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Fremont Solstice Parade: Naked Bicyclists

Sunday, June 21st, 2009
Posted in Reflection by Joel Gross

I attended the Fremont Summer Solstice Fair yesterday and had a blast… lots of sun, hippies, drinks, and fun.  I actually sadly missed the nude bicyclists, but I did see about a thousand of them in Portland last weekend.

I do have a question though: As much as I like naked bicyclists, isn’t it against the law?  Do the police just not enforce nudity laws on one day of the year because their is too many people doing it?  This doesn’t make much sense to me: what if a local UFC team decided to have a “Fight Club” parade and walked down the road punching people?  Would the police not enforce assault laws either? Hmm… that may not be the best example since no one is physically injured by nudity- though viewing some of the older, plumper cyclists may cause intestinal distress lol.

Nudity is something that I’m all in favor of, but I think that the law should be changed rather than just have the police selectively enforce it.  I understand the concept of passive protest, but these naked cyclists should still be arrested and pushed through the court system.  Then if nudity is something that should be allowed, people can campaign to change the law.

Some individuals were arguing on the SeattlePI website that nude cycling was a form of “freedom” that people who want freedom from the government in other areas always seem to oppose.  I disagree with this viewpoint: I want the freedom to spend my money as I please, but these same people who want free nudity also want my money to sponsor their government handout programs.

Oregonian judges have made the best argument for public nude bicycling: they claim it is a form of “protected expression”.  Basically, that the bicyclists nudity is a political statement and thus covered under free speech.  I am a bit skeptical of this, but it certainly makes more sense than things I’ve heard.

What do you think? Is it joyful free-swinging wangs or unlawful conduct flaunting order & justice?

5 thoughts on “Fremont Solstice Parade: Naked Bicyclists

  1. I decline to comment on the legality of public nudity or the best procedures for changing that (il)legality. On a philosophical note I think prohibitions against public nudity are a sad vestige of a time when we allowed churches to authoritatively dictate how we should lead our lives. As humans we don’t force any other species to wear clothing, thinking the nudity of our pets “natural” and even mocking people who dress their pets. There is nothing natural about clothing. It is a social construct that our society has adopted largely because of a story about a couple eating an apple and strapping some fig leaves to their junk. I think it hypocritical and hilarious that religious sorts would have me locked up for walking around “as god made me.” The only legitimate rationale for clothing has a basis in hygiene, after all who wants to sit in a bus seat after some fat guy has been sweating and rubbing his unwashed ass all over things. But this is a justification for a regulation requiring clothing in certain situations. It is not sufficient to justify an all out ban. And let’s be honest, even if nudity were legal most people would wear clothing most of the year, because it’s cold a lot of the time. Another sizable portion would choose to wear clothing for fashion purposes, even when weather was suitable for nudity. Who knows, maybe allowing public nudity would encourage people to take more pride in their physical conditions, or help limit body type issues by demonstrating to young people that most people are not perfect as most public images of bodies suggest. At the least it could do no more harm than teaching our children that their bodies are shameful.

  2. I don’t know about the legal subtleties in Oregon, but nudity isn’t necessarily illegal in Washington: see http://slog.thestranger.com/2008/06/chief_kerlikowske_on_naked_bike_riders

  3. Just an FYI, not all “free swinging wangers” agree with free hand out programs.. Some “free swinging wangers” believe that you deserve what you work for and that “free swinging wangering” is nothiing more than a way to enjoy nature and the way that we were brought into this world, “free swinging wangers.”

  4. certainly like your website however you need to test the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Many of them are rife with spelling issues and I in finding it very bothersome to tell the truth then again I’ll surely come again again.

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