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  • Forcing people to see ...

    In justifying prohibitions on public nudity, non-nudists often suggest that by going nude in public a person is forcing the view of nudity on people who do not want it. Obviously, to force someone into a situation they don't want to be in is bad, and so public nudity should be prohibited.

    While this argument has a grain of merit, I don't think it should go unchallenged.

    First, it seems dubious to me to imply (as those promoting this view tend to do) that "forcing" someone to see something they don't want to see is in the same league as forcing someone to do something they don't want to do. The latter is certainly criminal, freedom of behaviour being one of the more important freedoms we possess. The former does not seem to be so.

    Let's consider a different, potentially less loaded example of being "forced to see" something.

    As I travel to and from work every day, I come across many advertisements. While some are merely inane, many reinforce cultural standards of beauty that I am convinced are the source of an alarming amount of suffering in several women who I care for a great deal. They tell women that, unless you are as thin as this or have breasts like that, you are inferior. Millions of women every year suffer through depression, self-loathing, diets, anorexia and bulemia, and even unhealthy surgery in (usually futile) attempts to overcome this feeling of inferiority. And because they believe the message, they perpetuate it and reinforce it, passing it on to their friends and daughters. These images offend me, because of the suffering they represent and perpetuate. I cannot avoid seeing them: such images are literally everywhere. But it would be preposterous for me to suggest that they be removed on the grounds that I have a right not to be forced to see such offensive filth. My only weapon to combat it is a resolute determination to have my actions and words forever combat the message they are sending.

    Another, even more telling example that I feel is relevant to this question is that of smoking in public places. Many jurisdictions in my home country (Canada) have enacted laws prohibiting smoking in many public facilities, such as restaurants and school grounds. I have recently learned that Scotland (my current country of residence) is considering similar rules.

    It may be argued that the smoking issue is parallel to the advertising issue (or the public nudity one). In this case, it is an offensive smell rather than an offensive sight, but the principle is the same. In the case of smoking, however, there is a proven public health risk associated with exposure to second-hand smoke. Even with this evidence, though, it is no simple matter to have smoking banned in public places. I would attribute this to a certain amount of social inertia, combined with a deep reluctance to deprive people of freedoms for any but the most solid reasons.

    Now, I see two key differences between the issue of banning smoking and that of banning public nudity. One difference is that smoking is known to be harmful to both the participants and bystanders, while public nudity has no such consequences. Certainly, one of the roles of the law is to discourage or prevent people from harming others. If this was the only difference, you'll agree that smoking would be far more eligible for prohibition than nudity.

    The second key difference is that smoking in public is not currently prohibited, and has been practiced for centuries. Nudity is currently prohibited, and has no such tradition in our society. In other words, social inertia favours allowing smoking, but does not favour allowing nudity in public.

    Now, I don't choose to take a stand on whether smoking should be prohibited or not. I personally think it is one of the most vile habits I have ever had the disgust to be downwind of. I'd rather sit in a bus stop with a gang of morbidly flatulent ex-convicts than with some inconsiderate idiot nonchalantly taking drags on his cancer stick. But that's not enough reason to make it illegal.

    But consider this. Smoking is damaging to innocent bystanders; nudity is not. The main argument in favour of allowing smoking is that of social inertia, an advantage public nudity does not share. Ask yourself: is the status quo such a precious resource to us as a society that we are able to prohibit nudity outright in public places without a qualm, while we hem and haw and dither about whether we are justified in maybe limiting smokers' rights to pollute the sidewalks and doorways?

    And, just so you know that I'm not ignoring it, let me address the fact that there are many more people who would like to smoke in public than who would like to go naked in public. How does this fact affect to the above argument? Well, on the one hand, with (say) a million times as many smokers out there, they will do a million times the harm to innocent bystanders - more, in fact, because smoking is more demonstrably harmful than nudity is. And, on the other hand, those who would choose to go naked in public have a millionth the resources to defend their position (right or wrong) - and that's not counting the tobacco lobby, a multi-billion dollar industry with a lot riding on a favorable outcome for smokers.

