be offended."

    Sometimes rights are offset other rights and consequently have to be balanced by duties. I have a right to drive my car but I have a duty to do so in such a way as not to cause danger or inconvenience to others.

    I have a right to use public places but I have a corresponding duty to have regard to the safety, convenience and comfort of others.

    As a part-owner off all the public places in Britain I have a right to be able to enjoy them in comfort and without inconsiderate minorities spoiling my enjoyment of these places. My duty is to reciprocate by behaving in a civilised, orderly and considerate manner.

    WNYjoe

    "Challenging our thought process is good, albeit curious though."

    The subject matter interests me and I love a good debate! [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

    "And I understand that you are in the UK, so phrasing may have different meanings. However, equal but separate really is not different than Jim Crowe laws. It says that a nudist lifestyle is wrong."

    You seem unable to think of the expression "equal but separate" from a non-American perspective - i.e. free from the associations of your own history. I am on a user committee of a leisure centre. We have equal but separate changing areas for males and females, equal but separate toilets and equal but separate saunas. Does that mean that we consider one sex is wrong so they must be put in a separate "ghetto"? Of course not! I'm not suggesting there should NEVER be any integration but, as a rule, nudists should remain with nudists at those times when they wish to be naked in public because it can offend those of us who aren't nudists - and you wouldn't want to offend textiles, now would you? If textiles don't mind being among naked people then they can go to a naturist venue. If naturists are willing to wear swimming costumes then they are welcome at any textile beach. This isn't an unreasonable expectation - it's the way things are and have been since he very inception of naturism as a phenomenon and the way most people want it to be.

    "But does that mean that the nudist lifestyle is wrong?"

    Who has said that the nudist lifestyle is wrong?

    "What is there to be offended by?"

    Nudity. Many people find out of context nudity offensive and unacceptable. You may think that's irrational, but that's the way it is. People are feeling, habitual creatures with values, sensitivities and sensibilities that aren't always governed by the strict laws of logic.

    "I am sure this can provoke controversy, but if you are offended because you see me nude, who is the one with the problem here?"

    If I am offended by seeing you nude in a shower room, or in a men's sauna, or at a naturist beach, then the problem is mine. If I'm offended seeing you nude when streaking at the opera, or walking down the street, or in my local park where I take my children, or at a non-naturist beach then the problem is yours. You have chosen to disregard the 'rules' that our society has to ensure people are able to enjoy public places free from offence and discomfort.

    "The thing is, we are at the point where education can go a long way. Nude beaches are considered "par for course" in Europe, but in America, it is a whole different concept."

    Have you ever been to Europe? I suspect not otherwise you wouldn't say such a thing. Sure, there are plenty of naturist beaches in many European countries BUT the vast majority of beaches are most definitely NOT naturist nor clothing-optional and if you get naked on them you would be at risk of arrest and prosecution.

    "A large part of the education process definitely ties back to the concept that nudity=sex, and that sex is wrong."

    Most people don't need educating, thanks. We know perfectly well that nudity and sex are not the same thing.

    "But it defintely goes deeper. To the concept that it is wrong to be nude".

    Nobody has said that. What is wrong is to be nude in such circumstances as are likely to cause offence. There is a time and place for everything - including being nude.

    "Bit by bit, some people are at least getting more able to accept the ideas of others. Nudity included. I just hope that it continues. On every level."

    There are limits and I personally think we've just about reached them as far as nudity is concerned. When naturists inevitably push the envelope that bit too FAR there will be, as there always is, a counter-swing and that will be followed by some sort of equilibrium. If they push the envelope too hard the counter-swing will become a backlash and naturism will be in for a hard time with the public and spearheaded by politicians and the media.

    I genuinely hope that doesn't happen for the sake of my naturist friends here. Evolution not revoluton - and take 'NO' for an answer.

    Stu

    Comment


    • #3
      Stu,

      "Sometimes rights are offset other rights and consequently have to be balanced by duties."

      You are right.

      "I have a right to use public places but I have a corresponding duty to have regard to the safety, convenience and comfort of others."

