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And you said I was crazy . .

June 4 2010 at 3:40 PM
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Bob  (no login)
from IP address 64.128.234.253

 
Any of you who have been on this forum for the past few years undoubtedly remember our debates on top freedom. As you recall, my positiion was that it should not be allowed because the wrong people (aka ugly) would abuse the privilege. Not only was that labeled discriminatory, but some disagreed with my premise that only the ugly bods (those who want attention but rarely get it) would go bare.

Well, read this!

http://www.daytondailynews.com/lifestyle/transgender-women-go-topless-at-delaware-beach-744402.html?showComments=true&postingId=746578

 
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Nat
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Hypocrisy

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June 4 2010, 7:19 PM 

Well since there is no picture- I can't say how "ugly" said person's boobies are- but since it said they were implants they should look pretty good since a competent plastic surgeon will make breasts that are aesthetically pleasing. Furthermore, since they are implants- they aren't really breasts at all- but bags of saline covered with skin. And in this case- it's not even a real female we are talking about.

It's the hypocrisy of boobie bans that I have a issue of- why can a old fat guy with big flabby breasts (ie- "gynecomastia") be permitted to stroll the beach topfree but a young woman with firm attractive breasts can not?

And why do you limited your "ugly-phobia" to breasts? What about ugly beer-bellies or bony knobby-knee legs or ugly wrinkled faces?

 
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Brandon
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Re: Hypocrisy

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June 4 2010, 11:16 PM 

"why can a old fat guy with big flabby breasts (ie- "gynecomastia") be permitted to stroll the beach topfree but a young woman with firm attractive breasts can not? "

Because like it or not, in our society we consider the young woman's breasts to have a sexual element. We don't feel that way about old fat guys.

 
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Nat
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Re: Hypocrisy

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June 5 2010, 8:40 AM 

A few generations ago women's legs and ankles were considered "too sexual" to be seen in public. Women had to wear high button shoes and long dresses that hung to the floor. Now we see women's legs and ankles all the time- so the fact that something is considered "too sexual to be seen" is a arbitrary and changeable thing. Many European beaches (and even a few here in America) permit women to go topfree and society has not collapsed as a result.

 
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Brandon
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Re: Hypocrisy

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June 5 2010, 6:17 PM 

I would agree that what is considered "too sexual to be seen" is arbitrary and changeable.

But do you really think we are going to see in our lifetime in America the time when the female breasts are not considered sexual?

 
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Nat
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Exposable

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June 6 2010, 10:55 AM 

Something doesn't have to be "non-sexual" to be exposable. Many men still find female legs sexy- but that doesn't mean that have to be hidden anymore.

As for when female top freedom will become acceptable in this country- I don't see it happening in the near future because we are in a conservative era right now but these things run in cycles and 10 or 20 years from now may be like the 1920s or the 1960s when there was great liberalization in dress.


 
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Bob
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Aesthetics

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June 6 2010, 9:58 PM 

I think there is a time and place for everything. I don't necessarily object to nudity, depending upon the setting. I don't think it should be forced on anyone who doesn't wish to view it . . and that includes me, especially if the nude body in question is a transsexual. Lord knows, most people have a hard enough time making what God gave them look good, let alone switching in mid-stream. I know, I'm a prude.

 
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Nat
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What is "nudity"?

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June 7 2010, 12:47 AM 

But what is "nudity" Bob? In 1910 a woman wearing shorts in public would have been arrested for "nudity". As would a shirtless man- even at the beach! Look at old photos of Coney Island- not a shirtless man there! So "nudity" is a arbitrary term that changes from time to time and place to place. And no doubt it will change from what it is today- one way or the other.

 
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Brandon
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Re: What is "nudity"?

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June 8 2010, 8:47 PM 

But has the definition of nudity changed that much in the last 60 years?

Women's bikinis have gotten smaller, but that is about it.

Fashion obviously changes. For instance when I was a kid in the 1970s, guys wore very short shorts where today guys wear shorts that are knee length or longer. But the definition of "nudity" really hasn't changed in the post WW2 era in America.

 
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Nat
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Re: What is "nudity"?

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June 8 2010, 11:05 PM 

Well there have been places where female topfreedom has been officially legalized. South Beach in Miami for example- because so many European tourists were accustom to sunbathing topfree and were offended when they couldn't here (bad for the tourist industry). And there have been a number of cases around the country where courts have ruled that female topfreedom is technically legal- although few women have taken advantage of it.

But aside the legal definition of nudity there has been a tremendous liberalization of public dress standards since the 1950s. I remember when adults wouldn't think of wearing shorts in public places like stores and shopping malls. Now this is routine. And I see kids going to school wearing stuff that would have gotten me expelled. I wasn't allowed to wear jeans, shorts or sneakers after elementary school. Now this is standard school attire for kids.

