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Nude teens in Vermont town

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  • #16
    boy, i wish i had some friends like that when i was young. Vermont is generally considered an open-minded state, the citizens of Vermont should stand up for the teens right to be naked. I am surprised that they are bending to pressure from one little person.

    I agree that there are bigger issues than some naked kids, maybe they should concern themselves with these bigger issues...

    Comment


    • #17
      What is permissible in public is a matter that should be negotiated between "interested parties". I totally agree that textiles in authority are often the ones who are intransigent, and that is equally wrong. I have consistently agreed with nudists that the places allocated to them in many countries are too few in number, with poor facilities and are often inaccessible. By failing to take heed of the wishes of nudists to have places to enjoy their chosen lifestyles and make provision for them accordingly, some authorities are, indeed, behaving like fundamentalists. But two wrongs don't make a right. My posting was intended to applaud "lamourie" for her common sense and reasonable approach. You can't expect consideration for yourself if you don't show consideration for others.

      In the case in point in this thread, the teenagers concerned are not nudists. They have no interest in "nude recreation" and would probably shun the thought of using a nudist beach or club. Most of them, when they grow up, will probably abandon any ideas of getting naked in public. This is a youthful jaunt and, like many similar examples of "shocking" behaviour, it's causing irritation to some locals.

      Many parents make a conscious decision to shield their children from the sight of nakedness. Rightly or wrongly, they consider it to be at best undesirable and at worst harmful. Understandably, nudists don't share this perception, and so they bring up their own children differently, as they are entitled to do. Nudists don't like it when their choices are interfered with by textiles (e.g. the efforts to prevent nudist teen camps). Surely textiles should enjoy corresponding parental rights and be able to prevent their children encountering naked adults.

      I am now aware of the history/reputation of this particular Vermont town. If I ever decided to move to the US, I wouldn't live there and if I did, I would have no grounds to complain about behaviour that has long been accepted. But the people who have lived there all their lives have every right to make their public spaces as comfortable and benign as they wish, and if that means curtailing the activities of some of the town's teenagers, then that, too is their right.

      Stu

      Comment


      • #18
        Stu,

        If hanging out nude with friends is not "nude recreation", then I think most of us nudists are in big trouble. I hope the textiles of the world do not begin to try and define what is nude recreation and what is not.

        There are many things in public that do not have to be negotiated. We do have certain rights that are simply not negotiable. And in this instance what they are doing is already legal. The United States is a republic, and as such, we are not always at the beckon call of the majority, though it certainly can seem that way at many times.

        It may have seemed at times that interacial couples and gay couples had to tread lightly and "negotiate" with the public at large. But in the end it was learned by the public that these couples had a right to be with the person of their choosing, even if one individual might be "offended". So we have come a long way and still have a long way to go.

        Textile parents do have their "rights". But their rights should not override the rights of others. Textile parents should not be considered more equal than non textiled parents.

        As to whether or not those teens will one day be nudists.....they are obviously already more comfortable with nudity than most, and in my eyes they are already nudists. After all, they are socializing with their peers....nude.

        Best Regards,

        NDR

        Comment


        • #19
          Runner

          I think that the young man that was interviewed in the article summed it up well when he said: "It's just that we're bored and expressing our right". Young people have long had a tendency to behave in any way they can think of to outrage their elders, and that's clearly what they are doing here. Similar things happened in the 1960s - but it was a phase that passed.

          We may well have "rights that are not negotiable", but philosophers have long argued about what they actually are. One person's exercise of a right can result in another person's deprivation of a right. I have a right to practise playing my bugle, but my next door neighbour has a right to peace and quiet. It's even harder to define absolute rights when we are talking about public spaces because we all have to use them and we all have to pay for them. This is not simply a question of majority rule and tough on everyone else. The only way to resolve conflicts of interest are to negotiate - and negotiation must always involve compromise. If one belongs to a tiny minority, and one's behaviour impinges upon the values or lifestyle of everyone else, then there is an even greater obligation on the part of the minority to compromise. On the specific point, I certainly do not recognise any God-given, non-negotiable right to naked in public where that could cause outrage.The key question is whether these teens are behaving within, or outside of, the law. If they are not breaking any laws they should be allowed to continue, but that does not preclude any citizen using the democratic machinery to have the law changed. If the majority of people wanted to make my local shopping mall compulsorily nude, then the authorities would have a mandate to make this law and I would have to abide by it. If people in this Vermont town decide that public nudity is unacceptable, then they should make it illegal. In the name of fairness to minorities, however, they should then decent facilities for those who did wish to be naked to continue doing so. Where those facilities are sited, how large they are and what they comprise of, etc, are important matters, and it is these that should be up for negotiation and compromise.

