Sunday, April 29, 2012

Nude Attitudes Reveal Raw Racism

WE HAVE neglected to write on this specific subject until now, but it is long overdue.  Stated plainly, a person’s attitudes towards nudity often reveal an underlying racism that ticks us off.  We’re not up to completing coherent paragraphs this Sunday afternoon, so we’ll give you a bulleted list that we hope expresses what we’re talking about:

  • As kids we could all ogle the naked bodies of the natives in National Geographic magazine, but naturist magazines can’t be sold on the newsstand (unless they’re in the XXX adult section) because they have naked CAUCASIAN people.  Nudity is, apparently, only fitting for people of ethnicity whom we expect to be naked “savages.”
  • Pictures of breast feeding infants are okay if the infants are “tribal” but Facebook bans North American moms from posting breast feeding photos?
  • Kids raised in the Amazon jungle who romp and swim naked? A protected (expected) “culture.”  Kids raised in Arizona running around or swimming naked? “In deepest danger."
  • Aborigines naked in the Australian Outback may be filmed, studied, interviewed.  They’re on “Walkabout.”  Nudists on a beach in Queensland, Australia may need to be locked up.  They’re “perverted.” 

  • Take a picture of a naked child in the jungles of South America and you’re an anthropologist.  Take a picture of a naked child in North America and you’re a child pornographer.

  • A Soviet dissident who has physically harmed no person and done nothing other than writing about the gulags gets sent to a gulag and we demand his freedom from the oppressive communist regime. A British Royal Marine retires from service and decides to walk rural roads of the UK naked (physically harming no person) and the UK locks him up for 4+ years going on indefinitely.  That’s not deemed oppressive or excessive by authorities.

  • Men go hunting buck naked in the African bush and velds, throwing spears or shooting arrows at a bloody animal soon-to-be carcass. That’s filmed in vivid detail for the Learning channel.  The Learning channel visits a nudist park and everyone is carefully pixilated to avoid causing "offense" to the viewer.

In the opinion of the Bare Platypus, these examples demonstrate a kind of thinking that is more degrading than anything we can imagine.  It’s the thinking that says, “When the people of a given race stay in the category and clothes that are expected of them (savage red man or black woman versus enlightened civilized white family) then no harm, no foul.  But when people don’t stay “in their place” we’ll cry obscene!
Shouldn’t one person with no clothes and another person with no clothes be the ultimate example of equality?

05/08/12 Update: Bare Platypus is not the first to raise this issue.  Click HERE for an online discussion from 2005 with similar themes.