Monday, July 4, 2011

Nude Rights

It appears that an Ontario Court will review Canada's nudity laws after a complaint that the law is unconstitutional. A nude drive-thru customer in Bracebridge, ON, is arguing that the nudity laws are too broad, unconstitutional and a violation of his freedom of expression. He also claims that the act of being nude in public isn't harmful to others. Tell that to the drive-thru employee who cried as she testified that she had seen him naked.

While it may be true that the laws are constitutional and that theoretically, appearing nude is a harmless act and that the laws themselves are a reflection of our prudish society, there are many other good reasons to argue FOR the laws.

First off, nobody wants to see that. You may think that your body is a beautiful and natural thing and that we should all wander around in all of God's images and glory, but the truth is, most of us don't live in a world populated by Victoria Secret's models. Many of us are less than physically perfect and we don't necessarily need everyone to see every little freckle, bulge or crease.

Second of all, nobody wants to see that. Even if you are fantastically beautiful, that doesn't mean that everyone wants to enjoy in your splendor with you.

Third of all, how can you say it's harmless? What about trauma, mental harm, the strong urge to wash your eyes out with soap? Reducing children to tears, scaring the neighbours, the horror of seeing your parents the way that God intended them to be, watching people do menial chores and yard work butt naked? How is that harmless?

Fourth of all, being naked is about private access. It's part of how we define intimacy. Knowing that you're the only one who gets to see your partner naked is part of what creates the intimate bond between the two of you and also allows you to take pleasure in the fact that you can see what others can only imagine. Getting naked for your partner is also the universal sign that they want to sleep with you. If everyone on the street does it, well, it's just confusing.

Fifth of all, being naked is a private pleasure. It's our way of affirming that we are the master of our domain, short of peeing on the carpet. It means that we can feel at home, comfortable, free to do what we want, with the drapes closed and the pants off. If you're allowed to be naked everywhere, then it takes the fun out of being naked when you're home alone. There's also the feeling that when we're naked at home alone, we're getting away with something. Don't take that away from us!

And last but not least, covering up is another way to distinguish between us and the animals. It shows that we're civilized, decent and modest. There are some who say that human beings are animals and that in reality, we're just dressed up monkeys. If we don't dress up, well, then we're just monkeys. And that's not something I think we should strive for.

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