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  • Current Events and the Furture of the American "Nudity" Climate

    To Bare or Not to Bare...

    By now, almost everyone has seen, heard about, or saw replays of the fiasco that occurred at the 2004 Super Bowl XXXVIII and yet it should be noted that this act took place in the shadow of a great game and an overall entertaining evening for most. However, in retrospect I am left wondering whether the deed that was done was all that substantial or that morally invading.

    Television broadcasters across the nation, especially CBS who aired the show, are screaming to find out precisely what happened and what exactly was ?shown.? The questions arose, ?Was it indecent? Was it intentional?? To that I would ask, ?What does it matter?? If that is not your cup of tea, turn off your television. It happened. Get over it.

    Later Janet Jackson publicly apologized for the act and expressed that she hopes it hasn?t offended too many, but this only answers one of the above questions? Yes, it was intentional. If not, what are you apologizing for, a clothing failure? If there is such a thing.

    Whether it was intentional or not, I think that the American people are far less offended by it than the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) and CBS. In fact, I have found few even talking about it. Most people want to know what was over her areola and where can they get one. (Just FYI, it was a sunburst nipple shield available at many mainstream piercing studios and online stores, and you must have a pierced nipple to wear one) To me, it seems that things have gotten a little blown out of proportion and need to be put back into perspective.

    Moreover, I fail to see why the appearance of a female breast has become such a spectacle in the United States. If it were to have happened anywhere else in the world, perhaps for the most part, no one would have thought twice about it. You can see a female topless at just about any European, South and Central American, Australian, and Asian pool or beach, and I am sure there are some in Africa as well. Not only topless, but anyone can bare their buns in a thong or even go nude in most places. In France, some public pools won?t even let you enter the water with what Americans call swimming trunks.

    Being an American, I grew up with it and to me it never seemed quite right. Though I never believed that I was special, I knew I was definitely not behind the learning curve in addition to knowing what was going on in the world. It often left me thinking, ?If this is the land of freedom, why do we not have some of the freedoms the rest of the world enjoys? Why should anyone be embarrassed to go topless or nude at a beach, pool, or even in your backyard if someone could see you?? To me, it has always seemed like a personal preference and to the rest of the world outside the US it is. No one is obligated to do it and no one, in addition, is obligated to look.

    If, in America, people were suddenly allowed to make their own decision on this matter I find it hard to believe that there would be mass hysteria. In fact, I think that it would be a very gradual transition. First the people who have fought for this would practice it and others would slowly follow suit within the confines of their own conscience.

    Conscience? Now there is an interesting word. What is ?conscience?? Well, Webster defines conscience as ?a sense or consciousness of the moral goodness or blameworthiness of one?s own conduct, intentions, or character together with the feeling of obligation to do right or be good,? whereas one?s own morals decides what is blameworthy and right. That being stated, who should decide if a woman can go topless on a beach or either a woman or a man goes nude there as well? Federal law does not touch that ball, but most states are quick to pick it up.

    Let?s take for instance, my home state of Indiana. Indiana is no different than many other states in the legal definition of public nudity and classifies it as a Class C Misdemeanor:

    IC 35-45-4-1.5
    Public nudity
    Sec. 1.5. (a) As used in this section, "nudity" has the meaning set forth in section 1(d) of this chapter.
    (b) A person who knowingly or intentionally appears in a public place in a state of nudity commits public nudity, a Class C misdemeanor.
    (c) A person who knowingly or intentionally appears in a public place in a state of nudity with the intent to be seen by another person commits a Class B misdemeanor. However, the offense is a Class D felony if the person has a prior unrelated conviction under this subsection or under subsection (d).
    (d) A person who knowingly or intentionally appears in a state of nudity:
    (1) in or on school grounds;
    (2) in a public park; or
    (3) with the intent to arouse the sexual desires of the person or another person, in a department of natural resources owned or managed property; commits a Class A misdemeanor. However, the offense is a Class D felony if the person has a prior unrelated conviction under this subsection or under subsection (c).