On the other hand, in some ways dress today is less liberal than in the 1970s when boy & men wore super-short shorts, tiny speedo swimsuits and skin-tight pants. And for women- bra-freedom was pretty accepted in the 1970s but seems taboo now.

Also- nude swimming which was once common at YMCAs and summer camps is virtually non-existent today.

 
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BlueTrain
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Re: What is "nudity"?

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June 10 2010, 6:48 AM 

You point out very correctly both the inconsistisies of our thinking and of fashion, and that would be true pretty much at any time. There is no reason to expect that fashion would ever be logical. But there is always some exaggeration in our comments about they way things used to be.

It is true that in the 1960s and 1970s, as well as earlier, to be sure, swimwear for men was often very brief, but not invariably so. Many men never, ever wore shorts, either in public or in private, yet that was at a time when boys and younger men did wear very short and tight shorts, especially cut-off blue jeans. In other words, we are remembering only what we ourselves wore at a certain time, totally ignoring the rest of the world. Kids today are worried about what we are thinking about the way they dress, no more than we did 40 years ago.

I do have to take exception of the nit-picking of what nudity is. It is certainly true that you may not be nude if you were wearing boots, a baseball cap and a sweatshirt, yet you would not dare walk down the street like that. The correct expression is "indecent exposure," a suitably vague expression with lots of elasticity but pretty much everyone has an idea of what it is when they see it. There is still the problem of the way indecent exposure might be acceptable for one person, yet not another. What the movie starlets wear on the red carpet in Hollywood wouldn't go over too well in Buffalo.

I also never saw that many see-through tops in 1970, a few to be sure, yet not enough to count and I still haven't seen any thongs or g-strings on the beach. Maybe I'm not going to the right beaches. But I'm also no longer in decent shape to appear in public on the beach without plenty of cover. Yes, I'm that old now.

 
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Nat
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Re: What is "nudity"?

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June 10 2010, 9:18 AM 

It's hard to talk in generalities about any era because you have very diverse populations and each had their style. My grandparents generation was very concerned with looking dignified and were rarely seen in shorts even around the house. By contrast my boomer generation wanted to be as opposite as possible testing the limits of society's tolerance. The middle generation- our parents- were caught in the middle of the generational chasm but seem to change a lot between the '50s and '60s and became more relaxed about casual dress.

When most people speak of "nudity"- they think in terms of genitals and female breasts. A guys can walk around downtown wearing only speedos and would certainly be considered greatly under-dressed- but not illegally nude. And I didn't say anything about "see-through" tops- but I saw plenty of young women with jiggly breasts who were obviously braless in the 1970s. Again, I will point out that the hills of West Virgina was hardly the place to judge what was happening in the more liberal metro areas of the country.

 
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BlueTrain
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Re: What is "nudity"?

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June 10 2010, 11:27 AM 

What you say is true but I was living in a suburb of Washington, DC, in 1973, very metro but I can't confirm how liberal it was. Anyhow, that is entirely correct about what nudity is defined as, more or less. Funny in a way. Still, no place is that far back in the woods any more, and wasn't then, either, although you are still correct in that some places were more liberal, other places either conservative or reactionary, at least on the surface. A lot goes on beneath the surface.

I suppose all generations are in the middle, sooner or later. I had a neighbor who always dressed up to go to town (two blocks away) and wore a hat and gloves, same way she dressed to go to church. Another neighbor, the mother of my best friend, often wore short shorts and halter tops in hot weather, yet wore "house dresses" the rest of the year.

Boys often wore blue jeans, which only came one way (new), but only a couple of men that I recall wore jeans. One of them wore "dungarees" that had a strap and buckle across the back just below the waistband. In fact, I never saw him wear anything else but they never looked worn. The other man who always wore blue jeans kept horses and always was dressed in a sort of Western style.

Those of my age and myself didn't dress like adults so much, except on Sundays, but there were some fads that only the kids indulged in, like pegged pants. I doubt if many kids would have seen that as testing the limits of society's tolerance, it was just a fad, although there were no doubt other things that did. I just can't think of a good example at the moment. But most of us kids weren't spending much time around grown-ups if we could help it, so there wasn't much "envelope-pushing" going on. As we got older, however, close to graduation from high school, I think that would have been more true, like the thing with cut-off blue jeans or just plain tight jeans. Bell bottoms and all of that stuff came along a few years later. I imagine that's when things really changed.

