Lots of naturists enjoy open space naturism at many places in the UK, when the weather allows. As naturists we know that only in a few extreme cases does public nakedness offend some people, and now the evidence to prove this is being collected. If you enjoy being at one with nature, alone or with others, in the UK’s great outdoors your experience may be able to help prove that there is public acceptance of naturism.
You may have heard about the Naturist Action Group (NAG) project on collecting data, through a Casual Naturism Report form. Early indications are very positive, with nearly all returns (at June 2015) from naturists showing that people who witness this are NOT offended. However, the evidence needs to be supplemented by returns, in confidence, from far more naturists. This will then lead to it being substantial enough for use in the defence of the few naturists who face legal action. This where you may be able to help them.
WNBR a positive influence
In the season of WNBR rides the police are beginning to respond
Dear body freedom supporters, dear friends,
I am excited about Pride Parade this year, hoping that many of you will come and proudly join our Body Freedom contingent! Last year the audience loved us and I am sure it will be just as awesome this year!
We have finally completed the settlement with the City and are getting ready to file an appeal in the 9th Circuit Court. (See press release below)
In the meantime, we are $292 short of our June payment to our legal team. Please send us some donations! Every little donation adds up and makes a difference. Please PayPal $ to firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com> or if you need my address to send a check please email me. If you would rather send a payment directly to our lawyer Gill please let me know.
Big naked hugs,
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Body freedom activists and City of San Francisco Settle a Portion of Claims
San Francisco, California – June 15, 2015 – Plaintiffs in the case challenging San Francisco’s nudity ordinance filed a stipulated dismissal on that claim which was settled as part of an Agreement entered by the two sides last month. The settlement includes a one-time payment from the City to the Plaintiffs for $20,000, all of which will be given to the nudists’ legal team to cover a portion of the legal fees. Plaintiffs other claims are slated for appeal to the Ninth Circuit.
San Francisco Police Code 154 was introduced by District 8 Supervisor Scott Weiner in late 2011 and was passed on a 6 to 5 vote with significant opposition from 5 Supervisors and the public. Prior to its enactment on February 1, 2012, non-sexual nudity was legal in San Francisco except in land under the control of the Park and Recreational Department. The ban has specific exemptions for nudity at permitted fairs, festivals and parades.
However, the SFPD ignored those exceptions and cited Plaintiffs even when they were nude at Bay to Breakers and the Haight Street Fair, both of which are covered by the exemption. The SFPD also cited and arrested Plaintiffs when their nudity was an integral part of political protests protected by the First Amendment. A win at the Ninth Circuit could protect the Plaintiffs’ future right to use nudity to convey their political message of body freedom, which includes freedom from body shaming.
‘Judge Chen’s earlier rulings made it clear that the Plaintiffs were going to succeed on First and Fourteenth Amendment claims based on viewpoint discrimination,’ stated the Plaintiffs’ attorney D. Gill Sperlein. ‘We have settled that claim so that we can focus on the claims that are the most important to the Plaintiffs.’ The reason those claims are important is that they would allow for injunctive relief preventing the SFPD from interrupting nude protests in the future.
‘The settlement reached with the defendants provides important funding to continue litigating the important
Naturists are making progress at Hampstead Heath
A flurry of NAG (Naturist Action Group) activity before June saw naturist gains at London’s Hampstead Heath. In February a series of articles in the Ham & High local newspaper focussed on the need for naturist activity to be accepted on the Heath. Then a few weeks later art photographer Anastasia held a naked photoshoot, with NAG supporter John Mc as the model. This may lead to a larger NAG organised photo-shoot later this year. Anyone interested in participating in the photo-shoot should contact NAG via john.paine AT naturistactiongroup DOT org.
