(We have moved to All-Nudist.com)
There’s an article at MojoNude discussing nudists and our tendency to ‘hide’ from the world in order to do our thing. A quote attributed to NURBA suggests that we do so out of shame and the it’s time we stand up and be counted. Not a new idea, and not a bad idea, but based on a common fallacy that we are ashamed of our lifestyle. Wrong; Nudists are not ashamed of being nudists.
Now, it might be an easy to assume that someone who keeps what they do secret, doesn’t talk about it with friends or family, only does it in hiding, and doesn’t even give out their last name to those they do it with just might have something they’re ashamed of , don’t ya think?
Think Christians in Imperial Rome. Jews in 1940 Germany. Gays in 1960’s America. Need more?
There are other reasons to ‘hide in the woods’ that have nothing to do with shame. There is no shame in choosing to be among like-minded folks in a comfortable setting away from the rest of society. The Masonic Temple; Skull and Bones at Yale; Knights of Columbus; Boy Scouts; even closed sessions of Congress, for crying out loud. People who congregate together are not always up to no good and ashamed of what they’re doing. Scratch Congress from that list, come to think of it, though I doubt they feel any shame!
Do those spending a week at Disney World hide there in shame? Do people in gated communities live there out of a sense of shame, or to be secure from those they do not wish to associate with? Are religious retreats shameful or a place for solitude and reflection? Is the Caribbean tourist industry based on shame or the desire to get away to someplace fun with other folks who are doing the same?
It’s against the law to play baseball in the middle of a freeway; is there shame in using a baseball stadium instead? Just because something is illegal or inappropriate in some circumstances does not mean it is shameful. Sex is not shameful yet people ‘hide’ to engage in it, as they do when giving birth or having a tooth pulled. Time and place for everything.
Nudists go to nudist places because there are other nudists there and the venue is designed for nudists and their comfort. At a nudist club there is no threat of gawkers staring or of religionists ranting, folks have something in common even if they don’t know each other, the grounds are easy on bare feet, and nobody snickers at the fat lady. They’re nice places to be!
But don’t we hide when we sunbathe in our own backyards? Hell yes! We’re not stupid; it’s illegal and we don’t want to be arrested. That’s not shame, that”s common sense. Do we keep our pastime secret? Yes, but out of fear of retribution by a shameful, wrongheaded society, not because we’re ashamed!So why do’t we stand up and shed our ‘shame’ along with our clothes? Why don’t we take to the streets and demand our rights?
Because most of us are not cut out to be heroes. Not everyone is ready to risk job, family, and community position over, when it comes right down to it, a desire to run around naked. It’s just not that important.Nurba is to be commended for their efforts on behalf of social nudism and we wish them every success in their endeavor. The younger generation has much more latitude in their chosen lifestyles than previous generations and perhaps they can accomplish more publicly without requiring folks to be martyrs to the cause.
Today, just about anything goes in the way of lifestyle choices and simple nudity is the least ‘odd’ of any. Young folks can engage in activities that would have cost their parents their careers or have gotten them locked up had it become publicly known what they do. Times change.
Today, when a twenty-something purple-haired transsexual covered with tats and piercings who works in the porn industry introduces his husband and mentions that they’re nudists…nobody bats an eye. Well, actually and sadly, maybe they do. “You’re a nudist?” (sounds like that joke about the naked man with an Uzi!)
But you get the point. It should be easier for today’s nudist activist to openly promote nudism without fear of retribution. There’s no shame in Suzy having two mommies and there’s no shame in enjoying an allover tan; shame only happens when someone is ashamed of what they do, and I don’t know of any nudists who feel that way. Cautious, yes. Ashamed, no.
Nurba is correct in saying that the public is sadly under informed about our lifestyle and that we should do what we can to spread the word, but is slightly off-track when saying that this is because we have failed to try to educate them out of shame. Many people over many years have tried to do so with varying degrees of success, but never out of a sense of shame. Like Jehovah’s Witnesses we evangelize about our lifestyle to those who will listen but, as also applies to the Witnesses, only those who will listen will get the message.
It’s incorrect to imply that we have failed to convert the world to nudism out of shame, or that we hide from the world out of shame. We have failed to convert the world because we are challenging one of the most basic tenets of civilization and it’s one helluva lot easier to go to our camps than it is to risk everything for some pipe-dream of walking down the street naked.
And realistically, most of us wouldn’t go out naked in public even if it was legal; not because of shame but because legal or not, the rest of the world would laugh or swear at us and that would take all the fun out of it. No matter what the law says or how much we preach, that won’t change. Nudists hang around with other nudists because we have learned not to feel shame about our bodies, our lifestyle, or ourselves. We don’t go to our places to hide our shame from them; we go there to get away from their sense of shame about themselves and the harmful effects it has on Textile society.
This essay isn’t meant to bash NURBA or make a big deal over a simple statement tossed out at random; it’s to address this shame issue that pops up once in a while. When people tell us that we are ashamed of what we do, or say that shame is what keeps us silent, they are mistaken and we should let them know. It’s the old “Say something often enough and it becomes true” thing. Well, it’s not true.
We are nudists, we are proud, we like to hang around with other nudists, and…we like to keep our jobs. That’s not shame, that’s common sense. The next generation has fewer excuses and less to fear; here’s the torch, go for it!
- Florida Young Naturists
- NextGen Naturists
- Young Adults – AANR
- Young British Naturists
- Young Naturists and Nudists America