Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Is Nudity Now a Family Value?

Here's one of the photos TMZ posted today of a topless Carrie Prejean, complete with obscured nipple. Prejean claimed in a press conference today that it was the wind which must have blown open her top. Does her hair look windblown in this photo?

Again, I don't care that she posed nude, or made a sex tape. And I don't care that she believes that marriage is between a man and a woman. As she points out, our President shares the same view.

What irks me to no end is that she is turning this personal belief into a political cause in a attempt to deny civil rights to American citizens seeking merely to marry the person of his or her choice. You can believe what you want, but stay out of my face and the faces of other citizens.

Prejean turned into such a spectacular train wreck that Donald Trump and the sexist pageant industry decided to keep her on as Miss California, undoubtedly due to all the publicity which has piqued new interest in the manufacturing and selling of American beauty.

There is a strange upside to this all, since the Christianist right is embracing this girl as some sort of second coming of Christ. Appearing on Dr. James Dobson's radio show, Prejean said that she was being tempted by Satan, and that she believes herself to be a witness for God in her crusade against gay marriage.

Carrie Prejean looks and struts like a porn star, yet talks like Billy Graham. She's more than willing to expose her body to sell lingerie or to tempt men, but she calls herself a moral Christian.

None of this really makes any sense at all. It's like someone declaring that the human body is dirty and shameful, and then getting naked at a nudist resort. It's wacko talk.

Wait, I said there was an upside. The fact that Prejean posed nude, the fact that she had breast implants, and the fact that she is a beauty queen who struts near naked to be judged on her attractiveness to men, has not prevented her from becoming a role model for Christian women. The sexual side of this whole affair has been rendered moot, immaterial, inconsequential.

In an era where all type of nudity is taboo, when kids are being prosecuted for taking nude photos of themselves, along comes Carrie Prejean and her sexed-up image to make nudity a Christian value.

Now Prejean's nude photos are far from being nudist or naturist, but in comparison the family-friendly clothes-free experience seems pretty tame compared to what the right wing is willing to accept from the beauty queen. It's as if the Christianists decided that there was no way to win the culture wars, so they took on someone who looks like a porn star to help get the funds rolling back in.

The political battle over abortion is all but dead with Obama getting ready to make the first of what should be several appointments to The Supreme Court. Gay marriage is now the big demon, but the tide of states approving same-sex unions is likely too big to stop. The only hope for the Christianists is to maintain it as a political football throughout the south, the last bastion for dying conservative philosophies, and prevent a 50 state sweep. And what better person to lead that effort than the Anita Bryant of the 21st Century, Carrie Prejean.

This is the time for nudism and naturism. The economy is in shambles, the Moral Majority is tied to the hull of the Pequod and sinking, and the new spokesperson for the Christianists is a bimbo. It's a perfect storm for lobbying for more public land to be set aside for clothes-free use, not only as a benefit to naturists, but for local communities looking to fill their coffers with new found revenue.

If the moralists think that the sight of Carrie Prejean looks pretty good, then they have little to oppose when it comes to a few nude beaches here and there.

14 comments:

Papa Swamp said...

This being my opinion:
All sides have been wrong on this issue. She was asked for her personal view on a highly politicized subject. The questioner didn't like her answer (which is fine), but HE started the whole ball rolling by publicly and extremely unprofessionally insulting and roasting her for her belief. Had he not said a word after the pageant, this story wouldn't exist. She is allowed to have any opinion she wants..we all are, but when one criticizes another for not having the same belief then we end up in a vicious circle....neither side being correct (because we are talking personal beliefs here).
She should have also been more profession and simply stated that her statement stands and no further comment be made. Instead she continued with interviews on the subject as well as other events.
Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs....it's when the belief is forced upon another it becomes a problem. Frankly, the real issue is, the federal government has no business being in the marriage business. States should be the determining body for relationships to resolve tax/legal issues....beyond that..it's nobodies business...Americans need to get out of others bedrooms and back into their own...might cut down on the divorce rate. My personal belief...marriage/union/whatever should be between people who care for and love each other...pretty simple.
I'll shut up now.

Anonymous said...

The problem, Papa Swamp, is that her beliefs were presented along with some facts that simply were not facts. To suggest, as she did, that gays could get married--when in most cases they can't--is either ignorant or a lie. And since she represented California, this is inexcusable. She really must be either dumb or a liar. Either way, she doesn't look good.

