Monday, June 6, 2011

It’s naked time!

The mere act of public nudity isn’t illegal, but it’s not easy to find the line between lawful conduct and criminal indecent exposure when participating in naked bike rides.

The World Naked Bike Ride is celebrated in almost 100 cities across the world on various dates in June. Additionally, more than a dozen other nudity friendly bike events are held across the state, including several in Vancouver.

A majority of naked bike rides are designed as protests against fossil fuel dependency and a way to draw attention to the inherent vulnerability of cyclists as road users.

1 comment:

  1. There wasn't sufficient space to post on the article, you you get to be treated here! 'Twas as follows:

    We had our first WNBR here in Madison, WI last summer and it turned out to be a bit of a problem for the riders. Madison is an extremley liberal city, and public nudity per se is legal in WI so it was a somewhat of a surprise when riders were met with derision and obscenities upon arrival downtown.

    As observers, we saw people yelling insults while simultaneously jostling for a better view, snapping pictures all the while. One woman was reported in the newspaper as saying her child was damaged for life by the sight of a man's 'stuff'.

    The riders behaved well and followed the rather vague police instructions but still there were a few arrests, mostly of bystanders. One woman was detained, shirtless, in a squad car by a male officer who refused to let her cover up, telling her that she shouldn't mind since she had been uncovered before he put her in the car to 'interview' her. It was 15 minutes before he let her dress. Tough job but somebody has to do it.

    There are still court cases pending as preparations are underway for this year's ride. WBNR officials are stressing following all police orders which, as last year, will likely be as unclear as your police department's. Imagine if traffic laws were left up to the officer's discretion!

    Ironically, there have been no arrests at any of the 'Pride' events where lesbians have been known to bare their breasts. Apparently that subject is too controversial for our politicians to touch, no pun intended! Well, maybe a small one.

    From our viewpoint this is all needless foolishness but we do understand that a public which is ill-informed about the reality of social nudism and steeped in religious prohibitions has a problem with it. In our society it is considered fitting and proper to dress and act in a sexually provocative manner, while simple nudity is seen as perverted. Even breastfeeding mothers get hassled.

    We understand it, but do not agree. Our wish is that the 'textile' world would understand our lifestyle before deciding not to agree. In the meantime, most of us will keep hiding from most of them. The only difference being that if one of them intrudes into our community, they won't be arrested.


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