Naturist world and textile world: two parallel worlds. II Part
As regards Ableman’s consideration that in today’s society there is space for naturism (“thank goodness”, we say), we would like to respond by reminding him that denying the naturist call means denying the interdependence between man and nature. I am also grateful that he agrees that naturism is a serious practice. However we have to disagree with his tenet that naturism plays an important, but limited, role in putting the genitals back into the body’s instinctive life. We believe, on the contrary, it is an important mission to work towards reintegrating the genitals. What is more, it is not at all a limited role but an essential role for individuals who are being deprived of the naturalness of their drives (and here we obviously exclude destructive or ethically unsustainable impulses.
In conclusion, when the mass media, journalists, writers and scholars of social customs confront nudism, they either do it to make a spectacle of nudity (which is what happens on TV), or to introduce nudism as one of many bizarre trends (discussed in magazines and newspapers), or to venture into analyses that are faulty right from the start because in the textile world those who talk about naturism not only have never practiced nudity but have never even read anything of the vast corpus of naturist writings which our movement has produced since its beginnings. It as though the textile and naturist world lived parallel to each other, on two different tracks that are parallel but will never meet.","We would like to end this article with an excerpt from an article written by an American woman, a wife and mother of two children, regarding her nudist experience. The excerpt is quoted by Ableman, the author of the aforementioned book The Anatomy of Nakedness, one of the few intellectuals who actually experienced naturism, in a village of the French Riviera, before writing about naturism: “You go back home feeling younger, not only in your body but also in your mind.
When you take off your clothes you have the sensation of ridding yourself not only of the garments but the dirty ugly world along with them. Here in the nudist camp there is peace and brotherhood with likeminded people. Here you find friendly people who are cordial, open-minded, tolerant, and respectful of others. And when you finally reach the understanding of the nudist philosophy, you discover that your horizons are limitless and you find inner peace, a rich enjoyment of life. You have found freedom.
And you bless the day you agreed to go to a nudist camp”. In this article we have debated some of Paul Ableman’s considerations about the “limited” role of nudism and the fact that naturist centers are a sort of parody of the earthly paradise. But the fact that we included the excerpt written by the American woman and the significant thoughts it provoked in him, afford him a distinctive note with respect to other intellectuals. This is his comment to the American woman’s statement: “The main idea contained in the declaration written by the American woman, and in others of this type, is that she feels free. This is because taking off her clothing means putting modern civilization and its worries aside, and nudists free themselves not only of the clothing, but also of the need to wear a role, take on a form and put on a show, follow a ceremony and all of the constrictions that make up a complex protocol”. From the statements above it appears quite evident how the mass media, writers and scholars of social customs live in a parallel world with respect to the naturist world.
In fact while newspapers and magazines either report naturist events as bizarre news items, as mentioned above, or invent pseudoscientific studies on the fashions of the moment, amongst which they plunk nudism,
TV improvises television debates on changing customs. These debates pose nudism as an alternative trend to the “natural” trend of always wearing clothing (which on the beach is reduced to a dinky bathing suit). In the debates – which never feature a representative of the Naturist Federation – various writers and scholars of customs sound off more or less exhaustively about the issue of nudism and its pros and cons. The irony is that none of them has ever once tried the naturist experience.
However there is one occasion on which these two parallel worlds start to collide. This happens when the textile world heads out full tilt to repress the most obvious expressions of naturism, whose most obvious aspect is nudity. The latest news from summer 2007 focused on a large-scale campaign conducted by mayors and police to repress this “terrible” crime. Homicide, rape, theft, drunk driving, highway piracy, throwing big rocks from highway overpasses, etc, according to the usual statistics are to be expected in the system, says the textile world. What is not to be expected or accepted and therefore should be repressed with maximum severity is the “crime” of nudity, i.e. an extraneous body that the system does not recognize as its own and against which all possible and imaginable antibodies are sent onto the field to fight against: local police, state police, carabinieri, forest rangers, coast guard and, if it were possible, the Revenue Guard Corps.