And you know what? I don't think everyone is entitled to their beliefs. Some things are facts and some aren't, but I think you are mistaking beliefs with values. And no one is saying she isn't entitled to her values, but if she believes lies then she is going to be judged. If she promotes lies, she'll be judged. And she's proven herself to be a liar in my judgment.

And I hope she is a very active spokemodel for her cause, since I hope it fails as miserably as she does at telling the truth.

Papa Swamp said...

Anonymous,

I must respectfully disagree. She did not lie when asked during the competition....she stated what she believed. Both parties after the competition degraded into falsities attempting to shove their beliefs/values into each others face (aided by the shallow minded media).
And I must also disagree...one can believe in anything they want whether it be declared a 'truth' or 'falsity'. If one believes in gods, theory of relativity, spirits, existence of alien life forms, what have you, is their belief...whether proved as a 'truth' or not makes no difference. Same applies to values (which tends to be interlocked into ones beliefs). Some believe the value of the life of a squirrel (or some other life form) out-weighs that of a human...that is their belief/value....the truth or falsity depends on the point of view..but ultimately the one with the ability to force which will become true.

Ultimately the sadness of the whole event is the competition in the first place....a competition based on surficial quality. Our society is obsessed with appearance, what's on the surface...this is probably the most mentally shallow event around. There really are more important things and events that should occupy our minds. Such competitions seem to only fuel the worst of humanity...jealousy, hatred, envy, obsession...the list goes on.
Again the above is merely my opinion.

Nudiarist said...

These are Prejean's exact words:

"I think it's great that Americans are able to choose one or the other. We live in a land that you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite marriage and, you know what, in my country and my family I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anyone out there but that's how I was raised and that's how I think it should be between a man and a woman".

We DO NOT live in a land where people can choose who they marry. Only a few states have made same-sex marriage legal. That's the point. It's not her opinion that people have a problem with, it's her ignorance, and her public crusade to deny civil rights to gay Americans. The tide has turned on this issue, just as it did for African-Americans in the sixties, and Prejean will be tossed on the ash heap of history along with Anita Bryant and anyone else who uses their own personal morality to try and deny basic civil rights to their fellow citizens.

Anonymous said...

I've been following this blog for about a year now I think and have become a big fan of it, which makes this a bit difficult. Nudiarist, without even getting into the Prejean thing, which I really don't care about, I wish you would leave this blog to nudism and leave your political beliefs out of it. A few points for you to consider. 1. There are a very substantial number of religious (and yes, by that I mean Christian) naturists in this country, and I would have to think that a good deal of them are fairly conservative. 2. You seem to feel that now that the Democrats are in power and that Obama is naming Supreme Court justices and public sentiment on issues like abortion and gay marriage are changing, somehow this bodes well for the future of nudism in this country. What about what almost happened to San Onofre last year? California is a very solidly blue state with most public officials being Democrats. Elsewhere, while it's true that both New York and New Jersey still have nude beaches (Lighthouse and Gunnison respectively), they've both also lost nude beaches over the years (Jacob Riis in New York and Cape May in New Jersey). Again, very much blue states controlled almost entirely by Democrats. 3. Yes, as you say, there is a lot of momentum for gay marriage right now. Without even getting into my own thoughts on that subject, what I'll say is that I don't exactly see how that's supposed to correlate to momentum for nude beaches. Gay rights has become a hot button issue in recent years. However, how many "nudist rights" parades have you seen? Is anyone lobbying for the first nudist to be on the Supreme Court? A very large part of the reason for Obama's success and the increasing support for abortion rights and gay marriage is the influence of younger voters. As has been well documented on this blog and elsewhere, nudism isn't exactly the "in" thing among this demographic. Oh, by the way, I find it somewhat ironic that right above your post bashing conservatives, you (admittedly lightheartedly) make fun of something written in the Huffington Post. The Huffington Post -- not exactly Fox News, is it?

To sum up, I see no reason to believe that we're about to enter some kind of golden age of nudism in this country, and certainly not because the Democrats are in power. I HOPE it happens, but I just see no reason to think so. At any rate, again, I think you have a great blog -- usually. But I think that if you want to bring your politics into it, you should start a new blog for that purpose.

Nudiarist said...

Dear anonymous,

First of all, please understand that this is my blog and I write about what interests me.

Secondly, I do believe that the entire Prejean affair is a reflection of changing values in America. When was the last time Dr. James Dobson had a beauty queen who posed for nude photos on his radio program?

There are many nudist activist groups out there, such as the Naturist Action Committee, South Florida Free Beaches, Nude Beaches Yes, Southern California Naturist Association Nude Beach Alliance, The Body Freedom Collaborative, The FKK movement in San Francisco and others.

