Revolution: The Right to Be Nude. A Debate.
WORLD CONGRESS Speech. EL PORTUS 2006. 25th FEN ANIVERSARY
By Ismael Rodrigo, president of FEN
|Dear Naturist Friends,
A new statute was adopted at our last World Congress.
There we upheld the traditional and already familiar definition
that “Naturism/Nudism is a way of living in harmony
with nature. It is expressed by communal nudity, associated
with self-respect, respect for the opinions of others
and care for the environment.” (Art. 2.1))1
The Spanish federation, which, by the way, is celebrating
its 25th birthday as this World Congress is being held,
would like to take this opportunity to call for
a debate among all naturist federations. We would
also like to extend this debate to the mass media in order
to effectively achieve the goals mentioned in Article
2.1 of our statutes.
|Is Nude Recreation
the Only Way?
We often hear our federations
say Body Acceptance
is the Ideal as the goal
to achieve, which frequently though is translated into
the more practical Nude Recreation is the Way
Let us question whether this is the only way.
We believe the time has come to take a step forward
so as to make nudism socially acceptable. Let us give
our movement a rather revolutionary
tilt and yet keep on enjoying our nude recreation.
In countries, such as Spain, where public nudity is
not longer illegal, we take the view that nudity
is one more right which has been achieved in the pursuit
and must be spread everywhere.
In countries where there are still laws against nudity,
derived from unacceptable moral codes, we must fight
for their repeal within the legal framework of the land,
appealing, as a last resort, to the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights (Articles 2, 18, 19, 20 and 26).2
|Concern for the Environment
regards to another aspect of our goals, concern for
the environment, we see that often it is insufficiently
dealt with in Naturist publications, being replaced
by health concerns instead. Many a time what is known
as alternative medicine
is the only view on
the subject of health.
While the promotion of physical and mental health can
be read in successive paragraphs of our statutes3
we should take care as neither the definition or methods
nof achieving are even mentioned.
According to the goals stated in our statutes a person
can be a Naturist and also be sceptical of all that
goes under the name of alternative medicine. Likewise,
a Naturist can be a believer of all that is alternative
medicine regardless of its reliability. In a similar
manner a naturist can be either against what might
be thought of as ‘naturist ghettos
or in favor of leisure during the holidays in zoned-off
Our movement is sufficiently open to take in people
of differing beliefs and ideas. That does not mean we
should take up our promoting them either institutionally
or giving them support through our publications.
Conversely, we must promote all that might lead to a
wider acceptance of nudity in our society and we must
also fight for the preservation and improvement of our
environment. Both ideas are explicitly stated in our
definition of Naturism and are fundamental beliefs which
should not be detached from each other. That is, we
must promote a concern for our environment while enjoying
nature, in the nude, with other people.
Article 2.6 of our statutes points in the direction
of how to achieve this, through sports and other activities
with special consideration to the youth 4
Indeed, we regret the decrease in membership among the
youth. In our opinion, the lack of new ideas and goals
worth fighting for could be part of the problem. We
need to give our movement a revolutionary U-turn if
we want young people to be involved. That U-turn must
have an ecological concern
, incorporating and
picking up some of the ideas out there to bring back
to our fold those who have moved away from what they
thought was a submissive movement 5
We must not give up the freedom that
means the right of our bodies to be in the nude in any
environment. We must not be complacent at having private
areas where strangers can be subject to compulsory nudity.
Our movement, once reinvigorated, would undoubtedly
attract number of young people with new ideas, new energy
and new values; leaders in a new world; not just youth
who may only enjoy spending their holidays without their
Here are some suggestions
on ways to follow and changes to carry out so as to
reach the goals stated in Art.2 of the INF/FNI statutes:
The World Congress
should not only be an executive assembly but also a
meeting where Naturists can contribute with presentations
and projects which are eventually compiled and published
in a proceedings book. The INF/FNI must gather and select
these presentations. The biennial assembly can continue
being held while the World Congress takes place. The
Naturist movement must generate its own philosophy which
will find its way in forums, publications and research
studies which should be financially supported by the
INF/FNI (Art. 2.6.e)6
The present statutes
of the Spanish Naturist Federation (FEN) has amongst
its goals ‘to protect and claim the right
to be nude amongst our freedoms and to spread that ideal
(Art. 5.2.d). We encourage every federation and indeed
the INF/FNI to add a similar article to its statutes
(Art. 2.4; in the present statutes it is not clear enough
We should publicly
show ourselves in the nude thus making a stand for our
rights and demanding the removal of all legal obstacles
which may curtail that right (Ibid.). Let us spread
the notion of mutual
is, we, Naturists, do not compel anybody to take their
clothes off and, likewise, Naturists should not be forced
to be clothed. There is no such right as ‘not
’ what may not be agreeable to the
eye of the beholder. Thus, nobody should be able to
impose on others their prejudices or ethical imperatives.
Naturism is our philosophy, we should defend it.
must foster ‘independent’ sites on Internet
which promote media campaigns to inform about public
events and massive e-mailing acting as independent lobbies.
We must encourage
and hold nude public events in defence of our environment.
in the nude and in the presence of at least a journalist,
reforestation of burnt down areas which are led by experts
and subsidised by the authorities.
the cleaning of beaches and recreational areas under
the same conditions as in above.
and assist environmentalist groups in their activities
which our associations can not carry out directly. Such
support can be translated into protests in the nude
against the purchase, sale and wearing of furs
To support and
assist other groups with their demands for bicycle paths
and other initiatives which are geared towards sustainable
lifestyles in our cities. We should be able to support
and publicise events although we might not organise
them as they fall outside the range of our goals, but
reflect the variety of interests there are amongst our
have plenty to offer our culture and our society. The
repression of nudity is still a fundamental cog in the
whole machinery that controls the behaviour of human
‘Recreation’ and ‘leisure’
are concepts which have the connotation of ‘holiday
making’ and have inspired our model so far.
