Female nudists need a community of their own

now, I’m not a separatist Feminist, but I do know that in certain situations having men around can make women uncomfortable exploring or trying new things, or discussing topics that are important to be discussed.  In a perfect world these things wouldn’t be taboo for men or women, and could be discussed as a society.  But with the societal constraints we have, approaching nudism as a woman is difficult.

 That is not to say that with our societal constraints approaching nudism as a man is easy, But there are far more male than female nudists, and I can only speak from my perspective.

Women are brought up to see themselves as objects and tools for men’s gratification.  (Even men are brought up to see women this way.)  I know that this is does not apply to 100% of the population, but to some extents our culture tells us this.  look at any magazine, or at pop icons.  Just because there are a few exceptions doesn’t mean the problem isn’t there, or that it’s ok to ignore it.  But I digress…

 If you are a woman interested in nudism, and you go to a beach or a resort, you will be getting naked in front of men.  These same men that you were taught will objectify you, and who will drool over you.  The men that society tells us cannot control themselves if a woman wears a skirt that is too short.  And we’re expected to simply forget society and happily prance about?

It takes time, and courage.  I only go down to the beach when I have male protectors.  Men that I know will keep the creeps away (because it is a public place men who think it is ok to objectify women troll the beach looking for women to stare at and sometimes (though rarely) even jack off to).  I’ve never been to a resort, but I would not go alone the first time even though the pervs are screened out.  I would not feel comfortable.

 It would be utterly fantastic to have a place to go to be naked where I could feel safe.  I feel safe on the beach if my friends are there, but I want to feel unconditionally safe.  I think it would be great to have talks about society and self perception.  What is expected of the female body, and what is the reality?  Let us accept and embrace that reality! 

Once more comfortable with our bodies and ourselves, I think it would be easier to happily prance at resorts with people of all genders. 

 One more comment.  Before anyone says this is reverse sexism and we should allow men,  This is about creating a space for women to join an already existing community.  Not a community completely separate from men. 

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16 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I for one would love a completely separate community. The nudist beach here in Toronto is a joke. Several men have been spotted with cameras hidden behind newspapers, as they attempt to photograph and film nude women. Can you think of any women who would try to do the same to some naked guy? I don’t think so. So ya, I would take a separate beach altogether. The hell with political correctness and reverse sexism. We’re talking about reality here.

  2. Maybe this makes me a bad feminist — or a bad nudist, I dunno. But I find I tend to have a kind of blinders mentality when it comes to creepy men possibly harassing me on the beach: if I can’t see them, they aren’t there. The guys who walk along the cliffs? Don’t bug me. The guys out in the water who’re clearly staring at have one hand beneath the surface? Eh, weird, but they’re usually far enough away from me to not freak me out.

    That doesn’t make it okay, of course, and to some degree I worry that my nonchalance only encourages them. Or worse, that they’ll be like “look, this one doesn’t mind, none of them must mind!” and will go off and harass other nudists. Which isn’t what I want, at all, because I’m with you, the beach should be a safe space for everyone, not just the sausages.

    ‘course, I’m not down there very often, so maybe my opinion’s moot anyway :p I don’t know how you stand it, I’ve been wearing a jacket for the past month!

  3. Sounds to me like you are unsure of yourself and your body image. You’re going to find perverts wherever you go, men will undress you with their eyes and mind. And we men are not immune. Many gay men still cruise the YMCA thinking they’ll find some anonymous sex. So while I understand your anger and maybe even your fear, if you put yourself out there then expect people to stare. Sad fact of life

  4. Well I for one look at our past, all male clubs are wrong, whites only clubs are wrong and womens only clubs are wrong.
    How can you condem the first 2 and be all for the later?
    I know every business has the legal right to rufuse service to anyone, but there are exeptions to every rule, like refusing people based on race religion or sex. and the answer is not to restrict men or to branch off into your own group, its to think of a way to attract more women.
    I was reading an artical on how nudist resorts are trying to attract younger people by offering discounts, studies show the average age of the people at the resorts is 55, maybe they can tackle this problem the same way.