Male naturists continue to use the cramped Men’s Bathing Pond changing area. Meanwhile at the Ladies Pond female NAG supporter Carlie and a friend were finally able to be topless without incurring the wrath of the female attendants. More female naturists could join in this action, which may then lead to acceptance of naturism on a sheltered part of the Ladies Pond sunbathing lawn. Women naturists who would like to know more should contact NAG via https://naturistactiongroup.org/contact/.
Some HEN readers may be aware that local residents fought a big battle to stop the City of London Corporation, responsible for management of the Heath, plan for a major new dams project at Hampstead Heath. Sadly, campaigners lost their legal battle in the courts, and
Steve Gough – aka The Naked Rambler – made history today, as he appeared naked in court. Well sort of. He appeared by video link and he only appeared naked above the table that hid the rest of him.
This is really beyond belief.
I have never met Gough personally, but I doubt that he is a danger to those around him and can only agree with the Barrister Blogger who wrote in 2014: “[Gough’s] obsessiveness is matched by the determination of Hampshire Police and Wessex CPS who have been relentless and very successful in their attempts to ensure that the sensitive residents of Winchester are not caused any distress by the sight of Mr Gough’s private parts.”
Is it not time that Allison Saunders, Director of Public Prosecutions and Jeremy Wright, the Attorney General called in Wessex CPS to find out what exactly their objective is. Apart from making themselves and English lawyers in general, a laughing stock that is. Gough has not broken any law, apart from the one designed to tackle anti-social behaviour such as graffiti and low-level crime. In this case they are acting counter to Parliament’s intentions, and in doing so they have misused and abused the law.
Chairman, Naturist Action Group.
You may like to help promote NAG at any naturist activities you will be undertaking this summer. We have created a new A5 NAG leaflet to hand out in a PDF format to print two on an A4 sheet, or please look under the ‘Downloads’ tab. We also have plenty printed, along with the NAG business card, and should you need to have some sent to you please give me a postal address for you to receive them. Email me the details at firstname.lastname@example.org
I will normally send out, on request, 20 leaflets + 20 business cards. If you need a larger quantity please let me know!For those of you meeting with us at Spielplatz on Saturday 23 May, or Abbey House Gardens on Sunday 24 May, I can pass them to you then. We will also have them in London for the 13 June WNBR.
John Paine, NAG management group
With summer around the corner (hard to believe I know, but in a fortnight’s time it will be June), I came across a couple of articles on the BBC News website and I thought it would be useful.
We all know about the harmful effects of UVB from the sun, and no doubt we rely on the blurb on the bottle of suntan cream or lotions of our choice to tell us. Sadly, not everyone knows what all the jargon means but the BBC have provided a handy jargon-buster for us.
Yet, even when we understand the jargon, can we trust what it says? Not according to Which?
Important as the sun might be to our good health, personally I try to follow the mantra my old mum use to frequently tell me: a little bit of everything does you good.
This might come a little late for some, but between 23 May and 18 July different World Naked Bike Rides will be held around the UK. This is a protest primarily against oil dependency, and for the environment, cycling advocacy and, as its as bare as you dare, body acceptance. If you’re planning to participate, great but you could give the organisers a hand at the same time, they always welcome a little extra help. Or perhaps you would like to join a ride but not sure where one is being held? Either way, take a look at the national website for WNBR UK to find your nearest ride and/or organiser’s contact details.
This is a question asked by journalist Kelly Wallace on CNN and it is probably one asked by parents the world over.
Perhaps I should declare at this point that I am not a parent myself, so everything I write here is the result of research and thinking about it. What happens in real life… well, that’s another matter entirely. As for my own experiences as a child I would sit in the same room, reading the latest edition of the Beano or Dandy, as my mum got dressed. Not that I saw her naked as she would turn her back to me and use a dressing gown to provide a degree of privacy. I also grew up at a time when it was still common to have an outside lavatory and even now, I can see the lighted end of mum’s cigarette bobbing up and down as she chatted to me in the dark, as she used the loo. As for bath time, mum was given the most privacy with my brothers and I excluded from the kitchen where the old tin bath was located for the duration, a towel would be draped over a window in the kitchen door that would otherwise allowed light to filter throughout the ground floor. Dad was give some privacy from us boys but we had the least and mum and dad would wonder in and out of the kitchen as necessary while we were in the bath, even when my older brothers were in their teens. I tell you this just so you can put the rest of this post into context, but later my parents had a bathroom added to the house and we were given the same amount of privacy when we went to the toilet or had a bath, which was total. Only much later, when I briefly acted as carer for my mother did I see her naked.
