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  • letters to the editor

    Oh, what an August it has been in the world of newspaper letters to the editors!

    It started in the Virginian Pilot on August 1 when Judy Taylor of Virginia Beach wrote:
    Topless Alert
    Last Wednesday, I observed three young women sunbathing with their bikini tops down at Virginia Beach. On Thursday I returned to the beach and, you guessed it, they were there again, tops down. What really disturbed me was that they had their (rented) beach chairs near the water where there were children playing nearby.
    So if you are thinking of taking your children to the beach next week, stay away from 22nd Street.


    This was followed two days later with three letters responding to that letter:

    Grateful for Warning
    Oddly, your "Topless Alert" (letter, Aug 1) appears in the same section with Kerry Dougherty's treatment of a very similar topic ["What to do if you stumble across a bit of derriere?"]
    The writer was Johnny on the spot to catch the social danger of the bare female breast. I personally want to thank her for preparing all of us for such an inflaming spectacle.
    If this is allowed to go unchecked, children will go stark raving mad and men will become lust-obsessed lunatics.We need only to look to Asia, Australia, South America, and Europe to see the depraved societies that have resulted from sight of a naked breast.
    I'll sponsor a trip to Europe for the writer--not to go to the beach, but rather to spray paint all the naked breasts in the Louvre.
    David Brewster (Norfolk)

    To the Rescue!
    Bared breasts at the Oceanfront? Two days in a row? It's an outrage! But merely writing a letter to the editor, as concerned citizen Judy Taylor chose to do, is not going to make this problem go away.
    So I volunteer to personally monitor this situation. I will plant my chair at 22nd Street today, tomorrow and for as long as it takes before the authorities intervene.
    Rest easy, Ms. Taylor. I'm on it.
    Scott Mackey (Norfolk)

    Better than squinting
    Re Judy Taylor warning people about nude sunbathers on 22nd Street: I happen to own a binocular stand on 21st Street and I am offering a 20 percent discount with a copy of this ad--er, letter.
    Georgette Constant (Norfolk)


    In fun, on Aug. 10 Robert K. Ander of Norfolk chimed in regarding a story about a rare spotting of a bird that isn't seen much in this area, but contained a sentence in the article that was just too good to pass up:

    False Alarm
    I picked up the paper Wednesday and my sleep-blurred eyes caught this:
    "Brown boobies found in Virginia Beach? I would say, 'Wow, that's really rare.'" Eric Davis, federal biologist.
    My pulse quickened! Finally, I thought, The Virginian Pilot's crack staff of photographers had caught, on pixels, the elusive topless sunbathers on 22nd Street.
    Come to find out it was only about some dumb bird in Fort Story.


    But of course, there must be a poor sport in every batch. Kathryn P. Bartlett of Chesapeake offered her opinion of Aug 11:

    A matter of indecency
    Re "Grateful for warning" (letter Aug 3), responding to a letter about topless sunbathers:
    We are not talking about trips to the Louvre here. We are talking about indecencies and what is morally right, especially when children are present.
    The last time I checked, Virginia Beach was not a clothing-optional beach and I know the police have arrested men in the past for showing themselves to children. So what makes this right?


    If there are any more of these fun letters, I will supply them.

    Bob S.

  • #2
    Bob S.

    Great catch there!

    I’m especially amused by this partial comment:

    " If this is allowed to go unchecked, children will go stark raving mad and men will become lust-obsessed lunatics. We need only to look to Asia, Australia, South America, and Europe to see the depraved societies that have resulted from sight of a naked breast."

    Who have these people been listening to?

    Could this sort of thinking be in any mainstream print?

    Hard to believe people actually believe or think this way after being barraged on national television with bra ads, and the latest in fashions showing cleavage.
    .

    Comment


    • #3
      I suspect the "lust obsessed lantics" letter was tongue in cheek.
      Cirtainly the binoculars one and the observer one were meant that way.
      Sad reality is this. Some people DO feel that way.

