Since I myself come from a pretty liberal background (not in the political sense, but in the sense of "broadminded, progressive"), I sometimes forget that the people who have big problems with nudity are not just a few nuts in power positions, it is many, many people around the world. Probably even the majority of mankind, come to think of it. That is frightening, and something we need to change.
And it can be changed, too. It used to be a much, much bigger problem. And so did racism and other kinds of bigotry. We must not forget that even as the world still has problems enough to go around, things are improving all the time. We will arrive yet.
Letter of the week, from William
But some people don't like the idea of me doing it. The good ol' Christian community down here (Gays are bad, guns are nifty!) tried to get the class banned (and later biology... sadly that's not a joke...), one, for bringing up issues like the war, religion, and Tennessee Williams, two, because the teacher is a dirty homo. (Yes, I'm gay, and I really do hear that comment at school board meetings.)
Don't get me wrong, I have nothing but respect for Christianity, I myself am a Methodist, but I have little for the community down here. (You have to remember, all Conservative groups are REAL Christians, not those immoral liberal [spitting sound] groups, when I say Christian community, I mean the REAL ones.)
Back on the subject, I remember an incident that occured about a month ago. We were having a debate about beauty, (inspired by DOMAI, but having nothing to do with nudity) and the best answer to the question, "what is beauty?" they could give me was "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". (I didn't know cliches were a recognized language! How about that!) Class was up, and I gave them the homework.
The next time I saw them, we watched a movie about the Renaissence to discuss the artwork as beauty. When we got to a painting of Aphrodite, (in her usual attire) many of the girls gave a gasp and turned their heads. Absentmindedly, I put the movie on pause allowing them full-view of Aphrodite's full-view. Many of them, sitll with their eyes averted, said "fast forward, fast forward!"
"All right... why?"
"That picture! It's gross!"
A pause as I looked at it, realising which picture it was. Still somewhat embarrassed, I got stupid and said the first thing that came to mind: "what? What's so gross?"
Many of the girls were too embarrassed to say, "naked". (and I teach high-school... these girls are 14-15. They've seen more in PG-13 rated movie than they have here!!!)
I laughed and playfully asked why again (I do that a lot in my class). Seeing their discomfort, I fast-forwarded to a picture of a horrific battle scene, complete with blood, gore, and a multitude of limbs apart from their owners. I paused the film and gauged the reactions. No one cared, just wondered why I had stopped the picture.
"Mr. White? Why'd you stop it? It's not time to go yet."
"Why isn't this gross?"
"Nude women are, but dismemberment and war aren't?"
They looked at me aghast. I smiled, played the film, and gave them a different homework assignment that what I had intended. Go do reasearch. Why isn't violence gross, but nudity is?
The next day, we had our debate. Many presented religious views, all of which I shot down fairly quickly (I'm a theology major)
"God says it's not right"
"But the Bible says God created only things that were beautiful. Naked people included."
"It fills you with immoral thoughts"
"Even if it's in non-sexual situations?"
Then up came movies:
"Violence in films isn't real, but nudity is."
"What about paintings? Neither are real, but the girls here think one is grosser than the other."
Those were the best they could do. The liberal kids got a kick out of the fiasco, as did I.
I got a lot out of the debate... including a pink slip. Over that little quandry, I lost my job. I made the state papers, which I have hung over my computer right now. Two days later, I got a call from a local college asking me to teach there. They seemed to like my little tebacle and wanted me to teach there, where I have been for the past month. God love America.
The moral: Why are titties considered more deplorable than guns?
Now is the time to get your membership!
Fine art nudes © Vadim Rigin, Arnold Studio, and Mark Alan