Nudity legal in America? Never, you say!

I have none of the specifics, as to dates, &c.  There is no reason whatever to think that the report is inaccurate, however.  The source is an unrelated blog.  If this is not sufficient attribution, please let me know.

A Woman sued the state [of Oregon] after being arrested for mowing her lawn topless, saying that if a man could go shirtless a woman should have the same right... also stating that bare breasts were only sexual if one chose to see them that way ... She won.

Introduction to Bodilyness

I am going to use the suggested quiz:

1.  Is there a higher, non-physical state of being?  Without question, there is.  I cannot claim to have attained it.  However, there is ample evidence, once the "hockum" is removed, testifying to "altered states of consciousness."  The work of Timothy Leary, and Stanislas Grof, among other investigators and practitioners in the west, the Buddhist, Zen Buddhist, and Hindu traditions (among others) in the east, as well as numerous and various indiginous peoples provide a significant body of evidence for higher, non-physical states of being.   For the most part, it is fair to say that the western and indiginous practitioners depend on the "psychedelics" to achieve their "higher" states.

2.  How do you feel about having evolved from the apes?  I have no objection to thinking of myself as evolutionarily derived from the apes.  I have a great deal of difficulty in considering any of the other "options" that have been mooted, as the source of humankind's origins.  I prefer to look to the empirical evidence for evolutionary processes, than to belief.  I do not oppose "intelligent design," or "creationism," as others' preferences for the explanation of the origin of humankind.  However, these concept do not move me from that which I see as the gathering of irrefutable evidence for our evolution from the apes.

3.  What control do genes have over our lives?  Genes exercise an enormous degree of control over our lives.  As time passes, and the human genome is investigated in greater detail, it would seem that this control increases beyond that which had been thought even by the most pre-mature estimates.  Certainly, our physical selves are determined by genes, most starkly by the genetic markers for the major diseases, such as cancer, Huntington's disease, Down's Syndrome, &c.  Our mental profiles are genetically determined, also.  Psychologists and cognitive scientists  continue the "nature vs. nurture" argument.  However, it is becoming increasingly clear that genetics impact even our "behaviours", which, in turn, means that nurture plays a role of decreasing importance in whom we are as humans.

4.  What is consciousness?  What happens to it when we die?  There are only cliches to answer what is consciousness.  First, it is, in this context, self-awareness relative to the world in which we live.  Second, it is the essence of life, defining our being and existences.  (I do not differentiate between Humans and other animal life forms).  It is a messy question, as we are forced to draw upon so many different disciplines for answers that are not unified.  For a philosopher, it has one meaning; for a psychologist, another; for a scientist, yet another; and for the religious, another.

For me, "What happens to it (consciousness) when we die?" is a tidier proposition to answer.  Very simplistically, it remains part of the universe, contributing to the natural forces of it, such as entropy, &c.  However, it does not disappear, but is changed, in the same manner envisioned by the Law of Conservation of Matter.

I would like to withdraw my assertion that the second part is a tidier proposition...

5.  Can a fat person be attractive?  Objectively, I would have to answer "yes."  Subjectively, I have been enormously attracted to two women whom could be described as fat.  This is a "beauty is in the eye of the beholder" issue.  The "Attraction Template" model of attraction has shown that physical attraction survives age, changes in weight, &c.  It is difficult to reconcile this with the fact that many divorces are initiated based on the weight of the spouse.  This has been attributed to psychological and social issues, which prove stronger in the prosecutors of the divorces, than their attraction templates.  You may have noticed that Donald Trump has married the same woman (at least) three times.  He is said to have a very narrow attraction template.  If we have wide attraction templates (among myriad other components), it is easier for us to change the "types" of men or women to whom we are attracted.

6.  How do you feel about body hair?   Personally, I have a more than positive view of it, conceptually, and visually.  I am resentful of a society that has, for whatever reason (money!), made it "dirty," particularly in women.   Beauty, in either the male or female, is not defined by the dearth, or presence of hair.

