Hanging one way or the other

A few days back, I dropped a quote from some suit (so to speak) at the American Association for Nude Recreation:

“Polls regularly show that about one in five North Americans have skinny-dipped in mixed company.”

Which drew this bit of analysis:

Ironically, about the same number of people (20% of the population) is identified as politically liberal. Without a considerable amount of research, I think it would be irresponsible to claim liberals skinny-dip and conservatives keep their clothes on.

That said, it is curious that liberal groups are customarily recognized for using nudity in their protests. Examples are the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) who regularly parade naked women for the sake of animal rights and the Breasts Not Bombs crowd who protest for peace. And there are others, so maybe a direct correlation can be made between nudity and liberalism.

Maybe, but I don’t think there’s much of one. While individual nudists certainly can be, and occasionally are, politically active, the whole point of contemporary naturism is that going nude is no big deal; stripping off one’s kit for political purposes, to exploit the presumed shock value, is simply not on the agenda.

Besides, as I said about six years ago:

At best, a nude protest tends to trivialize the cause supposedly being advanced. And yes, I’m aware of the presumed body hangups of our ostensibly Puritan society and all that, and they don’t make the slightest bit of difference; unless nudity is actually germane to the issue — say, trying to get a section of public beach set aside for clothing-optional use — it reduces the credibility of the protest.

Of course, there are other reasons not to take the likes of PETA seriously.

1 comment

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