#JePorteMonMaillotAuParc

I think we all try to see the good in everyone, in the main, and adopt the view that we treat as we are treated. I know, then, that I throw my hands up in despair whenever an individual, or group of people, determine to show how stupid, illiberal, hateful and poisoned they are.

We don’t know the full circumstances yet, but it appears that a group of Muslim women have attacked a French girl in a park in Reims. From what we know as of now, the Muslims shouted at the French girl for being ‘immoral’. (Note: describing the assailants and victims is hard. It could well be that those indicated as ‘Muslim’ have been born and raised in France too). The victim’s ‘crime’ appears to have been to wear a bathing costume -probably a bikini- in the park, on a sunny day.

Liberation covers the story (text in French), as does L’Express (text in French), the UK’s Independent, and there’s the following translation from Le Parisien.

On Wednesday, a young woman was assaulted by a gang of girls because she was taking a sunbath in a swimsuit in a park Reims (Marne). This is the daily L’Union Saturday that tells that Wednesday afternoon, the young woman enjoying the sun and the lawn with two friends in the outfit that requires the exercise of summer tan, the Léo-Lagrange Park, in the city center.

That’s when a girl leaves her group of girlfriends to reproach him for his too skimpy outfits and indecent attitude. “Appalled by such a speech to the hints of religious police, tells the Union, the young woman fights back by retorting that does not have to dictate his way of dressing.” The tone rises and the whole group is reconstituted to pummel the bather shots. Witnesses interpose themselves and call for help, which lead the young woman at the CHU de Reims. It will emerge in a few hours later with four days of total incapacity to work. The investigation of the violence of repression brigade has identified five girls from different neighborhoods in Reims. Two are minor. The youngest, aged 16, has been summoned to the prosecutor’s delegate and the other, 17, was placed under assisted witness status. The other three aged 18, 19 and 24 will be judged on September 24 by the Criminal Court. On Twitter, the deputy mayor of Reims, Arnaud Robinet (LR), considered the attack “intolerable in our territory’.

The eldest three, of a gang of five, have been named in some French media outlets, and it’s fair to say that they carry ‘Muslim’ sounding names, although I won’t name them here. The younger two can’t be named due to their age.

This has, in turn, spawned another ‘Je Suis Charlie’ style internet campaign, ‘Je Porte mon maillot au parc’ (I wear my swimming costume in the park).

The Mayor of Reims, Arnaud Robinet has said: ‘We have to be very careful not to jump to conclusions. All the same, I can understand why people have assumed that this attack had religious motives. If that turns out to be the case, it is a very serious incident.’

bikini park4_001b_Fotorb

 

We won’t pre-judge, but we will support the right of women to wear swimwear in a public park, in France, and will readily support this internet meme to register support for the freedoms enjoyed by European women, and to say that it is no-one’s right to deny them that right.

 

Ella

 

National Geographic (& Amazon River)

We’ve all seen copies of this long running magazine without, I imagine, as much as flicking through a copy.

natgeog

 

National Geographic has been published since 1888, and from 1896 has been featuring nudity, almost certainly exclusively with regard to ‘primitive’ peoples, or ‘noble savages’.

nationalgeographichh2

 

I mention this because I was recently talking to a person (in the real world) who said that the magazine legitimised nudity when he was a teenager in the 1970s. Because it was ‘primitive peoples’ it was OK for him to view these things, everywhere from his school to his parents purchasing copies at the local newsagents. He suggested that the feeling may well have been that copies of a naturist magazine wouldn’t have been considered acceptable, by either his teachers or parents, but unclad women in ‘primitive’ areas of the world was fine.

6224043469_9448a1cf16_o

6224563430_8b36306e13_o

6224564304_b480209d7a_o

6224564648_256b6b9f11_o

 

(Above: from (before) 1944 to the 1980s, nudity has been featured regularly in National Geographic)

Indeed, he suggests that the magazine was his only regular source of semi-clad women. I wasn’t aware of the magazine as ‘eye candy for teenage boys’, but I can understand how and why they might have had such interest in all things geographic. Of course, from our perspective in the 21st century we can look back at 30 year old magazines, before the internet made all manner of nudity available to all, and regard them as bit exploitative. I imagine there was something of an editorial policy that suggested that we, the ‘enlightened, religious west’ were somehow more advanced for embracing clothes and that we knew ‘shame’ and the need for the body to be covered. (Who, again, is it who is more ‘enlightened’?)

