[ Edit | View ]
Date Posted: 02:12:36 05/05/19 Sun
I've been watching these threads for some time, and while some of this stuff seems unbelievable, I have no problem accepting it. I never experienced anything close to this, only nude swimming in high school; and had I, I probably would have grown up to be a serial killer. (I can already hear the Greek chorus of “it didn’t hurt me” warming up in the background.) I did, however, attend college with a woman who life guarded in YMCA full of nude male swimmers of all ages. It’s just a simple leap to nude swim meets.
If there’s one thing I learned growing up in the fifties through seventies, it’s that you always question the official explanation for anything. It exists to protect someone or something. The official explanation always harps back to the AHA recommendations from 1926, which recommended nude swimming for males only. Apparently, girls’ swimsuits (on average three times as large as boys’) were made of magical material that didn’t clog the filters. And reading the Summer Camps thread, one is prompted to wonder who changed the filters in those lakes. Those suckers must have been huge!
I can’t remember which of the Greek philosophers observed that no one knowingly does evil, some of us just don’t know what is right and wrong. I think you’re being naive to presume the mothers abused their sons, although that’s a lot more common than is recognized. One should not presume evil intent when simple incompetence or stupidity will suffice. Nor is it sufficient to invoke the zeitgeist of the time as justification—that slavery was once common doesn't make it any less heinous.
Justification, no; explanation, yes.
The nude swim meets, the nude summer camps comprised teaching modules that were intended to impart important lessons to both boys and girls.
The boys were nude:
1) To make them docile and compliant.
2) To reinforce their obedience to authority. (Most important, this.)
3) To begin inculcating within them an understanding bodies aren't theirs, but belong to the community, and later, by extension, to the state. (Also really important.)
4) To introduce them to their adult sex roles. As with most of nature, males must mount a display to attract females.
With reference to points 2 and 3, I refer you to the psychologists Zumbardo and Milgram, and their experiments with deference to authority. If that stuff doesn't curl your hair, it mus be made of metal!
The girls were observers:
1) To reinforce their superior role in the sexual dance. They get to choose.
2) To initiate the process by which they make those choices. Evaluating the boys for their desirability would hardly be sexual at that age, but they did gleefully rank their appeal. Note that the ones who took their humiliation with a good grace—not displaying any wimpy, “girly” shyness—were rated higher. This formed the foundation for the selection process that would begin when their sex drives kicked in a few years later.
It must be noted in passing, that there was also, in the background, a subsumed fear of homosexuality. We think little of it today, but it was once considered as linked to pedophilia, and the average family lived in fear that their apple cheeked young boy or halo ensconced young princess could grow up to be a fudge packer or twat licker. It was thought a learned response and the fear was mainly directed at boys, with girls presumed to be ultimately walking baby factories whose desire to reproduce would guarantee their heterosexuality. Boy nudity was linked to this fear, with two competing lines of thought—“manly” men would have no problem parading their junk in front of others, so nudity could identify the wimpy, gay ones; others thought that nudity would identify the gays as the ones who enjoyed it too much. Either view is manifest nonsense, but it was one held at the time and is worth mentioning.
I must clarify that I don't condemn all those women who have posted here of their youthful delight in observing nude boys; I would have done the same thing had I observed nude girls. But these were five, six , seven decades ago, and the innocent girls grew up, as we all did, to understand the concepts of morality, ethics, empathy, fundamental human rights that hold us together as humans in a civilized world. You might think that the passage of decades had imbued a recognition of the unfairness of it, and some small bit of guilt that they were the privileged ones.
Find me some postings that display that understanding!!