  5. Hello. I just came across this site and found an interesting discussion. I understand that some women feel bothered by some men when they see them naked at the beach or elsewhere. But what is more important is not to forget the main goal of nudism. These men behave this way because we still live in non-nudist socities. When nudism becomes the norm, these problems would no longer exist as they do today.

    One of the main goals of nudism is to restore naturality. Because we spend most of our times away from nature, clothed, these men behave this way. This is a lust for nature.

    Michel

  6. …where the hell did all these people come from? o.O

    William — just because people stare doesn’t mean they have some kind of right to do it, especially when it makes the object of their gaze uncomfortable. And it’s not exactly as though nudists at a nude beach are making a spectacle of themselves that would encourage stares the same way that something out of the ordinary would! Everybody there is nude or practically nude; people who go there regularly get over it. It’s the people who come there specifically to stare who’re the problem, and I don’t see why she or I should have to just button up and accept their gross lack of respect for our space.

    hoodpimp — we can condemn the first two without needing to condemn the latter because white men have and still do hold the seats of power in this society; surely “looking to our history” has shown you that. The exclusive groups they create have a totally different agenda than ones created to serve women and poc; the latter groups are about safety and solidarity, and providing space for issues relevant to those communities to be voiced, heard, and discussed in an environment where they don’t have to worry about being dismissed or ignored by dominant forces who don’t care about them or their issues. Until we can attract more women, why shouldn’t we have the right to create a separate space that allows us to feel safe? see also nakedthoughts’ own statement: “Before anyone says this is reverse sexism and we should allow men, This is about creating a space for women to join an already existing community. Not a community completely separate from men.”

    michel — sorry, but the “main goal” of nudism is NOT more important than the women who’re made uncomfortable by leering, sexist men. These men behave that way not simply because clothing is normative, but because ownership of women’s bodies and sexualities by men is normative, because sexism is normative, because entitlement is normative. It is not a “lust for nature,” it’s a lack of respect for the women inhabiting those bodies they’re staring at, and a disinclination to take those women seriously when they state their discomfort.

    Basically what I’m seeing from the three of you is a walking STACK of privilege that allows you to totally dismiss the feelings behind this post and the (STATED!) motivations of the woman who posted it. Instead you just walked on in here, gave the post a cursory read, and decided to start spouting your opinions, whether or not they were actually relevant to what she’d said. I’d suggest that you refrain from commenting until you’re ready to actually hear her out and treat her words with the same respect that you apparently feel yours should be treated with.

  7. ok…

    williamca – wanting a place to feel safe is not about my personal body image. I think I have a pretty good body image. no I am not immune to how society thinks I should look, and yes sometimes I feel “prettier” than others, but none of these feelings have every stopped me (personally) from going to the beach. To me feeling safe means that If I let myself be vulnerable (physically or emotionally) that no one will take advantage of that vulnerability at that moment.

    Also I think it is insensitive to imply that I should just “deal with it.” I often “just deal with it.” Everytime i go to the beach. But that attitude is not one that will encourage more women to explore the benefits of nudism. If I don’t feel safe I put clothes on, and I’m already used to it… how are women new to this arena going to react? They won’t come back, that’s how. And that is counter productive to what is trying to be achieved.

    hoodpimp – So we should have mandatory co-ed restrooms? Changing rooms in gyms should allow both men and women in the same room? Battered women’s shelters should allow men to roam through even though it might trigger a tramatic response for many of the women there?

    Many women have problems getting naked in front of a group of men (regardless of what the men are actually like). A discounted room rate won’t change that. Being naked is a big deal for first timers. Providing a place where an individual feels they can safely explore nudism should be welcomed by ALL proponents of nudism.