    For the record section 1(d) reads:

    (d) As used in this section, "nudity" means the showing of the human male or female genitals, pubic area, or buttocks with less than a fully opaque covering, the showing of the female breast with less than a fully opaque covering of any part of the nipple, or the showing of covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state.

    To me, that is a rather broad definition of nudity and it clearly outlaws the practice of topless or natural sunbathing. If one were to bathe topless or nude they would be a person who knowingly and intentionally appears in a public place meeting that critera, but there?s a catch? or is there? The Indiana State Constitution states in Article I, Section 3:

    No law shall, in any case whatsoever, control the free exercise and enjoyment of religious opinions, or interfere with the rights of conscience.

    ? In other words, the right for citizens to establish for themselves, what is morally right or wrong and you would be hard pressed to prove to any audience that topless and natural sunbathing is not an issue of morals. In fact, isn?t the state?s duty to protect the citizens of the state and their rights and not to establish the moral standard? This Section of the State Constitution would have you think that.

    So, is it unconstitutional, at least in Indiana, not to allow topless sunbathing at public beaches, pools, and state parks or to allow natural sunbathing with people of like conscience? If you subscribe to this interpretation of the law and constitution, it is. You cannot say that morals are not an issue of religion, nor could you say that conscience is not a product of one?s morals. In any case, you are taking away that individuals right to conscience and to establish what is right and wrong.

    That?s just Indiana, but in a larger sense the issue of public nudity or most state?s definitions of public nudity is detrimental to the maturity and development of American youth, similar to the illegalization of alcohol before the age of 21. Not that teenagers are running around naked as some do drink alcohol in the corn fields just because they legally can?t elsewhere, but when they leave the US and travel they act as children in the eyes of others, especially when they have never seen a topless woman at the beach, so they often gawk and point accordingly. Sometimes these same individuals are acting as ambassadors of the US as members of our Armed Forces.

    American immaturity is not hidden nor does it go unnoticed. Most Europeans, Asians, Australians and the like can identify an American before they even speak to them and it is frustrating to have to tell your travel companions to ?grow-up? or ?act your age,? especially when they are older than you. The problem is, they are acting their age, at least for Americans, but like I stated earlier, ironically it is not a Federal problem, but a state problem. For, the states are the bodies that make these laws.

    Conservatism, by the American definition, is traditional. It is reinforced with every Republican and Democrat that we elect into office while most people don?t realize that if the same parties and their respective beliefs were to exist in most any other country, the Democratic beliefs would be considered extreme right wing conservatism and the Republicans would be under investigation by the state. That may sound drastic and it probably is, but the analogy stands true, and with each passing year American youth becomes more and more liberal. I can see that slowly the Republican ideal will fade and ultimately the Democrats? as well. I cannot picture an America without these two political parties so I can only believe that they will evolve to possess more representative ideals as time passes. Americans are finally growing up and realizing that they have the moral maturity of 18th and early 19th Century Europe.

    Americans? attitude toward nudity and alcohol consumption both politically and morally is not a major obstacle nor is it the only barrier between us and the rest of the world, there is a lot more to it than that, but with each passing day we can take more and more steps toward leveling the playing field.

    I am glad to see real change on the horizon and signs of today and the Super Bowl are giving the outlook real promise. Not that more women will get their clothing ripped off by overzealous pop stars, but that America will someday finally leave it?s bubble and join the rest of reality.

  • #2
    To Bare or Not to Bare...

    By now, almost everyone has seen, heard about, or saw replays of the fiasco that occurred at the 2004 Super Bowl XXXVIII and yet it should be noted that this act took place in the shadow of a great game and an overall entertaining evening for most. However, in retrospect I am left wondering whether the deed that was done was all that substantial or that morally invading.