    I'll let you consider how that should affect the balance.

    Well, that's how I see it anyway. I'd love to hear your thoughts and comments.

    - Tim -

  • #2
    While I consider it to be quite irrational that people are not allowed to be naked in public, while smoking and bad driving and other actually deleterious practices are given relatively free reign, I don't actually know whether I would avail myself of the right to be naked in public, were it to be granted. But whether one would do something oneself should never be used as a reason not to allow others to do it.

    - Tim -

    Comment


    • #3
      Tim

      We have gone over these arguments many times but, for me, the essential questions are

      1. To whom do public places belong?

      Answer - the public

      2. Who should decide what behaviour is and is not permissible in public places?

      Answer - the public, through their elected representatives

      3. What sort of behaviour do the majority of the public find unacceptable in THEIR public places?

      Answer - obscene language, open sex, nudity etc

      If you don't like to see certain types of advertisement then you can complain to the Advertising Standards Authority. If they agree with your complaint that the ads are offensive then the ads will be removed.

      If you don't like to see nudity then you can complain to the police. If they agree that the nudity is likely to cause "harassment, alarm or distress" they will act.

      Stu

      Comment


      • #4
        originally posted by stu2630: "If you don't like to see nudity then you can complain to the police. If they agree that the nudity is likely to cause ""harassment, alarm or distress"" they will act."

        That would be a judgement call. Simply laying around in a state of undress is by no means "harassment, alarm or distress". If you actually go out of your way to view a nude individual, then complain to the police, then you would be seen as being the "harassment, alarm or distress" problem.

        You would be the one causing the alarms to go off, especially if the nude individual has been at a particular location for any amount of time without any prior complaints. It kind of works both ways. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

        Comment


        • #5
          "And, on the other hand, those who would choose to go naked in public have a millionth the resources to defend their position (right or wrong) - and that's not counting the tobacco lobby, a multi-billion dollar industry with a lot riding on a favorable outcome for smokers."

          And while the nudists start out with only a millionth the resources, their influence would be further diluted by the fashion lobby, a multi-billion dollar industry with a lot riding on an unfavorable outcome for nudists.

          Comment


          • #6
            Yea missouriboy, I know what you mean. That's why I called it a judgement call. The officer could cite you or give you a warning, if in fact you can persuade him/her that you have been at that location for quite some time. But if the officer decides to cite you, then, yea, the odds are against you. Hopefully, if the complainer doesn't make too much of a scene, you could possibly get off the hook by way of a warning. It's a 50/50 chance. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_cool.gif[/img]

            Comment


            • #7
              quote:


              2. Who should decide what behaviour is and is not permissible in public places?

              Answer - the public, through their elected representatives

              3. What sort of behaviour do the majority of the public find unacceptable in THEIR public places?

              Answer - obscene language, open sex, nudity etc


              Almost. In fact, it is the public, through their elected representatives and their judiciary, who decides what is permissible in public places. While the division can be made in other ways, it boils down to this ...

              Some issues belong in the realm of "majority rule" - part of the basic idea of democracy. Other issues belong in the realm of basic rights and freedoms (constitutional matters), which must not be subject to the simple majority rule and public opinion. This, too, is essential to democracy. Certain rights cannot be voted away.

              This is important, because nudity in public can be viewed as either a form of casual behaviour (like chewing gum or smoking or obscene language) or a form of personal expression (like staging a rally or distributing leaflets). If it is just a casual behaviour, it might reasonably be seen as something that the majority can prohibit if they feel like it. If it is an expression of personal beliefs, it is another ball game altogether.

              The constitution protects people from violence, though in some jurisdictions the majority might think it's okay to beat up gays, blacks, or members of religious minorities. Similarly, it protects people's right to freedom of expression. Whether being naked in public is an allowable form of such protected expression may still be an open question in the minds of the law, but majority vote is not an appropriate way to resolve the issue.

              Here is an insightful article on the appropriate legal status of nudity that you may be interested in. The Offense of Public Nudity. It gives some food for thought - to both adamant nudists such as me and staunch non-nudists such as you, Stu.


              quote:

              If you don't like to see certain types of advertisement then you can complain to the Advertising Standards Authority. If they agree with your complaint that the ads are offensive then the ads will be removed.

