Since when did public nudity become a “civil right”?

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Since it’s San Francisco…

Credit: Lea Suzuki/The Chronicle

Naked guys (and gals) stage “nude-in” at City Hall

SFGate: The Castro’s “naked guys” will not be deterred by anything. Not repulsed fellow citizens, not a proposed ban on their sartorial choices or lack thereof, and certainly not preparation for the Giants’ victory parade.

The nudists had planned a noon-time nude-in for Tuesday weeks ago in front of City Hall to protest Supervisor Scott Wiener’s proposal to ban nudity citywide except at street fairs, festivals and parades. But when the Giants won the World Series, and their victory parade preparations shut down the Polk Street side of City Hall, building management pulled the nudists’ permit.

No matter. About a dozen men and a couple of women showed up and stripped down anyway – just outside the blockades erected along Polk Street. One sunbathed in the grass, one walked around with a bird on his shoulder and one carried a sign showing Wiener’s face with a big red line through it that read, “The only Wiener that doesn’t belong in San Francisco.”

Wiener said, “I give them an A for creativity. I support their right to protest, but I don’t agree with them that people should be able to get naked anytime, anywhere, in any place in San Francisco.” (Currently, that’s actually the law so long as there’s no associated lewd behavior.)

The naked guys’ ringleader, 66-year-old George Davis who once ran for mayor on a pro-nudity platform, said Wiener was trying to rob them of their civil rights.

“This affects everybody,” he said. “Not everybody can be a man. Not everybody can be a woman. Not everybody can be gay, not everybody can be straight. Not everybody can be Chinese or Muslim. But everybody can be nude. That’s the first decision you make when you wake up in the morning – to be nude or not.

Since the City Hall steps were blocked, the nude-in occurred right next to – wait for it – Annie’s Hot Dogs, a stand in Civic Center Plaza. James, an employee who didn’t want to give his last name, snapped photos of the nudists and said, “The irony is not lost on me.”

Lloyd Fishback, 51, said he has to wear a suit and tie at his job as a security guard for a nursing home. But on Tuesday, he wore a Giants hat, flip flops and nothing in between. “He’s a party pooper,” he said of Wiener. “I like having an even tan. I just feel liberated.”

There were a couple of naked women at the nude-in including one who described herself as a sex worker who dabbles in escorting, massage and domination. Another brought her young daughter who was dressed but carried pro-nudity signs and handed out leaflets.

Wiener’s legislation is scheduled to be discussed in committee at 10 a.m. Monday, but thankfully the nudists will be required to wear clothes if they want to venture inside City Hall to testify against it.

Passers-by stopped to gawk and take photographs. “What if the Giants turned out like this?” one quipped. We think a large segment of the city wouldn’t mind that one bit.

What is it with liberals (and  you know they are) and their desire to be naked in front of strangers? Dr. Eowyn did a post on “Being Left and Going Naked,” July 24, 2010.

Beyond that, where does nudity fit into “civil rights?” Just cover up and if you really want to be nude, head to a nudist camp, TYVM!


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0 responses to “Since when did public nudity become a “civil right”?

  1. “What is it with the Left and their desire to be naked in front of strangers?”

    It’s their preening narcissism and their utter disdain and contempt for the sensibilities of others.

    • FREEDOM is a basic conservative value. What is it with faux conservatives that they promote BIG GOVERNMENT tyranny to take away our most basic human rights, our right to our own body?

  2. “I like having an even tan” – Hahah…what a king he is

  3. Not all nudists are liberals. I happen to know a few, in fact, I am one. I’ve been a staunch conservative Republican all my adult life, as well as a Christian minister. Having been ordained in 1982 within a standard denomination I now serve Christ within the Natural Creationist creed.
    We do not condone “sex workers,” as one woman in your article states she works as, but nudists come in all types and not all (or most) are Christians. We were all created nude, as Genesis chapter 1 points out with Adam & Eve and God declared what He had made as “very good”. They were the ones who sinned against God and tried to hide their nudity. God never condoned their wearing of clothes, but merely supplied animal skins by way of making the first animal sacrifice for the forgiveness of their sins. This foreshadowed the final Sacrificial Lamb, which was Christ Himself.
    By dying on the cross and being resurrected Christ restored all humanity who will accept His salvation by fulfilling the Old Testament law and therefore redeeming us from the curse of the law, which caused us to feel shame about our nakedness and separated us from a perfect relationship with our Creator/Father. According to Galatians 3:13, Christ’s redemption restores that perfect relationship for everyone who believes, and therefore removes the shame that keeps us clothed. Christians more than anyone have reason therefore to be nude.
    As an activist I advocate for nude rights for all, even though the majority will not be nude for the right reasons. They still have the right to be who they were born to be – NUDE! No one has ever been harmed by seeing another human nude, so why should nudists be discriminated against by being forced to wear clothes against their will, simply because others cannot stand to even look at themselves favorably in a mirror?
    #salvation_sets_us_free #nudepride #bodyfreedom