 
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Nat
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"Envelope-pushing"

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June 10 2010, 2:43 PM 

The "envelope-pushing" really began in the mid-60s. That's when the British rock group Beetles took the country by storm. Boys began letting their hair grow long- Beetle-style which put them in direct conflict with school dress codes. But the more schools tried to clamp down the more rebellious kids got. I could tell things were starting to get crazy just before I graduated and just a couple years later I'd see kids going to school in clothes that would have been unthinkable when I there. I regretted graduating so soon because it seem school became a lot more fun and less work after I left. School integration was also a factor here. When they brought in minority students they said they would have to adjust the curriculum until the minority students from poorer schools "caught up". Well this "adjustment" just became institutionalized and public schools have been permanently "dumbed-down" ever since. They dropped hard courses in math and science and fill kid's days with fluff stuff like "art of film"- where they watched movies every day. Damn!- I would have gladly traded Physics and Geometry for watching movies. But this is why U.S. students now compare poorly with those in other countries. Another way our country is going down the tubes.

 
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Bob
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Changes

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June 11 2010, 8:50 AM 

A bit off the topic, but . . I remember my grandmother expressing surprise and dismay that any of us youngsters would lay out in the sun to get a tan. When she grew up, whites were whites, and glad of it. It wouldn't have occurred to them at that time to want their skin to be darker . . if fact, the opposite. Grandma would wear long-sleeved shirts, a hat and bandanna around her neck to protect from sun exposure . . not, as would occur today, due to health concerns, but to preserve her "whiteness". My parents didn't lay out in the sun unless we were at the beach, but they didn't sweat getting tanned (or burned), and then generations after that have sought the tan as a way to look more attractive.

As for the "dumbing down" of schools: As a teen, I heard that college entrance exams (SAT, ACT) peaked in the early 60's and gradually declined from there. Maybe, as you say, this was done to try to help minorities close the achievement gap (which, of course, didn't work). But, I can also think of some other reasons. First, the distractions of television. During the 50's, TV's were not such a mainstay of family entertainment. They were small, black-and-white, and there was probably only one set in the house (and you know that Dad or Mom was going to commandeer the set for propgrams they wanted but which were not necessarily what kids wanted to see). But by the 60's, the sets were improved, both larger and with color picture, and the family might own 2 or 3 of them. The sets were not only more attractive, but now kids could go off to a separate room and watch what they wanted. From there, the distractions just proliferated, but I think it started with TV.

Another possible factor was the reduced authority of parents as time went on, sometimes enabled by the parents themselves. My parents endured hardships as children and were deprived of luxuries. When they became parents, I think the intent was to provide their own children with toys and comforts that they did not have. You might call it "being indulgent", but my generation of kids definitely had more luxury items than our parents' or grandparents' generations did. These luxuries not only vied with reading and writing for our time and efforts, but I think my generation ("spoiled") started to think that we didn't need to obey our parents as much as earlier generations had obeyed theirs . . that we could decide for ourselves, and if we didn't want to focus so much on our education, that was our choice. In my case, my parents told me and my siblings, "Be a kid while you are a kid. Don't worry about working yet. Have fun. There will be plenty of time to work later." And, while I didn't let me grades slack for long, there was a time in my early teens when I did not care about school and instead focused upon having fun.

Now, compare that attitude with the attitudes of parents and children today in copuntries that surpass Americans in educational achievement. In many parts of the world, education is a privilege to be thankful for and to not squander. Getting high marks is of paramount importance to one's future, and the kids feel great stress to do well and to be amongst the select group whose lives will then be much more comfortable. Meanwhile, in U.S., the goal is to allow every child into college, regardless of abilities and ambition level, and schools are pressed to adapt to the less-qualified and less willing to work at it.

Again, sorry for length of this . . .

 
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BlueTrain
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Re: Changes

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June 11 2010, 9:51 AM 

I had an aunt who was an enthusiastic sunbather, the only one in the family who was like that. She spent the whole summer in shorts and halter top and did indeed get a nice tan every year. She was also a heavy smoker who outlived everyone else in the family. And her husband was the one who got skin cancer. She never did but she must have been a carrier.

I have no way of knowing if schools are being dumbed down or not. I do know that reading is being taught in kindergarten (I never went to kindergarten). Pretty soon a child will have to be able to read just to get in kindergarten. More difficult subjects are being taught a year or two sooner than they used to be, too, so I don't think there's a shred of truth to the claim that schools are being dumbed down.

On the other hand, it is true that everyone is expected to get through high school, whether or not their graduation is worth anything or not. I wouldn't say it is the school's fault. They're always in the middle anyhow. I don't know if there is any sort of expectation that everyone go to college or not.

