Sunday, March 07, 2004

Who told you you were naked?

A fitting follow-up to the previous post:

There's been some joking in the news today about the topless march to protest anti-nudity laws in Daytona Beach, Florida, after more onlookers showed up than marchers, and the one organizer who removed her shirt was promptly carted off to jail. Liz Book, the woman who was arrested, said "I don't ever want to see another woman arrested because someone showed her breasts... our breasts are not criminal."

I think it's rather absurd that our puritanical laws tell one half of the population that something is wrong with their bodies... and I think it is pretty strange that more women aren't upset about it. You're at the beach, Mr Beerbelly von Hairyback next to you takes his shirt off, and you can't do the same, by law... and also because the same puritanical nonsense that led to such laws against women also led to a sickness in the minds of men, who are held in such thrall by the very idea of bare breasts that if they actually see some they stand and gawk, or worse. It's a fairly complex psychosis we've developed for ourselves... and as with most issues, the conservatives don't see that they are creating the very problem they claim to be trying to solve.

I remember spending summers down on the river, before I went to university, and not thinking twice about being naked... then one day, lying in the sun and daydreaming, I realized that I was a nudist - a word I had heard spoken, when I was a child, with disgust and hushed descriptions of the sorts of things the self-anointed guardians of morality imagined (oh how they love to imagine) the sinners were up to. I looked at the people around me, people who were comfortable with their bodies and mature enough to know that nudity does not necessarily imply sexuality, and I compared them mentally to the biblethumpers I had grown up with, and it was apparent that the perversity was in the hearts of the righteous... it amazes me how much damage they have done, eternally striving to scourge from others the darkness they find within their own hearts.