    • True, not all nudist are liberals. But I’d bet $100 that the majority are.

      As a minister, you are probably more adept at producing Bible quotes than I am. Modesty is still a virtue in God’s eyes. According to Timothy: Likewise also that women should adorn themselves in respectable apparel, with modesty and self-control, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly attire, but with what is proper for women who profess godliness—with good works. From Peter: Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you…

      Society has standards of decency (what’s left of them). I don’t want to see your bits and pieces all over the place and especially don’t want one putting their butt down on a public place where you can leave fecal matter. Nudity is not a civil right not matter how much “pride” you have.

      • Yes, Paul instructs women not to lavishly cover themselves. We have two extremes going on. Certainly, you can argue that some poor slave in Ephesus whose owner didn’t give them clothing was Paul’s target. The idea is that, if they were truly “blessed by God”, they would be wealthy and be able to lavishly cover themselves in material goods. I can see how rich materialistic American Christians might reach such conclusions and pridefully look down their noses at those who were of more modest means.

        But what if you are wrong? What if “modest” means the opposite of pride? Is it possible that someone who has only a “modest” income doesn’t have lavish material goods?

        You speak of “decency” as being related to how much materialism a person is associated with. Let’s break this down a bit. Let’s say a famous artist decides to make a nude self-portrait of himself out of clay. Art museums are filled with such nude artwork and it is not indecent. But, if the artist were to stand naked next to the nude self-portrait, then you would say it is indecent. This is based on the idea that “God breathed into him the Breath of Life and Adam became a living soul”. So the concept is that the God-given “Breath of Life” is what changes the decent into indecent while changing the non-living into Living. This is why “walking dead” movies with rotting corpses walking around are considered less offensive than nudity. Because God made the living naked human – which is therefore indecent, but the animated corpse is to make a mockery of the Resurrection of the Dead – and therefore is less offensive than what God made.

        Likewise, following the logic through, we see that if the naked living artist is indecent compared to the non-living self-portrait, then it follows that since the human was created in the Image and Likeness of God, that therefore God is infinitely more offensive than His Self-Portrait.

        While I follow your logic, I believe it is wrong. I don’t see any reason to conclude that God created His Image and Likeness to be “indecent”. Certainly, you can decide to act in an indecent manner, but that doesn’t change His Creation. You presumably have no problem with unclothed monkeys, dogs, cats or whatever. God simply said “let the earth bring forth…” for those naked creatures. It is only at the grand finale of Creation when the “voicing” changes from “let the earth bring forth” to “let US create man in Our Image after Our Likeness” that you suddenly declare it to be offensive.

        I notice that in your attempts at “proving” that nakedness is “wrong” that you didn’t quote anything from the 5 books of Moses. There are some 613 commandments there and none of those commandments forbid walking naked. (The priests when serving were commanded to wear a specific uniform, but there was no commandment for what they were to wear when “off-duty”.) However, even though casual nudity was not forbidden, it was twice given “you shall not add to nor subtract from these words”.

        I know, I know – you are thinking “how LEGALISTIC! We aren’t able to add a commandment against nudity! Thank God that we are now ‘Free from the Law’ and therefore can add all those commandments that the Word of the Lord was too incompetent to give to Moses!”

        What if you have everything backward? What if “modesty” means just the opposite of what you think? What if God never declared the human body to be “indecent”? What if you are denigrating His Creation? Just a thought for you to ponder….

    • I am also a Republican and FREEDOM loving conservative. FREEDOM from government tyranny is a fundamental CONSERVATIVE value. FREEDOM not to be forced to buy and use products we don’t want by BIG GOVERNMENT Police state tyranny. Freedom of our own body, our most fundamental freedom is a conservative value. Police state control of our lives is a leftist big government agenda.

