Thursday, 27 January 2011

Discounts and Events

Early Payment Discount

February 1st is the deadline for the 2011 early payment discount. You can save up to $67.00.  The discount is 2% for paying two months early. That's the equivalent of a 12% annual interest rate!  Try to get that from your bank.

Upcoming Events

It may be winter but there are still lots of events happening. February 5th is the second Euchre night organized by the Bare Bistro and February 12th is the Valentine's Day Dinner and Dance. Plus the Ontario Roaming Bares and the Newmarket Nature Bares continue to organize swims; January 29th (wave pool), February 12th, and February 19th.

Check out the Bare Oaks event calendar at
www.bareoaks.ca/index.php/en/events.html
which includes the ORB and NNB calendars too.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Constitutional Challenge


The Federation of Canadian Naturist (FCN) just sent out the following announcement which is important to all naturists in Canada:
The final court date of the Coldin trial has been rescheduled to May 17th in Bracebridge. Originally scheduled for today (Jan. 25) in Bracebridge, the hearing could not proceed because Mr. Coldin's lawyer, Clayton Ruby, was unable to attend due to car troubles on his way to the trial.
For naturists and those interested in legal affairs, this last day should be the most interesting since Mr. Ruby and the crown will be making constitutional arguments as to the validity of section 174 of the criminal code. That is the portion of the act which criminalizes mere nudity. (not to be confused with section 173 which makes indecent acts illegal) Anyone interested in listening to these arguments should put May 17th on their calendar. The hearing starts at 10 a.m. in the Bracebridge Courthouse. (3 Dominion St. N. in Bracebridge, Ontario)
Listen to an interesting discussion of the issues from CBC's The Current at: 
http://www.cbc.ca/thecurrent/episode/2011/01/25/nudity-challenge/
This is an important trial because it has the potential to change the law on nudity. If the court decides that nudity is not harmful, it could make section 174 of the criminal code (nude in public) invalid because, with no harm, there is no reason to put such a restriction on the personal freedom of self-expression.
Brian Coldin is charged with several counts of nudity in the Bracebridge area. Mr. Coldin denies going through any drive-through while nude but readily admitted to regularly walking in the parkland adjoining his property while wearing only sandals. He is represented by Clayton Ruby, a well-known constitutional lawyer. Mr. Ruby is going ahead with the constitutional challenge to section 174 despite the fact that the evidence so far might be enough to acquit Mr. Coldin.
This is the 6th day of hearings in a case that started on September 27. On the 2nd day of the trial, Mr. Ruby called Stephane Deschenes, director in the Federation of Canadian Naturist, to testify about the naturist philosophy. The court certified Mr. Deschenes as an expert witness in the field of naturism. Mr. Ruby also called Dr. Ronald Langevin as an expert witness in sexual offenders and their victims. He testified that adults or children who are exposed to nudity do not suffer any psychological harm. While he agreed that people who see nudity unexpectedly might experience shock, embarrassment and even be offended, he indicated that there was no evidence that those people would suffer any permanent psychological harm. He added that nudity is generally well accepted in society as evidenced by media, nude beaches, and the gay pride parade. While different people's reaction to nudity would vary greatly given that Canada is a multi-cultural society, Dr. Langevin was adamant that nobody would suffer any psychological harm.
Dr. Ronald Langevin has been studying sexual offenders and their victims for over 40 years. In preparation for this trial, he reviewed 195 scholarly studies as well as his own personal database of over 3,000 offenders. Dr. Langevin put special emphasis on a 1995 study by Dr. Paul Okami at the University of California, Los Angeles. The study concluded that children who are exposed to nudity do not suffer any harm. 
Dr. Langevin was also very specific that nudism/naturism is not exhibitionism. Sexual arousal is key to exhibitionism as a sexual disorder. The scholarly research he reviewed clearly indicated that naturists/nudists are not motivated by sexuality. In fact, Dr. Langevin recalled that he dealt with two "genital exhibitionists" who had tried nudism/naturism but did not like it. But he also added that even in cases of simple genital exhibitionism there was no evidence of psychological harm to the victims. 
The Federation of Canadian Naturists supports the decriminalization of mere nudity. It is ridiculous that the simple exposure of our natural body (such as being nude in your backyard or seen through your house's window) could result in a criminal charge. Casual nudity should not be in the same league as theft, robbery, assault and murder.
It is important to note that indecent acts are covered under a separate section of the criminal code. As such, there would still be ample room to charge exhibitionists and other sexual deviants.

 If you don't get the FCN's announcements, you can subscribe to their email list here.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

The Exploitation of Naturists



The latest episode of the Naturist Living Show is all about how we have been, and continue to be, exploited. From the very beginning of naturism/nudism, there have been people who have exploited naturists and nudists. They go against the very core values of our movement. They objectify our bodies and sexualize our activities. They turn our philosophy into a source of personal gain. (money, sex, power, pride, etc...)  Some of them even pander to deviants but conceal themselves beneath the cloak of legitimacy that naturism provides.

All too often, we have been willing participants. The exploiters use our tolerance and open-mindedness against us. They can infect a club and twist the definition of naturism to suit their purposes. They tempt us with the money that many clubs and naturist organizations are always short of. Because naturists are intelligent, they understand that life is not black & white so some compromise is sometimes necessary. But those small concessions can lead to a very slippery slope.

Sadly, the exploiters also hurt us and our purpose. While the internet has made it easier for naturists to spread our message, it has also been a boon for the exploiters. The result is that a search for naturism will quickly result in a plethora of pornographic images. But those are not the worst websites. The truly insidious ones are those that claim to be naturist/nudist but only use the moniker to legitimize what they do.

A simple search for "nudist family", which should be one of the most wholesome of concepts, generates results that include many websites with extensive photo galleries and video collections. While it is important to illustrate naturism, why would anyone who participates or is interested in naturism want to pay for access to a website that features "153,020 Naked Pictures" and "1,125 Naked Videos." Ironically, this website calls itself "pure nudism" and is the number one result in Google using that search term.

Another website proudly announces that it has 207 videos for sale. These videos cost between $60 and $95 each. Based on the still images that they have selected to represent each video, we conclude that most of them prominently feature children. The descriptions contain information such as "Yoga, naturist-style, females only." Why would any naturist care that the video features only a specific gender? Another video's description states that "these beautiful teens frolic in the river, pick flowers in the field, camp in the woods, sing and dance, and give each other massages." Does that sound like a description that is meant to appeal to naturists? Among their most popular titles are several "junior miss" and "teen" beauty pageants.

When the general public investigates naturism, either because they are interested or suspicious, they find these sites that appear to be naturist/nudist. And as they read on, they quickly realize that the websites are simply selling flesh. They read between the lines and understand that the people behind these businesses are no different then Hugh Hefner,  Bob Guccione, or Larry Flynt; they are making money by objectifying people's bodies on behalf of those who are looking for lecherous entertainment. Thus they may dismiss naturism as just another tool for sexual exploitation instead of what it really is – an antitheses to pornography.

It is not my suggestion that we should avoid photography, film or video. The human body is beautiful. Why turn it into something shameful? To naturists, nude pictures are just as normal as any other pictures. We need those images to illustrate the beauty and wholesomeness of the naturist philosophy. But we must also be judicious in who we allow to use our images, who we recognize as authentic, and what message we convey through the use of those images.

I am also not suggesting that the adult entertainment industry should be banned. We live in a free society where each one of us has the right to choose their path. But we must speak out against those who corrupt the concept of naturism for profit. We cannot tolerate anyone who uses naturism in a deceptive manner. We must be vociferous defenders of the ethics that are fundamental to our naturist creed.