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I want to walk naked!

Tags: English, politics, opinions, essays, life
Created on Fri, 24 Sep 2021

Walking naked is natural. Putting clothes on a person is a form of fascism. Today if I try to just walk naked, outside of my bathroom, my flat (if I live with roomates) or some very small beaches - I will be told off and potentially arrested. How come?

Clothes have an obvious primary purpose - the human body is not too well adapted to live in the extreme colds in some areas of the world. But for some complicated historical, theological, anthropological and/or societal reason almost all of the world's people and civilisations have decided that wearing clothes has at least the secondary purpose to cover mainly our primary and almost always - secondary reproductive organs.

It has reached a stage where not wearing clothes in public space is a sign of some sort of craziness or activism for some cause. Even though it can be argued that not wearing clothes is the more natural way of handling the human body, especially on the summer hot days. (I will ignore the issue with sunburn for the moment.)

So not wearing clothes can be argued it's more natural but mostly socially unacceptable. We all do things that may not be the most comfortable for the individual but beneficial for other people - even the most contrarian, anti-social and anarchistic among us.

Try to walk naked everywhere in the hot days if you are idealistic enough. In the most public places in most squares of "western" big cities I bet you will be arrested within 15-30 minutes. Not hitting or even saying anything to anyone, not hurting or abusing - just going through your day, walking on a big street, maybe entering some shops, browsing, behaving the most normal you can with the only difference of being completely naked.

Is this censorship? It can be argued that it is. On the other hand, imagine being a shop owner and a naked dude or dudette enters - it may scare the rest of your customers until they start complaining to you or just leave. You may lose customers and business until you take action.

Now imagine this becomes a trend - not too impossible given the idiotical trends we've seen in the past decade sparked by Internet platforms with portmanteau words and clock sound names. There will be fierce opposition by more conservative folks and some businesses may put labels such as "clothes necessary to enter shop, owner can refuse service and call the authorities for violators".

Is that a violation of human rights? Sort of - but if you are a business owner you want to serve customers and their interests and until it becomes socially acceptable you can refuse service to violators, unless of course you are not an activist yourself and you want to see a change happen.

Until that happens though, the country, governments, municipalities, corporations, schools, hospitals can impose rules that may not be necessarily explicitly stated anywhere but are socially acceptable - such as a necessity to wear clothes, not being abusive, sing or scream loud, not smoke, not litter, not smelling or be unclean and so on. They can check this explicitly and refuse service, fine you and even arrest you when you don't follow the common rules. In some areas such as bars and clubs, they can even check your ID to confirm you are of a certain age to serve you or refuse to serve you alcohol, cigars or strippers.

Societies are built upon these written and unwritten rules. Some are in constitution, laws and decrees of human rights on an international level. Some are signs and labels, a guard in front of the business, the word of the owner or nothing at all to indicate what the rules are unless you learn them yourself by trial and error.

We are in a very transitory position of another rule coming to force in certain countries and areas of the world sparked by a situation that is not unheard of in human history - situation that has occurred many times before and many of the current issues we speak about now daily has been in public discussion any time the situation arises. The personal freedoms vs. societal interests.

Should you do something that may not be completely natural or beneficial to you individually but will help society? Can other people decide what rights you have based on your decision to be a member of the society by following the rules or can they kick you out if they decide you are not a "good person" based on their own interpretation of "goodness"? Is it fair that a small percentage of people refusing to follow a certain rule can unproportionally affect the rest of the people?

Again, try to think of all the other rules, not just this one that is now argued every day. Think of graffiti for example - one person, one night can deface a building or a cultural object that may take days or weeks to repair. On the one hand - it's a form of personal expression and freedom. On the other - you are creating an unpleasant experience for a huge population. Same for smoking in a crowded restaurant, smelling of poo in the public transport or walking naked. It is not necessarily always abusive physically, mentally or intended to be bad. Sometimes it's just unfair - why does everyone need to follow the rules but this one person or small group of people can do whatever they want?

Same for the issue of the day. A small percentage of people that express their right of personal freedom can influence the economy and rules of the whole city, country or (in a globalised world such as today) the whole world. And it becomes unfair to the people who have made some, even small, sacrifices to follow the rule - as small as feeling a bit sick one day or as big as being at the edge of your physical and mental energy for almost two years now. It's unfair to all the people that may suffer and maybe even die as a result of a refusal for extremely tiny self-sacrifice.

Sure, the world is unfair as a whole. Sure, for some people the "tiny self-sacrifice" may not be so tiny. And also sure - this will create some sort of divisions and refusal for certain services from various areas in life, some people will suffer more, some people will benefit immensely from the situation.

But yeah - you have the right to try to walk naked!