  4. Since when did not seeing something that offends you become a civil right? In some areas at some times it was black people; for others it’s cigarette smoking or drinking out of a paper bag; for many it’s some current fashions like pants falling off the hips. Are we going to prohibit those things because some don’t like them? Then by what right can we prohibit the natural human body?

  5. We dont choose to be naked, we are forced to wear clothes against our will. What do you call forcing people to do something against their will? For some of us we feel something akin to rape.

    • “For some of us we feel something akin to rape.”

      Spare me the hyperbole. Tell that to a woman who has actually been RAPED. How dare you diminish an actual violent, repulsive, physical and mental crime and compare it to you being forced to wear clothes. Shameful.

      • How about you go learn the actual meaning of the word rape before you call my use of the word and the feeling i have of being forced to wearclothes as shameful?

        • How about you speak to a woman who has actually been raped?
          Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person without that person’s consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, abuse of authority, or against a person who is incapable of giving valid consent, such as one who is unconscious, incapacitated, has an intellectual disability or is below the legal age of consent. The term rape is sometimes used interchangeably with the term sexual assault.

          unlawful sexual intercourse or any other sexual penetration of the vagina, anus, or mouth of another person, with or without force, by a sex organ, other body part, or foreign object, without the consent of the victim.
          statutory rape.
          an act of plunder, violent seizure, or abuse; despoliation; violation:

          • I have no need to ask another person how it feels to be raped because I was molested and I can assure you the feeling of being forced to wear clothing, for me is the same.

            • Sorry if that happened to you. Don’t understand how running around naked would reduce a woman’s chance of being attacked. But if that’s how you feel, go for it.

              • Are women attacked at nudist resorts? You should be able to come up with DOZENS of such accounts if your logic is correct. Go for it.

                You might look at a map of rape statistics. Isn’t it odd that there are more rapes per capita in areas where the women cover more of their skin? Go figure…..

  6. Who defines a “civil right”? Obviously, the question of what body parts are allowed freedom to be exposed to air and light are largely defined by the culture of the observer. In some cultures, it is understood that a woman is now allowed out in public with her naked face showing – while at the other end of the spectrum, there are 3rd world tribes where anyone can be out in public with any and every body-part exposed.

    The “civil right” of free speech allows any man to go up to a woman and demand that she veil her naked face. They would say, she should just cover-up her face and, if she really wants her face naked, she can go off to a private women’s area where naked faces are permitted.

    Is it a violation of the woman’s “civil rights” to have to hear such “free speech”? No, of course not, we all are subjected to free expression from others which we might personally find offensive. No doubt you can see how this argument goes. From that cultural perspective, women have no “civil right” to have their face naked – nor any other body-part.

    So, for the logic presented above to hold true, you have to demand that women wear burqas and veils. By contrast, if you argue women have a “civil right” to expose any amount of naked skin – on their faces or elsewhere – then the above argument iclaiming that exposed skin is not a civil right has been invalidated.

    • And freedom of speech includes expression of opinions, but not necessarily demands. One may demand that others should be covered up; that’s freedom of speech–but unless you are a law enforcement officer, your demand has no legal force. And even if it is a police officer making the demand, we still have legal recourse if his/her demands are illegal.

  7. I am naked nearly all the time at home. I would relish being able to leave my home naked without fear of harassment

  8. Alan Christensen

    Body freedom has a long tradition especially in the Bay Area, from the hippies in the sixties to Andrew Martinez AKA The Naked Guy of Berkley to Gypsy Taub to the Bay to Breakers nude runners to the Folsom street fair. There are also quite a few famous Americans who enjoyed nudity Ben Franklin, James Madison, dozens evens hundreds of others. Fear or shame regarding the human body is both harmful and illogical after all we all have one. Does it not stand to reason that disgust over the human body is unhealthy? Broaden your horizons life is too short to be so uptight.

  9. Why do you want to force clothing onto people? I have every right to be comfortable wherever I am. If that means being nude then I have the right to be nude.