So, back to the question in the title, when should parents stop being naked in front of their kids?
Kelly Wallace joked the only person who signed up for the privilege of seeing her naked was her husband, while her kids hadn’t. Yet, she doesn’t cover up in front of her daughters (aged seven and eight) as she’s getting dressed or in the bathroom as Wallace didn’t want them growing up thinking that there is anything wrong with her or their bodies. Wallace continued: ‘when they ask hilarious questions such as “Mom, why do your boobs hang?” I can’t help but laugh and use the opportunity as a chance to tell them my body has changed over time and theirs will too.’
In researching her article, Wallace spoke to parents all over North America and found, as with so many things in life, there is no one answer. One mother of three said that when their children were little, both she and her husband would not hide their bodies from them, as a way to teach them not to be ashamed of theirs. But, the mother admitted, as they got older her husband was more discrete around their daughters and she, their son, not because they had become uncomfortable with their nudity around their children but because they might be. [My emphasis]
For She Knows – a website for women to empower women – Michelle Maffei wrote an article that was introduced with: ‘Find out what the experts say about when you should start practising modesty around your youngsters’. By ‘experts’ it means two: Drs Fran Walfish and Carole Lieberman, who both say that by the time the child is six, parents should be setting an example by stopping shared bath times, and closing the door as they dressed or undressed. Yet, Maffei also writes: ‘Just keep in mind that presenting your children with a negative attitude towards nudity can cause your youngster to form a negative view of their own sexuality’
Canadian blogger, Julian Page, also asked if adult nudity had any impact, knowing that some parents took their young children to nude swims, and wondered if there would be a time when they stopped taking them. ‘Is there an age,’ she asks, ‘when children should not be seeing their parents naked [or hang out in] social nudism settings?’
In an attempt to answer that question, Page quoted another doctor – Dr. Alan Kazdin, director of Yale Parenting Centre – who told Yahoo Parenting: ‘All things considered, there is no one guideline as to what you should do and at what age. Culture makes a huge difference. Religion makes a huge difference as do parents’ own individual attitudes to the body.’ [My emphasis]
Two other Canadian bloggers (Her Bad Mother by Catherine Connors and PhD in Parenting by Annie) wrote in 2009 how their [then] young children enjoyed life without clothes. Connors even introduced her daughter as a: ‘…unrepentant clothes-doffing, underwear-eschewing, bum-baring, breeze-loving, parts-showing nudist.’ Even so, they worried they were passing on their own fears and insecurities about body image to their children and on to the next generation. Connors wrote: ‘I love that my daughter so exults in her physical being that she is so unreservedly comfortable with her physical self. And yet I catch myself, sometimes, pestering her about sweaters and socks and underpants.’
Meanwhile Annie, in PhD in Parenting, wrote: ‘When I hear stories about women who are ashamed to breastfeed in public, people who are ashamed to don a bathing suit, people who will only have sex in the dark, I wonder what happened to make them feel that way? Who told them to be ashamed of their bodies?’ Annie went on: ‘If they are to have a fighting chance of surviving those horrific influences on body image, I think our kids need our encouragement and support, in embracing and exploring their bodies as children.’
Neither blogger said they spent anytime naked with their children, as Connors wrote: ‘I’m not a compact little person, and I might knock over coffee mugs with my pendulous boobs and, also, frighten any passers-by who might look in the windows.’ Even so there were plenty of comments by readers of both blogs who admitted that they did and approved of the two women’s reasoning for allowing their children to be play naked.