              In this case (as with the case of smokers), I must first make a personal decision: is my desire not to be offended by these people's actions important enough to justify trying to take away their right/privilege to engage in those actions? For the signs, my answer is no: it is more important that they have the right to express such ideas than that I be protected from seeing them. For smokers, the jury is still out - I waver between feeling sympathy for them as victims of the tobacco industry's wanton disregard for its customers' well-being, and rage that they dare to inflict their cancerous fumes on any but their own blackened lungs.

              Take-home messages from this posting:

              1. Democracy is not just about the majority having the right to enforce its opinions on the minority, but also about the preservation of certain inalienable rights and responsibilities regardless of the winds of opinion.

              2. Before we run to the law to prevent our neighbour from bothering us, we must ask ourselves if there is a more appropriate way for us to deal with our grievances.

              Cheers!

              - Tim -

              Comment


              • #8
                NudeM

                "Simply laying around in a state of undress is by no means "harassment, alarm or distress"."

                Simply laying around in a state of undress can cause others to feel alarmed or distressed. That's what the law means.

                "If you actually go out of your way to view a nude individual, then complain to the police, then you would be seen as being the "harassment, alarm or distress" problem."

                Not if the nude individual were in a public place and it was likely that they would be seen by others. In such circumstances the police will act.

                "You would be the one causing the alarms to go off, especially if the nude individual has been at a particular location for any amount of time without any prior complaints. It kind of works both ways."

                You can't legitimise antisocial behaviour on the basis that the person behaving in that way was doing so before others arrived on the scene. Nor by virtue of the fact that other people have not, as yet, comlained. The law doesn't work that way over here. Never has.

                "Hopefully, if the complainer doesn't make too much of a scene, you could possibly get off the hook by way of a warning. It's a 50/50 chance."

                A warning is fine by me - provided that it is heeded and the offence not repeated.

                Linguist

                "This, too, is essential to democracy. Certain rights cannot be voted away."

                Firstly, Tim, you are talking from a North American perspective when you talk about a "constitution". Here in the UK we have a democracy without a written constitution. The laws of Parliament are supreme. Secondly, and bearing in mind what I said about us having no constitution, who decides what issues belong in the realm of majority rule and which are basic human rights?

                You see, I believe that I have a basic human right to use my public places free from suffering - whether that suffering is physical injury or danger or merely unnecessary inconvenience or offence. The law upholds the latter right by prohibiting antisocial behaviour such as people shouting obscene language, people openly having sex and improper nudity. And so it should.

                "If it is an expression of personal beliefs, it is another ball game altogether."

                We can never give people carte blanche to behave as they like on the basis that it is a form of "personal expression".

                "The constitution protects people from violence, though in some jurisdictions the majority might think it's okay to beat up gays, blacks, or members of religious minorities."

                Here the law protects minorities from violence - and the majority overwhelmingly supports this. If the majority didn't support this protection then the minorities would be better off moving away to live in an entirely different society regardless of what the law is.

                "Whether being naked in public is an allowable form of such protected expression may still be an open question in the minds of the law, but majority vote is not an appropriate way to resolve the issue."

                The majority view is EXACTLY the right basis upon which what is permissible in public is determined. The majority are those of us who have to use public places. We have to pay for them too in our taxes. We have a right to say what behaviour is and is not allowed to take place in them just as we have the right to say what behaviour we will and will not tolerate in our own homes. Public places should be as comfortable as possible for as many people as possible. Anyone who contributes to the general public experiencing distress or discomfort in public places is antisocial and is rightly deemed a criminal.

