Last night I sat down to start a media review post for The Naturism Community, a substack newsletter I started as a spinoff to this blog. Naturism has always been a popular subject here, but it’s not the main focus. So I decided to give it a forum of its own, even though occasionally I still do write about naturism here.
I got bogged down pretty quickly last night with a couple of news stories out of Britain about “authorities” issuing “warnings” (their word) to people who planned to sunbathe naked in their own gardens. Essentially, the authorities were telling people to be mindful of their neighbours’ sensibilities, and suggested they keep their nudity behind a screen or in a part of the garden that might be hidden from view.
This in a country where public nudity is legal as long as the intent is not to “distress or cause alarm.”
I saw red flags. It seemed like government overreach to me. I think authorities in some jurisdictions were trying to pre-empt citizen complaints and the resulting police followups. But that seemed odd to me as well. I mean, aren’t Britons used to public nudity by now? Are neighbours calling the cops on the people next door for doing a bit of naked gardening or sunbathing in the buff?
In Quebec, where I live, public nudity in one’s backyard is not legal, but naturists and others do it anyway, and I have yet to hear of a legal kerfuffle over it. It’s a non-issue. But in a country where it is perfectly legal, there are complaints to the police?
Anyway, the post is generating some conversation in The Naturism Community, but if you would prefer to discuss it in this forum, be my guest. Or you could join the conversation there. Like all other posts in that forum, it will be free to read and respond to for about a month before it is locked.
And, of course, this blog has always been and will continue to be free to read and to comment.
Government overreach is what governments always tend towards. That’s what, “Eternal vigilance is the price of liberty” is all about. One needs to watch the government very closely. And just say “No!” when it goes too far.
Individual people are great but humans in general live by the emotions of the moment and not by political principles. “I disagree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it.” is not a thing except among a few irrelevant philosophers.