Earlier this month (January) I was intrigued by the title of Jordon Blum’s post on the Young Naturist America’s (YNA) website: ‘Nudist Advocacy Organisations: is there still any need for them?’ He isn’t the first person to ask this question (and not answer it) and I don’t suppose he will be the last under the current circumstances but why should such a question ever arise? Is it perhaps a lack of expectation by some or too much by others? Or could it be that Blum is right and organisations such as American Association for Nude Recreation (AANR) or British Naturism (or indeed NAG) are just not needed?
According to Blum: ‘A movement is something that comes about to address specific issues due to a lack of structured organisations advocating on [the] people’s behalf.’ Blum, however, believes that neither AANR nor The Naturist Society (TNS) are providing the service American naturists need to enjoy the clothes free lifestyle to the full. His evidence – he claimed – was the inability of both organisations to collaborate to get the San Onofre beach nudity ban, introduced by the California State Parks Service, overturned. Interestingly, he did give faint praise to the Naturist Action Committee (NAC), stating they had been ‘quite helpful’ without making the link between NAC and TNS obvious.
In my opinion, Blum’s criticism is not proven but then an article aimed at younger naturists is perhaps not the place to argue a case either for or against national organisations. But he is also assuming the only reason such organisations exist is to react to whatever non-naturists do to us, like the San Onofre beach nudity ban. The best people to effect that change are the people affected. Guest blogger on the YNA website, Melissa Dejanude, explained in November last year that there is already a facebook group (Friends of San Onofre Beach (Official)) and called for action. What hasn’t been mentioned, however, is whether they have their equivalents of Gypsy Taub and/or George Davis who are campaigning to overturn a similar ban in San Francisco. As I tried to argue in January, any successful campaign requires a