Scouring the internet will reveal that ‘tribal nudity’ is something of a…I’m not sure if ‘fetish’ is the right word. It’s certainly something internet users do regard as ‘a thing’, at least. It would be very interesting to know how much of this ‘thing’ had its seeds in the minds of men of a certain age reading National Geographic.

tumblr_nc47dpNig31rdvxh4o1_1280

tumblr_ncsfwgxTS61rdvxh4o1_500

tumblr_ngdvx7fwRu1u15v8bo2_1280

tumblr_ngdvx7fwRu1u15v8bo5_1280

tumblr_nqxy4zJj2C1u15v8bo6_1280

We’ve done our own National Geographic front cover (photo and mock up by Diane, based on the original cover -top of page)

natgeog2final

I’ve said before how SL is enriched by cultural diversity and how, also, this diversity has diminished in recent years in SL. While Amazon River, the location where our mocked-up photo shoot took place, concerns itself only with one eco-system, it is the benchmark of what can be achieved. While visiting, I ran into Tadeseu and Samomopopucu, two avatars who discovered Amazon River, began role-playing within it, and who have adopted a ‘tribal’ approach to their avatars. ‘We wanted to live SL very much as we might as members of a jungle tribe, the look, the experience, everything. Gradually, as we’ve played it, we’ve both been able to adopt something of a tribal look -tribal tattoos, hairless bodies, good looking skins of darker tones’.

They’ve also been surprised how immersive and educational Amazon River has become to them. ‘We both read about it a lot. Not exclusively the Amazon, but other areas under threat from ‘civilisations’. These tribes have had a same way of life for thousands of years, and then civilisation comes along to threaten them, or wipe them out, within a few generations. How does that enrich the globe? To lose those languages and rituals, the innocence of nudity…’.

samamopopocu2_001b

samampopucu_001b

tadeseu_001b

tadeseu2_001b

Amazon River prides itself on being ‘eight regions, one river’, and is certainly somewhere worth visiting in SL if ‘something different’ is what you yearn.

Ella

‘Named Person’ scheme

In case anyone imagined I was being grumpy in a post about zealotry and over officious people in the previous post, guess what? I was! :)

There’s a reason for this.

It’s called the ‘Named Person’ legislation a woefully inept an inadequate Scottish Nationalist Party wish to introduce here. Under this proposed legislation, every child in Scotland would have to have a ‘Named Person’ until the age of 18 to cast an eye over their welfare and, maybe, inform the appropriate authorities if something was amiss.

BeFunky_Scotland-Named-Person-Scheme

 

Yes, there are vulnerable young people out there in Scotland, as anywhere else, but this scheme takes the biscuit.

I’m not going to hide my contempt for the SNP. They are vile. Most political organisations with ‘National’ in their name are vile. National Socialist American Labor Party (US)? National Socialist Movement (US)? National Front (UK)? British National Party (UK)? Front National (France)? A host of other global contemptible, odious organisations? All banded together by that ‘national’ word in their title -Neo-Nazism as defined by the original bunch, Germany’s National Socialists –the Nazis. Each and every one a far-right, racist, homophobic, anti-semitic organisation.

The SNP wouldn’t cast themselves accordingly, but scratch the surface and their mob mentality is laid bare, as seen in the run up to Scotland’s failed independence poll. Parties opposing independence had their offices daubed with swastikas and the letter ‘q’ (for quisling, i.e ‘collaborator’)

As The Daily Telegraph link (above) rightly says…nationalism is never completely benign. It is always polarising, and it always needs an enemy.

For the SNP, that’s England. For the SNP, that’s Westminster (i.e. the UK parliament).

The SNP plans to invest £40m ($60m, 56m euros) in the scheme which opponents (and I would name myself as part of that number) say, correctly, is nothing more than state-sponsored snooping 

48e4158d1002611b5e019c8250000a0e

 

First, they came for the children, and I did not speak out because I did not have a child…

Then they came for the English, and I did not speak out because I wasn’t English…

Effectively, the ‘Named Person’ legislation means my children would have a quasi-guardian -maybe a teacher of some description- whose job it is to determine whether I, a parent, am doing a good enough job. As parents, we make mistakes. None of us do it right, all the time. But we strive to ensure the good parenting vastly outweighs the error-strewn parenting.

Imagine a scenario where one of my children makes a casual remark to a teacher about our naturist holidays. Imagine that teacher -the named person- doesn’t understand the concept of social, family naturism. Imagine, more than that, they’re religious, and sees the body as a thing of shame. Imagine, then, they inform the authorities and my children are taken from me (however briefly) because someone who is not part of my family, who is part of a social engineering experiment (because that’s what it is) has their own body hang-ups or, worse, religious conviction.

Scots-sunday-express-page-2-px

opponents-of-named-person-policy-begin-legal-challenge_telegraph(scotland)_100714

legal-bid-to-scrap-the-state-snoopers_scottish-daily-mail_100714

Herald-teachers-worriedimage

nanny-state32

DM-checklist

Some mothers can’t breast feed. Some children’s talents lie in the creative & artistic, more than they do ‘sporting’ activity. Some children’s talents lie in the sporting, rather than ‘cultural’. Who determines what’s ‘cultural’? Singing songs about Bannockburn to foster Scottish nationalist ideals?

