Federación Española de Naturismo. Representante en españa de la Federación Internacional de Naturismo FNI-INF
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Ismael Rodrigo
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Digital Meeting
Ismael Rodrigo, President of the Spanish Naturist Federation (FEN)
Coordinator of European Naturist Commision (EUNatCom)

Ismael Rodrigo will answer all your questions about nudists’ rights when out at the beach, what has been achieved so far, and which their demands are. That will be next Friday at 12 o´clock.
- The quota of questions for Ismael Rodrigo is already full -

IsmaelRodrigo
  1. Good morning. Have you ever been confronted with a very convincing argument against sharing the beach with people in the nude? I personally do not see any harm in doing so but some people may find the situation uncomfortable and harmful and have articulated their oposition credibly.

    Unfortunately, I have not heard any sound argument so far. All of them usually resort to the fictitious “right not to see what they do not like” (don’t look, then!) or they mention the children, deceptively, “don’t you see there are children around?”, as if they had not gone through the showers and changing rooms.
    The most sophisticated argument I have heard is to appeal to the right of their parents to bring up their children as they please, or to choose the moment when their children could see naked adults. The right to educate their children is limited by the law. For example, you cannot make all the women wear a veil only because you want your daughter to wear one. Likewise, you cannot rear your child in either homophobic and racist doctrines or in nude-phobic ones, either .
  1. This question may be a bit personal, I wonder whether in general nudists have been brought up as such since they were children or is it something that you find out when you are older?

    Both. Nudist recreation in the family is the best education as It allows the child to stay away from the oppresive control over the naked body, which most of us have undergone massively. This control has been directed not only from some religious standpoints but also from the world of advertising. Many of us have found out this philosophy in adulthood, which means that we have known first hand the fears and prejudices we were made to believe in and we had to overcome.
  1. Hi, Ismael, good morning. I would like to know your opinión about Naturism and anti-Naturism. Do you think they are a necessary follow up of the way we have been educated , ( lack of information and ignorance, as well), or are they a consequence of our personal ways of thinking and our character?

    Anti-Naturism, you say? I would rather call it nude-phobia, just to stress the “irrational fear “ attached to it, which is the natural outcome of erroneous education. To educate children against their own bodies, against some parts of their bodies which are supposedly shameful and evil only leads them to have problems of acceptance of their bodies. Bulimia, anorexia, porn consumerism or, even, early vouyeurism are some of the effects, which in some cases, are the result of such an education. The more restrictive and obsessive the nude-phobic education is the more acute the problems turn out to be.

    Furthermore, UNICEF does not list nudity (and its contemplation) as harmful for children. Therefore, the supposed perogative of parents to decide when and where their children can see a naked body is rendered baseless.
  1. Good morning, Ismael. Do you think that since other habits have evolved through time perhaps nudism may become the norm one day? After all, swimming clothes are not what they used to be 100 years ago.

    That would be a logical conclusion. To see a naked body is not thought of as harmful by most people in the Western World, at least. In the East, as long as sexes are set apart, the acceptance is higher. Why does Naturism/Nudism emerge as a philosophy in the Christian West? Probably, because God created man to His likeness, redeemed him naked and promised him a Paradise for that resurrected body. All that prevents us from having a negative concept of our bodies.
    As sex and procreation have come to be regarded as separate in our culture, nudity and sex are similarly being deemed different more and more. However, this trend is anything but certain to go on in the future as there is a sex industry that badly needs to sexualise the naked body. We also have a melting pot of different civilizations, some of which regard the human body as a source of sin. Similarly, some lobbies of very conservative influential groups usually base their censorship claims on a religion, albeit misinterpreted, from my point of view. This religious component is usually kept hidden to reach the highest number of people and to try ultimately to impose its moral principles.
  1. What kinds of demands are you fighting for? As long as you can practice nudism there is no problem, is there? Perhaps it is naïve to think there aren’t any problems.

    Indeed, the law is on our side and has been since the annulment of public scandal as a legal offense in 1989. It was believed that on that day the battle had been won and our associations would then stop fighting for our old demands to become clubs of friends. Likewise, social rejection to nudity was increasingly marginal; cyclonudist demonstrations, anti-fur movements… have all become festive events without much popular opposition.
    Not everything is as simple as that, as you hint. Some politicians let themselves be influenced by very conservative lobbies based on misinterpreted and unconfessed religious morals which seem to be more than they actually are because of their huge militancy. Those politicians, in turn, start passing decrees in their Town Halls trying to make us go back to those times when in the name of the Catholic morals beach regulations were being dictated at the beginning of each Summer season.
    Yes, there are still problems. Sometimes, as in the case of Cádiz, we must take them to court to make them understand that they cannot regulate about anything and everything that pops up in their minds.
  1. Why do you think there is so much debate about Nudism? Should it not be the other way round, that to be clothed at the beach were shocking?

