Thursday, November 18, 2010

To Scan, or Not to Scan

It's typical in today's divisive political climate to find opposing points of view within clear-cut social groups, where once there would have been unanimity.

On the issue of airport full-body scanners, polls indicate that 81% of the American people support their use, while the remaining 19% are opposed and quite passionate in their condemnation of the government's invasion of privacy in the name of security.

Set aside all the arguments, such as the fact that the radiation emitted by these machines could be dangerous, or whether or not these scanners are actually effective or not, and let's look at how nudists are reacting.

Erich Schuttauf, AANR's executive director, in support of the Transportation Safety Administration's use of the scanners, put out a statement saying "A trained TSA or security professional in a remote monitoring station takes a few seconds discreetly screening passengers to be sure they're only bringing what nature gave them aboard."

OK, seems reasonable that a nudist would have no problem with someone else seeing them naked. But the owner of Palm Springs largest nudist resort feels differently.
“It's an invasion of privacy,” Michael Patrick Williams, general manager of The Desert Sun Resort, told City News Service. “Naturists aren't really different from anyone else.” 
Williams goes on to point out that nudists are very interested in privacy even though they socialize in the nude. At nudist resorts, cameras and cell phones are generally forbidden, and clubs and resorts do everything they can to keep out strangers who might just want to gawk at all the naked people.

The Desert Sun Resort is affiliated with AANR, so this is a clear break with the organization's official stance on this issue. So who is right?

Williams is, by a long shot. Freedom is fleeting, something which literally millions have died for in human history. All wars waged by the United States, including the bloody Civil War, have been fought in the name of freedom. For this single reason above all others, all freedom-loving Americans need to oppose these new TSA security measures, which effectively treat ALL airline passengers as criminals, mandating a full body scan or physical pat-down as a condition for boarding a public conveyance.

It's not a nudist issue, it's an American issue. For Erich Schuttauf to support the erosion of Constitutional rights in America, when he represents a group of people who are looking to expand freedoms, is completely absurd. This has nothing to do with shame, or body parts, or anything else other than the fact that our government is engaging in virtual strip-searches of innocent people, and patting them down as if they were sitting down for a meeting with Don Corleone.

I don't know if AANR is just trying to generate some cheap publicity, or if the organization really believes that the way to achieve more body freedom in America is to actually sacrifice body freedom. Either way, AANR is being irresponsible and failing to serve the interest of its members.

And congrats to Michael Patrick Williams for standing up to AANR and its inexplicable stance on body scanners. More AANR members need to speak out and demand that Schuttauf reverse his statement and stand on the side of freedom in America.


Brad Fults said...

Completely agreed. Nudists have no problem being seen nude when it's their choice. Being compelled by the state to expose one's self is no easier or more acceptable for a nudist. It's just naked aggression (pun intended) at its worst.

Rick said...

I totally agree with you and Brad. It's not the "nudity" that bothers me. I don't really care who sees me nude but it's usually either by choice or a chance happening.

It's about privacy and the erosion of our rights. Since 9/11 Americans have been continually handing their rights and freedoms over to the government in the mistaken belief that the government will keep them safe.

I'm a nudist and I value my privacy and my personal space. I'm concerned about the safety and long term effects of these scanners. We're exposed to so much radiation in our daily lives, do we need more?