Thursday, January 1, 2009

We aren't the only nation with culture warriors


Australia has them too, as a fundamentalist Christian politician is trying to rid his nation of topless sunbathing. The existence of nude and topless beaches is a contentious issue for those who are convinced that the human body is something to be ashamed of. How much headway the politician in question will make is anyone's guess. The Conservative Party in Australia isn't particularly favored these days, and it's questionable if there are enough Labour MPs to go along. I suppose one could take the tack that one of the more conservative parts of Orange County, CA took in eliminating nudity altogether from that county's southernmost beach, San Onofre State Beach, which was for the property "owners" (I use the term in parentheses since in reality the banks own the homes for the vast majority households) to contend that nude subbathers were lowering the property value of their homes. I suspect there were other factors involved in the declining house prices (the subprime lending bubble had just begun bursting), but it's easier for the religiously uptight to look for an economic angle to get their way.

Also, there is one hell of a double-standard involved. Men go topless at beaches and elsewhere without so much as a second thought. Why the big deal about women unless one is still convinced that the Augustinian conceptualization of "original sin" in which women are considered the source of all that is evil. So it goes. The more uptight folks probably won't be satisfied till all the women at the beach are covered from head to toe, like back a century ago. If it were another culture and another religion's fundamentalists under discussion, I'd be wondering if it were only a matter of time before women couldn't appear at the beach unless wearing burkas.

Any way, it seems there are much more important issues than exposed female breasts.

Image taken from the original news article in The Independent, which was found courtesy of The Moderate Voice.

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