    Of course your handle hoodpimp is a perfect example of how women are objectified. You are saying that if a woman wants to try nudism her only option should be to undress in front of someone like you, who chooses a screename that refers to selling women for sex. (if you don’t view your screen name that way, that just goes to show that objectification of women is so ingrained that you don’t even notice you are doing it!)

    Again, this entry is about creating a safe place for people to try an activity that, while they are interested, seems a bit far out of their comfort zone.

    Michel – Firstly, I don’t think that by having everyone naked men will magically stop obectifying women, or that perverts will cease to exist, but that is its own debate.

    Secondly, even if this were the case, we do not live there yet. And just because you find their behaviour understandable, doesn’t mean it is acceptable. And if this really is the case, By ignoring it, it will only set up a catch 22 situation: Women feel too uncomfortable to undress infront of men so we still do not have a nudist culture ==> Men continue to objectify and stare at women ==> Women feel too uncomfortable to undress in front of men so we still do not have a nudist culture.

    I’m not even sure if a complete nudist culture is “main goal of nudism”. I think that forcing a culture on anyone is innapropriate. Let the textiles have their clothes. (hey, even I like to dress up now and again). I do think a great goal would be to have nudism accepted as a PART of mainstram culture. But to impose it as the whole, I’m not sure I would support that.

  8. ok about my name, meanings change, yes the word in its root is a person who sells women(or at least rents out), but its meaning has changes somewhat, like the show “pimp my ride” when people in my hood refer to ssomeone being a pimp they are usually talking about his fasion sense, or his car or house.
    like a car with gold rims is “pimped out” etc etc….

    and further more I simple feel it hurts your cause to have a double standard, you cant fight injustice with more injustice.
    you have to practice what you preach.

  9. hood — maybe you should explain why it is unjust to have a women-only nudist area whose explicit purpose is give women a safe space in which to adjust to their personal comfort level of nudity before saying it’s a double standard. It would only be a double-standard if we denied men the right to have a similar testing-the-waters group. You’re also outright ignoring other, similar circumstances in which the same dynamic already occurs: single-sex bathrooms, for example, or battered women’s shelters. I’d like to see you address why those are all right, but a women-only nudist camp isn’t given the same context.

    Furthermore, as noted above, there is a distinct difference between men-only groups and women-only groups in terms of social power; traditionally the former has been used as an exclusionary tool to further the status quo, while the latter exist to encourage solidarity and stimulate discussion around issues directly related to the marginalised group. What happens when you try to bring up women’s issues, lgbt issues, poc issues in a predominantly straight, white male environment? You get shut down, that’s what: you’re a “special interest” group, or your problems “aren’t relevant,” or are “unimportant,” or you’re being “oversensitive.” Groups dedicated to those issues often need to be women-only, lgbt-only, poc-only (etc.) just to be heard, and to have a forum for discussion in which their opinions are validated and legitimised. As an example, the fact that you dismissed nakedthought’s critique of your username out of hand, without even stopping to consider her interpretation of it as valid (even though many people still do associate pimps with the trafficking of women’s bodies) is a perfect example of the kind of privilege that necessitates spaces where that kind of discussion actually happens, instead of simply being shut down or ignored.

  10. hoodpimp- Are you even a nudist? most nudist men I know want to encourage women to join the community. My suggestion of a women only space would be opening the community. There are a lot of single nudist men out there who would appreciate more women who share their interests. I’ve met a bunch of them.

    I’m guessing you are not a nudist, or at least have never been affiliated with a nudist organization. So why do you have the right to say how nudist organizations should be run?

    You are just repeating your first argument instead of responding to either response to it. If you have further discussion to add, you may. If you continue to post “blah-blah reverse sexism” without any focus I will start deleting your posts.

    And you just proved my point about your screen-name.