    Television broadcasters across the nation, especially CBS who aired the show, are screaming to find out precisely what happened and what exactly was ?shown.? The questions arose, ?Was it indecent? Was it intentional?? To that I would ask, ?What does it matter?? If that is not your cup of tea, turn off your television. It happened. Get over it.

    Later Janet Jackson publicly apologized for the act and expressed that she hopes it hasn?t offended too many, but this only answers one of the above questions? Yes, it was intentional. If not, what are you apologizing for, a clothing failure? If there is such a thing.

    Whether it was intentional or not, I think that the American people are far less offended by it than the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) and CBS. In fact, I have found few even talking about it. Most people want to know what was over her areola and where can they get one. (Just FYI, it was a sunburst nipple shield available at many mainstream piercing studios and online stores, and you must have a pierced nipple to wear one) To me, it seems that things have gotten a little blown out of proportion and need to be put back into perspective.

    Moreover, I fail to see why the appearance of a female breast has become such a spectacle in the United States. If it were to have happened anywhere else in the world, perhaps for the most part, no one would have thought twice about it. You can see a female topless at just about any European, South and Central American, Australian, and Asian pool or beach, and I am sure there are some in Africa as well. Not only topless, but anyone can bare their buns in a thong or even go nude in most places. In France, some public pools won?t even let you enter the water with what Americans call swimming trunks.

    Being an American, I grew up with it and to me it never seemed quite right. Though I never believed that I was special, I knew I was definitely not behind the learning curve in addition to knowing what was going on in the world. It often left me thinking, ?If this is the land of freedom, why do we not have some of the freedoms the rest of the world enjoys? Why should anyone be embarrassed to go topless or nude at a beach, pool, or even in your backyard if someone could see you?? To me, it has always seemed like a personal preference and to the rest of the world outside the US it is. No one is obligated to do it and no one, in addition, is obligated to look.

    If, in America, people were suddenly allowed to make their own decision on this matter I find it hard to believe that there would be mass hysteria. In fact, I think that it would be a very gradual transition. First the people who have fought for this would practice it and others would slowly follow suit within the confines of their own conscience.

    Conscience? Now there is an interesting word. What is ?conscience?? Well, Webster defines conscience as ?a sense or consciousness of the moral goodness or blameworthiness of one?s own conduct, intentions, or character together with the feeling of obligation to do right or be good,? whereas one?s own morals decides what is blameworthy and right. That being stated, who should decide if a woman can go topless on a beach or either a woman or a man goes nude there as well? Federal law does not touch that ball, but most states are quick to pick it up.

    Let?s take for instance, my home state of Indiana. Indiana is no different than many other states in the legal definition of public nudity and classifies it as a Class C Misdemeanor:

    IC 35-45-4-1.5
    Public nudity
    Sec. 1.5. (a) As used in this section, "nudity" has the meaning set forth in section 1(d) of this chapter.
    (b) A person who knowingly or intentionally appears in a public place in a state of nudity commits public nudity, a Class C misdemeanor.
    (c) A person who knowingly or intentionally appears in a public place in a state of nudity with the intent to be seen by another person commits a Class B misdemeanor. However, the offense is a Class D felony if the person has a prior unrelated conviction under this subsection or under subsection (d).
    (d) A person who knowingly or intentionally appears in a state of nudity:
    (1) in or on school grounds;
    (2) in a public park; or
    (3) with the intent to arouse the sexual desires of the person or another person, in a department of natural resources owned or managed property; commits a Class A misdemeanor. However, the offense is a Class D felony if the person has a prior unrelated conviction under this subsection or under subsection (c).

    For the record section 1(d) reads:

    (d) As used in this section, "nudity" means the showing of the human male or female genitals, pubic area, or buttocks with less than a fully opaque covering, the showing of the female breast with less than a fully opaque covering of any part of the nipple, or the showing of covered male genitals in a discernibly turgid state.

