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Danger: Violent nudists!
by Michael Giardina

This just in! A gang of pale, average, dreadlocked, hippy nudists was just spotted casually strolling in the Arboretum. Reports say that 43 innocent bystanders were blinded, 11 more injured and one is in critical condition.

Am I the only one who finds it a little ridiculous that we, the people, have decided to make our own bodies illegal? According to the American Heritage Dictionary, indecent exposure is defined as "the exposure of one's body, especially one's genitals, in a public place and in a way considered offensive to established standards of decency."

Maybe it's a surprise to some, but a good majority of people in this world do happen to have both a body and genitals. To establish a standard that claims bodies are offensive is to concede that humans are offensive. Such a claim is ludicrous.

In America, we can purchase a gun, walk outside with it, put it in a car, and drive to a firing range. In 1999, there were 1,609 gun-related deaths among 18- to 19-year-olds. Last time I checked, the number of people killed by looking at a nudist was somewhere between -1 and 0.

Have you noticed that we are the only species on this planet that enforces clothing? Other animals don't cringe at the sight of another naked animal. In fact, I cringe when I see some overzealous dog-lover strap his little poodle into a baby sweater with hearts on it.

Clothes are for keeping warm, protecting our skin from the cancerous rays of the sun, and for expressing ourselves with expensive bling bling. Clothes shouldn't be used to dress up our shame, to hide women's faces or as an excuse to arrest that guy at the party who got a little too drunk and shed his garments -- you know the one.

Most illegal acts have the potential to cause physical harm. Drinking and driving is illegal, because someone might be killed. Setting fire to a hospital for infants with leukemia is against the law, because, well, it is just plain mean. Honestly, though, what is the repercussion of a naked body?

If we had "naked day" at Davis, what physical harm would result? Perhaps a few muscular football players would be teased for their reaction to the chilly August air, or maybe the number of bike accidents would rise as a result of distraction. Teachers might have to fight blinding camera flashes in the classroom.

In reality, though, all of these repercussions are only a result of our current social expectations. If we hosted a "naked year" at Davis, such problems would quickly dissipate after the novelty wore off.

As a society, we are constantly battling anxiety, depression, irrational behavior, suicide, rape and other terrible conditions. Have you ever considered what gives birth to such social chaos?

I will make the claim that something as simple as outlawing our own bodies is the repressive force responsible for such pain in the world. How are we supposed to find spiritual enlightenment, confidence in our actions or love for others when we use repressive force to maintain the established standard that the bodies we live in are offensive, repulsive and dangerous? We can neither love ourselves nor love another person, when we are convinced that people must be hidden.

A clever bumper sticker reads, "God made marijuana, man made beer. Who do you trust?" Well, let me take that a little further. The human body was created by 4.2 billion years of evolution. Are we confident enough to challenge that?