      Again you are right, in principle. The question comes from the interpretation of the principle, when someone's convenience and comfort is in conflict with someone else's freedom. These are two basic values that often conflict. It is commonly accepted that a significant amount of freedom is needed, and that the laws and social norms shouldn't (and cannot) protect individuals against every kind of inconvenience and discomfort caused by others.

      An essential question in this thread is: Is there any cause of offence, other than nudity, which is clearly penal in law solely on the basis of offence when no real damage is caused? I remember you once mentioned shouting obscenities, and what I said to it was that it is so common that it cannot be controlled.

      "as a rule, nudists should remain with nudists at those times when they wish to be naked in public because it can offend those of us who aren't nudists"

      Regarding nudity, what offence and who's offence is to be taken into account? There are quite few people of your kind that are so seriously offended by nudity, so the offence, particularly its seriousness, is not what is reasonably expected by naturists who have found a good place to be naked, where someone unexpectedly arrives. (The place can be e.g. a remote place in nature or a private place somewhat visible to public area where not many unfamiliar, unwarned people are expected to move.)

      "Many people find out of context nudity offensive and unacceptable."

      This is a question that really should be researched. You only believe there are so many people who find "out of context" nudity offensive and unacceptable with your definition of "out of context" that covers all areas accessible to public (other than designated naturist venues) and also all private areas visible to public. The poll should not ask the single question "Do you accept public nudity?". Instead it should list a wide range of public and private places with adequate descriptions, and ask for acceptance of nudity in each of them.

      "If I'm offended seeing you nude when streaking at the opera, or walking down the street, or in my local park where I take my children, or at a non-naturist beach then the problem is yours."

      We aren't talking about streaking here! And we aren't necessarily talking about the places you mention above. We are trying to find places where nudity can be tolerated, and many of us feel that it can be tolerated in some public areas other than those that are specially for naturists.

      "We know perfectly well that nudity and sex are not the same thing."

      "Nudity equals sex" is an oversimplified expression of the meaning that adult nudity is seen to be motivated only by changing clothes, showering etc. (a short period of time when nudity is in practice a must) or a sexual purpose. There is a good motivation in that it is simply fun and comfortable. How many of non-naturists have found this? Isn't it so that when one finds it, then one becomes a naturist?

      Kari P

      Comment


      • #4
        quote:
        an oversimplified expression of the meaning that adult nudity is seen to be motivated only by changing clothes, showering etc
        The framing of the default condition is important here. One side generally feels you need permission to be nude. Generally I believe these people do not get undressed without a compelling reason. Even when with complete privacy and warm temperatures they would be uncomfortable being nude themselves or seeing someone else nude.

        The other side lacks this discomfort. For them the question is whether or not there is a compelling reason to dress. When that reason is merely the willingness of the former people to use government to harm those who cause them emotional discomfort, a lot of resentment builds up.

        Very similar to oppressing/imprisoning someone for publicly practising a religion or espousing a politcal philosophy.

        Comment


        • #5
          Stu,
          I really need to break this up into two postings. Here I would like to deal with just a few points you made. Later I will post a statement about offense itself.

          You wrote, ?We have equal but separate changing areas for males and females, equal but separate toilets and equal but separate saunas.?

          There is no such thing in life as ?equal but separate?. Any attempts to create such a situation inevitably results in disparate treatment. And like you I?m referring to males and females.

          Ask any woman if the public toilet facilities between men and women are ?equal but separate?. We?ve all gone to public events and seen the difference in length of lines leading into the men?s verses the women?s. One of the reasons for that is the men?s facilities have urinals along with toilets while the women?s have just the same number of toilets as the men. Another example is American women?s athletics programs by schools and universities. For years schools and universities failed to fund female athletics equal to males. This resulted in male students having nice changing rooms and fields to play of their own while the female students had second rate at best. Sometimes they had nothing at all and had to use the men?s when the men had no need of them.

          In my opinion equal but separate just doesn?t work whether we are talking race, gender or nudity.

          You wrote, ?Who has said that the nudist lifestyle is wrong??

          I?m glad we got that one behind us. At least we know that isn?t an issue here.