If my child is getting bullied, does the ‘Named Person’ have precedence regarding resolution more than I do?

If confronted by ‘substance mis-use’ within their network of friends, doesn’t it rather point at the presence of substance abuse within an under-18 crowd showing that the Named Persons legislation has already failed?

Alex-Salmond

 

Former SNP leader Alex Salmond practices his goose-stepping.

8461af5eb4b6bc79b366d76bdcb50684

‘All 10 year olds into….the SNP Youth?’

650px-Flag_of_Volksdeutsche_in_Croatia

cldum1

Similarities? The odal rune of the Volksdeutsche and the SNP logo.

The Named Person scheme must be opposed. And stopped.

Ella

 

 

Editorial: Fewer posts of late

I’ve been asked why SLN’s posting regimen has been cut back to ‘weekends only’. There’s two reasons. One, as the mother of growing children who are on their summer holidays from school, my time is very limited, but in a good way, as we fill our days doing things like scrambling over rocks on beaches, looking in rock pools, looking for sticklebacks (no, we’ve not seen one yet, but it’s a memory of my childhood summers) and not being slaves to computers, television or technology. We’re in the process of photographing things for our ‘summer collage’, and gathering stuff from the beach -bird feathers and so on- to accompany it. After a morning of ‘adventure’ we’ll head back to the car and even if it’s pelting down with rain we continue our adventuring with a picnic lunch which has been tucked into our adventure bag (a rucksack), then we’ll take our shoes and socks off and, regardless of how warm/cool it is, have a paddle in the Irish Sea (or are we at the point where it becomes the north Atlantic?). I have to confess that I’m loving every minute, so SLN goes on the back burner for a bit, although I am trying to play catch up at weekends with the blog.

RockPool-2

The second reason is that I’ve had a few minor health niggles of late. Nothing serious, but it has required me to be back and forward from the doctor’s surgery and hospital a few times in the past couple of weeks. There have even been one or two injections in my hip…and I’m amused that (as the children have to come along with me) a nurse will try to usher them out so they don’t see my bottom while the injection is being administered. ‘It’s OK’, I should tell them, ‘we’re naturists’. I should tell them. I don’t, on the basis that British society has become so screwed up, so amateur-Stasi, that the possibility is that a nurse could tell social services, who would turn up at my door demanding to know why I go nude in front of my children, like it’s not entirely, boringly normal. Am I being over-cautious? I don’t think so. A child’s casual remark to ‘authority figures’, such as a teacher, can see children removed from their parents and placed into care.

Anyway…clambering around rock pools (and, no, I don’t fill in a risk assessment form before we do so) and more injections in my hip are the landscape for the next few weeks, so SLN will largely remain a weekends-only exercise until September. It’s important the children get to see rock pools while they can. The way things are going, they’ll be fenced off because someone might fall and hurt themselves by the time they’re adults. The Great Outdoors will be closed to the public. We’ll be able to experience it virtually anyway, and be guaranteed to see a stickleback. Our experiences will be reduced to being second-hand. Our real lives may eventually become a kind of Second Life experience. And I’m saying that only semi-facetiously.

Ella

 

String me up

Thanks to Anne, who has pointed me in the direction of a new (to me) pose store called ‘String me up‘.

string me up_001b

 

They have some lovely looking poses, including four ‘dollarbie’ couples poses. I’ve selected just a couple of Anne’s (and unidentified friend) photos. All kinda cute and loving, whether you choose to be naturist or not.

string me up1_001b

string me up12_001b

Ella

 

100,000 say ‘non’ to privilege and power

That story I posted last week about the Saudi royal family demanding closure of a beach -part of which is naturist- has, after all, piqued the French, who have indeed demonstrated that their hard-wired sense of equality remains alive.

100,000 have signed a petition opposing the decision to close Vallauris beach.

“We recall that this natural zone, like all maritime public estates, is an intrinsic public property

that should be available for the benefit of all, residents, tourists, French, foreigners or people passing through,” the petition says.

“We ask the state to guarantee the fundamental principle of the equality of all citizens before the law.”

naturist_beach_France

It’s doubtful that the petition will alter the closure. After all, an entourage of 1000, many of whom are staying at nearby hotels and bringing spending power, will trump equality every time. But it does show that the French are awake and alive to the equality of its citizens. Here in the UK the reaction would be to offer the rich a public amenity on ‘permanent loan’, such is the manner in which we appear to have lost our sense of meritocracy.

Ella.

 

Shark attack

Maybe you’ve seen this footage of Australian surfer Mick Fanning beating off a shark at an event in South Africa this weekend? Thankfully, he was OK.

I have to confess I didn’t see this, but Howie clearly has, and has sent me a SL-replicates-RL photo of himself and his friend Jan scrambling for shore! :)

howie jan shark_001b

 

Ella