[continued from above]
Now, backtracking a couple of posts (hubboy is this getting long):
@ YouAreHere ... most of us agree that we don't share *everything*
yes? The question, then, that (to my mind) follows, is: Does that principle also apply to physical exposure (i.e. nudity)? If not: why not? What's the difference? Like you said, the keeping of "private psychological zones" isn't about self-preservation, fear, or shame. If that's true, then how is it that "the rules change" when talking about the physical body (and exposing it)?
@ ColorsWolf ...
"Halloween isn't just about candy silly: It's about joy and having fun just like any other holiday!"
Heh ... yeah, except I'm pretty much done with fun/joy as applies to all the holidays (although I have no objection to any fun/joy others may derive from them). If it's any consolation, Halloween was "the last one to go," on my "holiday list." What could be better than a holiday to celebrate the imagination (and that's what Halloween essentially is, in my mind). Happy memories of spook allies (etc.) abound in my memory banks. But yeah, not the "yay" type anymore, not me. I just sit at my PC (and TV), glean some mild entertainment out of it here and there, and hope someday to "catch up on everything" (which of course'll never happen). Nice to see the kids enjoying the holidays at least, though.
Re: crowd shame ... I must ask: You mean fear of being in crowds in general, right, not necessarily fear of being in crowds unclothed? I have a history of fearing crowds in general, but maybe not so much now as in the old days.
Oookay, now the tough questions. Regarding parents, children, shame, and nudity. Do some parents teach their kids to clothe themselves via verbally shaming them? I wouldn't doubt it. But let's look at a few of the other examples. It seemed to me that you indicated that your parents didn't try to "shame" you into clothing yourself. Yet somehow, you emerged into adulthood with the understanding that it is generally "prudent" to clothe oneself when out amongst the general public. So, isn't it fair to say that your parents did somehow train you to clothe yourself in public, even if they did it without the shaming techniques that we've been discussing?
Taking the notion even further, I think that my own parents were probably less tolerant/open-minded than yours were. Yet, even they did not teach me to clothe myself by using any shaming techniques -- unless they snuck that quite into my subconscious without me noticing. I just lived by something of a "military law" as a kid. The parents were the superior officers, and what they ordered you to do, you did. There was never any questioning of "why" you were obeying these orders; you simply knew you had to do it. So, by my parents' approach, they didn't need to shame me into clothing myself; they just made it clear that I darn well better do it because they said so. From there, it became a habit and, well, a lot of being clothing derives from habit (and the comfortableness of adhering to habit), in my perspective.
To be fair, my mom (and dad to an extent) did use shaming techniques to push me into quite a few other kinds of "socially acceptable behavior." But clothing, for some odd reason, never relied on those techniques. Force and authority were the "clothing techniques" my parents chose. Why shame in some areas, but force in other areas? Good freaking question. Possibly because my parents had more confidence that they could enforce some things, than that they could enforce other things. If their "enforcement confidence" was low in some area for some reason, then that's when they probably resorted to shaming as an "enhancement" to the "authority technique."
But what I'm really getting at, is that there's at least two anecdotal examples of "clothing training" done without shaming (verbal or otherwise). I mean, my mom's personal example certainly didn't exhibit any kind of shame. She displayed her nudity in front of her kids with a pretty darn convincing show of comfortableness and confidence. Again, one standard for her, another for the kids; the kids were under strict orders to stay clothed, even if she wasn't. Warped? Yes. A shaming technique? Not so much so, I don't think. More of an authority technique.
So, when you speak of parents who train their kids to clothe themselves by telling said kids that "they're disgusting filthy creatures who should feel bad for even existing" ... I feel like Wikipedia when it says, "citation needed." Do you know of specific cases where parents used that technique with their kids? Can you cite any studies or articles you're familiar with that would indicate that this kind of training is a widespread problem (at least in American households)? Whatever this paragraph seems like, it is not an attempt to "discredit" you. It is an attempt to understand how you came to be as concerned about this problem as your posts have seemed to me to indicate. Feel free to correct me (politely) if I've misinterpreted your posts or intent in any way.
Now if your point is that "shaming techniques in general" are a widespread problem, I'm more inclined to just take you at your word because I've experienced that myself.
Well, then, where does all this "nudity shame" come from if not from our parents? I'm not sure, but I suspect that InfinitePossibility is onto something with the video she referenced in her October 30 post
. In other words, I'll bet the biggest culprit in causing "nudity shame" is the media. Advertisers, movie-makers, even news stations bombard us with images of "perfect physiques." As a result, we all start to get real self-conscious about how we look, especially when exposed to our own conditioned scrutiny in the mirror. So, shame on Hollywood, so to speak.
Is religion to blame for nudity shame? probably so, to some hard-to-quantify extent. After all, most churches will teach us that it's "sinful" to walk around naked. So I guess Hollywood doesn't get the sole blame. And as I said, some parents are probably guilty of participating in that brand of conditioning as well -- I just have no idea how many parents, what the numbers or percentages are. It seems equally plausable to me to visualize parents who tell their kids, "Your naked body is a wonderful thing, but the world just isn't ready to see that yet, and so, that's why you should usually keep yourself clothed." As is visualizing the (probably more typical) parents who say, "Doggone it, put your pants on! cause I said so!"
In case I'm not in trouble yet, I'll even risk suggesting that there are fine/subtle differences between shame, modesty, and dignity. Shame being the worst, modesty being the tendency to "respect the public's wishes," and dignity being the tendency to "comport oneself in a way that doesn't display, shall we say, 'wild animal' protocols?"
Right, that's probably me playing enough of the devil's advocate for now. Again, not looking to defeat, discredit, or anything like that; instead, the goal here (on my part) is to nudge people into thinking outside whatever box they may be used to. Anything I've said, asked, whatever, is open to scrutiny, argument, what have you, so long as, as always, we pride ourselves on conducting the discussion in a considerate, civilized way. I mean I myself don't have the answers to any of the questions I'm asking, nor do I by any means "know" anything I've "asserted." I could so easily be wrong about so many things. Just encouraging the continuation of an interesting dialog, I hope.