                Stu

                Comment


                • #9
                  Yeah I tend to think that public nudity is a human rights issue and falls under one of those inalienable rights things and thus isnt really part of the whole "majority rules" thing because even if the majority is against nudity, that still doesnt mean that nudity, like other forms of expression isnt something that people have as an inalienable right. I think that since people are born nude and generally like to be nude sometimes, I think that its something that alot of humans either want or need and thus it should be legal to at least be nude in public. Ive always thought that even though nudity is legal, in most places it seems to have to fall under the idea that you have to be doing something while nude in a vulgar or indecent manner, otherwise the courts would deem the charge unworthy and basically throw it out, even if the law itself says nudity is illegal and thus thats what most cops work with not knowing that usually you need to be doing something more than just being naked. Im not sure how true this is but thats just generally how I understand it and it seems to make some sense, after all mere nudity is not harmful, nor vulgar or indecent, while many things you can do while nude could be found that way, so really it should be understood that unless you are doing something promiscuous or overtly sexual then youre really not doing anything wrong by simply being nude. Also I think that many people when they see nudity automatically jump to conclusions and call the cops immediately and cause a bigger stir over a naked person than if they say ignored them or simply talked to them and related their discomfort/displeasure and thus they could deal with a situation in an easier and ultimately less stressful manner. Anyways I would just like to see how people feel about all of this, but basically just think that public nudity should be within our rights, weither the masses actually support it or not.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    "Anyways I would just like to see how people feel about all of this, but basically just think that public nudity should be within our rights, weither the masses actually support it or not."

                    Nice one, Mike. You are effectively saying:

                    "We, a very tiny minority, want our way and to hell with everybody else!"

                    Then you wonder why people such as myself are prepared to fight against such selfishness for our rights to enjoy public places.

                    Stu

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      ---------------------------------------------------
                      "Simply laying around in a state of undress is by no means "harassment, alarm or distress"."

                      Simply laying around in a state of undress can cause others to feel alarmed or distressed. That's what the law means.
                      -------------------------------------------------

                      Thats just up for interpretation though. Nudity "can" do alot of things, but generally and inherently doesnt and itd be too easy to convict someone when the law is this way about nudity, it would be better if they said you could be nude so long as you dont do any acts that are vulgar, indecent, promiscuous or overly sexual, that would seem to make more sense and as I understand it thats what most law people seem to say although the law does not clearly explain this.

                      -----------------------------------------------
                      "If you actually go out of your way to view a nude individual, then complain to the police, then you would be seen as being the "harassment, alarm or distress" problem."

                      Not if the nude individual were in a public place and it was likely that they would be seen by others. In such circumstances the police will act.
                      -------------------------------------------------

                      Yeah but if you purposely try to make an attempt to look at a nude person, especially if you dont like them and then call the cops, that would seem to be something bad on your part because

                      a) you look at something you dont like the sight of for an extended period of time then complain about having to see it

                      b) you call the cops when there is a more appropriate way to deal with the situation, either ignore it or talk to the individual directly and relate your displeasure. The cops should only be a last resort and only if the person is being rude or doing something vulgar or promiscuous.

                      ----------------------------------------------
                      "You would be the one causing the alarms to go off, especially if the nude individual has been at a particular location for any amount of time without any prior complaints. It kind of works both ways."

                      You can't legitimise antisocial behaviour on the basis that the person behaving in that way was doing so before others arrived on the scene. Nor by virtue of the fact that other people have not, as yet, comlained. The law doesn't work that way over here. Never has.
                      -------------------------------------------------

                      If no one complains though then how can you say they are doing something indecent? The public doesnt even have a problem with it if they dont complain and if no one complains then there is no reason to arrest the person.

                      ----------------------------------------------
                      "Hopefully, if the complainer doesn't make too much of a scene, you could possibly get off the hook by way of a warning. It's a 50/50 chance."

                      A warning is fine by me - provided that it is heeded and the offence not repeated.
                      ----------------------------------------------

                      I think that the person who is complaining should relate their dislike of nudity to the person and ask that they cover up and only use the police as a last...very last resort.

                      ------------------------------------------------
                      "This, too, is essential to democracy. Certain rights cannot be voted away."