          Lastly here you wrote, ?Evolution not revolution.?

          I think that again we might be seeing a cultural difference between you and I. Here in the US revolution rocks the cradle. And civil disobedience is in our mother?s milk. In 1776 Tories were telling us to be patient. They pointed out that since crazy King George would eventually die maybe the roll of the genetic dice would get us somebody better. Then in the late 19th and early 20th century people told the suffragettes to be patient and not cause trouble because society wasn?t ready for women to vote. Later there were those that warned Martin Luther King Jr. not to march because there could be a white backlash.

          We are all better off because the revolutionaries didn?t listen to the naysayers. Sometimes a little revolution is a good thing.

          Comment


          • #6
            KariP,

            I suggest if you think there are public places to be nude..then DO IT..don't debate here with a stranger..

            I mean..what does it accomplish?

            I say DO IT..and if you never get arrested, you've got your answer..and if you do..you've got your answer.

            Steve Gough has HIS answer right now. The loser just spent 3 months in prison, re-offended, and now, is back in jail, waiting to see the judge Monday!!!!

            So..what do you think the Judge is going to do? Let him go OR give him more prison time? Well, given his previous problems and incareration, and the fact that apparently 3 months wasn't enough time to learn his lesson, I suspect he'll be looking at MORE time.

            Gough must really like prison... [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]

            Comment


            • #7
              Rocket again!

              I have earlier told about places where I've been naked. I haven't been arrested, and in my country I have no fear for it.

              Kari P

              Comment


              • #8
                Kari

                "It is commonly accepted that a significant amount of freedom is needed..,"

                True

                "..and that the laws and social norms shouldn't (and cannot) protect individuals against every kind of inconvenience and discomfort caused by others."

                Laws can't achieve the impossible, but if they can be designed to protect people using public places then they should.

                "An essential question in this thread is: Is there any cause of offence, other than nudity, which is clearly penal in law solely on the basis of offence when no real damage is caused?"

                Yes but you know that MY definition of damage is different to YOURS. To me the term 'damage' has to embrace things that affect quality of life issues. There are lots of examples of this - e.g. harassment, making excessive noise, foul-smells, eyesores such as litter or abandoned cars etc. And, of course, offensive conduct such as public sex, open prostitution and public nudity.

                "I remember you once mentioned shouting obscenities, and what I said to it was that it is so common that it cannot be controlled."

                We control it here in public places. Just go into a British street and use a few obscenities in a loud voice in the presence of the police and you will find yourself in the cells and possibly facing charges.

                "Regarding nudity, what offence and who's offence is to be taken into account?"

                Everyone's offence has to be taken into account. BUT I realise you can't please everyone all the time so you have to legislate according to currently accepted norms. One such norm is that nudity in public is unacceptable - consequently it is de facto unlawful.

                "There are quite few people of your kind that are so seriously offended by nudity..."

                Most people believe that it is inappropriate and unacceptable for an adult to be naked in most public places. Different people wil experience different degrees of offence or alarm at the sight but that doesn't alter the simple fact that most people find it unacceptable.

                "This is a question that really should be researched. You only believe there are so many people who find "out of context" nudity offensive and unacceptable..."

                I would have no problem with his being researched and I have no doubt whatsoever that my assessment of public opinion in this regard is fairly accurate.

                "..The poll should not ask the single question "Do you accept public nudity?". Instead it should list a wide range of public and private places with adequate descriptions, and ask for acceptance of nudity in each of them."

                Agreed

                "We are trying to find places where nudity can be tolerated, and many of us feel that it can be tolerated in some public areas other than those that are specially for naturists."

                No. Textiles should be able to know with certainty that, if they keep away from naturist areas, they won't have to suffer the sight of nudity.

                "There is a good motivation in that it is simply fun and comfortable."

                I'm perfectly comfortable wearing clothes. And I can't see the 'fun' in casting them off. Nor can most people, hence naturism is very much a minority activity.

                aunaturelone

                "The framing of the default condition is important here. One side generally feels you need permission to be nude."

                Permission isn't the right expression. Places should be allocated for naturist use by agreement.