    I don’t think there is as much of a debate concerning Nudism as you asume. Certainly there is a lot of talk in the mass media, unless some relevant news come up. Reporters go where people are, and people are at the beach in summertime. My girlfriend and I have been going to the closest beach or the one we like best, in the nude and without any trouble.
    Nudity, as it was with the topless fashion at one time, is not a source of trouble in our country any longer. What is still a problem is the endeavor of some politicians to put boundaries to our freedom, even if we then refuse to abide by them. Notice that what has caused a debate this summer is not Nudism as such but the fact that the mayoress of Cádiz wants to forbid its practice. The citizens, already experienced in these battles, have interpreted it as an attempt to limit our freedom. Initially the prohibition was on every beach, now, on the 28th, she is proposing a ghetto area to practice Nudism, in an tricky effort to retrace her steps.
  1. Do you think that we have a bad relationship with our body, in general terms? I mean a healthy and natural relationship; if not, how can it be redressed?

    Well, we, Naturists, believe that we have the right approach; that is why we like to spread our philosophy of acceptance for the way we are. The answer is easy: through education from the beginning, without spoiling the way we are. Parents should share a non-sexual nude education, naturally and permanently without a hitch during the difficult age of adolescence. It is not a question of being nude all the time but of being nude naturally, sharing the bathroom, sleeping without clothes when it is warm, not covering oneself compulsevely when there is no need to, and not avoiding expressions of affection.
    In adulthood, it is also posible to do without most of the instilled prejudices although it might take time. My advice is to take long holidays ( i.e.: for a month) to one of the many Naturist recreation centres, of which we have a list on our page (www.naturismo.org), preferibly with the family. It will surely be a liberating therapeutical experience for you and your family. Once you try Naturism , free of phobias, they will not come back.
  1. Good morning, don’t you think that Javier Fernández Cuetos looks much better with his clothes on? Many thanks.

    I don’t have the pleasure of having met that Javier. The choice of clothes or of wearing no clothes is entirely up to that Javier whether he thinks he looks better in one or the other, but, definitely, it is not your choice, don’t you think?
  1. I am one of those who thinks that children should be conveniently sheltered from those people who have their right to be in the nude. You say “don´t look, then”, which is very easy for you to say, but for us it is very uncomfortable , and hard to avoid. Cordially.

    I suggest you change “nudist” for “black” and you will realise the enormity of what you are proposing. There is nothing wrong in being black; there is nothing wrong in being a person, either with clothes or without clothes. “To practise Nudism” is not a correct expression. The same way as a black person does not exhibit his/her blackness, a nudist does not exhibit his/her nudity. You do not exhibit your nose or your armpits when you lift your child at the beach. I am not responsible for other people’s lack of understanding. I do not commit a crime when I decide not to wear clothes and nobody has the right to impose his/her morals on me. I do not make anybody wear clothes and nobody should make me wear them.
  1. I do not understand where the problem lies. If this country accepts the burka as a garment, why isn’t Nudism acceptable?

    In fact, it is accepted. The fact that a city’s municipal authorities do not accept it, is only a particular case; besides, what they are doing is illegal and it is being appealed. Everybody should enjoy their stay at the beach in their tanga, topless, burkini or without clothes; it is irrelevant. To enjoy a day in the open air, that is what should matter.
  1. Good morning. Why do I only see foreigners, gay people or hippies, each in their areas, whenever I have gone to a Nudist beach? Why do you think nudism in Spain is not so popular (barely 3% of the total population) and most nudists belong to one of those groups?

    Where is that beach you say you go to? By the way, since legally speaking there aren’t any nudist beaches, or for any other group for that matter, we should refer to beaches with a nudist tradition. All beaches are open to society at large for the enjoyment of its citizens. El Torn in Tarragona (100% family frequented) and Vera in Almería are among those with the longest tradition. It seems to me that you have been going to beaches with a gay or hippy tradition, where some people happen to be naked.
  1. Do you think it better to have areas specifically for nudism or to have the freedom of going nude at any beach? I think that If some areas are set off limits for nudists, textiles should not be allowed in those for Naturists?

    We do have not the choice within our legal system. We have had the freedom to go nude on every beach after the 1989 legalization. Even earlier, our Constitution mentions that beaches are state owned for all citizens to be at, (it sounds really nice!), and without any discrimination, as it also reads.
  1. Good morning, Ismael. What do Naturists demand? If you demand something you must also respect other people’s free choice, other people who are usually a majority. Do Naturist respect that majority?