There is no formal "nudist" parade, but gay pride parades feature a lot of skin, the Bay to Breakers event features a lot of nude bodies, and the World Naked Bike Ride, while primarily an environmental happening, takes place all around the world.

I did not say that we were about to enter some sort of "golden age". What I am suggesting is that the time is now for action, when the economy is a mess, and the culture wars have subsided to the point where Christianists are using a topless beauty queen as a spokesperson.

Take the example of Lake Willoughby in Vermont, where the town just didn't have enough money, or the stomach, to close down the nude beach. Instead, the government there entered into a partnership with the Naturist Action Committee to preserve the natural beauty of the area. It doesn't get too much better than that.

So, politics and naturism are intertwined, whether you like it or not. Most pundits agree that we are entering a progressive era after nearly 3 decades of conservative rule, which could last just as long. There might not be a better time to make progress for nudism and naturism in our lifetimes.

Anonymous said...

I'm just saying that I wouldn't go equating one with the other. That is, even if we are entering an age of progressive rule (and even that's uncertain -- after the 2004 election I clearly remember some pundits if the Democratic party was even viable anymore, so trends can change quickly), I wouldn't assume that progressives are our allies in this fight. Yes, I think it is very possible to be pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, etc., and still be anti-nudism, and I think history has shown that. I'm not necessarily saying that the Republican party is much better in this regard either, by the way. While I'm not in it and I'm not here to promote it, perhaps the Libertarian party is the best bet for the movement. In other words, those who call for smaller government might be the most likely to be against government getting in the way of people enjoying a beach in the manner they choose. Just a thought. Of course, I also don't think that anyone should base their vote on nudist-friendliness either! There are a lot of issues out there. All right, I'll leave it alone now. Just wanted my voice to be heard. Thank you.

Nudiarist said...

It's pretty safe to say that most people in government are "anti-nudist" in the sense that they would not be caught with their own pants down in mixed company, at least not at a nudist resort. Yes, the Libertarian Party is a lot friendlier than either the Repubs or the Dems, but they don't really have the clout to create change. Let's agree on this: if any anti-nudity laws are proposed, recent history shows that it's usually a Christian Republican leading the charge. The Dems have a more "live and let live" attitude when it comes to social issues.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I said I'd leave it alone, but your response does lead me to make one more comment. No, I most certainly do NOT agree that it's usually a Christian conservative who proposes anti-nudity laws. In the San Onofre situation it was a Parks Department director by the name of Ruth Coleman. There's no evidence that she's a Christian conservative! While I can't say for sure, judging by her bio and whom she has previously worked for, it's very likely she's a Democrat. And Coleman spelled that way is often Jewish, by the way, but I can't say that for sure either. And again, if it's always Christian conservatives, why did nude beaches in New York and New Jersey disappear? Oh, and you mentioned the Bare to Breakers race. They're trying to ban nudity there too! (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/02/12/MN5J15SA27.DTL for example). While in truth I don't know who's behind this, we're talking about liberal San Franciso here, not exactly a bastion of Christian conservatives. So, no, I think that to say that it's usually Christian conservatives trying to ban nudity is an exaggeration at best.

Tom Anderson said...

Once again your obvious biases are showing through, Mr. Nudiarist. A few discussion items:

1) You assert Ms. Prejean is campaigning against the civil rights of others. You seem to define a civil right as something that, if sanctioned by the state, should be equally available to all. Although I do believe in equal protection under the law, that doesn't necessarily define a civil right. A civil right is one of the core rights established in the Constitution, by which other privileges we have in society are derived. As such, Ms. Prejean is not fighting against civil rights, but rather advocating a position that denies equal status under the law.

2) That being said, if the state establishes marriage, it should be available to all without bias. The problem in America is that the state has usurped authority over marriage through the "establishment" of marriage licenses and other regulatory governance of marriage. This is problematic because most Christians have a very difficult time distinguishing Biblical marriage from state-sponsored marriage, where Biblical marriage is the institution established by God at Creation between one man and one woman, and state-sponsored marriage is a legal union between two people established by state laws at varying times in American history. The two are not the same institution by a long shot, but modern Christians appear to be woefully lacking in any deep theological education, and as such are unable to understand such complexities.