                      Firstly, Tim, you are talking from a North American perspective when you talk about a "constitution". Here in the UK we have a democracy without a written constitution. The laws of Parliament are supreme. Secondly, and bearing in mind what I said about us having no constitution, who decides what issues belong in the realm of majority rule and which are basic human rights?
                      ----------------------------------------------

                      I think he is talking about OUR laws and thus this applies to OUR constitution, I dont know how he would relate to your laws, I think its more majority rules over there but im sure you guys still have some basic human rights that cant be taken away *i.e human rights act or whatever that thing you have is called*

                      -----------------------------------------------
                      You see, I believe that I have a basic human right to use my public places free from suffering
                      -----------------------------------------------

                      Well there are just two problems with that

                      a) you cant be COMPLETELY free of suffering in any public environment, its just not possible

                      b) nudity in and of itself does not cause such suffering and its quite possible if nudity does bother someone, instead of causing a scene, a nudist could move to an area where he/she is causing less suffering and thus is no longer an issue. I think nudity needs more than just the naked aspect of it to really call for any sort of conviction on the part of law enforcement.


                      -----------------------------------------------
                      - whether that suffering is physical injury or danger or merely unnecessary inconvenience or offence.
                      -----------------------------------------------

                      I think instead of merely making nudity illegal, they should require it to need some sort of vulgar or indecent act to go along with it *I know you find nudity vulgar and indecent* because if mere nudity is illegal then it can be too much up to people to interpret what nudity is good and what isnt and soem people are offended by nudity whereas some are not effected at all and I think if you require some sort of offense to go along with the nudity then nudists are actually protected in public more and also the people are protected from the more unsavory types that would use nudity as an excuse for offensive action, thus when they do something offensive, they are arrested and the innocent nudists who are being within in the law, are still protected, that seems like the best case scenerio to me, I mean yeah some people might still be offended by nudity but in the long run I think it works out better this way.

                      ----------------------------------------------
                      The law upholds the latter right by prohibiting antisocial behaviour such as people shouting obscene language, people openly having sex and improper nudity. And so it should.
                      ----------------------------------------------

                      Which it should but nudity in and of itself isnt or at least shouldnt be seen as antisocial behavior and thus should need some form of offensive or antisocial behavior to go along with it so that it would be worthy of conviction and thus I think this would protect both the nudist and the public at large from those nudists who would wish to use their nude rights in an unsavory manner, thus making it legal for people to be nude but protecting the public from those they worry would take advantage of it in a bad way. Thats one reason why nudity isnt legal per se and this way of doing it would allow people to feel more comfortable about nudity and thus make it easier to legalize it.

                      -----------------------------------------------
                      "If it is an expression of personal beliefs, it is another ball game altogether."

                      We can never give people carte blanche to behave as they like on the basis that it is a form of "personal expression".
                      ----------------------------------------------

                      yes but if this is an idea of personal expression then it falls under the freedom of expression in our constitution and to ban simple nudity would then be unconstitutional. I mean people find nudity questionable, but weither it is per se is really up for debate, I think most would agree that simple harmless nudity without any vulgar or promiscuous acts being commited with it are not anything bad. Thus even if the majority was against nudity, people would still have the right to be nude under the constitution which would basically rule out the public's opinion. I know you dont like how that sounds but some things in our country we have as rights and thus the public cant change these with the majorities opinion.

                      ----------------------------------------------
                      "The constitution protects people from violence, though in some jurisdictions the majority might think it's okay to beat up gays, blacks, or members of religious minorities."

                      Here the law protects minorities from violence - and the majority overwhelmingly supports this. If the majority didn't support this protection then the minorities would be better off moving away to live in an entirely different society regardless of what the law is.
                      -------------------------------------------------

                      I think the constitution would say that public nudity by itself is constitutional but if the nude person was to do something or act in a way that is vulgar, promiscuous, or overly sexual then it would fall under that area where it needed to protect the public from violence but until it does this its a harmless act that is protected because there is no violence involved or any damaging or offensive acts being done.

                      --------------------------------------------
                      "Whether being naked in public is an allowable form of such protected expression may still be an open question in the minds of the law, but majority vote is not an appropriate way to resolve the issue."