    Democracy is based on the right of majorities to choose their governments, but deep down lies the defence of the underprivileged and other minorities. Democracy is not the dictatorship of majorities, but a system of government which respects the Human Rights, our Constitution and our laws.

    Anyway, I think your statistics are wrong. I agree that the number of people at the beach in swimming clothes is larger. However, let us look at it this way: people who are bothered by the presence of nudists and people who are not. All surveys carried out by RNE, La Razón and others show a larger number, by far, of people who are not bothered by nudity at their beaches.
  1. Hello, Ismael. Please correct me if I am wrong. Is it true that I walk naked in the street and I can not be punished for it? Is there a law that forbids it? Thank you. Pau.

    It is right and perfectly logical. Why should there be any law that makes nudism a crime? What prevents people from going about naked has nothing to do with its legality. Nudism is an idiology and any nudist is a Nudist regardless of whether he is wearing clothes or not. It is a life style and a way of seeing the world. Our Constitution says that all Spaniards are equal by law and no discrimination can ever exist due to a difference of sex, race, religion, birth, opinion or to any other condition, personal or social circumstance.

    The legal principle which article25.1 in our Constitution refers to, implies that all that is not sanctioned by the law, is permitted. Once some of the laws, which were based on a particular set of morals, had been annuled (such as the public scandal offense in the Penal Code or the morality pólice in the Law of the Shores) no authority has the right to sanction you.
  1. What right do non-nudists have against your eagerness for disturbing the peace at non-nudist beaches?

    The rights of all Spaniards are the same, regardless of their ideas. Nobody has the right to impose a given lifestyle on others. Whoever objects to the natural condition of being nude cannot try and solve his personal problem by making others wear clothes. Likewise, whoever has found out that swimming clothes do not have the function their name calls for, can’t make others go nude, either. Both are protected by law.

    ‘My freedom ends where yours begins’. Nobody can prevent you from showing your face in public only because they don´t like it. Your freedom ends where mine begins. Consequently, the right to wear or not to wear clothes is part of his/her rights, not yours.

    The funny thing about this is that many say they object because of others:
    .The husband: “I am not ofended, but my wife…”;
    .The wife: “I am not ofended, but the children…”;
    .The children: “Ha, ha, he is naked!”.
  1. Do you use a higher factor solar protector in the areas, say, less used to the sun? :-)

    Less used to? If we always sunbathe in the nude, there can not be any. In any case, common sense dictates that we avoid the peak hours, use protection, and so on. Not wearing swimming clothes does not make people any different.
  1. Nudism was considered an illegal offence, also called public scandal. What other offences for public scandal still exist?

    None. Public Scandal was withdrawn from the Penal Code in 1989 as it was a norm based on a specific religious morality and, therefore, unconstitutional, since our Constitution is non-religious . Scandal is always subjective and that is one of the reasons why it can not be safeguarded by law.
    Our personal development (Art. 10 in our Constitution), which is what being nude at the beach contributes to, can not be limited. The law requires proof that a legal right has been harmed, in order to impose any limits. The harm caused cannot be argued in terms of a breech of some subjective moral belief. In the same way as a peaceful walk is not a legal right which must be protected by the Penal Code, let’s say, the revulsion (or pleasure) the sight of a naked body can cause a lady should not hold any relevance for the Penal Law. However, the exhibition of the genital organs with a lustful purpose in the presence of minors, or the handicapped, is thought to be harmful to somebody’s legal right, called “sexual indemnity”, which is seen as relevant for legal purposes. This is labelled a sex offense and, therefore, has nothing to do with mere nudity .

    It is obvious that within our legal framework, neither a Town Hall nor the regional authorities can create new legal offenses or modify existing ones. The law already defines which exhibitions are forbidden and consequently punished. What is the Cádiz Town Hall doing? Since it is not set to safeguard the legal right, the sexual indemnity, of minors because, firstly, these authorities are not competent, and secondly, minors are already protected by the Penal Code, we, at the FEN, have been led to believe that this Town Hall has come up with “a right not to see what one does not like.” That is basically what all this is about, since, as mentioned above, Town Halls are not competent and what this one has done can not have been motivated by a concern for the safeguard of the minors’ legal rights, as they are already protected by a higher instance, the Penal Law.

    Tranlated by Alberto Gonzalez Iglesias.

    For more information fo to www.naturismo.org/legal.html
These questions were asked online (from 12:00 to 14:00) by the EIEconomista.es contributors on the 28th of August, 2009. ©Ecoprensa S.A. (under license by the author)

Thank you, Ismael Rodrigo.
Coordinator of European Naturist Commision (EuNatCom)
President of the Spanish Naturist Federation (FEN)
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