7.  How do you feel about bodily secretions, such as sweat, snot, &c?  It is difficult for me to consider sweat, for instance, as simply a bodily secretion.  Nonetheless, as secretions, that is just what they are, and I am neutral where they are concerned.  One blows his nose, and takes a shower, if necessary.  However, the scent of sweat (perspiration) as an indicator of my attraction, or lack of attraction to a woman is vital to me.  She may look beautiful to me, but if the scent is not appealing, I will not be interested.  Need I detail my frustration with the high-smelling perfumes, deodorants, &c. which delay, often for quite some time, my verification of attraction?

8.  Should public nudity be legal? Should toplessness be acceptable for women as well as men?  I can see no reason why public nudity should not be legal, or why there should not be equal acceptance for men and women's toplessness.  However, at this point, we have made breasts sexual objects, rather than ordinary objects of beauty, making it impossible, except by the 'informed', to have breasts considered 'normal'.

9.  What's the most public place you have gone nude in front of other people?  I have gone nude on some beaches in France and (the former) Yugoslavia.  That is quite a number of years ago.

10.  Do you feel guilty about masturbating?  Absolutely not.  I have yet to be convinced that masturbation is anything like the "evil" we are told it is.  To suggest that anyone should feel guilty for masturbating is errant nonsense, and can only be the product of a distorted mind, projecting on the innocent masturbators.

Spread the (naked) word

Just a note of congratulations on your picture project. Only thru education can we introduce others to the stress-reducing nudist lifestyle. Projects like yours are the best hope for bringing nudism to the mainstream and increasing acceptance of the naked body in all places public and private.

Arby Arthur
Life-long nudist

Photos requested

Hi, everyone. I'm Daniel Copeland. I've been modding this community for a while. This year, I'm working as a co-editor of the student magazine at Otago Polytechnic here in Dunedin, New Zealand. Our August/September theme is "the Body issue", and we're running an article on nudism.

I'm posting here because we're looking for photo illustrations for the article. Of course I'll be using my own photos, but we'd like to have a variety represented. If you have pictures that you wouldn't mind being printed in a student magazine in New Zealand, just by way of illustration, please contact us at gyro [at] tekotago [dot] ac [dot] nz.

For every photo, we'll need signed permission from each person depicted. Photos should be in colour, and high-resolution — a full-screen or half-screen image, no smaller. We won't print images depicting sexual activity; we're looking for images showing people doing something that non-nudists wouldn't usually do in the nude. Outdoor pictures are preferred. We'd also like to get a reasonable gender balance. Please contact me first, before sending in pictures.

We'll need your real name with your declaration of permission; we will not print any identification unless you specifically ask us to.

Gyro is handed out free to Otago Polytechnic students. We cannot offer any money in exchange for images.
walking in the bush


I spent quite a few hours last night in hospital.

I have clogged-up ears, intermittently, and a horrible feeling of dizzyness. Last night at times it got so bad I was throwing up — just moving my head made me car-sick.

It turns out it's something called "labyrinthitis", which, whatever it might sound like, is not the condition of having seen David Bowie do his crotch-thrusting dance move one too many times. It's an inflammation of the labyrinth, in the inner ear. I have medicine to help with the dizzyness and nausea, but I'll really just have to wait until it goes away. I hope it doesn't take too long, it's a swim night this Sunday.
walking in the bush

Breasts and LiveJournal

Some of you may not be aware of this, but LiveJournal (and its parent company, SixApart) have raised a stink in recent weeks about default userpics depicting breast-feeding. People who use breast-feeding photos as their default icon have been having their journals suspended. Check out boob_nazis for the whole story.

Please note: the following is LiveJournal's own stated decency standard.
LiveJournal generally holds to the standards of "indecency" set forth by the United States Supreme Court decision handed down in the case "Miller vs. California". The "Miller Test" for defining indecency sets forth three guidelines:

  1. The average person, applying contemporary community standards, would find that the work, taken as a whole, appeals to the prurient interest;

  2. the work depicts or describes, in a patently offensive way, sexually explicit conduct;

  3. a reasonable person must find the work, taken as a whole, lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value.

In order for material to be considered indecent, it must meet these guidelines (with the exception of material that is illegal under applicable law, such as sexual images of minors). Please note that material can be "adult" without being "indecent".