Before you start thinking that all this is from the other side of the pond and therefore does not affect us Brits, The Daily Mail (28/08/2014) published an article that featured Jules Pomerance, a 44-year old mother of three who: ‘happily potters around the house in the nude, doesn’t wrap a towel around herself when she leaves the bathroom after a shower and she and husband Nigel (45) often enjoy a naked snuggle in bed with [their son and two daughters].’ While their daughters Daisy (ten) and Lily (seven) are still of an age not to raise too many concerns by such behaviour, their son Jordan is 13-years old and the article asked the question: Is it unhealthy for boys to see their mothers undressed once they have reached puberty or, indeed, at any age?
What if London became a National Park?
Reimagine London 10.00 – 4.00 Tuesday 24 February South Bank Centre
The NAG display stand will promote naturism in London. If you can help on the NAG Stand for 2 hours please email me at email@example.com
Covering up to 10% of England, urban areas are recognised by Natural England as a distinct habitat, and by that definition London is truly remarkable. 8.3 million people share the city with 13,000 species of wildlife that inhabit the conurbation’s 3,000 parks, 30,000 allotments, two national nature reserves, 36 sites of special scientific interest and 142 local nature reserves.
A massive 47% of London is green space, making it one of the greenest cities in the world for its size. It is home to the world’s largest urban forest and its 3.8m gardens cover 24% of the capital.
The statutory purpose of national park status is to “conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the area” and “promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the park by the public.” What if we took these ideas and applied them to London?
Join us for this inspiring day that could lead to London becoming the world’s
first National Park City, a new kind of national park
The Event includes:
1. The Purcell Room Inspirational presentations, visionary ideas and engaging panel discussions. Speakers and contributors include …
Sir Terry Farrell CBE, leading architect planner and Mayor’s Design Advisor
Alison Barnes, CEO of the New Forest National Park
Murad Qureshi, London Assembly Member Andy Mitchell, CEO Thames Tideway Tunnel
Dave Morris, Chair of London Green Spaces Friends Groups Network
Judy Ling Wong CBE, UK President of Black Environment Network
Kevin Davis, Council Leader of the Royal Borough of Kingston up on Thames
Stephen Knight, Chair of the London Assembly Environment Committee
Mathew Frith, London Wildlife Trust Director of Policy & Planning
Professor Henrietta L. Moore, Director of the Institute for Global Prosperity
Peter Massini, Urban Greening Team Leader, Greater London Authority
Steve Head, National Wildlife Gardening Forum Beth Collier, founder, Wild in the City!
Steve Cole, Neighbourhoods Green Coordinator
Stuart Brooks, Chief Executive of the John Muir Trust Helen Steer, city farmer
Iain Green, wildlife photographer Penny Frith, Insect photographer
Pip McKerrow, Chief Commissioner, Girlguiding London & South East England
Tom Morgan-Jones, illustrator Katy Hogarth, owner of Moo Canoes
2. The Foyer Forum Book free access to the exhibition, ideas lab and Forum stage.
Making the most of London’s great outdoors Wildlife Gardening The Green Belt Debate
Wildlife Photography Business innovation + the NAG Stand
3. The River Thames Explore the River Thames by boat thanks to Thames Tideway Tunnel.
for more information about Greater London National Park see www.greaterlondonnationalpark.org.uk “/a>
News from the US is that Young Naturists America are teaming up with artist Andy Golub to create a huge bodypainting event in New York with 50 artists painting 50 nude models, promoting body acceptance. Golub wants to take the event to Amsterdam with fewer artists and models to begin with. But these events cost money and they have launched a Kickstarter campaign for the $US10k they need. Donations can start at $20 with a range of gifts to donors.
Rather than having me repeat everything, go straight to the horse’s mouth and read about it on the YNA website or go straight to the Kickstarter page and watch a short video by Andy Golub explaining the concept he has in mind.