Male genitalia ruled illegal?

In a complete change of pace, a funny article in the British Independent details how if men “streak” (run naked through a public place) they’ll now be likely to get two years in prison (can anyone say “punishment fit crime”?), while if women do the same thing, well, they’ll presumably not be doing anything illegal. Baffling, isn’t it?

As it explains: “A Bill [is] going before Parliament at the moment that would make the practice a criminal offence, streakers – or at least the men among them – might find themselves facing prison sentences of up to two years.”

Here’s another entertaining passage from this article, entitled Streakers to face two years in jail – but only if they’re male: “[British Naturist groups] are angry at a proposal to create a criminal offence of recklessly exposing oneself in a public place, which they argue is drawn too widely. The Bill, currently going through the Lords, would make it an offence for someone to “intentionally expose his genitals” in public. The clause applies only to men.

“Mike Berridge, spokesman for British Naturism, said the legislation could kill off the pastime and leave naturists at risk of being added to the sex offenders register. “People who go to the beach and accidentally let their towel drop could find themselves covered by the law.” He warned that it could also leave streakers or pagan revellers who danced naked open to prosecution.

“Research has found that 7 million people have sunbathed nude and 12 million have gone “skinny-dipping” at some time. Ten British beaches are reserved for naturists”

In what may be the most innovative application of the European Union’s attempt to harmonize the cultures of the eclectic member nations, however, “Critics of the Sexual Offences Bill are planning to introduce amendments in the Lords to exempt naturists. Mr Berridge said his organisation was planning to challenge the new law under the European Convention on Human Rights, arguing that it discriminated against a lifestyle choice.”

Imagine! Running around naked is a lifestyle choice. But only for those with genitalia? And what does this mean about women who want to run around starkers? Hmmm….

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