                      The majority view is EXACTLY the right basis upon which what is permissible in public is determined. The majority are those of us who have to use public places. We have to pay for them too in our taxes. We have a right to say what behaviour is and is not allowed to take place in them just as we have the right to say what behaviour we will and will not tolerate in our own homes. Public places should be as comfortable as possible for as many people as possible. Anyone who contributes to the general public experiencing distress or discomfort in public places is antisocial and is rightly deemed a criminal.
                      -------------------------------------------------

                      Yes and generally this is true, but some things we do have as rights here that the majority cannot do anything about even if they dislike it or dislike having it available to people in public. We need such rights to protect people from those who would try to control our lives and do things that would be more offensive than what we are doing. Thus, thats why blacks are protected from being discriminated and from being beaten up or treated in a vulgar manner by people even if the majority felt they were inferior and didnt want them in society, even though the majority had to use and pay for such facilities, these people have such rights and theres nothing we can do about it. Same with nudity, nudists must be protected from people that would harass and convict them uneedlessly for doing things that are not vulgar or promiscuous on the grounds that the majority doesnt want it done in public. I agree that if people are doing something vulgar or promiscuous while nude in public then the majority should act to preserve the saftey and decency of the public but until that happens, the basic innocent nudist who works within the laws should be protected from needless harassment or arrest for doing something that is a basic inalienable human right.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        "Anyways I would just like to see how people feel about all of this, but basically just think that public nudity should be within our rights, weither the masses actually support it or not."

                        Nice one, Mike. You are effectively saying:

                        "We, a very tiny minority, want our way and to hell with everybody else!"
                        -------------------------------------------------

                        I beleive that if this is merely a majority issue then the public has some say and control about how people go about doing this if they do it at all, but if this is a human rights or personal expressions issue then it falls under one of our inalienable rights in the constitution and thus the public cannot change this and the person has the right to be nude in public weither the majority agrees with it or not. I think you are applying UK law to this, we have a constitution here and we have some rights that people inherently have and will always have reguardless of what the majority thinks or feels. This should be true for nudity as well, we are no different from any other minority that the majority tries to oppress and that has basic human rights to do the things we want to do.

                        ----------------------------------------------
                        Then you wonder why people such as myself are prepared to fight against such selfishness for our rights to enjoy public places.
                        ----------------------------------------------

                        You fight for the majority opinion and in most cases this is legitimate but if nudity falls under the issue of human rights/freedom of expression then this is a right that is inalieanble and protected under the constitution and thus cannot be altered by the views of the public, the only thing people could get arrested for is if they acted in a vulgar or promiscuous manner. Thats all im saying. I dont want to deny anyone their rights but in some cases, people have certain rights that may or may not go along with the majority's opinion.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          While I consider it to be quite irrational that people are not allowed to be naked in public, while smoking and bad driving and other actually deleterious practices are given relatively free reign, I don't actually know whether I would avail myself of the right to be naked in public, were it to be granted. But whether one would do something oneself should never be used as a reason not to allow others to do it.
                          -------------------------------------------------

                          Yes, im quite sure that alot of people would want nudity to be legal in public, now weither they would avail themselves to this right is up for question but that is no reason to deny others the right to do it if they so please. I think that even if nudity was made legal, very few would actually do it, but those few should have the right to do it.


                          Anyways I dont know why stu is putting up such a big fuss about this, its not like we are going to appear in public or before his doorstep in masses and nude, I mean our numbers are small as far as most people are concerned and we are very spread apart so the number of nudists in any given area is quite small so even if nudity was legalized and like half or less of the nude people in that given area decided to go nude, the likelyhood of a) these people being anywhere the public could see them or b) the fact that the nude person or the textile people couldnt try to avoid them without stress is quite small so really the nude person would have less chance of running into people per se in say a large park or beach and theres an even less chance that the people would find their nudity offensive, especially if the nudist avoided people they thought might be likely to be offended or the textile avoided the nudist or area the nudist might frequent so that they dont have to see and be offended by such things. This just seems like a very small thing to worry about and thus should just be made legal and put to rest and the lawmakers should concentrate on other more important issues. Stu really has nothing to worry about, the chances of anyone appearing nude in front of his house if nudity were legal there would be quite small and the chances of them actually wanting to appear nude in front of his house or surviving for 5 minutes there before being chased off by his prudish neighbors would be even smaller so really theres nothing to worry about.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Tim,

                            Your link "The Offence of Public Nudity" was already thrown into discussion by NuTex under the topic Offence,
                            http://www.clothesfree.com/cgi-bin/u...c;f=1;t=001067

                            Stu,

                            "Here in the UK we have a democracy without a written constitution. The laws of Parliament are supreme."

