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Benefits of cycling

2 comments on “Hundreds Turn Out For ‘Philly Naked Bike Ride’

  1. I don't understand why they are not arrested, it is illegal in PA to be naked in public. Philly has so much crime because they don't enforce the laws they have. It is the wild west in Philly, maybe if they enforced laws they would not have multiple shootings every night.


    Philadelphia is supposed to be a place of diversity. That means there are people of all ages, ethnicities, creeds and ideologies here. In a place where Gritty decries street harassment because it makes the target feel uncomfortable and violated, so too does exposing others to public nudity against their will. Such conduct is likely to frighten or confuse a child passerby, be deeply offensive to a visitor from another country and culture, violate the code of conduct prescribed by the Qur'an or other holy scriptures devoutly adhered to by many of Philadelphia's residents, or just be plain contrary to the sensibilities of "the average person, applying contemporary community standards" to quote the U.S. Supreme Court.

    And while we're quoting the law, a person violates section 3127 of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code's prohibition against indecent exposure when "expos[ing] his or her genitals in any public place or in any place where there are present other persons under circumstances in which he or she knows or should know that this conduct is likely to offend, affront or alarm." The grading of that criminal conduct is higher when "the person knows or should have known that any of the persons present are less than 16 years of age."

    The Naked Bike Ride used to invade only Center City. That was bad enough. Last Saturday, commencing at 5 pm — which seems too calculated to be a coincidence — it invaded Passyunk Avenue, offending unsuspecting diners for blocks. This conduct was the height of intolerance. One dining customer of a restaurant on that thoroughfare made no bones about expressing how horrified she was to see this offensive display. And this woman was not the only one to express this sentiment. It's just plain mean for the participants of the ride to shove their ideology — not to mention their body parts — in the face of someone else without regard for the differing sensibilities of a diverse community.

    And before you respond with, "Well, whatabout…" just remember: two wrongs don't make a right. We learned that in kindergarten, or should have.

    And before you respond with the tortuous argument that people shouldn't be ashamed of the human body, there's a HUGE difference between shame and modesty. The former is a burden that requires compassion; the latter is a virtue.

    People who go around imposing their naked bodies on those who don't want to see that are just plain mean. Such conduct demonstrates a vile intolerance of others' differing sensibilities. To confront people en masse with a horde of nudists on a public street is a form of oppression. It's an act calculatedly designed to drive people with different ideologies out of and away from the city, and, therefore, a violent blow against inclusiveness and diversity in Philadelphia.

    A polite and tolerant society strives to appeal to the greatest common denominator. It means being tolerant toward different sensibilities and inclusive of different ideologies. Actions speak LOUDER than words, and just as Gritty reminds you that we don't want to be harassed verbally on the street, we wish EVEN LESS to be harassed physically by this indecent action by hordes of nude bicyclists.

    If Philadelphians truly want a more tolerant, kinder, more compassionate environment for EVERYONE, including their children, people of faith, inter-cultural visitors and the like, they would not allow such a criminal display.

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