  10. You understand “modesty”and “humility” from modern standards and interpretations from your own view. In order to accurately understand Scripture you have to study the Greek and Hebrew views back from the time this was written. I have studied both years past at great length, as well as the languages the Bible was written in. Those words conveyed, not an entirely different view than some have today, but applied differently, according to the culture of that time,which allowed for nudity, considering that unless you were wealthy, which the vast majority were not, you only had one set of clothing. People stripped to nothing when performing physical work, which is also why the Olympics were originally held nude (“gymnos” is the Greek word for “nudity,” from which we get our word “gym” for a place to work out. Interesting we continue to hold onto that word, but do not follow what it originally intended). Modesty back then simply meant not to flaunt what you wore and make a spectacle of yourself, the way most do today in churches in showing off their “Sunday best”. Humble is what we are when we are nude, for we are not putting on airs and trying to seem like something special, because of the fancy clothes we wear. We are all equal when we meet.
    As for seeing our “bits and pieces” and sitting on things so that we “leave fecal matter,” that shows you know nothing of nudist etiquette, for we always place a towel or other cloth down before sitting and nudists are cleaner than anyone else, as we shower all the time, before and after swimming or hot tubs, and each day so we rid ourselves of any odors. We are far cleaner than textilers (those who wear clothes). Consider that we do not force you to strip nude, yet you force us to wear clothes. Which of us is more open-minded and fair to the other?

  11. I sit on a towel, wrap… I wear kilts when I can’t be naked… If society has the right to wear anything, I have the right to be naked. To be naked, is a civil right, just as you have the right to wear anything you wish.

  12. A free man owns and controls his own body. It is his most fundamental right. Only a slave’s body is owned and controlled by a master. Only a slave has no right to control his own body. Any man who cannot have the freedom to choose not to cover his body is a save. It is the most fundamental human right, and the first right to be taken away by slave master who train us to obey and obey and to believe that slavery is freedom.

  13. I agree wholeheartedly with this article. I love my nudity and want to be able to go everywhere nude and never buy clothes again. I think we deserve to be able to be who we are anywhere anytime. If I was there I would have gone and got nude and supported the cause.

  14. It isn’t thay we get naked to bother anyone. We want to be able yo be naked and NOT have it bother anyone. It should be no big deal. We are all people under our clothes.

  15. As Conservative Christian I read the Bible, it tells me my Creator invented nude living (naturism as we call it) when he created our first grandparents. So why does our society make it illegal? What harm would it do to anyone to see someone else without fabric wrapped around them? Many people seem to think it would do children harm. But why? That makes no sense. In my experience children couldn’t care less, and receive not a bit of harm. I think I would have been much benefited by growing up with a lot more nudity than I did. Even 50 years later I still have certain mental difficulties that would not be there if I’d been around nude adults a lot when young. But that’s only nonsexual nudity I’m taking about.

  16. Stephen Reinhardt

    Since when did it become your civil right to declare the human body of another to be indecent and obscene?
    To protect the public from their sensitivity to the sight of nudity you create censorship laws and force the covering of the human body, thus guaranteeing that the next generation will be even more sensitive to it. By trying to fix the problem, you only make the problem worse. Now THAT sounds like something that those liberal morons would do.

  17. In my view, the Weiner law in San Francisco came about because of the extremism of a few in the Castro district of SF. They were not naturists but a better word would have been exhibitionalists., going into restaurants naked without even using a towel to sit and open sex acts in public., And if I recall correctly, it was passed by a 1 vote majority. Naturists should have spoken up against their vulgar acts. SF still allows nude activities such as the WNBR and others and they have won several court cases since the enactment of the law.

  18. The Weiner law (in my view) was enacted not because of naturists but as a result of some whom I would label as exhibitionalists. True naturists should have been the strongest voice against their actions. They showed little respect for the public at large, going into restaurants totally naked and sat down even without a towel. They also engaged public in sexual acts – certainly not condoned by naturists. The new ordinance (as I recall) passed by a 1 vote majority. Certain nude events are still allowed such as the Bay to Breakers event and the WNBR and other demonstrations by permit. I believe that there have been several successful court cases when persons were denied a permit.

  19. People have the right to live unmolested. That can mean being assaulted by naked people flaunting themselves in pubic. Nudists are NOT the majority. If they want to get naked, who cares. They should respect the majority and do it somewhere where we don’t have to look at them.

    • There was a time when the “majority” didn’t want to see minority members in the “White” restroom. If I understand your point correctly, the minority members shouldn’t have objected, they should just have gone off to where white people wouldn’t have to look at them using the white restroom.

      The supposed “right” not to see something is dubious at best.


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