    To me, that is a rather broad definition of nudity and it clearly outlaws the practice of topless or natural sunbathing. If one were to bathe topless or nude they would be a person who knowingly and intentionally appears in a public place meeting that critera, but there?s a catch? or is there? The Indiana State Constitution states in Article I, Section 3:

    No law shall, in any case whatsoever, control the free exercise and enjoyment of religious opinions, or interfere with the rights of conscience.

    ? In other words, the right for citizens to establish for themselves, what is morally right or wrong and you would be hard pressed to prove to any audience that topless and natural sunbathing is not an issue of morals. In fact, isn?t the state?s duty to protect the citizens of the state and their rights and not to establish the moral standard? This Section of the State Constitution would have you think that.

    So, is it unconstitutional, at least in Indiana, not to allow topless sunbathing at public beaches, pools, and state parks or to allow natural sunbathing with people of like conscience? If you subscribe to this interpretation of the law and constitution, it is. You cannot say that morals are not an issue of religion, nor could you say that conscience is not a product of one?s morals. In any case, you are taking away that individuals right to conscience and to establish what is right and wrong.

    That?s just Indiana, but in a larger sense the issue of public nudity or most state?s definitions of public nudity is detrimental to the maturity and development of American youth, similar to the illegalization of alcohol before the age of 21. Not that teenagers are running around naked as some do drink alcohol in the corn fields just because they legally can?t elsewhere, but when they leave the US and travel they act as children in the eyes of others, especially when they have never seen a topless woman at the beach, so they often gawk and point accordingly. Sometimes these same individuals are acting as ambassadors of the US as members of our Armed Forces.

    American immaturity is not hidden nor does it go unnoticed. Most Europeans, Asians, Australians and the like can identify an American before they even speak to them and it is frustrating to have to tell your travel companions to ?grow-up? or ?act your age,? especially when they are older than you. The problem is, they are acting their age, at least for Americans, but like I stated earlier, ironically it is not a Federal problem, but a state problem. For, the states are the bodies that make these laws.

    Conservatism, by the American definition, is traditional. It is reinforced with every Republican and Democrat that we elect into office while most people don?t realize that if the same parties and their respective beliefs were to exist in most any other country, the Democratic beliefs would be considered extreme right wing conservatism and the Republicans would be under investigation by the state. That may sound drastic and it probably is, but the analogy stands true, and with each passing year American youth becomes more and more liberal. I can see that slowly the Republican ideal will fade and ultimately the Democrats? as well. I cannot picture an America without these two political parties so I can only believe that they will evolve to possess more representative ideals as time passes. Americans are finally growing up and realizing that they have the moral maturity of 18th and early 19th Century Europe.

    Americans? attitude toward nudity and alcohol consumption both politically and morally is not a major obstacle nor is it the only barrier between us and the rest of the world, there is a lot more to it than that, but with each passing day we can take more and more steps toward leveling the playing field.

    I am glad to see real change on the horizon and signs of today and the Super Bowl are giving the outlook real promise. Not that more women will get their clothing ripped off by overzealous pop stars, but that America will someday finally leave it?s bubble and join the rest of reality.

    Comment


    • #3
      Very observant and informative.
      Currently, Australia is going backwards in some aspects of human rights.
      Our prime minister, John Howard, is leader of the federal parliamentary Liberal Party, but, in Australia, the Liberal Party, and their coalition partners, the Nationals, are politically conservative, some members very much so.
      John Howard is inclined to be very conservative.
      I say this just to keep things in perspective for the majority of forum members, to whom "liberal" has a more literal meaning.

      Comment


      • #4
        Excellent assay NCC1912, and your first post as well.

        Gary

        Comment


        • #5
          quote:
          Originally posted by Rex:
          [qb]
          I say this just to keep things in perspective for the majority of forum members, to whom "liberal" has a more literal meaning. [/qb]
          In the US the word 'liberal' has almost no meaning other than as an epithet. It has replaced the obsolete 'commie'. Bill Clinton was lambasted as a 'liberal' from day one, yet he was one of the founders of the DLC -the Democratic Leadership Conference, the 'right wing' of the Democratic party (or as Howard Dean would have it, the 'Republican wing of the Democratic Party').