                "Generally I believe these people do not get undressed without a compelling reason. Even when with complete privacy and warm temperatures they would be uncomfortable being nude themselves or seeing someone else nude."

                You are SO right! People are uncomfortable with nudity other than in certain, limited circumstances.

                "The other side lacks this discomfort. For them the question is whether or not there is a compelling reason to dress. When that reason is merely the willingness of the former people to use government to harm those who cause them emotional discomfort, a lot of resentment builds up."

                But when this "one side" (1) comprises a large majority of the population and (2) tolerates nudity not only in private places, but also in public places specially set aside for the "other side", then it shouldn't cause any resentment because you have (1) majority rule (i.e. democracy in action) and at the same time (2) tolerance and even provision for minorities. If that isn't good enough for the minorities the it is they who are being unreasonable.

                "Very similar to oppressing/imprisoning someone for publicly practising a religion or espousing a politcal philosophy."

                Not really. You can think anything you like. You can say or espouse almost anything you like. You can do in private the vast majority of things you like. But in public you modify your behaviour to ensure that others within your vicinity are not exposed to danger, inconvenience, annoyance or offence.

                NuTex

                "Ask any woman if the public toilet facilities between men and women are ?equal but separate?... Another example is American women?s athletics programs by schools and universities..."

                But the examples you cite aren't examples of equality. Yes, there is an attempt to create it but this has clealy failed. Assuming there were sufficient toilets for all and sufficient funding for the needs of both sexes in sport, so that everyone had the same opportunity to avail themselves of the facilities then there would be segregation but also true equality.

                "We are all better off because the revolutionaries didn?t listen to the naysayers. Sometimes a little revolution is a good thing."

                The problem with revolution is that, more often than not, it is profoundly undemocratic. It works by virtue of the ones with the biggest weapons or biggest voices forcing through the changes they want regardless of the silent majority. If you live in a liberal democracy that cherishes the rights to free speech for all, freedom of association and assembly and universal suffrage then you have no right to force through changes that you might desire on an unwilling population.

                Stu

                Comment


                • #9
                  "If I am offended by seeing you nude in a shower room, or in a men's sauna, or at a naturist beach, then the problem is mine. If I'm offended seeing you nude when streaking at the opera, or walking down the street, or in my local park where I take my children, or at a non-naturist beach then the problem is yours. You have chosen to disregard the 'rules' that our society has to ensure people are able to enjoy public places free from offence and discomfort."

                  See, it is not necessarily the nudity that is the problem, but the context. I have been saying this for a while now, that it is the surprise of the situation more than the actual nudity. If people just relaxed upon seeing a naked person, they would have much less of a problem with it. The adrenaline rush that they get from the suddenness of the nudity would be lessened.

                  "We know perfectly well that nudity and sex are not the same thing."

                  Can a person take a picture of a naked child and get it developed without any problems? Over here, there have been some horror stories of that. Over here, there is the nudity=sex idea. When a child can go outside sans clothes in a warm day anywhere, then I will believe that most of society has disregarded the nudity always= sex rule.

                  "There are limits and I personally think we've just about reached them as far as nudity is concerned."

                  Not quite.

                  "Textiles should be able to know with certainty that, if they keep away from naturist areas, they won't have to suffer the sight of nudity."

                  We are asking for more places to be naked. It just seems that you do not want some of the areas we are asking for.

                  "The problem with revolution is that, more often than not, it is profoundly undemocratic. It works by virtue of the ones with the biggest weapons or biggest voices forcing through the changes they want regardless of the silent majority."

                  That's one problem with over here in the US. A silent majority is controlling a lot of things. It is called the RRR (Radical Religious Right).

                  "If you live in a liberal democracy that cherishes the rights to free speech for all, freedom of association and assembly and universal suffrage then you have no right to force through changes that you might desire on an unwilling population."

                  You see it as force for us wanting to educate the public. No one here has stated that they want to be naked amongst non-nudists and be damned anyone who argues with them. We are for subtle influences, making our voices heard, teaching others how nudity can be enjoyable, etc.

