Make a Right Turn!
Permanent link to this article: http://niftynude.org/make-a-right-turn/
NIFTY membership shall be by donation, with no minimum. Lack of financial means shall never he a barrier to NIFTY membership.
Although nudists feel comfortable in the nude, some of them are shy of cameras.
NIFTY’s first official meeting was held in 1993, and we began renting Vancouver’s Templeton Park Pool for monthly clothing-optional swims in 1998. Since then, our membership has grown significantly, and several thousand people have been NIFTY members at some point over the years, with about 500 up-to-date members at any given time.
Founded in 1992, NIFTY (Naked Iconoclasts Fighting The Yoke) is a group of citizens who believe that people should be allowed to decide for themselves whether to wear clothing or not in public spaces. Essentially, the group formed in opposition to section 174 of the Canadian Criminal Code, which declares public nudity a criminal offense. However, we advocate for clothing-optional rights for everyone, not just Canadians. Although many NIFTY members are naturists or nudists, NIFTY is not a naturist/nudist group; we are simply a group of citizens who believe in the right of every person to decide what, if any, clothing to wear in public spaces.
Rapid Quiz Question: Nudists are perverts, weirdos and other sorts of sexually deviant people. Correct or incorrect?
The vast majority of nudists are open, understanding and extremely friendly. They are repulsed at even the thought of pornography or sexual immorality.
NIFTY meetings shall be non-smoking and clothing-optional if possible.
The name NIFTY arose because we wanted an acronym for the group’s name, and came up with NIFTY as a “temporary” moniker until we could decide on a “real” name; however, people seemed to like the name and it was decided to keep it as the group’s permanent title.
Nudism welcomes children and actually encourages families with young children to bring their kids. Children are the most enthusiastic nudists because they have not yet learned to feel shame about their own or others’ bodies, or to equate nudity with sex. Nudists are always on the lookout for the safety of children.
Rapid Quiz Question: A way of life when naked people live in harmony with nature. Options: Communism, Capitalism, Naturism, Naturalism.
Naturism is a way of life when naked people live in harmony with nature.
NIFTY recognises the fundamental decency, beauty, and non-obscenity of the natural human body. Further, NIFTY affirms the spiritual, psychological and physical health benefits of nudity and body acceptance for the individual and for society. A major part of our mandate is to educate the public about these benefits, and about the harmful effects of our cultures censure of natural nudity. NIFTY is an egalitarian group which always promotes equality of all humans, without regard to sex, race, colour, creed, age, national origin, sexual orientation or any other attribute.
(NIFTY Constitution, Paragraph 4)
NIFTY has held many events over the years: topfree and clothing-optional parades and marches, topfree picnics and book readings, clothing-optional dances and movie nights, and more. We also usually host a clothing-optional picnic following the Vancouver portion of the annual World Naked Bike Ride. While these events are celebratory in nature, they also serve to educate the public about the harmful effects of suppressing the natural body, and to advocate for clothing-optional rights.
Scientists believe that humans lost body hair more than 1,500,000 years ago and began wearing clothes only about 170,000 years ago. This means that for more than 1,000,000 years humans lived without any clothes at all!
NIFTY is first and foremost an activist political entity. Although organizing and engaging in social and recreational activities is necessarily part of our function, our primary focus must always remain on political organization towards full clothing-optional rights in all public spaces in Canada.
(NIFTY Constitution, Paragraph 2)
Membership in NIFTY shall be open to anyone who supports the elimination of legislation forcing the wearing of clothing in public spaces.
NIFTY shall be, as much as possible, a grassroots democratic organization. No president or permanent chair shall exist. A chair shall be elected at each NIFTY meeting for the purpose of that meeting only, their term ending with that meeting. The only table officers are the secretary and the treasurer.
Tips for organising clothes-optional swims
By Greg DePaco, NIFTY secretary
If the NIFTY swims are too infrequent for you – or if you live too far away from Templeton Pool to participate as often as you’d like – you may have thought about starting a clothing-optional swim of your own at a local pool. We here at NIFTY strongly encourage you to do so, and would like to help if we can! Here are some suggestions if you take the plunge:
1. Contact the pool and make an appointment with the programmer to discuss rentals. (This is their title in Vancouver Park Board sites, it may be different in your area.) Arrange an in-person appointment. There’s no need to mention at this point that you intend to have a clothing-optional event, but if they ask you if this is the case you should certainly (of course) say so, just as you would answer any initial questions they might have about your rental.
2. You will likely have to buy insurance. In BC, you should contact Sport BC insurance to discuss rates and terms. This would be a good thing to have looked into before your meeting with the pool programmer. If you know another group that rents the same pool, they might be willing to share their policy with you. Talk to them and to Sport BC.
3. It’s best to bring two people to your meeting with the pool programmer, a male and a female. (Sex shouldn’t matter, of course, but given societal stereotypes about people who like to do things naked, it helps to present your group as one whose membership represents a wider cross-section of your community.) Sorry (but needless) to say, you should really wear clothes for the meeting.
4. Use your judgment as the meeting unfolds, but you should probably explain your intention to have clothing-optional events early on during the meeting, as one of the parameters of your rentals. Most programmers will probably be at least willing to consider the idea, though they may say they have to check with their superiors first. At this point, be sure to mention all the other groups (like NIFTY) that have sucessfully run clothing-optional swims and events for years without any significant problems and with wide community support. Offer to meet with their superiors yourselves if needed.
5. If the meeting ends without a firm yes or no, give them a week or so to get back to you before calling to follow up. If you do so, start the call by thanking them for having met with you to consider renting their facility to your group. (Also do this when they call with their answer, if they do.)
If you need any help with the process, just call us here at NIFTY – we’ll do what we can. Good Luck! And let us know about the responses you get.
Lady Godiva was the wife of Leofric, Earl of Mercia. In 1043 Leofric founded and endowed a Benedictine monastery at Coventry. People of Coventry were suffering under her husband’s oppressive taxation. Lady Godiva asked her husband to remit the tolls. Leofric said he would grant her request if she would strip naked and ride through the streets of the town. Lady Godiva took him at his word and, after issuing a proclamation that all persons should stay indoors and shut their windows, she rode through the town, clothed only in her long hair. Just one person in the town, a tailor ever afterwards known as Peeping Tom, disobeyed her proclamation in one of the most famous instances of voyeurism. In the story, Tom bores a hole in his shutters so that he might see Godiva pass, and is struck blind. In the end, Godiva’s husband keeps his word and abolishes the onerous taxes.