Naturism with a Feminist Angle:
I have been reflecting recently about why there aren’t more girls, particularly young women, involved in nudism. Generally, it’s apparent we live in a society where individuals are afraid of nudity, ashamed of it, and deem it merely acceptable during sex or washing. But when it comes to women and nudity, is there another factor at play called patriarchy? There was a recent post from a feminist site entitled “Go Naked; it is great for everybody (but particularly for girls)” about nudism and feminism that got me thinking.
Nigel Keer “naked rambler”
First, the “naked rambler” narrative from a feminist viewpoint. A man named Nigel Keer was recently was fined under the Public Order Act for walking unclothed at Otley Chevin, a popular nature spot in the UK. That is all he was doing. He was spotted by a woman who had a “distressed frown” on her face, based on the off duty police officer that stopped him. (This storyline is a lot like the case of naked hiker John Cropper, except he was not seen by anyone else. Maybe it’d have turned out otherwise if a female witness had been involved.) This girl was never identified, never testified, and never spoken to. Nevertheless, it was enough to convict Nigel. As a feminist would instantly point out, the woman was presumed to be a “casualty,” weak in front of this strolling nude guy. Paradoxically, this officer unwittingly violated women everywhere by determining this female victim was distressed and needed his protection.

However, in among the remarks, a woman identified with the female victim. She says,
“Yes, not all men are sexual predators, and walking naked doesn’t automatically equate to predatory behaviour, but the sad fact is that many, many women have experienced sexual violence at the hands of men and seeing a naked guy when you’re out for a walk could well make a woman feel threatened, and could even trigger her.”
Yes, many girls have been victims of sexual assault or rape, and I can understand a lone woman feeling threatened or affected seeing Nigel. But when does walking nude ever equate to someone being a sexual predator? When they attack. It doesn’t make sense to arrest someone for merely “causing alarm” because they’re doing something unusual.
A lone naked guy is an assumed predator, perhaps even a rapist? As the writer, CP Reece, intelligently comments, rape has nothing regarding nudity, but with exercising power over someone.
Reece points out the hypocrisies of female nudity. It is OK in marketing and trashy magazines, but not OK in the park or on the beach. Breasts aren’t even okay to show in public breastfeeding. She notes that we live in a patriarchal society where men have always had control over how much skin ladies can show in public. Is this why there aren’t more young women involved in family nudist video ? If girls connect taking off their clothes merely with alluring modeling, acting, and showing their bodies, then they might believe they must appear good enough to go naked in front of others. Of course looking great means being tall and lean like the unattainable ideal we see everywhere in the media.
“I am only leanin’ against a tree, enjoyin my new jeans.”
For female nudity, patriarchy appears to play a significant role, notably with reference to topless rights. Reece says, “To require women to cover up their breasts in public is a highly visible expression of patriarchal control.” Really girls do not have to cover up breasts because they’re breasts, but because they’re girls. Reese reminds us of the cop in the documentary, My Daughter the Teenage Nudist, who, between the topless lady and guy, went after the girl to put her top back on. “Why?” Reese inquires. Because she’s a vagina. It’s a sexist, partriarchal law; or in this case, a sexist standard enforced by this officer, since it is legal to go unclothed in public in the united kingdom. It exists in a society where men hold the power.
But what about male nudity? They obtained to go topless first. Will they be outside loving nude hiking before us ladies? Sounds crazy, and I expect that won’t be the situation..
Sending back to the title, how is naturism good for everyone and particularly for girls? It fosters gender equality, which will be especially great for girls whose bodies for once aren’t being put on display for male enjoyment. (Yes there are men who’ll still stare or join for that goal, but it’s a totally different atmosphere in a true naturist setting. As Reece says to women, “a naturist guy will look you in a person’s eye!”) Naturism also recommend positive body image and observes all body types outside of the media’s ideal. Many people are nude and equivalent, free of any sexist textile restraints and with much less stereotyping, judgment, labeling, profiling, etc.
nudist couple on the sand
To be continued in another post about Reece’s call for radical action for naturist rights
Read: Go nude; it’s best for everybody (but particularly for women) Part 1 and Part 2
Naturists and Naturists Top Free And Feminism Websites By Felicity Jones For – Young Naturists And Naturists America FKK
Tags: activism, culture, discrimination, feminism, gender, laws, topfreedom and topfree equality, topless / topfree
Type: Felicity’s Naturist Blog, Feminism and Women’s Problems and Human Rights, Social Activism