Naturists Campaigning for Naturism

News from NAG – May 2016

A Film for All The Family
It is not often that I mention a film in this column. Ok, not ever. I leave it to others but if you are looking for a film that can entertain multi-generational audiences then what better than a Disney animation. So can I point you towards Zootopia, (Zootropolis in the UK for some reason) set in a land where the animals live in peace, with Idris Elba? Like so many animated films today meant for a U certificate there are layers of jokes and references. The reason why I mention it is that it features Mystic Springs Oasis, a naturist club owned by a laid back Yak. Did I mention it is by Disney?

Looking for Paradise?
For naturists, a small Mediterranean island – Ile du Levant – off the French coast near Toulon could lay claim to being paradise. According to the Wall Street Journal (10/03/2016) however, all is not well, and Jean-Yves Gacon, the president of the homeowners association on the island, is its source.

Brothers, Drs. Andre and Gaston Durville bought their portion of the island in 1931, after it had a chequered history as a young offenders penitentiary and orphanage. Most of the island is a military base but on the Durville’s portion, the village Heliopolis grew in the 1950s with its own town hall, a post office, school and chapel built by and for the residents.

When the community was first founded, there were certain areas – like the town square – people were expected to wear ‘la minimum’. Over the years enforcement has been lacks and naturists have got used to passing through the town square from the beach (where nudity is obligatory) to their hotel, naked. M. Gacon says he has researched the history of the community and discovered that the Durville brothers were rarely ‘entirely nude’ but wore a ‘stringy garment’ instead. Claiming historical precedence the homeowners association is now enforcing the old rules and has been backed up by the Mayor of Hyeres, under whose jurisdiction the Ile du Levant falls.

Like lots of other naturist sites, Ile du Levant has an aging population and M. Gacon believes by reverting to the old rules, he will make the island a popular holiday destination once more. But wouldn’t that also mean loosing a unique facility to naturism?

End of the Road for WNBR in Melbourne
For the last decade, Melbourne, Australia has been a host of the World Naked Bike Ride, but this year was the last one.

According to website Road.CC, more than 100 people took part but Dallas Goldburg told The Age that it took a lot of organising and that he believed that ‘cycling and cycling awareness has become a full time job, not just one day a year.’

We could say the same about being an advocate for naturism.

Mazo Beach Closed
Nudism at Mazomanie Beach, one of a few sites in the US State of Wisconsin, along the Wisconsin River, is no more. The State’s Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has closed the beach, citing illegal drug use and anti-social behaviour (public sex) as its reasons.

A homeowner, living near the beach told 27 News however, that it wasn’t the naturists who were causing the problem. He said: ‘We’d see more than a 100 cars lined up on the road with license plates from states like Indiana, Minnesota and Illinois.’ But the President of Mazomanie Village said loosing of the nudist dollar would have minimal effect on the village.

The DNR officials said that nudist activity was not allowed under the department’s rules and failed to respond when 27 News asked them why they acted now, after allowing custom and practice to develop for the last 20-years. According to their website, Friends of Mazo Beach said they are acting, along with the assistance of the Naturist Action Committee (not us) and legal counsel, to reverse the decision.

Topless in Chicago
In 2014, Sonoko Tagami decided to join in with ‘Go Topless Day’ demonstrations in Chicago and, along with other protesters, covered her chest in body paint to comply with a Municipal Code requiring women to have an ‘opaque covering’ over their breasts. The police decided that this still violated the code and Tagami was fined $100 for indecent exposure, plus $50 in costs.

According to the Chicago Tribune (04/03/2016), Tagami has now filed a lawsuit against the city and Chicago Department of Administrative Hearings, seeking a reversal of her original conviction.

Tagami had tried to claim that the Municipal Code was unconstitutional and against her rights under the 1st and 14th Amendments. The federal court declined to exercise its jurisdiction last February, hence the new lawsuit. The Illinois Bar Journal (Jan 2016) has a full explanation of the Municipal Code and also considers its effect on men and male to female transgender individuals.

From an outsiders’ perspective, as there is no biological difference between male and female breasts, apart from the obvious, it does seem to be sexually discriminatory, as the code does not require men to cover their breasts with an opaque material.

Review: Skinny Dipping
The Naturist Philosopher has reviewed Skinny Dipping, a book of essays by Janet Lembke predominantly on the subjects of water and nature. The title essay tells the reader how Lembke found skinny-dipping at the age of four, a memory made indelible by her parents’ displeasure. Lembke writes: “The colors and heat of that day are with me still, and the soft, cool, feathery, quite delicious sensations of water sipping over bare skin”.

In adult life, Lembke says that she and her husband are like children: “giggling with residual naughtiness but not caring if anyone sees or hears, we launch our bodies forward, blending sweat with brine.”

According The Naturist Philosopher the remaining essays only touch skinny-dipping briefly, but many of them refer to water and water environments, perhaps leaving the reader to imagine the scene with the protagonist naked, who could be either Lembke or the reader.

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