          I agree that we have come a long way in recent years, but this has been because of, not in spite of, majority rule. If the majority of people are opposed to, for example, gays kissing in public, then I have no qualms about that being made illegal. If it offends in public - do it in private where it will offend no-one. Legislators are there by virtue of being elected by the people: they are servants of the people, not their masters. If they can not in good conscience enact the will of the people, they have no business holding office.

          Stu

          Comment


          • #20
            Stu,

            So if this same town happened to be predominately catholic, and the citizens decided that there should be no public displays of other religions to protect what their children are exposed to, and banned synagogues, mosques, and other gathering places, as well as religious clothing, that would be acceptable?

            The minorities in this case should are obliged to negotiate for the ability to do as they wish? I hope that day does not come again.

            It is difficult for me to imagine sactioning the government to use physical force(police powers) to force my way upon another. Nudists are not forcing clothed people to disrobe. Yet clothed people are willing to force nudists to get dressed. Such a huge difference.

            Unless it can be proven that seeing a nude person causes some harm, then nudity should be treated as just another choice an individual makes, such as tattoos, and body piercings.

            Just because someone finds something objectionable is not reason to take away the rights of another(even though this happens time and again).

            It is more important for the majority to learn to tolerate the minority than it is for the majority to use their power against the minority. For one day, they too will find themselves on the minority side of an issue. When that day comes, they will become believers in both tolerance and minority rights.

            NDR

            Comment


            • #21
              Runner

              So if this same town happened to be predominately catholic, and the citizens decided that there should be no public displays of other religions to protect what their children are exposed to, and banned synagogues, mosques, and other gathering places, as well as religious clothing, that would be acceptable?
              Something similar already happens in some societies. If the people of such a state agree that they find certain religious practices to be not merely disagreeable, but actually offensive, then they have every right to require them to perform those rituals etc in private and out of public view. But your analogy of banning synagogues, mosques etc does not work. Nobody is claiming that there is any right to ban, for example, a sign on some gates saying "Nudist Community" any more than there is a right to ban a sign saying "Synagogue".

              It is difficult for me to imagine sactioning the government to use physical force(police powers) to force my way upon another. Nudists are not forcing clothed people to disrobe. Yet clothed people are willing to force nudists to get dressed. Such a huge difference.
              I have learned since coming here that being a nudist involves more than merely taking your clothes off - nudism is a broader lifestyle. And so is being a textile. We are people who notb only feel uncomfortable being naked among strangers - we feel uncomfortable being in the presence of naked people. Many nudists, including the one I quoted, seem content to practise nudism with, and only with, other likeminded nudists. So we are talking about a section of a minority. These are nudists and who wish to be naked among people who are not nudists, and in the knowledge that they may well find nudity offensive. I'm afraid I'm solidly behind the majority on this one.

              Unless it can be proven that seeing a nude person causes some harm, then nudity should be treated as just another choice an individual makes, such as tattoos, and body piercings.
              I find tattoos and piercings unsightly but, unless they are obscene in some way, they do not offend me. I have yet to meet anyone who would go so far as to say they find these offensive. Nudity is quite different. As for harm, I would class it in a similar way to, for example, racist posters, or the display of explicit pornography, or the graphic portrayal of drug-use. There is no evidence that any of these cause physical harm to the viewer, but we don't want them in our environment.

              I do agree that the majority has an obligation to tolerate minorities - that's not at issue. Where we disagree is with regard to what form that toleration should take. With regard to nudism, for example, it should take the form of plenty of areas being provided for nudists to use - venues that are accessible, well-signposted, clean, and with facilities that non-nudists enjoy such as toilets, lifeguards etc. If the nudists wish to use other places, nobody is stopping them. They just slip on a pair of shorts. I think this is a perfectly fair compromise for the majority to make with what is, in reality, a very tiny minority. Don't you?