                  Bob S.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    As Kari said, it appears that Rocket is back again with a new name--Scud5. Who else calls Steve a loser? If standing up for one's beliefs and against unreasonable laws makes one a loser, then there have been a lot of losers in the past who got laws changed or irradicated.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      First,
                      Kari P wrote, ?I suggest if you think there are public places to be nude..then DO IT..don't debate here with a stranger..?

                      While I don?t want to speak for Kari P, Stu and others I think the issue here isn?t whether one legally be nude in public as Steve Gough is attempting. The topic at issue here is whether the offense of public nudity is severe enough to warrant such legal restriction.

                      Second,
                      Stu,
                      You are correct when you point out that my examples were indicative of inequality. Yet it was you that used gender segregated toilet facilities as an example of equal but separate. And I was saying that equal but separate isn?t possible.

                      Third,
                      One the issue of offense.
                      I would highly recommend an excellent article by Mark Storey, ?The Offense of Public Nudity?, in Nude and Natural issue 22.2 published by the Naturist Society. His article addresses exactly what we are discussing here. You can read it at http://www.bodyfreedom.org/alliance/essays/offense.html Do worry Stu. At that site you won?t see anyone with his or her knickers down. Just don?t go clicking on any links while there to be safe. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_razz.gif[/img]

                      In the article Storey points out that offending others isn?t necessarily morally wrong by itself. Many great people whose causes were just have offended others. And their acts of offending others often time resulted in being arrested.

                      Storey goes on to mention a highly respected writer by the name of Joel Feinberg who wrote ?The Moral Limits of the Criminal Law?. In it his book he points out that there is a difference between offense and harm. The State has the right to legislate against harmful acts but generally not against one that is simply offensive.

                      A harm is a wrongful setback of someone?s interest. The freedom to associate, the right to life and the freedom of movement are just a few interests.

                      By contrast an offense does not set back our interest but simply irritates us. An offense may cause us embarrassment or annoyance but that isn?t a harm and generally would not warrant being outlawed by the State.

                      That being said sometimes an offense might rise to the point of harm. So Feinberg lists several factors that should be considered for the State outlaw an action. They are:

                      The intensity of the offense,
                      The duration of the offense.
                      The extent of the offense,
                      The standard of reasonable avoidability,
                      The Volenti Maxim: ?Volenti non fit injuria?, or ?To one who has consented, no wrong is done.?,
                      The discounting of abnormal sensibilities.

                      This is much more to that article. He goes on to discuss such details as the social value of the offending conduct, free expression, the offender?s motivation and more. I highly recommend it to Stu and everyone here.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi,

                        There have been some excellent points raised here. I am glad to see you are back Stu. This board is a lot more interesting when you are around.

                        The question that has been raised for me here is, "How did we get to where we are today without stretching others' and our own comfort zones?". Women are wearing pants/jeans when at one time they would have been arrested for "impersonating a male". In Ontario and some states, women can go topfree where men can because women pushed the limits. Men can go out without hats and gloves and can still be properly dressed.

                        I don't think we can just accept the status quo just because it is the thing to do. I think we have to find ways to stretch our comfort zones, and grow. Sometimes comfort zones are stretched gently and sometimes more painfuly. That is how we have come to the point where we are today.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          quote:
                          Originally posted by stu2630:
                          [qb] I have a right to use public places but I have a corresponding duty to have regard to the safety, convenience and comfort of others. [/qb]
                          So you demonstrate this by haranguing women who breast feed their babies without the slightest regard to their safety, convenience or comfort.

                          It seems to me that you just want it all your own way.

                          Rik

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Indeed, Stu gets squemish when he is "forced" to see bare natural bodies

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              quote:
                              Originally posted by Bob S.:
                              [qb]That's one problem with over here in the US. A silent majority is controlling a lot of things. It is called the RRR (Radical Religious Right).
                              [/qb]
                              I think you meant a silent minority.

                              The RRR doesn't represent the mainstream nor the majority, but they have managed to become the gatekeepers to one of America's major parties. To be fair the other party has a similar (if lesser) situation with its bleeding heart contingent.

                              -Mark

                              Comment

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