Concerning parental authority and discipline, I have no way of knowing what sort of conditions my father or grandfathers lived under when they were school age. I wasn't around. It is a highly individual thing, too. One of my neighbors would literally beat his son with his belt if he wasn't on the spot when he was called. None of the other fathers in the neighborhood were anything like that.

And finally, I was sure the television was the center of family entertainment in the 1950s. You just had to have a TV and sooner or later, most people did. If you didn't, you went to someone's house that did, at least if you had a friend there. I also went to the movies a lot when I was in grade school and junior high, much more than our kids did, partly because it was less expensive and it was only about three blocks away and we could walk. That was the period of the neighborhood theater. I don't know what other kinds of family entertainment there might have been. Playing cards weren't allowing at my house. Also, we only got one TV station, so there was no question of what you might watch. Others with bigger aerials could get no more than three networks anyway. That's all there were.

 
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Bob
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Instruction

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June 11 2010, 10:39 AM 

Blue: I know from experience with my kids that they ARE expected to know more going into kindergarten than my generation of kids was expected to know. But, a funny thing happens on the way to (hopefully) high school graduation: The kids today graduate with fewer knowledge and abilities overall than kids did 40-50 years ago. I asked a teacher: "Why is it that kids today are expected to know more than we did before they enter school, but they graduate high school knowing less?" She didn't know what to say. (Not blaming this all on teachers or the schools, as I firmly believe that "education starts at home", and I think the decline of the America nuclear family is a large factor).

I have been told many times that I speak too much in terms of generalities, and that sterotypes are invariably inaccurate in describing entire groups of people. And, I think I acknowledge the exceptions to the rule. But, how do we come to any conclusions about people unless we talk in generalities? How could you conclude, "Men are taller than women", if the fact that some women are taller than most men must always be acknowledged. There are always exceptions -- I'm sure there were some very tolerant, peace-loving Germans during WWII, but would it be so inaccurate to describe Nazi Germany as an intolerant, even aggressive society? I think the exceptions take care of themselves. Too much focus upon "there are always exceptions" tends to stop the discussion. After all, how can you discuss anything if you can't make general assertions and conclusions?

(P.S. I know what life was like for my parents and grandparents -- they told me, and I was an attentive listener to those stories. They told me of standing in bread and soup lines, they told me of putting cardboard in their shoes to cover a hole in the sole, they told me of being frequently uprooted because every time their parents seemed to be doing better and moved the family into a better residence, then things got worse again -- a job was lost, the landlord raised the rent again -- and off they went to find cheaper accomodations. I think they wanted me to have appreciation for the advantages that they afforded me that they did not have. Did your parents/grandparents not try to tell you these things? Were their lives less difficult and thus they had no stories of struggle to tell? Did you refuse to listen or not care to commit what you heard to memory? Interesting. I guess another assumption of mine is that anyone who lived through those pre-WWII years in America had much strife to overcome. Maybe there are exceptions in that as well)

 
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BlueTrain
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Re: Instruction

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June 11 2010, 2:27 PM 

Don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.

 
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Nat
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Tans & grades

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June 11 2010, 6:07 PM 

You are quite right about tanning. Tan skin use to be indicative of laborers who work in the fields. Well to do educated and privileged people didn't have to do this- so tan skin was a sign of the "lower-class". This is where the term "blue-blood" comes from- because aristocrats could maintain their fair skin showing their blue veins beneath.

And you are also right about various scholastic achievement tests peaking in the early '60s (hmmm- just when I graduated) and falling ever since. There have been a number of "adjustments" made over the years both in content and grading trying to keep the tests relevant to "current standards". It's a bit like if your diet isn't working- just recalibrate the scale to say what you want. Another term is "grade inflation"- where what use to be a "C" is now a "A". Some schools no longer give "F"s at all- because that would hurt the students "self-esteem". This "reward for nothing" even permeates school sports now- everyone on a team gets a trophy regardless of how poorly they played.

Anyone who thinks kid's education today is comparable to what we had need only look at any teen internet forum where nearly every post is filled with spelling and grammar errors.

 
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cool beans boi
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all this nudity stuff.... YIKES

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June 21 2010, 9:47 PM 

I just understand why an ugly person would want to go naked. Wouldn't they fear the snickers of others? This whole nude fetish I will never understand.

Go ahead Nat, berate me, I really don't care anymore.

To me it seems kind of arrogant, like I am going to show my butt at you even if you don't want to look at it.

Go ahead Nat, just say don't look. So I guess I should do anything in public sans having consideration for others. I will spit on the sidewalk, if you don't like it just don't look.

Anyway, happy belated Father's day to all the dads out there.

 
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