Peacefully or Violently: The Many Faces of Social Change, Including This One

That’s me. Part of a peaceful social movement occurring around the world that’s been advocating for non-sexual body acceptance for over 130 years. There’s not much that’s ‘social’ when you are on your own isolated private property, with close friends who need no convincing. The ‘social’ part comes with public interaction, usually bolstered or ravaged by the media. A measure of acceptance of your ideas occurs when internet servers for example, willingly publish your blog, article, photos, events announcements, and newsletters on their websites. The judgment is made that your publication does not contravene their corporate ‘norms of decency’, usually depending on whether it depicts scenes of extreme violence, racism, harassment, sexual nudity, pornography, and hate literature. The global body acceptance movement within Naturism/Nudism environments has a philosophy that runs similar to this:

“The purpose of naturism is to promote wholesomeness and stability of the human body, mind, and spirit. These come most easily to those who shed the psychological and social encumbrance of clothing, to see and respect the human body as created” (Federation of Canadian Naturists brochure. http://www.FCN.ca).

As you know, there are social change efforts of all kinds, large and small, ongoing in most countries today. Some are strictly political, e.g., rights based, some health-based, some do fundraising for a new community cause, some for changes to animal welfare, some for innovative sports and recreation pursuits, and so forth. These can evolve into large ‘movements’ with bureaucratic organizations having broader objectives and long time lines for change to occur; others remain smaller and can effect the changes they need in shorter periods, and with fewer resources.

Social change usually encompasses hope for change in values, processes, structure, and resources. Persons who choose to advocate publicly on behalf of themselves, a group, community or organization, are often termed “change agents”. These individuals may take leadership roles in marketing, media communicating, resource acquisition, and publishing. They may be paid personnel or volunteers. Sometimes individuals as change agents may succeed on their own. A Canadian example is Gwen Jacobs who publicly advocated for topless rights for women, by walking down the streets of Guelph, Ontario. Through gathered public support and a successful court case, she was able to indirectly effect a change in the Provincial Laws to permit women in public places like parks and recreation areas, to go topless like men can. The proviso was that a woman must not expose her breasts in a “provocative manner.”

Change agents and social movements may be met with strong opposition by governments or local/regional/national groups holding contrary values, opinions, and different access to power and authority. Methods of peaceful change include power-coercive, rational-technical, and normative-re-educative (Etzioni). Most often discussion and consensus building or compromise are the strategies of choice. When these strategies repeatedly fail, demonstrations, protests, and media campaigns are typically the next level of involvement. Most of these are peaceful attempts to get the ‘other side’ to see their point of view and reasons for it. Sometimes these ways of effecting change devolve into violent confrontations when a) the opposition still refuses to listen, and b) anger and frustration swell up and change into physical confrontation, that may or may not be met with armed police or soldiers, causing in turn retaliatory actions by the protestors. Injury and even death could form part of this scenario.

Because the body acceptance movement has no imposed time limit nor has it advanced beyond the ‘normative-re-educative’ stage of change, into the ‘rational-technical’ stage of serious policy negotiations, it focuses on media persuasion, information dissemination, and leading by example. The psychosocial advantages of naturism are well-known and found online and in texts such as “Therapy, Nudity & Joy” by Dr. Aileen Goodson, “Growing Up Without Shame” by Dennis Craig Smith and Dr. William Sparks, “Beyond Nakedness” by Paul Ableman, and the many articles published by Dr. Marilyn Story, University of Northern Iowa. And of course in the many and varied trade magazines of, for example, the INF, FCN and AANR.

What is the ‘orgasm gap’ and what can we do about it? | The Star

In the space of a century, we’ve gone from thinking about women’s orgasms as an important part of our overall well-being. Well, some of us have.
— Read on www.thestar.com/life/relationships/advice/2021/02/15/what-is-the-orgasm-gap-and-what-can-we-do-about-it.html

Some good points given here. Times they are a changin’, and deservedly so.

Donald Trump sold his supporters on a big lie. What happens if Republicans let it define them? | The Star

Donald Trump’s supporters tried to overthrow the Congress to prevent a new president from taking office. If a majority of Republican members of Congre…
— Read on www.thestar.com/news/world/2021/02/14/donald-trump-sold-his-supporters-on-a-big-lie-what-happens-if-republicans-let-it-define-them.html

What a huge tragedy in the history of the American nation. To think that the bulk of GOP senators could be duped by this sociopathic paranoid narcissist. A little boy with a big (but fake) stick.

Who should decide what you can’t say on social media? Debate rages ahead of potential government action | The Star

Some observers say these actions are long overdue. But there is also worry about the possibility of overreach
— Read on www.thestar.com/news/canada/2021/01/31/who-should-decide-what-you-cant-say-on-social-media-debate-rages-ahead-of-potential-government-action.html

We have a United Nations and a World Health Organization; perhaps it’s time for a World Communication Ethics Council. Independent of private enterprise interpretation of morality on the internet.

