Saturday, July 21, 2012

Right to Public Indecency?

The beauty of the human form — especially the female form 8-) — is not the issue regarding "PUBLIC indecency".  It REALLY is about the violation of rights.

However, those who claim the "violation of civil rights" as an argument for defense of PUBLIC indecency are forgetting something: what about violating the individual rights of others?

You see, everyone has the right to be in PUBLIC without being involuntarily subjected to seeing naked people... because they're in PUBLIC!

When individuals wish to be naked, they can exercise that right in PRIVATE.  Otherwise, do these particular people who advocate the "right to PUBLIC indecency" think they have the so called "right" to do ANYTHING they want in PUBLIC?

The words "PUBLIC" & "PRIVATE" have different meanings and functions associated with them, and therefore, legislation associated with them ALSO often differs.

For example, everyone has the unalienable individual right to smoke.  However, no one in a PUBLIC facility should ever be subjected to the risk of involuntarily inhaling second hand smoke, because PUBLIC facilities have to be made as accessible as possible to ALL individuals without having to endure such involuntary health risks.

On the contrary, PRIVATE facilities should never be regulated by government regarding smoking because PRIVATE facilities do not necessarily have to be made as accessible as possible to ALL individuals — in fact, the opposite is true.  (Of course, there are various occasions where legislators have failed to recognize this and have violated the rights of PRIVATE property owners by enacting bad laws, but that's for another discussion.)

For another example, all "adults" have the unalienable individual right to voluntarily engage in sexual acts with one another.  However, no one in PUBLIC should ever be involuntarily subjected to witness such acts.  On the contrary, engaging in such acts in PRIVATE should never be regulated by government.  (But of course, there are individuals who believe they somehow have the authority to so violate the rights of others and regulate such acts in PRIVATE via government, but again that's for another discussion.)

For one final and popular example, everyone has the unalienable individual right to free speech.  However, no one has the right to yell "FIRE!" in a PUBLIC area, potentially inciting panic leading to injury or even death without potentially facing legal punishment.  In such case, doing likewise in a PRIVATE area might ALSO lead to similar consequences.  (Remember: along with LIBERTY comes great RESPONSIBILITY.)

These examples are given to illustrate how legislation governing PRIVATE vs. PUBLIC areas often CAN and SHOULD differ in various circumstances.  Those who seek to ignore this fact are certain to reach such erroneous and immature conclusions regarding "civil rights".

Therefore, wherever state law "allows breasts to be exposed in public view in a non-sexual manner", individuals AND ESPECIALLY those responsible for enforcing the law should question the INTENT of the specific statute and act accordingly in situations of PUBLIC indecency.  If it is later determined that the statute's wording causes confusion with regard to its INTENT, then the appropriate legislators should do their job and correct the problematic language.

My first guess is that one intent behind such a statute might have something to do with protecting a mother from arrest due to briefly exposing her naked breast in public while breastfeeding her child.  I would imagine few individuals would ever consider her doing so as "indecent exposure", but since we CAN imagine someone reacting in such a way, it has probably occurred and a statute was created in response.

But as with so many aspects of society, if only a small degree of rational thought was applied by ALL parties involved, such matters which transgress the boundaries of sanity could simply be avoided.


bernard baruch carman
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Ron Paul 2012 • RonPaulWNC • LibertyAsheville
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This article is a response to the "topless controversy" largely created by the efforts of "GoTopless" (.org) and its apparent agenda.

Local Asheville, NC coverage reference:


  1. follow up blogpost: Enforcing AVL Ordinances EQUALLY


    in response to this article and those comments which followed...

    this issue is not one of so called "political sides". this issue is not about anyone being adverse to the beauty of God's creation of the human body, or parts of the human body (specifically breasts or nipples). this is merely an issue regarding acceptable as PUBLIC behavior, as opposed to PRIVATE behavior. anyone with common sense ought to understand that what is done in PRIVATE is certainly not always acceptable in PUBLIC. but for those who do not seem to get this, i will again further elaborate.

    women running around topless in PUBLIC presents some issues. first of all, why don't the proponents of public female toplessness still not understand that it's simply not culturally accepted in America? heck, it's not culturally accepted within most of the nations within the entire world! why don't they further consider the rights of others to frequent public places without having to see nudity when they prefer not to. in case some folks haven't thought about it, there's a reason why adult entertainment venues don't have windows.

    BTW, in case some folks aren't aware, even within the Red Light District in Amsterdam — a place even specifically designated for adult entertainment — the ladies in the windows do not reveal their breasts, nipples, or any other "erogenous zones"... and yes folks, breasts/nipples ARE IN FACT erogenous zones, making #2 on's most Top 10 Erogenous Zones list ( and also listed as such on Wiki (

    therefore, there is a blurry line between what constitutes mere "nakedness" VS "erogenous allure" or even "sexual entertainment". the intent behind the current NC legislation which protects women from being charged with a misdemeanor for revealing their breasts/nipples in public was done so with regard to breast feeding, which is obviously not a sexual act.

    besides breast feeding, it doesn't take much effort for any woman to cross that blurry line with merely even the slightest of gestures (if you're clueless, just stop and think about it for a moment from the perspective of a man). this presents obvious problems that would otherwise be minimized by the covering of these beautiful female erogenous zones. in fact, during the Asheville topless "protests", it was noted that such gestures were made by one or more of the topless female "protesters", certainly gratuitously satisfying some of those "leering men" in attendance.

    further, these so called "protesters" who are allegedly SO CONCERNED about individual rights do not even seem to realize that their "efforts" are merely serving to blur the line between the role of government with regard to PUBIC VS PRIVATE life. as government continues to violate the private lives of individuals regarding a myriad of areas — regardless which so called "side" of the authoritarian collectivist political duopoly we're focusing on — we would be wise to remember that there is a line of delineation between acceptable behavior in PUBLIC VS PRIVATE. we need to be more concerned with ensuring the State gets OUT of the PRIVATE lives of the individual, and only involves itself with PUBLIC matters. public "indecency" with regard to social and cultural norms is certainly one of these areas.


    i've previously already addressed this issue twice on my blog:

    Right to Public Indecency?

    Enforcing AVL Ordinances EQUALLY


  3. On Mar 18, 2013, at 11:44 AM, jeff wrote:
    You are correct that what may be acceptable private behavior may not necessarily be acceptable public behavior.  The issues for me, however, are the broadness of the legislation and the severity of the punishment.  What should appropriately be a local zoning issue is now state legislation which would equally target protestors in Asheville and a sun bathers on a remote topless beach in the outer banks.  And what should be a simple citation will now put someone on the sexual offender's list.
    On Mar 19, 2013, at 10:03 PM, bernard b carman wrote:
    excellent points!  of course, i would prefer such misdemeanor-esque issues, such as "public indecency" always be handled locally.  and again, generally speaking women don't run around topless according to their own free will, so really, there's no need to have the NC State involved at all.

    perhaps since the local authorities cannot understand the intent of the current laws regarding "female toplessness", nor wish to apply its local legislation equally... or in other words, since the local authorities have entirely failed to reasonable address a matter, those who thought the matter noteworthy enough decided to get the authorities at the NC State level got involved.

    does the wording of the proposed bill potentially endanger an innocent nude bather to be considered a sex offender?  if so, then it's certainly outlandish and needs modification.

    still, i'd like to see such matters be addressed at local levels of gov't, but i fear the lines of gov't jurisdictions (local/state/federal) are already a cluster-quagmire and are in need of much revision.

    ... but then there's always that issue of the State (at all levels) not obeying it's own laws... can we say selective enforcement?  there — i knew we could!  ;-)