AUTHORS NOTE: Since I published this post, I spawned a new blog to tell the whole story, and have since brought the original blog back online. Good luck in piecing that all together. LOL
[Not sure if this will even post as I’ve disabled these pages except for those who specifically follow through WordPress, but here goes.]
Good morning friends.
About a week ago, I was forced to take my blog, The Meandering Naturist, off line. My regular readers may know that I work in academia, and because of that I’ve always been a bit cautious about my identity and exact whereabouts, despite the fact that many of my colleagues and most of my students know that my wife and I are lifelong naturists.
But about ten days ago, a person in the university community decided that even my very presence as a naturist – especially my online presence – was potentially harmful and/or somehow threatening to my student constituency. The administrative directive was swift and clear: While I was at liberty to act as I wish in response to this complainant, the fastest way to mitigate to situation would be to wipe the internet clean of my presence in order to prevent “undue trauma” to additional students.
I know what you hardcore folks are thinking. “Fight for your rights. Don’t give in to the prudes. This is an opportunity to advocate for the wholesome and legal aspects of naturism! Armor up and battle on.”
As it is, my role in my institution is of a very high profile. Could I fight and win? From a legal perspective, probably yes. But does it have the potential to become increasing inflammatory and damaging to my role as a professional and citizen in my community and beyond. At least at this moment, most certainly yes! (In fact, I’m still very much in damage control mode as I write this.)
Will I bring back the blog? I simply don’t know.
In one form or another, I’ve been at this (the blogging part) for about 20 years. The current contract on the webspace expires in about 10 days, and I was already questioning whether I would renew that. (The cost of renewing the WordPress contract and domain name has escalated dramatically over the years, but my failure to do so makes everything disappear. Ugh.) There is a back-up feature that would supposedly restore the 200+ posts should I wish to start over at some point, but who knows how that would go until you try. But one thing’s for sure, I’ll be offline for a while, perhaps seeking another way to chronicle our worldwide naturist experiences. Have always dreamt about a book. Maybe that.
For those of you who have scoffed at the damage that might be inflicted in “coming out as a naturist,” I would have to affirm the words of those who have always said, “it’s very much circumstantial! Especially if you’re are living in the (not very) United States.” Universities and the people who work there are frequently lambasted in the conservative press for being wildly progressive and tolerant to the point of absurdity. But I am here to tell you that in this age where men of privilege and power (real or perceived) are under intense scrutiny right now. The threshold for tolerance and universal acceptance has eroded dramatically over the past decade. They say the pendulum swings over time, but it’s difficult to imagine how equilibrium might be achieved going forward, at least for people in my particular demographic.
This post is only being sent to those who follow my blog by email as the blog itself is all but disabled at present. (Trying to post it directly to followers on the WP blog site, but current “disable” settings may prevent that from even posting.]
Should you wish to share this elsewhere as a cautionary tale in the ever-self-perpetuating debate about the social acceptance of naturism, please be my guest. (Though if you share it as a link, a non-subscriber will be denied access, so you would have to cut and paste.) Beyond the scope (and love) of my work, these pages have represented an impassioned outlet to chronicle my zeal for world travel as well as the inherent virtues of the naturist cause. I still fully embrace that cause, but not at the expense of ruining my professional livelihood.
Thanks to those of you who’ve been so supportive as followers and readers. (Not to mention those of you who have made monetary contributions to keep me up and online.) Much like an educator in any discipline, bloggers find their greatest joy in sharing the fruits of their experiences in an effort to benefit from someone else’s experience going forward. Sadly, it seems I’ll be off on the siding for a while on that front. 😢