Therefore, LiveJournal's stance on breastfeeding photos can only mean that breastfeeding equals "patently offensive, sexually explicit conduct" as far as LJ is concerned.

Either that, or somebody, somewhere, is complaining a lot to LiveJournal about breastfeeding photos and threatening to withdraw money from them unless they take a firm stand. Well, if that's the case, then I say fight back.

How, you ask? Simple — if you have a paid user-account. Simply tell LJ you're going to stop paying it unless they see reason. If they don't see reason, then follow through, bite the bullet and go back to free, or quit LJ altogether. Make sure they know why.

And if you don't have a paid user-account, but do agree strongly with this message, then simply pass it on, as widely as possible.
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walking in the bush


pauraque linked to this highly disturbing story in Prospect magazine. Basically, this attractive teenage girl ("Nia" in the article, though I gather that's a pseudonym) developed schizophrenia, so she went into a psychiatric hospital, where she was prescribed olanzapine. The psychosis subsided, but — prepare yourself, reader, for the grimmest of horrors — there was a hideous side-effect — she... she... she gained weight!

No, really, the writers seem to seriously think that weight gain is a problem comparable to schizophrenia; they go on and on about how beautiful she was, and, worryingly, what an impression said beauty made on the "young psychiatrist" (repeatedly so described) who examined her, and then describe the choice between the psychosis and the extra kilos as a "Faustian pact". I'm not kidding.

Key phrases, emphasis mine:
...the junior psychiatrist was struck by the patient’s beauty: shoulder-length brown hair, slender in hipster jeans and a fitted T-shirt. Apart from her distracted eyes she didn’t look unwell. He felt himself giving her more time than usual, fascinated by the experiences she related...

...One boy of similar age who had been admitted with mania became instantly infatuated with her. His adolescent urges and manic disinhibition were a fertile mix and the staff found him trying every trick in the book to get into her bedroom. It’s remarkable what can be contrived, even in a locked ward. One night, they were found in bed together...

...To see a patient respond to a drug in this way made the young psychiatrist feel like a real doctor. Almost ashamed of himself for feeling this, he noticed that he felt grateful towards Nia—for getting better...

...soon it became apparent that insanity had been replaced by appetite. Within three weeks she put on three stone. Now, for the first time, Nia’s features were being corrupted. She started to take on the shape of many of the chronically mentally ill. Her jawline collapsed below puffed-out cheeks. Her stomach sagged above her jeans...

...The first drug had worked. But the change in her appearance seemed intolerable—and potentially devastating for the self-esteem of a 17-year-old girl. The second drug hadn’t made her fat, but nor had it treated her illness...

...It was likely that the weight gain associated with Olanzapine would be very difficult to treat and that Nia would be fat, if not obese. But more disconcerting to the young psychiatrist was Nia’s apparent indifference to her predicament. While those around her worried about the beauty she had lost, she seemed unconcerned. Was she really as well as her family suggested? Had she really rejoined the image-conscious world of her peers? The dieticians came and went to little effect...

...Nia was herself, but not herself. She blended in, lumpenly...

...For a while the young psychiatrist worried about the consequences of the choices they had made in treating her. They had removed a stigma of the mind and replaced it with a stigma of the body. It struck him as strange that the patient had been the only one not to worry about a loss that the team around her found so tragic. Perhaps it didn’t matter. Perhaps, in fact, this was a merciful side-effect of medication, or even of the disorder itself; one that liberated Nia from the need to live up to the standards of an image-obsessed world.

The young psychiatrist wasn’t sure. The treatment had reversed a Faustian pact in which Nia had been beautiful and mad, and replaced it with another—in which she was fat and sane. But was it really a blessing that Nia seemed to have no conception of what she had lost?
See what I mean? Note particularly how the writers treat the incident with the male mania patient: this is potentially a rape situation, and they laugh it off as a boyish response to her "beauty"... but when she eats a bit more than usual and her body rounds out, that's a disaster worth writing an entire article about.

The more I think about this, the more pissed off it makes me.
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