              Stu

              Comment


              • #22
                Stu,

                No, I am afraid I do not agree on many points.

                Comparing nudity to racist posters and pornography is part of the problem in our society. Do you really believe nudity is similar to explicit pornography and racism? Nudity is not pornography.

                If nudity was not wanted in our environment, they why is there so much of it in not only movies, but the arts? Why is there so much nude advertising in Europe?

                On public properties, I would agree on compromise. However, where private property in involved, the right to be nude should not be a question. The owner of the property should have the right to decide.

                NDR

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Stu2630:

                  I find tattoos and piercings unsightly but, unless they are obscene in some way, they do not offend me. I have yet to meet anyone who would go so far as to say they find these offensive. Nudity is quite different. As for harm, I would class it in a similar way to, for example, racist posters, or the display of explicit pornography, or the graphic portrayal of drug-use. There is no evidence that any of these cause physical harm to the viewer, but we don't want them in our environment.
                  I understand and respect the fact that everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and though you don't seem comfortable yourself with nudism to the same level many here do you do tend to at least respect others wishes, but to compare mere nudity to racism or pornography or drug use is offensive to, I'm imagine, a large percentage of posters on this board.

                  Racism is the seperation of people based on something as trivial as their skin colour or where they come from, and something which singles someone out based on anything like that has no place in a free society. In a similar fashion pornography is something which many believe to degrade women and treat them as objects, and though it is a rapidly changing and growing industry it has no place in a public place where children may see it. The law says we can't have sex until a certain age and so it is not something which should be flaunted where people under that age can see it. Drug use is a different subject I think because addiction is a disease and no-one is really suggesting it to be good and be flaunted, its graphic portrayal in films and such, which I presume you meant, shouldn't be banned if the film is rated such that children can't see it.

                  Nudity, however, is not even on the same level. As a society we have been raised to believe that it is wrong, mostly because many link it too quickly with sex, but innocent nudity is just that, innocent. If you don't like it you can avoid it, but it is hardly fair when people are persecuted merely for taking off their clothes when they mean to cause no offense. If someone is flaunting themself then fair enough, but mere nudity shouldn't constitute a criminal offense.

                  Everyone's bodies are fundamentally the same and I can't understand the mindset of wanting to make people believe otherwise. If you wish to keep your own body private then that is your right, but to stop others from doing so merely because you were raised to believe nudity is wrong is taking away their freedom. It isn't any single persons fault, I suppose it could be drawn back to the Bible where nudity was seen as shameful, and that has simply been upheld through the centuries, but just because it's an old 'tradition' doesn't make it right for the modern world.

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0004912.html

                    According to the Infoplease crime report, Vermont is the third safest state in the nation, behind North Dakota and Maine, on a per capita basis.

                    Perhaps the citizens of that state not only respect the right of individuals to be nude, but respect the rights of individuals overall as well.

                    If anyone else has done research on crime rates in areas that tolerate nudity, I hope you post it. There does not seem to be much research on the topic that I can find.

                    NDR

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Nude_Dude_Runner:
                      http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0004912.html

                      According to the Infoplease crime report, Vermont is the third safest state in the nation, behind North Dakota and Maine, on a per capita basis.

                      Perhaps the citizens of that state not only respect the right of individuals to be nude, but respect the rights of individuals overall as well.

                      If anyone else has done research on crime rates in areas that tolerate nudity, I hope you post it. There does not seem to be much research on the topic that I can find.

                      NDR
                      Vermont has long had a reputation for protecting the rights of the individual, even if (and perhaps particularly when) the individual is in the minority.

                      Dave

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Nude_Dude_Runner:
                        Stu,

                        So if this same town happened to be predominately catholic, and the citizens decided that there should be no public displays of other religions to protect what their children are exposed to, and banned synagogues, mosques, and other gathering places, as well as religious clothing, that would be acceptable?
                        Positing hypotheticals such as this is completely beside the point. The Founding Fathers recognized religious tolerance as a basic inalienable right of man, so they included within the Bill of Rights a clause establishing religious tolerance. As much as many of the people here wish it were so, there's no universally recognized right to nudity. As such, the government of Brattleboro is well within its rights to restrict public nudity if it so wishes. Prudentially, it might be a bad move, but the prudentiality of a question is irrelevant to the authority of a governing body.