          What is the real meaning of 'Liberal'? Historically it stands for freedom from church and state authority and the reduction of the power of royalty and aristocracy, free enterprise economics, and the free development of the individual. Liberalism advocated freedom of the press, religious toleration, self-determination for nations.

          What is a 'Conservative'? Classically conservatism is a political philosophy that tends to support the status quo and advocates change only in moderation. Conservatism upholds the value of tradition, and seeks to preserve all that is good about the past.

          The present US administration is not conservative, it is radical - favoring fundamental change in society. The Founding Fathers, Abraham Lincoln, and FDR were all radicals too, either by conviction or necessity. But I have a feeling the present administration will not reach their stature.

          While Nudist ideals may be classically Liberal - concerned with freedom from government authority, personal freedom and tolerance, American Nudism is essentially conservative in many respects. Our political battles are almost exclusively attempts to preserve the status quo: what few traditional freedoms we have.

          -Mark

          Comment


          • #6
            Most nudists are happy with their large and comfortable closets. A majority of nudists are Republicans. A large proportion of nudists are Christian conservatives. All this combines to produce a conservative brand of mainstream nudism that look at us "radicals" with nervousness and antipathy.

            None of those things is true of gays and consequently the gay movement is almost entirely a radical cause forcing its way into the mainstream through confrontation, not giving a crap about respectability or what the neighbors think.

            Comment


            • #7
              Yeah I always wonder why people condone homosexuality and violence but are so against nudity, I mean that just does not make sense. I mean people enjoy showing sex, violence, saying the F word ever fricken 5 minutes and doing all this cult crap *i.e The Mad Mad House show* but yet frown upon something as good and wholesome as nudity and going nuts over a ******* breast like the FCC is. If Janet Jackson can be the little slut that she is in front of a million kids then how come people cant accept good wholesome nudity? Id take the nudist lifestyle over that crap they have on MTV anyday.

              Comment


              • #8
                People condone homosexuality because it's the moral thing to do.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Then why not condone nudity? its the "moral" thing to do too. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] Anyways I just dont think being Gay is natural, I know alot of people say it is but I just think its something people started doing along time ago and has more to do with culture than anything else and people could keep from doing it if they really wanted to, I just dont think its natural, I think god or whoever or whatever yall beleive in intended for us all to be with a man or a woman depending on your sex but not the same sex. I dont really care if people do engage in homosexual activity but I dont condone it or suggest people do it but if they do thats their business and its not any of mine I just want people to know that im not really for it but im the live and let live sorta guy. Anyways I was just saying why condone bad and immoral things but ban nudity? I mean that makes no sense to me. Why allow extreme examples of sex and violence on tv but ban something as simple and wholesome as nudity. if I had kids id rather them see a naked body than someone gettin their head blown off.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I for one, am more offended by someone who is extremely obese than by someone who is nude...and yet, being obese is not against the law in most places...now go figure.

                    But, I think that the way Janet Jackson presented herself for what ultimately happened was planned...and with having a piercied nipple, the evidence is pretty clear that what happened, confirmed this [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_redface.gif[/img]

                    If Dr. Phil, can help millions of people slim down, than there is absolutely no excuse for someone to be so FAT that they look like they do...and considering the approach he takes...