  11. As a long-time nudist, I am a realist about the wonderful things and not-so-wonderful things about nudism. Nudity itself is a wonderful thing, but it takes some effort somewhere to make it safe and civilized. I would recommend a nudist resort (as opposed to a public nude beach) for females, especially if you’re relatively new to nudism. There can still be idiots at resorts, but at least there, they may get kicked out or screened-out in the first place. Good call to bring a male (or a strong female) with you to a public nude beach. I think women should bring a can of mace to nude beaches. Not that you would be really in any danger physically, but it would be nice to have a non-lethal weapon, just in case. Now in a rural hippie/college town nude beach/lake the situation can be way different. Any gawkers will be less in number and less aggressive. Urbanization breeds horrible behavior!

  12. Hi Naked Hippy Chick…I happened in here on a search for nudist resorts in Ohio. Anyway, interesting discussion and I completely understand your wish to not be the subject of someone else’s fantasy, to feel unsafe etc. But selfishly for me, my feeling is that I would not want to go to a beach or resort where only guys are, or where only girls are. I am heterosexual and alot of guys at nudist resorts, by their glances, seem at least bi-interested. I would rather not have that interaction with them, but I guess since I am a guy, I don’t have any fear that I might be physically unable to protect myself against advances. If women were not there at all, it would become an all gay beach or resort because no hetero guys would go…I don’t think anyway.
    When i want to be naked, it is usually when the sun and breeze will wash across me. I can feel nature and get a high from the arousal in an erotic way but not a sexual way. In other words, my sensual feelings are inward related not directed at, or because, of a woman. That being said, I would rather have a few naked females nearby to appreciate for their beauty rather than a few naked guys. That’s just natural I would think. I go to the nudist resort to be free from clothes, to walk freely nude, to swim, and sun and have the right to do that without being “illegal.” It’s like a complete release from the tension and rules of normal everyday living. When I leave, putting my clothes back on seem so strange and I hate doing it. I also enjoy the company of people who feel the same way I do. Thanks for the blog topic…interesting.

    • I have not issue with resorts that cater to both men and women. But I think we need more outreach as a community to female and minority groups. Nudism seems to be overrun with old white males. (I don’t know your age but I’m sure you have observed it.) I think that having a place that is more comfortable for those groups to first try nudism will help in that goal. I think of an all female nudist space as a stepping stone. maybe some will not want to ever join the wider nudist community, but many will.

      At blacks beach the Blacks Beach Bares have always made me feel comfortable, and accepted. However, it is a public place and there are some “issues” occasionally. I.E. old creepy guys wanking and sometimes young ones too. and gawkers. I’ve not really done the resort thing as I hate chlorine so maybe my perspective is a bit skewed, but it would be great to just feel safe. to feel I could let my guard down. to invite other women to try the lifestyle free from the male gaze. It is not about a permanent separation but a a temporary reprieve.

  13. My experience at nudist resorts is that people are mostly over 40 with a 60/40 male to female ratio. Very few people are “hot” looking. Most are just average…a little loose and a little overweight. Your thoughts are probably correct. Getting more women into the lifestyle in a safe environment would bring more women all-around eventually. As far as the wanking men…they ruin it for everybody.

  14. Hi NakedThoughts,

    I believe that women need to band together of their own accord in nudism, and also develop the courage to be more assertive in dealing with the idiots and perverts who are wandering and trouble around public nude places. Saying something like “What the hell do you think you’re looking at?” in a loud voice, or “my partner’s penis is bigger and better than yours” if they are exhibiting themselves sexually will be enough to send them scarpering. These kind of people are wimps and cowards who think that it’s cool to be tough to intimidate nudist women.

    I believe nudist women need their own forums where they can say what they want without being judged. I have started a group on Yahoo! for female naturists to have their own space at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/female_naturist

    You’ve got a great site here on WP, only wish there were more women like you in the world.

    Dario

  15. […] it rong! I haven’t written in ages and I still managed to get harassment as a comment on this old post.  The following is from rantfm: You sound like a typical man hater with too many issues […]


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