Regarding Ms. Prejean's "scandalous" photos, I have to laugh. My problem with them is not her nudity, but the fact that through them she is perpetuating the one thing about nudity in America that drives me absolutely crazy - namely the erroneous thought that nudity = sexuality/sensuality. Her photos are sensual, which detracts from her professed adherence to Christian values, and by which many have taken her to be a hypocrite. I imagine that if photos of her released relaxing by the pool at yours or my favorite nudist resort might have been less problematic to you and me; however, I doubt the majority of Americans would grasp the nuanced difference. (Much like many Christians don't get the difference between state- and church- affiliated marriage.)

As a Christian, and a nudist, I have long enjoyed reading your blog because it's been one of the few places to go to just "get the facts" about what's going on in the world of nudism, or at a minimum get points of view/considerations delivered from both sides of an issue. This has long been a sanctuary where I'm largely spared from having the news delivered with a slant or a skew injected, which is a remarkable rarity in America these days. It has been, in my opinion, one of the things that makes this blog a standout among its peers. Please take is as a positive encouragement when I say that I'd hate to see this blog become nothing more than an outlet for your personal opinion. I think it would take away a great deal of my enjoyment of reading, since I can walk around the corner and get someone's opinion on just about anything. What makes your blog unique to me has been its historical dedication to just presenting the facts. I hope you'll continue in that tradition.

Nudiarist said...

Anonymous, Roman Catholic Republican Mark Foley of Florida tried to take action against children in nudist resorts, and Southern Baptist Republican Florida State Senator Ronda Storms is a real piece of work. Look her up. There are many others, don't have time to look them all up now.

It's Republicans trying to criminalize teen sexting in Ohio, Republican Christian Don Hansen was behing the banning of nudity in Huntington Beach, etc.

It certainly is not an exaggeration to say that conservative Christianist Republicans are more ant-sex than Democrats.

Nudiarist said...

Tom, yes, and one of the civil rights which protects people from being discriminated against for race, religion, gender and sexual orientation is being violated by not allowing same-sex marriage. You can spin it anyway you want, but gays and lesbians are being denied the civil right to marry whomever they choose.

As for Prejean's photos, I don't have a problem with them and have clearly stated so. I don't care if she makes a sex tape. I find it laughable that suddenly posing for topless photos, getting breast implants, and strutting on stage in a bikini to be ogled and judged are Christian values. C'mon, she looks like a porn star, and Dr. James Dobson is treating her like the Virgin Mary.

I have never presented "just the facts" on this blog. I have always editorialized. We just disagree on this issue, that's all.

Anonymous said...

Mark Foley I'll certainly give you. He was flat-out wrong, and was later proven emphatically to have his own issues, to say the least. Ronda Storms I'm not familiar with, but I believe you. I've never even heard of Huntington beach. San Onofre is a much more significant nude beach, and that, as I've already demonstrated, can't likely be blamed on Christian conservatives. As for the teen sexting issue, that is NOT nudism. In fact, I thought nudists go out of their way to point out that nudism does not equal sex. Now you're saying that trying to ban teen sexting fits into the category of trying to ban nudism? To me, and I think a lot of nudists, they're separate issues. And again, I'm not saying that I agree or disagree with the effort to ban it. Just that it's not the same as trying to close down a nude beach.

Furthermore, your contention seems to be that the liberals/democrats are more nudist-friendly and that Christian conservatives are the "enemy" to this movement. To back this up, you cite some examples of Christians taking anti-nudist (or in some cases, what you consider to be anti-nudist) stances, but fail to acknowledge the multitude of times it comes from the Democrats as I've described. If you want to bring up things that aren't really nudism, by the way, I could also site the banning of the "Naked Mile" at the University of Michigan several years ago. Again, a primarily liberal school in a state that's been trending blue. The point is, I'm sorry, but you're cherry picking here. Sure, if for every five instances of a Republican being the problem there are five instances of a Democrat being the problem, but you only acknowledge the 5 instances of the Republican being the problem, of course it's going to look like the Republicans are usually the problem!

Nudiarist said...

Parks Director Coleman could just be a prude, I don't know her political affiliation, but the important thing is that the NAC and naturists in California were successful in preserving San Onofre's clothing-optional atatus.

Huntington Beach is a town in California. Look up what the NAC tried to do there and failed.

Sexting is definitely not nudism, but public perceptions on what is and what is not child pornography could have far ranging implications for children in nudist families. If the mere image of an under 18 individual without clothes is considered pornographic, then it's only a matter of time before nudism comes under attack. A couple on Florida just a year or so ago were denied custody of their grandchild because they lived in a nudist resort.

I doubt if it's even-steven between Dems and Repubs when it comes to social issues, and nudism is a social issue.