                    Greensunshine in the Pacific NW [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
                    Female, Mormon, and Proud of Both [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      quote:
                      Originally posted by MikeJB:
                      [qb] Then why not condone nudity? its the "moral" thing to do too. [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img] Anyways I just dont think being Gay is natural, I know alot of people say it is but I just think its something people started doing along time ago and has more to do with culture than anything else and people could keep from doing it if they really wanted to, I just dont think its natural, I think god or whoever or whatever yall beleive in intended for us all to be with a man or a woman depending on your sex but not the same sex. I dont really care if people do engage in homosexual activity but I dont condone it or suggest people do it but if they do thats their business and its not any of mine I just want people to know that im not really for it but im the live and let live sorta guy. Anyways I was just saying why condone bad and immoral things but ban nudity? I mean that makes no sense to me. Why allow extreme examples of sex and violence on tv but ban something as simple and wholesome as nudity. if I had kids id rather them see a naked body than someone gettin their head blown off. [/qb]
                      Yes, gays could keep from "doing it" but that wouldn't make them straight. Gays are gay when not having sex and when they have never had sex. It is in the mind and you cannot make a gay enjoy sex with the opposite sex anymore than you could all of a sudden enjoy sex with a man.

                      I don't understand why people have such a hard time believing that. Just ask a gay person how he/she feels inside instead of relying on your religious upbringing.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        quote:
                        Originally posted by greensunshine:
                        [qb] I for one, am more offended by someone who is extremely obese than by someone who is nude...and yet, being obese is not against the law in most places...now go figure.

                        But, I think that the way Janet Jackson presented herself for what ultimately happened was planned...and with having a piercied nipple, the evidence is pretty clear that what happened, confirmed this [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_redface.gif[/img]

                        If Dr. Phil, can help millions of people slim down, than there is absolutely no excuse for someone to be so FAT that they look like they do...and considering the approach he takes...

                        Greensunshine in the Pacific NW [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif[/img]
                        Female, Moron, and Proud of Both [img]/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif[/img] [/qb]
                        So nice!

                        Yup, people can lose weight. Do you have any idea what they have to go through to do that? Obviously not. Most people who do manage to lose on deals like Dr Phil has do so because they were eating badly to begin with. Unfortunately not all fat people eat like that.

                        I went to the gym most of one year and lived on strange foods only to lose 37 pounds. I could not lose more and never got below 200 pounds. I was in great shape, physically fit and still fat. I don't eat junkfoods, don't eat fastfoods, eat very little carbs and lots of salads. I'm still over 200 pounds.

                        I don't think you realize how hard it is to get thin, especially since obviously you don't have to starve yourself or work out obsessively. If you had to do it for a week you'd be one hell of a lot more compassionate.

                        I don't think everyone is meant to be thin. If you want to be offended at how I look please keep it to yourself. Not having been in my shoes you are clueless.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          quote:
                          Originally posted by greensunshine:
                          [qb] I for one, am more offended by someone who is extremely obese than by someone who is nude...and yet, being obese is not against the law in most places...now go figure.[/qb]
                          I don't know anyone who intentionally set out to be morbidly obese. I don't know anyone who became morbidly obese because they are bad people. Do any of you?

                          No one has any business being offended by another person's physical attributes. Fat, skinny, light, dark, button nosed, hawk nosed, smooth skin, blemished, able bodied, or handicapped; its just the shape of their body, not their character.

                          What other people look like doesn't hurt us, it's our own prejudices that are causing offense. We all need to look much deeper than the surface. Matthew 7:1-5

                          -Mark

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Very well said, Mark. Nudism is all about Body Acceptance. Prejudism should be left out in the cold.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I disagree somewhat Shay. There is something wrong to say that nudism's only concern is accepting bodies. Nudism is also about taking good care of the body you are given.

                              I enjoy the companionship of people who are physically fit and those who are clearly endangering their health with their lack of physical condition. So to that extent I accept people as they are.

                              I don't lecture people on how they should eat or exercise. I am just beginning to get my body back in shape after a couple years of mild neglect, so I am not criticizing anyone else.

                              Nor am I suggesting that nudist resorts become boot camps, but I would love to see AANR and many of its member resorts provide a little more mentoring or leadership to promote: good diet, help for those who want to quit smoking, cut back a bit on the booze, and offer greater opportunities for exercise.

                              Comment

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