      Joe

      Comment


      • #4
        Gary, like Joe, I feel that the "stark-raving mad" children and "lust-obsessed lunatics" was meant to be sarcastic.

        The last letter writer, however, is confusing two types of exposure. She is comparing a woman sunbathing topless to a flasher who is exposing himself to innocent victims for sexual gratification.

        People who can't tell the difference between the two are the biggest problem.

        Bob S.

        Comment


        • #5
          Bob,

          I remember when I was a youngster, delivering the Virginia Pilot (oh maybe 45 years ago), there was a question about whether the mono-kini (if anyone remembers that) would become popular...so the editors of the Virginia Pilot ran a picture of a naked breast and asked for reader's responses, obscene or not? Letter after letter appeared about how could the Virginia Pilot, a family newspaper publish such a disgusting picture of a breast....where children could see it.....so the paper then published the entire picture of.....Johnny Weismuller. For those of you too young to remember, Johnny Weismuller played Tarzan and had very well developed pectoral muscles. It would be interesting if the Pilot ran that article again.

          Walt Iliff

          Comment


          • #6
            How come people that ask the question, "What if the children see it?", Can Never answer the question?

            From my experience, the younger a person/ child is, the less interested they are. Not to mention, the more often they see nudity the more they accept it.

            I hope the result of this letter to the editor turns the 22nd street beach into C/O.

            Steve

            Comment


            • #7
              This was an editorial in the 11 Aug 06 Pilot in reference to Kerry Dougherty's Aug 3 column.
              http://home.hamptonroads.com/stories...8569&ran=89869

              "Re: Kerry Dougherty's Aug. 3 column, "A swimsuit style that a grandmother could... hate".
              A great big thanks to Ms. Dougherty and others in the media who downgrade Christians desiring to cover up thier beautiful bodies so they may share them with only their spouses as God intended.
              I am not one of those "kooky" people who are modest enough to do just that. For years I have visited the beach, I have been wearing a skirt and top that cover necessary parts. I'd love to be the first ones at our Oceanfront with a suit from WholesomeWear [at left}, featured in the Aug 2 Daily Break. I would never have known about Sholesome Wear if Ms. Dougherty and others had not had the bad taste to criticize the standards of people who may not feel the same as they do about modesty.

              Kathyrn P. Bartlett
              Chesapeake

              www.wholesomewear.com
              http://home.hamptonroads.com/stories...814&ran=203493

              So I wonder if she meant "our oceanfront" as in the people of va beach or as in the christians who want modesty to prevail at the oceanfront. It is because of attitudes such as this to why Virginia Beach will never be the tourist attraction it wants and has the potential to be.
              Gee, I wonder if us locals should flood the Pilot with opinions to the contrary?

              Oh, and now I see we're "kooks". Whatevvvvverrr!!

              ken

              Comment


              • #8
                Christians desiring to cover up thier beautiful bodies so they may share them with only their spouses as God intended.
                I don't know what god she is worshiping,
                But it's not the Christian God. I'm betting she is being influenced by her local pastor more than by God.
                God's biggest problem is finding "Spokespeople" that won't preach their opinions as the word of God.

                She's just another misguided soul.

                Steve

                Comment


                • #9
                  I wonder if any of these letter writers complain about the skin and sexual dalliences displayed at supermarket checkout counters. Sex, but not nudity.

                  At least at the beach, there's sun, water, small bathing suits.. sighting skin is actually expected. Nudity, but not sex. Stay away if you find it a problem.

                  But at the supermarket? Why do I need to see the Hollywood rags when buying Cheerios and milk with my kid?

                  The hipocracy is annoying.

                  Ms. Bartlett should be remined that the commandment is to love your neighbor, not control your neighbor's behavior.

