I read today that a man was in court after being arrested for Naked Rambling. And when I say Rambling, I mean the walking kind - not that he was stood with no clothes on wittering on about nothing in particular.
Apparently, this man was rambling through....I forget where, possibly the Lake District?. Anyway, wherever he was, he was rambling with only a hat, socks and walking boots, and a back pack on. Now firstly, I wouldn't necessarily consider that naked. Dictionary.com defines Naked as "Without covering or clothing". Well - Aren't socks clothes? Does a hat not cover your head? Yes is the answer, so surely that man wasn't naked?
The man was arrested by an off-duty policeman who was out running and saw a woman with a "frown on her face" (that is an actual quote from the news article) who had just seen the man rambling naked past her as she walked her dog. Now, I have issues with this also:
Isn't it ALWAYS an off-duty policeman that just happens to be around when this sort of things happen? The police do a difficult and dangerous job, and they have my utmost respect for that - but surely they have better things to do to relax in their free time than go running in areas notorious for obscene hikers? Maybe they are addicted to policing and can't actually 'switch off', constantly on the look for wrong deeds being done. Or maybe, it wasn't an off-duty policeman at all - maybe it was some nutter that gets his kicks by pretending to be an off-duty policeman, and runs around sticking his nose in where it doesn't belong. For all we know that off-duty policeman might have already that day "arrested" a pensioner for having a tartan shopping trolley, and cautioned a fat kid for putting his heart under too much strain. And arent these 'would be ' policemen con artists a bigger worry than some bloke hiking in the nude? (although he wasn't, technically)
And what about the frowning, dog walking woman? She only frowned because it was some middle aged, pasty, flabby, hairy arsed nobody that defiled her view briefly. If it had been a young muscular, tanned hunk, she wouldn't have complained at all. In fact the only reason she probably got upset was because the naked man's unattractiveness reminded her of her waste of space husband at home that she spends four hours twice a day walking the dog to avoid!
And I don't think a man would have complained if he had seen the naked rambler. At most he would have had a laugh about it with his mates down the pub later. I doubt that most men would make a complaint if they were out walking their dog and a man - who was obviously rambling or hiking whatever - walked past. Unless of course their dog was traumatised by the affair.
I don't know how the dog took it - for all I know it may be having counselling.
The trouble is that if something is found to be offensive to one person, or one belief, or one section of society, then it automatically becomes offensive to all - the law makes it offensive to all. There is the old saying "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder" - which basically means that physical attraction is subjective. What one person finds attractive, another might find unattractive - and vice versa.
In this instance, you also have to take into consideration the location. Now I don't know all the details, but I assume that ramblers by nature do not take the usual routes that everyone else takes. I know that there are specific rambling routes but these are through the countryside generally. And as rambling isn't that popular an activity (let alone naked rambling), I again assume that not many people were about. This naked rambler was only seen by the woman, her dog (who cannot be identified at its own request), and the off-duty policeman. Of course, if he had been rambling through a crowded shopping precinct, whacking pensioners in the face with his Penis, that would be another matter.
But going back to the subjective nature of beauty, if I stood naked in front of you now, I'm fairly certain that some of you would not find me attractive. Others, I am certain, would be vomiting uncontrollably, and even some would by desperately trying to gouge their own eyes out. But some of you - and you know who you are - might find me attractive. And that is the whole point; it is down to individual opinion.
Some women would not have been offended by the sight of that man rambling naked. Some would have laughed. Nearly all might have thought it was weird, but not everybody would have had the same reaction.
But like I said, society has to err on the side of caution, and we have to have sweeping generalisations for virtually all aspects of our lives to protect ourselves from ourselves.
If I had been out with my family (wife and children) and had seen that naked man, I most definitely would have thought it inappropriate for obvious reasons. But if I was out by myself, I would have maybe thought he was a brave but weird man.
And maybe felt a little intimidated.