                        If we want to extend the availability of public places for nudity, then we have to focus on making prudential arguments. An argument about "rights" regarding this issue is absurd on its face and isn't likely to convince anyone. Indeed, it makes nudists come across as a bunch of whackos who have nothing serious to contribute to public discourse. Instead, we have to be like any other special-interest group wishing to receive government sanction - argue convincing and reasonably within the public sphere in the expectation that our arguments are the winning ones. Even so, we might still not get our desired outcome right away, in which case we keep at it, convinced that reason will see the light of day and triumph in the end.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          4X "Instead, we have to be like any other special-interest group wishing to receive government sanction - argue convincing and reasonably within the public sphere in the expectation that our arguments are the winning ones"

                          When the public sphere is consistently and repeatedly lumping nudism into the same category as pornography and strip clubs, how do you ever plan to win a majority consensus on the subject?

                          What other special interest groups do you feel nudism is like?

                          As for the religious "hypothetical", the opposition of communities to churches, mosques, and synagogues occur every day here in the United States, despite that "right".

                          If believing that I have the right to do what I desire, especially on private property, without the sanction of the government makes me a "whacko", then so be it.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Stu:"You can't expect consideration for yourself if you don't show consideration for others."

                            These were three young adults who were exercising the right to practice a legal activity. Why concnetrate on these three in suggetsing that "we" should show consideration. What about the every other time "we" show consideration by abiding by the law? How often does that heppen? How about every day millions of times a day. How many times is a nudist caught in an unusual or illegal area naked?

                            Ax I keep telling you Stu, the consideration flows only one way. And when the extremely rare time that "we" do something out of the ordinary,all hell breaks loose in the textile community.

                            Stu:"Many parents make a conscious decision to shield their children from the sight of nakedness."

                            Ah, playing the children card again? Why is that used so much, Stu? Every politician who wants to make a point uses children for their benefit. Usually, it is to deprive someone or some group of rights.

                            I agree with you in compromise, but that assumes the fundamentalists (read textile leaders) would even wantt o compromise. Legislators are there by virtue of being elected by the people: they are servants of the people, not their masters. They are above everything, servants of the law. I understand that it is different in the UK, but here, they have to first look at what the higher laws allow.

                            I acknowledge that nudity is not proteted yet, but as in NY, sometimes an exposure law can fall to higher laws.

                            Bob S.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Stu:"Nudity is quite different. As for harm, I would class it in a similar way to, for example, racist posters, or the display of explicit pornography, or the graphic portrayal of drug-use. There is no evidence that any of these cause physical harm to the viewer, but we don't want them in our environment."

                              So these three teens, Stu, are they similar to skinheads who are spraypainting racist graffiti around? Does their hanging around naked have any similarities to an public orgy? Would it be right to compare them to heroine addicts who are shooting up on the corner?

                              Stu:"With regard to nudism, for example, it should take the form of plenty of areas being provided for nudists to use - venues that are accessible, well-signposted, clean, and with facilities that non-nudists enjoy such as toilets, lifeguards etc. If the nudists wish to use other places, nobody is stopping them. They just slip on a pair of shorts. I think this is a perfectly fair compromise for the majority to make with what is, in reality, a very tiny minority. Don't you?"

                              Sure. Unfortunately, he fundies (read the leaders) do not provide us anything or extremely few places. And now you are saying that even when it is legal, we shouldn't do it? These young men were naked in an area where it was legal to be so. How much of a compromise do you expect? I know, that is a little extreme, but you have to understand the predicament nudists are in. We have nothing and are expected to compromise with nothing offered. How is that a good deal for us?

                              Bob S.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Stu: I am now aware of the history/reputation of this particular Vermont town. If I ever decided to move to the US, I wouldn't live there and if I did, I would have no grounds to complain about behaviour that has long been accepted.

                                If you moved to Brattleboro, you'd be in the footsteps of Rudyard Kipling, who lived there for four years because it was his wife's home town. Unfortunately he got into a public scuffle with his brother-in-law, which left Kipling looking so ridiculous that he felt he had to leave town. So no, you probably wouldn't like it, though it's hardly a den of nudists most of the time. The climate really isn't favorable!

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