Why get naked on a nude beach is not obscenity?

11 January 2016

Have you ever wondered why the police arrest and justice condemns people who walk naked down the street but does not hold or condemns naked people on nudist beach?


The reason is simple: morality. Recently we talk about morality when we talk about sacrificing animals. The same principle public morality prevails when it comes to public nudity.

When someone is arrested and convicted of being naked, conviction is almost always based on a more subjective articles of our Penal Code: the obscenity. Article 233 of the Criminal Code says that the crime of obscenity is to "practice obscenity in public place, or open or exposed to the public". But note that it does not define what is an obscenity. What he says is the same thing to say set an elephant as ' being an animal identical to an elephant '. Is what philosophers, mathematicians and linguists call circular definition.

Well, the law leaves the magistrate's Office define an obscenity. And this will vary according to time and place. There was a time when a woman exposing their cinnamon was considered obscene. And there are countries in which women exposed their faces, even today, it is considered obscene.

As the law does not say what is obscenity, the magistrate has the flexibility to define what should be considered to be obscene according to the Customs and time when that Act happened. Today, for example, no woman in Brazil would be convicted of exposing their legs in public.

But this is also the problem of the law. As she leaves the Office of the magistrate set what's obscene, nobody's quite sure what that means these days is easy to identify the extremes (e.g., it's hard to find someone who wouldn't call it obscene a couple decide to do sex in the middle of the Paulista Avenue during the day), but it's hard to decide what is not extreme. A hot kiss is obscene? This will vary from person to person, and magistrate for magistrate.

OK, so we know that walk naked in Paulista is obscenity. And walk naked on Copacabana beach? Well, probably obscene. So much so that people on Copacabana beach are not naked. So what is the difference between the Copacabana beach and the Apricot Beachalso in Rio de Janeiro?

The difference-and it is very subtle-is that the resolution 64/94 the Town Hall of the river says that is a naturist beach. In other words, she says that everyone in that beach should expect naked people. However, if you expect to find naked people in a certain place, there's no way the State say that this nudity is obscene. For more amazing as it sounds, this is the same logic that prevents the naked revelers (and sometimes totally naked) are arrested during Carnival or someone naked in a locker room be arrested: in these locations and times is to be expected that people are nude or semi-nude. Soon, you cannot say it's obscene what they are doing.

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