                            You could have a constitution if your Parliament enacted it, just as in Finland where the constitution is a basic law. I don't know the reason for why you don't have such.

                            Anyway, the laws of the European Union and many international agreements including some handling human rights are parts of our and your legislation in addition to the laws enacted by local Parliaments. I'm not saying that these laws and agreements help much with our public nudity question, only that your Parliament couldn't enact any law they wanted following the will of the majority of people, if such law would conflict with EU laws or international agreements. It's not always "the majority rules" even in a democracy.

                            "I believe that I have a basic human right to use my public places free from suffering - whether that suffering is physical injury or danger or merely unnecessary inconvenience or offence."

                            When someone other's freedom comes in way, you don't always have the right to be free of any slight inconvenience. And seeing nudity is at most a slight inconvenience to a healthy person. Your way to react to it is abnormal, it's phobic.

                            Instead of your "right not to be offended", the right to be naked should be seen as a human right because nakedness is the natural state of human, clothes are only an artificial cover of the human body.

                            Kari P

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Stu,

                              quote:
                              Here in the UK we have a democracy without a written constitution. The laws of Parliament are supreme.
                              I didn't know that - thankyou for enlightening me.

                              quote:
                              Secondly, and bearing in mind what I said about us having no constitution, who decides what issues belong in the realm of majority rule and which are basic human rights?
                              That is a good question. Considering my obvious lack of knowledge about British law, perhaps someone else could answer that. (It also applies to countries with a constitution: which laws merit being made constitutional ammendments, and which ones should just be parlimentiary laws?)

                              quote:
                              "If it is an expression of personal beliefs, it is another ball game altogether."

                              We can never give people carte blanche to behave as they like on the basis that it is a form of "personal expression".

                              I agree. I meant to say that, if someone is trying to express their personal beliefs with an action, it is different than if they are simply doing that thing because they are bored, or trying to make money, for example. This difference should be reflected in the laws governing what people are allowed to do. While I believe this principle is sound, it doesn't in itself imply that anything people choose to do as an expression of personal belief ought to be allowed. Obviously that would be ridiculous and lead to chaos.


                              I think I've said just about everything I feel is relevant to this discussion. I just have one more point to make.

                              I believe that the right to go naked should (and eventually will) be protected by law in Britain and Canada (the countries I know). However, given the current social neuroses surrounding nudity in these countries, I don't think it would be wise for social nudists (as defined on this and other websites) to avail themselves of this right yet.

                              We promote nudism as being free from sexual connotations. It is healthy, even healing the emotional scars inflicted by a self-righteous society on people whose bodies don't fit the mould of adequacy. But I fear that these properties, which are at the core of what makes nudism worth defending, would be corrupted if we came forth into such a hostile environment.

                              The world outside the nudist camp (or beach or resort) is replete with images and attitudes that deify the "perfect" body and condemn those that deviate from it. And more importantly, most people out there still associate nudity with sex, and see sexual displays as sinful. Though this is an irrational attitude, it would inevitably guide people's reactions to nudists in public. So even if we had the protection of law, I feel nudism (and society in general) would be harmed more than helped by nudists trying to exercise such rights.

                              So why do I maintain that we should have such rights? Laws in Ontario and New York protecting women's right to go topless encourage me to be optimistic - we are making progress. Someday, society will be healthy enough to be able to accept nudity as it is, without cluttering the sight or experience of nudity with the unhealthy and irrational baggage of times past.

                              It's worth working towards this future, but we have to remember that we are not there yet.

                              your companion in progress,

                              Tim

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