Skip to comments.Nudity Spells U-N-I-T-Y (More Silly Naked Leftists!)
Posted on 05/21/2003 11:30:36 AM PDT by MikalM
STRATHAM - Hardly predawn, but early for a Sunday morning, a group of approximately 50 people gather at the Stratham Hill Park parking lot. Within the hour most will take part in a unique international spelling bee, one that has gained its reputation for scripting out peace messages with naked bodies, rather than for any aptitude in orthography.
There are a few dog walkers and a couple of park workers about. None appear to pay attention to the largely female group. Though many of these women will choose to remain anonymous, their hope is that people will soon pay them a lot of note, or at least heed their message.
After a few instructions and announcements by organizer Dr. Melanie Hernand, of Exeter, the women climb the steep, rocky path to the top of the hill, where theyll disrobe and lay in the grass to form the word, "UNITY."
Like scores of anti-war protests held internationally, this one is organized under the umbrella of Baring Witness. A 45-year-old woman who formed the first assembly in 2002, in Marin County, Calif., organized the group.
To date, most gatherings were women using their bodies to spell out simple messages, such as "No War," "No Bush" or to form a peace sign. The events have been staged on beaches, wooded areas and snow-covered hillsides.
Fortunately for this crew, the sun gave one of its recently rare appearances Sunday. Hernand decided to organize a local action after reading about the spelling bees on the Baring Witness Web site, www.baringwitness.org.
"I was deeply moved by the artistic expression and the beauty of the movement and the numbers coming together across the world."
The international events have included groups of men and women, as well as all-male groups. Hernand went with the traditional design.
"It was the idea that women tend to stand for different values than our patriarchal culture does. Its really women that are going to come forth with values like compassion, love and peace, because those things are so much a part of our natural expression as women."
After pausing to clarify that men may also demonstrate these qualities, she continues.
"The original one was done with just women. Its part of the artistic expression that I found so beautiful. So, I just chose to go with that."
As for choosing to take action sans clothing, "If youre talking about peace or unity, theres a (vulnerability) and nakedness in those principles. Theres a symbology in being naked, lying down and making these statements publicly in all of our vulnerability."
Six weeks ago, she started contacting friends personally and via e-mail, inviting them to take part in the local action and asked they invite friends. Two weeks ago, she announced the location and time.
Sunday, leaving male "sentries" at the bottom with cellular phones to warn of intruders, women from Maine, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Vermont and Massachusetts headed up the hill.
A photographer and videographer, who would document the event, took their positions in the fire tower. Once at the top, organizers begin assigning letters.
Women, many appearing nervous, joke with one another. Voices seem to rise an octave, and laughter is more frequent. A few start to take off top layers. They all shed their shoes. Finally, as the letters are being formed, things start warming up.
The sun is being cooperative, and the womens support of one another takes effect; the comfort level is on the rise. Some pick dandelions and hand them to each other. Soon women are decorating their hair or just holding the yellow blossoms.
One woman calls out, "We want to know what font this is in!" Another gets the crowd laughing by asking if they can do this every morning.
One group, all in their 40s and 50s, discuss changing attitudes toward bodies as they hold theirs still in the grass.
"I remember when you didnt let your bra strap show," says one.
"Now theyre a fashion statement," says another.
Finally staged, they quickly shed their clothes, which ready assistants pick up and bag.
After a quick adjustment to the letters, the shooting begins. Baring Witnesss Web site declares "exposure of the vulnerable human flesh we all share (creates) a powerful statement against the naked aggression of our countrys policies."
Those talking at the Stratham event agree, though most came with their own slant to the mission.
Sandra Woodworth, of North Hampton, saw her participation as an effort to create "balance between negativity, causing positive unifying energy rather than division."
Sandy Sullivan, 27, of Somerville Mass., says she sees stripping away clothing as a way to hopefully shock people into thinking about the individuals who pay the price for war.
"War is about someones body on the ground. Its not get Saddam Hussein, its a child or mother who have lost their lives."
Gayle Gorfinkle, of Braintree, Mass., came as a way to celebrate her 60th birthday.
"I thought, What better way to celebrate my birthday than in my birthday suit celebrating peace and unity?"
Melissa Potter, a massage therapist from Lee, says she believes in the power of unity. She stands with other women for peace.
Her mother, Donna Williamson, joins her, initially as a supporter.
"Ive never been naked except in the shower," she quips. "I had no intent til last night. I got in the shower and said, Better shave my legs. I have a feeling Ill be naked tomorrow.
"I have four grandsons. I want peace for the next 100 years."
Just before the shot is completed, Lindsey Piper, of Londonderry, quips to the folk forming the Y, "This is the breast day of my life."
Theyre all united in laughter. When its over, surprisingly, only one woman dashes to her clothes. Many, who only 30 minutes ago clung to their dress, casually finish conversations, then take their time getting to their clothes.
"What brings culture and people to war
is the inability to appreciate each others differences," says Hernand. "Unity is a statement about coming together and appreciating differences.
Its why we used unity in an anti-war statement. Unity creates less war and more peace in our world."
Don't forget the photographers who will sell prints of the protest (call it art and a single photo can go for hundreds of dollars). The agitprop industry means jobs for slackers.
The irony is staggering.
The original "Baring Witness" members.
That should be rather obvious.
Oh yeah, libbies follow a separate set of rules.
What was I thinking?
There are some who would disagree with that claim, but what do they know?
BUMP!! (Hubby loveed it too!)
...on another note, did they pull this stunt during the Clinton administration...
...or were they afraid to?
Things to think about.
Now I'm gonna go read and vegatate a while.
Some of those women are pregnant. Though the image should cause nightmares in any normal human being, thanks for posting it.