What is art, after all, but a protest against the horrible inclemency of life? —Aldous Huxley
Yesterday was amazing. Following the lead of legendary civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), Democratic members of the House of Representatives decided to protest that chamber’s lack of a bill on gun control by holding a sit-in. Mr. Lewis understands the power of a sit-in protest. During his work with Dr. Martin Luthing King, Jr., Mr. Lewis was involved in many such protests, including a rather famous one at a Woolworth’s lunch counter. As a result, the House of Representatives came to a grinding halt and House Speaker Paul Ryan managed to look like a fool in opposing them.
Staging a protest can be a powerful weapon when it is done at the right time, by the right people, in the right way. The sit-in worked because the time was right. After the events in Orlando, a majority of Americans, some polls say as much as 90 percent, favor some form of gun control. The fact that GOP leadership refuses to even consider such a bill gives Democrats incredibly clout with public opinion swaying in their favor.
There are other things, though, that are worth protesting. We think the strongest form of protest is not only holding a sit-in, but doing so naked. Showing up for something without clothes demonstrates a deeper level of purpose, passion, and commitment to the cause, whatever it may be. Nudity in protest represents honesty, transparency, and truthfulness. When faced with a sea of naked bodies, a lot can get done. So, here’s our list.
The protest has already started. Now, we should take it to the next level and get everyone naked. Okay, maybe not everyone. Older members are good leaving on their skivvies. Still, with all the passion and attention that yesterday’s protest raised, now would be a good time to go all in and make Republicans think twice before trying another procedural stunt like last night’s vote. There is absolutely no reason why we shouldn’t have extended background checks and registration, and require insurance. We do the same for cars and that doesn’t impede on anyone’s right to drive a car. Guns are more dangerous. We shouldn’t hand one out to every idiot in the village.
The UK Brexit Nonsense
The issue being voted upon in the UK today is whether or not the country should leave the European Union alliance, aka, the Brexit. Smarmy conservative Brits, rather on par with the intellectual absence of our own Tea Party, have convinced a large number of Britons that they need to separate themselves and go back to being independent. While, on the surface, that might sound attractive, what every major economist, every major bank, and every political ally have tried to warn these fools is that removing one link causes the whole fucking chain to fail. Every major industry that does any business outside Britain is going to be hurt. This isn’t the 16th century, folks. Britain is part of a global economy. You don’t just get to walk out. So yeah, this is worth staging a nude protest.
Wall Street and Big Banking
Eight years ago, the cheating and stealing ways of Wall Street and big investment banks caused our economy to collapse. Millions of people lost their retirement funds, their college education funds, and other investments. At the end of the day, though, no one was really punished sufficiently to result in any change. Now, all signs point to yet another collapse within the next three years, one potentially made worse depending upon who becomes president. Remember the Occupy Wall Street movement? We think it’s time to bring that back. Naked.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is already using nude protest methods in their “I’d Rather Go Naked” campaign. Cara Delevigne, Alicia Silverstone, Pink, four Miss USA winners, and a host of others have already stripped for the sometimes racy and often banned ad campaign. Yet, the use of fur in fashion hasn’t let up a bit. While some European designers are beginning to substitute synthetic furs, which are longer lasting and often softer, Italian design houses especially, many of which began as furriers, have been resistant to change. One of the worst offenders, though, is American designer Dennis Basso. Each season he sends dozens of furs down his runway, even for summer. This is nonsense. Raising and harvesting furs for fashion is cruel. Perhaps we should all just go naked.
Religion In Politics
On Tuesday, the presumption Republican nominee for president announced an “executive council of evangelical advisors.” If anything should have your ready to protest in the buff, this should. No one does more to harm civil rights, women’s reproductive rights, and LGBT rights than do evangelicals. That a presidential candidate would embrace such hate and allow them to give him advice on policy should frighten every American. Why these people think they have any right to stick their nose into anyone else’s business defies reason. Our Constitution dictates separation of Church and State for a damn good reason. Don’t talk to me about imaginary second amendment rights when first amendment rights are taking a greater beating.
Freedom of the Press
Yes, journalism and the distribution of information, in general, has some issues. However, for all their faults, we still need these news producers to keep us informed at an introductory level. We may have to dig to find the truth of a story, but we wouldn’t know about the story at all without them. We’ve already talked about this to some degree, and watching how a billionaire is gleefully sending Gawker into bankruptcy extends our concern even more. The presumption GOP nominee for president has also banned several media sources from his events because he doesn’t like their criticism. Freedom of the Press is a critical element to our democracy. Getting naked to protest infringement upon that freedom should be a no-brainer.
Global Warming & Science Denial
Maybe we can stage this protest outside; just be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen. The ongoing denial of science in general, and specifically the matter of global warming, is both worrisome and dangerous. Global warming itself is not something that changes based upon how many people believe. The effects of the problem, the consequences of our inaction, are going to happen whether we pay them any attention or not. Do we wait until we’re neck-deep in water or our children are sunburned while waiting on the school bus before we begin a large-scale protest? This is another topic that seems natural for nudity as well. If we don’t do something, we’ll all need thermal shields.
One of the most disturbing things I’ve read today is the account of a German model who was raped and then, adding insult to injury, fined because the judge doesn’t think she was actually raped. This is, of course, complete and utter bullshit and warrants a protest of thousands of naked women marching through the streets. Why naked? Because there is no better way to emphasize that a women, alone, is in control of her body. Her being naked does not justify rape. Her wearing short skirts or high-heeled shoes is not inviting rape. Being drunk or high is not a license for rape. It’s time to put this rape culture to an end.
Costs of College Education
I was special and took five years to finish college. Paying for it was a challenge and when I finished the amount of debt felt like a horrible burden around my neck. However, my debt over 30 years ago was less than $20,000. Today, students pay that much or more per year. Have classes improved that much? No. Have non-athletic facilities improved that much? No. Has the value of a college degree improved that much? Hell no. Yet, if anyone wants a job, even an easy one requiring no skill, the preference is for college graduates. Naked bodies lying all across the quad at homecoming sounds like an honorable protest to me.
Restrictions On The Human Body
Why aren’t we seeing any nude protests? Largely because, in most places, they are illegal. Or, we think they are. The Supreme Court has already ruled that being naked is a viable form of protest and political expression. We are still stymied, though, by so-called decency laws that confusing to read and legally fraught with error. Police see a naked person, or a group of naked people, and assume they must be doing something wrong. We must fight for our right to use our bodies, unclothed and unencumbered, as a means of expression and protest. There’s no logical way this protest cannot be naked.
I’m sure there are more things that might benefit from naked protest. I’ll leave you to decide what those might be. What’s clear, though, is that when large enough groups of voters become passionate enough about an issue, legislators listen. I cannot think of a more important issue than our bodies. I cannot think of a stronger means of protest. If I start, will you follow?