We think that that approach may now be obsolete and
often has been the source of an undesirable perception
of our movement.
We should neither profit from nor be linked to past
beliefs already debunked by Science and modern Medicine.
On the contrary, our movement must come closer to environmentalist
concerns, to mental health and educational preoccupations,
which we see as closer to an urgent need for freedom
from conventional repressions (Art. 2.2).
Achieving freedom from having to wear clothes does not
mean giving up our Naturist locations. By the same token,
the existence of football federations and specific areas
to play it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact
that it was once declared a legal sport. In fact, since
nudity stopped being forbidden in any public place in
Spain, Naturist centres have kept growing in number
and membership and they have been fully utilised summer
These are the ideas we lay before the Congress for debate
by all world federations . This is our contribution
on this our 25th anniversary. It is our wish that the
outcome of that debate could be achieved at this, our
During 2005 we have been commemorating the 50th anniversary
of Rosa Parks’ stance against discrimination.
She was a 42 year old seamstress returning home from
her job in Montgomery, Alabama, in December 1955 when
she took a decision that changed History; Parks refused
to give up her seat to a white man on a segregated bus.
Great battles for freedom are fought on apparently insignificant
fronts; the right to sit on a bus, the right to show
ourselves the way we are. The fight against criminalisation
of nudity is no less important than any other fight,
like that against the deterioration of our environment.
Our fight is the fight for the rights of women, and
a healthy education for future generations so that they
can go on enjoying this wonderful planet, in the nude.
Presidente de la FEN
|Points for Discussion
(Federations may suggest additional topics before the
• Nudism and the Law in
each INF/FNI member country. How to change the legislation.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
respect: nudity in frequently non-nudist places.
• Nudism and Alternative Health Movements. Distancing.
• Youth in their relationship to the points above.
• World Congress: widening our range of goals.
• Internet: workshop on proposals through the
webs of the different federations.
active independent sites.
• Cooperation with
Universities and other Scientific Institutions on subjects
such as Naturism and Childhood, Naturism and Psychological
Health, among others.
• Cooperation for cultural
purposes. A season exhibiting Naturist motion pictures;
Award giving contests for literary contributions on the
• Debate on the INF/FNI aims and goals
within the framework of Art. 2, one by one.
| 1. INF Statutes, Art.2.
Naturism/nudism is a way of living in harmony with nature.
It is expressed by communal nudity, associated with self-respect,
respect for the opinions of others and care for the environment.
(back to the text)
Annex ll: Articles of the Universal Declaration of Human
"Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms
set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of
any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion,
political or other opinion, national or social origin,
property, birth or other status."
"Everyone has the right to freedom of thought,
conscience and religion; this right includes freedom
to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either
alone or in community with others and in public or private,
to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice,
worship and observance."
"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and
expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions
without interference and to seek, receive and impart
information and ideas through any media and regardless
"Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful
assembly and association.
No one may be compelled to belong to an association."
"Everyone has the right to education. Education
shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental
stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical
and professional education shall be made generally available
and higher education shall be equally accessible to
all on the basis of merit.
Education shall be directed to the full development
of the human personality and to the strengthening of
respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It
shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship
among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall
further the activities of the United Nations for the
maintenance of peace.
Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education
that shall be given to their children"
(back to the text)
3. INF Statutes Art 2.2. The purpose
of naturism/nudism is the promotion of the physical
and mental health of humanity in open air or on the
occasion of sporting activities. The INF-FNI supports
all initiatives that contribute to the development of
the body, the heart and the soul, and opposes everything
detrimental to it, in particular the abuse of nicotine,
alcohol, and drugs. It encourages the protection of
nature and the environment.
(back to the text)
4. INF Statutes, Art. 6.2.d. promoting
the organisation of sporting activities and activities
for the young
(back to the text)
5. “The Naturist/Nudist ideal
arises within a cultural background that represses nudity
and consigns it to intimate moments. In general, opinions
within this culture do not question that repression
but they still demand a special consideration for people
who wish to be nudists. They thoroughly accept the repressive
prejudices the rest of society hold, as they look for
some intimacy, the support of a group and the reclusion
in places, partially or totally exclusive.
Hence, the Naturist/Nudist groups that abide by these
prejudices, are looked upon condescendingly and are
consequently easily given some concessions which are
readily presented as advances and a great success; a
zoned-off beach, an exclusive timetable at a swimming
pool, a camp site and so on. Once these demands are
fulfilled, the discrimination the movement suffers is
turned round against clothed people in the exclusive
places it now enjoys: like an image reflected in a mirror.”
(Passage from a letter to Barcelona’s City Hall)
(back to the text)
6. INF Statutes, Art. 2.6.e. the publication
of materials about naturism/nudism,
(back to the text)
7. 4. The INF-FNI works for the worldwide
recognition of naturism/nudism and encourages its development.
The INF-FNI works together with national and international
(back to the text)
This work is licensed under a Creative
Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 2.5 License.
The publication you presently have in your hands is the joint
product of some FEN associations which in turn distribute
it as their own. We expect the following issues to be the
outcome of the joint effort of more, if not all, the associations
that make up the FEN. That would make the magazine a mirror
of the whole Spanish naturist spectrum, (and European and
South-American, as well).We are grateful to the AAPNT,
ANAPA, ANNA, CCN, ANCC, ANG, ANC and
all the others which keep joining in for their trust and support.
Ismael Rodrigo, President of the FEN
Translated by Alberto González Iglesias & Mick
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