During COVID-19, Toronto seems a lot less attractive as a place to live. Does that mean you should join the exodus? | The Star

Without the culture and businesses that lots of people create, Toronto is not left with much more than a high cost of living.
— Read on www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/2021/01/31/during-covid-19-toronto-seems-a-lot-less-attractive-as-a-place-to-live-does-that-mean-you-should-join-the-exodus.html

The big city wastes away as pandemic escapism centres on the benefits of suburban and rural life.

The Bases of Behaviour: Body, Mind, and Environment, Stated Simply

Human behaviour is based within a tripartite arrangement of body, mind, and environment. Stimuli are received from inside and outside the brain to precipitate action that manifests as thoughts, expressions, and movement.

BODY

The body is of course, a physical object that operates biologically and neurologically. It occupies space through time, and like all living things, succumbs to eventual death, and generally, today in the 8th or 9th decade. It receives and sends messages from and to, its environment. It ‘makes sense’ of the world in a variety of ways through the mediation effects of knowledge acquisition from seeing, touching, smelling, hearing, and tasting. At another level, it is a social being that interacts regularly with other human beings that form a ‘culture’ of the body, complete with changing body norms of social expression, of consuming, of violence, of sexuality/sensuality, of environmental interaction, and of dying and death.

MIND

Arguably, the mind consists physically of neural networks and electromagnetic fields, according to the latest research. But it also exists as thoughts and images to each of us, as we evoke them internally to our consciousness, or they are immediately brought to our consciousness by external events, through one or more of our five senses. It discerns, thinks about things (self feedback), and precipitates action as further thought, imaging or physical movement. Intuition, reasons, ideas, meaning, intentions – are all part of what the mind uses or creates. Cognition and emotion are implemented in the physical brain from chemical/hormonal activity, and from external stimuli that can affect a person’s perception, mood, personality and reasoning.

ENVIRONMENT

The environment is everything around and within us, including the brain, body organs, skin, blood, and so forth. Trees, birds, animals, pavement, grass, concrete, cars, houses, gardens, people, wind, rain/snow, sun, trains, stars, planets, galaxies, mountains, lakes & rivers, etc., comprise our external environment. Humans regularly experience and interact with many of these external environment forms, and many others not listed.

BEHAVIOUR

Humans, unlike most other animals, can refuse to be what they are. They can for example, voluntarily kill themselves and others, for reasons that have nothing to do with promoting the survival of the total species. They can invoke parochial rules that prevent certain others from having access to their respective groups’ communities and values. Humans regularly show biases, prejudices, and hostility towards others not like themselves. Such cultural and traditional norms of segregation and treatment are nurtured from birth through socialization patterns that can be clearly detected. Even within homogeneous groups (same social class, ethnicity, religion, political persuasion, or skin colour) biases can emerge among sub-groups that support new values. Various levels of conflict may occur as these new values are adapted, tolerated or rejected.

This nature-nurture ‘dichotomy’ (innate biology versus learned sociology) that goes on with social change across the world, is actually reciprocal. “Nurture could not affect us if we didn’t have the biology we do. Every cultural trait is really a bio-cultural trait – every trait we acquire through learning involves an interaction between biology and the environment…there is no sharp contrast between nature and nurture. Nurture depends on nature, and nature exists in the service of nurture. This means that we must give up on approaches to social science that try to articulate how humans act or think by nature. Nature alone determines no pattern of behaviour.” (J. J. Prinz, Beyond Human Nature: How culture and Experience Shape the Human Mind, 2012. W. W. Norton & Co., NY. p. 368) This is distinct from other animals who are not aware that they are aware (of cultural change from nurturance).

The photo above represents how humans are capable of planning for social and individual change, with a complexity attached to it that is far greater than any other creature. The complexity involves body, mind, and the environment in constant feedback loops that usually involve corrective action, adaptation and assimilation of new values, knowledge, and procedures. In this sense we often see change as “progressive”, but it can be sporadically reactionary to previous times, depending on the distribution of power and authority in society. In this instance, my daughter received social recognition for effort associated with obtaining a Master’s degree, an index of a ‘rite of passage’ in society (nurture), but others would prefer to say it mostly reflected innate capabilities (nature). Intuitively, it is both working together.

Religious and Ethnic Groups Facing Healthcare Discrimination

www.psychiatry.org/psychiatrists/cultural-competency/education/best-practice-highlights/working-with-muslim-patients.

In Western cultures the dominant group is still white AngloSaxon Protestant and Catholic, and to a lesser extent, white Atheist and Agnostic.

Therefore, members of any other religious/ethnic group may, at some time experience discrimination. Especially if your dress code, skin colour and language are different. Discrimination is also a risk factor anywhere, in immigration situations. Emigrants who do not get prior education about their new host country are at higher risk.

It is impossible for healthcare institutions to address the wishes of all ethic groups. Policies therefore are mostly generic reflecting by default host culture traditions.

No wonder conspiracy theories are suddenly everywhere — our social media platforms reward inflammatory content | The Star

Nonsense does as well as facts on social media, and it’s hard to separate the unorthodox from the entirely unreal, writes Navneet Alang.
— Read on www.thestar.com/business/technology/opinion/2021/01/23/my-old-friend-started-posting-conspiracy-theories-on-facebook-how-can-we-help-the-truth-compete.html

An important topic rarely talked about.