                  "Ms. Bartlett, leave me alone, please. I'm just walking along the beach and wading into the surf now and again. I'm sorry I didn't by a $50 pair of bright colored knee-shorts for your benefit. Will you forgive me?"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Walt, I wonder how those indignant letter writers felt after realizing the breast they despised so much was one of the most famous of the time?

                    ken:"So I wonder if she meant "our oceanfront" as in the people of va beach or as in the christians who want modesty to prevail at the oceanfront."

                    I wonder if she is one of Pat's followers?

                    Steve:"How come people that ask the question, "What if the children see it?", Can Never answer the question?"

                    Because they have no answer. It is meant rhetorically, but when treated as a legitmate question, the answer eludes them, and that makes them even angrier.

                    Steve:"I hope the result of this letter to the editor turns the 22nd street beach into C/O."

                    No luck there. 22nd is right in the middle of the main part of the Oceanfront beach. Actually, what I would love is if they could turn some of the Back Bay (Southern VA Beach) beaches into CO.

                    But I am not holding my breath. VA Beach is a very conservative city. On the Boardwalk, there are signs every so often that have a red line through some symbols meaning no cussing.

                    Bob S.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I remember reading an article a few years ago in my former hometown newspaper the Mobile Press Register in Mobile, AL. Someone wrote a letter to the editor about women jogging wearing sports bras and very short and tight shorts. The writer thought it was very inappropriate, vulgar, .etc.

                      Another writer wrote wrote in defending the joggers saying something to the effect that it was just a sign of the times and if the joggers are in great shape and proud of their body then more power to them.

                      I later moved to Norfolk, VA and noticed a few female joggers wearing the same attire while jogging along Hampton Blvd past my room at the Navy Lodge and quickly remembered that article from Mobile, AL.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Bob S.:
                        Gary, like Joe, I feel that the "stark-raving mad" children and "lust-obsessed lunatics" was meant to be sarcastic.

                        The last letter writer, however, is confusing two types of exposure. She is comparing a woman sunbathing topless to a flasher who is exposing himself to innocent victims for sexual gratification.

                        People who can't tell the difference between the two are the biggest problem.

                        Bob S.
                        now what would be the differnce between a male and a female flasher

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          ranul:"now what would be the differnce between a male and a female flasher"

                          My guess is what they flash. Now going topless for sunbathing is in another galaxy from going up to someone and exposing yourself for sexual gratification. It would be like comparing forgetting to look both ways before pulling out of a parking space and causing an accident to knocking another car off the road because they cut you off.

                          Bob S.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Bob S.:
                            ranul:"now what would be the differnce between a male and a female flasher"

                            My guess is what they flash. Now going topless for sunbathing is in another galaxy from going up to someone and exposing yourself for sexual gratification. It would be like comparing forgetting to look both ways before pulling out of a parking space and causing an accident to knocking another car off the road because they cut you off.

                            Bob S.
                            I still don't see what the differnce is they are both exposing themselves to people that may or may be offended by it
                            there is also a differnce between a woman that goes topless and one the flashes here breasts at people .

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I still don't see what the differnce is they are both exposing themselves to people
                              You are wrong about that. Only a flasher is "exposing" him/her self to a victum.

                              Being nude is not exposing yourself.
                              Dropping your pants in an alley or mall parking lot for self gratification at the reaction of the people seeing you is.
                              I am nude in my house/yard almost always. I am not exposing myself. If someone comes to my door and sees me nude in my house/yard I am not exposing myself to them. I am simply nude.
                              If I were at a beach tanning nude and someone walked by and saw me, I am not exposing myself to them. I am simply nude.

                              If I was lurking in the bushes or behind a rock waiting for someone to walk by so I could jump out and force them to see my nakedness,so I could feel a thrill at their reaction , Then I would be exposing myself.

                              But don't feel alone. Some people will never "get it". They are stuck with the belief that all nudity is obscene or offensive. They believe that human skin is sinful to be seen. They are Victims of Puritanical teachings that have been handed down for generations. Teachings that are designed to Control and Manipulate people to conform to someone elses prudish opinion.

                              Steve

                              Comment

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