With NAG launching its photo competition later this month and having nothing to pontificate on, I thought I’d take the opportunity to pick up on something that one of our supporters said recently: “I am happy to help [NAG], but I do have serious misgivings about NAG’s wish to promote the need for ‘dedicated outdoor naturist open space’. As you know, I believe that the attempt to get official recognition of specific naturist locations is misconceived. Official approval of one or two particular naturist places would simply reinforce the common perception that naturism must be unlawful everywhere else. In my view what is needed is a more general recognition that naturism is acceptable anywhere where it does not cause serious disturbance to others.”
The thing is, we don’t actually have a written policy on this and perhaps we should. As this is so central to our purpose, rather than dictate a policy from the top down, I’d like to give what my own view is – the one I’ve based NAG’s public stance on so far – and see if anyone disagrees? I appreciate that a good proportion of registered users are not resident in the UK, but your views and comments are just as welcome. Silence will be taken as tacit approval.
Here in the UK, in itself, being naked in a public place is not illegal but causing harassment, alarm or distress to others is. (Section 5, Public Order Act 1986) Recent amendments to the Section, which both NAG and BN made an input towards, has led to the word ‘insulting’ being removed from the text but Steve Gough’s legal action against the Director of Public Prosecutions appears to have muddied the water once again. What our project The London Question told us, is that it is difficult to find anywhere in a built up area that does not have the potential to ‘cause serious disturbance to others’ Yet, what our researchers also found is that – particularly in the larger open spaces in and around London – naturists are finding somewhere as discrete as possible to sunbath naked, which can lead to the type of confrontation that will do no one’s blood pressure any good.
I believe NAG will eventually persuade society that non-sexual nudity in a public place is not the ‘evil’ they believe it to be and even if they do not participate themselves, people will accept those who use the park space naked, wherever it may occur. Until that happens, however, I imagined what could happen now if managers for London’s open spaces accepted that nude sunbathing is already happening: an area – not defined by posts or notices – adjacent to a large body of water for swimming (perhaps) would be set aside for naturists, but not for their exclusive use. By not having fixed boundaries the size of this area can be adjusted according to its popularity on the day. Park police (or CPSO) will then be able to ask those found ‘outside the area’ to relocate, in order to protect them better, but they will not be able to arrest them unless an actual crime is being committed.
Similarly, I believe that all beaches in the UK should be clothes optional. This is similar to the policy in Denmark and there, it is generally accepted that if the first people on a beach are nudists then the beach is a nudist one. Naturally, if they are textiles then it will be a textile beach. The beauty of having clothing optional beaches though, is that if it is long enough naturists can be at one end and textiles the other, with the naked and the clothed possibly mingling in the middle. Naturally, as naturism becomes more widely accepted, the length of the beach where this division is visible will shorten. Until naturism has gained that wider acceptance then we should campaign for more clothing optional beaches, in less out of the way locations and with better facilities. This will make naturism as a concept more accessible to the curious interested public.
Now I know a policy advocating clothing optional has its own problems with supporters and detractors for both sides of the argument, but I believe that this is the best solution to this particular problem. If you know of another one, I’d love to hear it.
So over to you, is this a sensible basis for a settled, written policy or does it need modifying?
A message from Gypsy Taub via Naktiv.net
Dear body freedom supporters,
Let’s celebrate the 238th anniversary of San Francisco by honoring Saint Francis on
THURSDAY, JUNE 26TH at NOON, International Shrine of St Francis at 610 Vallejo St, SF
San Francisco was named after Saint Francis who was a Catholic preacher and a noted nudist. Body freedom is our birth right!
Join us for a body freedom parade and rally to commemorate Saint Francis on the 238th anniversary of San Francisco.
Walk down Vallejo Street to the International Shrine of Saint Francis of Assisi at 610 Vallejo from the dead end of Vallejo St between Kearny and Montgomery St
Body freedom activists will stage Saint Francis Parade on San Francisco’s 238th anniversary in front of the National Shrine of Saint Francis whom San Francisco was named after.
Saint Francis was an Italian Catholic preacher and one of the most respected religious figures in history. He renounced possessions, and rebuilt small churches.
“I shall go naked to meet my naked Lord.”
These were the words St Francis of Assisi addressed to his father in one of the most well-known scenes from his life.
Francis had taken some of his merchant father’s finest materials to raise funds to rebuild the Church of St Damian. For this act his father brought him before the court. The trial took place before the bishop and his court in the presence of merchants and townspeople.
In response to the charges laid against him, Francis proclaimed: “I return not only my money, but also my clothes. I shall go naked to meet my naked Lord.” At which he stripped off all his clothes, threw them to his father and walked off naked.
When he preached in the nude, the townspeople in Assisi first laughed at him but then were won over by his words.
The San Francisco nudity ban is a shameful act of outrageous hypocrisy especially in light of our cultural and spiritual history. We will be marching naked in solidarity with the holy man who was such a beacon of inspiration to our people that our city was name after him. Saint Francis was a nudist in the 12th century. It?s time that our society catch up with his ideals and his vision.
THANK YOU ALL WHO DONATED in the past month, we raised $550 – THANK YOU!
PLEASE CONTINUE SUPPORTING US – WE NEED TO PAY OUR LAWYER – we are submitting our amended complaint next week and the case will be moving forward. Please paypal your donations to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please email me if you would rather use a different way of sending money. THANK YOU!
This is a repeat of a post from The Academic Naturist and is aimed at our North American cousins. If you are able, please act and help the Naturist Action Committee.