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On Being Naked and Having Sex

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Even though it may cause embarrassment, nudity is frequently easier to discuss than gender. Nudity might seem to reveal gender, in so far as clothed men and women can sometimes confuse onlookers about their gender. It used to be thought that nudity undoes that confusion, but now we know better: seeing a person’s genitals does not tell us his or her gender.  Such simplistic correspondence is a thing of the past. Of course, social conservatives can and often do disagree with this new view.A society unevenly committed to the idea of gay equality might pretend to fight nudity when in fact it is blocking a political crusade. A society with a puritanical inheritance can insist it is only being true to itself when it punishes some instances of nudity. A predominantly Christian society in which women regularly expose décolleté, arms and legs might look askance at non-Christian women who refuse to.An old topic indeed, nudity befuddled Americans anew at the outset of the 21rst century. Rest room...

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