10-10-2008 05:36 AM
The US seems to be a lot more uptight about nudity that the UK. Over here bare chestedness of either sex would be fine in any carnival, fancy dress competition etc and there are some towns, especially seaside towns, where toplessness is OK. The law is only applied if it is thought it would affect public order and a complaint has to be made before the police would act. Nudists sometimes have walks on public bridlepaths for instance but the police would only intervene if another member of the public objected. A case can only be brought if there is a threat of violence to people or property.
Most of these objections are brought by religious people which I always find strange considering that naked is how we were supposedly 'created'. Were fig leaves made compulsory in the Bible?
John wrote: ...for example, in the United States it is perfectly legal for a man to walk around on the street with his chest bare, but it is illegal for a woman to do so.
I think a person could make a strong case that laws that prevent women from being bare chested, but not men, are civil violations. Each year in my city we have women arrested during Greek Week for exposing their chest, while, at the same time, shirtless men go totally unmolested by law enforcement. Seems like these laws (I think they're probably largely city ordinances, actually) are based on totally antiquated, and biased notions with regard to female sexuality.
Choisya, there's another cultural norm that I don't respect.
10-14-2008 02:03 AM
Have I made myself more clear?
Not really, I find this to be semantics. I suspect that our positions ar very similar in fact but cannot be bothered to spell them out.
Choiysa, so sorry, I just noticed your response here.
I agree that this is, very likely, a matter of semantics, and that our positions are probably very similar (though, that you didn't understand the distinction I was making in the examples I gave leads me to believe that we might be further apart than I thought). However, though semantics can often be used as rhetorical games to skirt and obfuscate issues, the distinction I am making is incredibly significant to me, and is in no way meant as a rhetorical device. I think it's imperative that we respect peoples' rights to think and act (to a certain point) according to their own belief systems. But, at the same time, I don't necessarily respect, without limit, the beliefs themselves. When the argument is offered that cultures and beliefs are "deserving of respect," I tend to resist that assumption. I respect a peoples' right to build their own culture according to their ideals, morality and values, but I don't, without question, respect that culture. Nor is that culture, necessarily, "deserving of [my] respect." And I think that's a substantive distinction. I don't mean to belabor this point. I just wanted to make it clear, before it was dropped, that the semantics, on this topic, aren't mere semantics to me.
If memory serves, you were away in Wales this weekend. Hope you had fun.
10-14-2008 02:12 AM
The US seems to be a lot more uptight about nudity that the UK. Over here bare chestedness of either sex would be fine in any carnival, fancy dress competition etc and there are some towns, especially seaside towns, where toplessness is OK.
I know it's been argued that this is a product of the U.S.'s Puritan roots. I'm not sure how fully reliable that argument is. The odd thing is, we do still seem hung up on women removing their shirt, especially, as I mentioned, in a carnival-type environment of Greek Week, where police presence is high. But, as I'm sure you're aware, women here regularly dress in incredibly revealing clothes. It's as though the nipple is some sort of sacred exposure line. Perhaps, though, this is just my area. Other parts of the country might not be so uptight about exposed female chests. It all seems so ridiculous to me.
BTW, what's a "fancy dress competition"?