Sunday, July 5, 2015

How they see us, Part II

It's easy to just go about one's business reading stuff off the web, watching your preferred news sources, and talking to friends who probably believe in the same things you do or you probably wouldn't be associating with them.   The problem with that walled garden is that you begin to think that your beliefs are "middle of the road" and that others will  soon see things your way, if they'd just open their eyes.

It doesn't work that way.  It's easy for those of us who have crossed over to the other side to lose sight of how the public perceives who we are and what we're doing.  If you go searching for material on the web about naturism or only consume news that has a socially liberal or has libertarian bent, you'll think the world is coming around to our way of thinking.  Instead we become frustrated when it doesn't.

I have strong opinions on a lot of things.  Even so, I take the time to read all sides of issues from various sources, US and foreign, conservative to liberal, business point of view to environmentalist.  But most of all, I keep my eyes and ears open to what the general media and public, and friends say about naturism, or nudism, or whatever else they call it.  I try to take it in as if I'm an unbiased observer, to see how others might be seeing it.

What I notice is that nudism and nudists (as they prefer to call us here in the US), is, and always has been, a curiosity that they just can't seem to completely ignore.  The public doesn't understand it and for the most part, they really don't care to.   Even so, recently both CNN (liberal) and Fox News (conservative) have featured short articles on nude beaches and nudist resorts in a matter of fact to completely positive way. As if it might be something the reader might find interesting, without exploring or explaining why they should.

Last weekend I was at an outdoor bar on the water and overheard a guy at the next table saying something about seeing a "Beyond this point you may encounter nude bathers" sign.  I assume he visited Haulover Beach in South Florida, being the only designated and so posted beach here in the Sunshine State.

We had a family gathering in Kissimmee a few months ago and along the way we stopped at the intersection at the entrance to Cypress Cove.  It's directly across from Lowes on a four lane road in what's becoming a main suburb of the town, instead of being way out in the boonies like it used to be.  The fancy sign facing the intersection says only "Cypress Cove".  But some family members in the car who don't know I'm a nudist and that I've been there many times pointed out the fact that there's the local nudist place!  Humm...  But then, most people in that and nearby communities know it's there.

The public knows we exist and that there's a lot of us out there.  We can't expect them to understand or someday try it if we don't explain ourselves to them.  The media's opened the door.  The rest is up to us.

I do a small part by answering questions on Yahoo answers targeting the keywords "nudist", "naturist", "nudism", "naturism", "nudity", "nude", and "naked".  I sometimes answer stupid or demeaning questions, not for the sake of the person who posted, but for the sake of readers who might stumble onto the question out of curiosity.  By answering, they might come away learning something new that they didn't seek.

I also write a bit here for the few people who might find it.  Other than a few that follow a link that I might sometimes add to an answer, most people who find this probably are already of the same mindset.  If so, do your part.  If not, keep asking questions :)

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