REVOLUTION!!!!

belgische-vlag-achtergronden-met-een-geschilderde-vlag-van-belgieThe Belgian government has been warned by the European Council that Belgium might end up, as first ever country in the European Union, under stricter financial control by the European authorities. Not even Greece nor Portugal have yet fallen under this procedure, so this should rightly be a great honor for Belgium. If the current situation stays unchanged the structural effort to ease the already huge deficit in Belgium would remain at 0.5 pct. in 2015 and 2016, while Europe demands a structural effort of at least 1.2 pct. The total amount of the Belgian State deficit is around 106 pct. of the annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

Right at this moment the Belgian government is in conclave about alleviating the deficit, but it has not yet taken the first hurdle, since it has been quarreling for a full week about the amount needed to be saved by expense cuts and/or tax raises. Some political parties say they only need to find 1.2 billion euro, some claim it is closer to 2.2 billion, and others suggest it might be more.

'Do you mind if I join you, guys?'

The tax burden on Belgian citizens is the highest in the world, higher than in the Scandinavian countries which are known for their high taxes, but unfortunately the benefits for the Belgian population are meagre in comparison to those Scandinavian countries. One could expect higher taxes would yield higher benefits, but one look at the Belgian road system, at the funding of education, at the level of support for the elderly, at the crumbling system of health care, at the mess in the energy supply (Belgians pay way more for energy than the neighboring countries while green energy is sparse) will convince every observer of the bankruptcy of the system. One might ask what is done with all that money taken from its citizens?

More and more Belgians are leaving the country, just like I did, and logically the first ones to leave are those able to leave easily. Those are young graduates, highly educated citizens, retired people, and the ones who can afford it. Exactly those needed most by a country to keep its economy running at full speed. In 2013 the exodus of Belgian nationals exceeded the return of nationals to the country, for the first time in modern history since World War 2. But not the richest ones, not the one percent, they are eager to join Belgium whatever their nationality. They manage to arrange secret deals with politicians and tax authorities, called ‘rulings’, which greatly exempt them from taxes for fear they would flee the country. Just like the biggest companies – often multinationals – have secret rulings with the Belgian tax authorities. It is estimated that the total amount of money not earned by those rulings with the top 80 companies (but there are more with rulings) amounts to 16 billion euros each year. The total tax income generated by all companies in Belgium is no more than 14 billion euros. So more money is exempted than earned in this country.

EU-VC-Geld(It is a misconception to think that the one percent generate labor, and thus income for the masses. The usual logic is that rich people spend more, but in reality this spending is not unlimited. Do people that are 100 times richer than average own one hundred cars? Do they wear one hundred times more trousers than average? Do they eat a hundred times more than the average person? The drama of nowadays is that capital is not generating labor (and thus income for the masses) any more, but capital yields much more capital by not investing it in labor by building new factories or setting up new businesses. Thomas Piketty, a renown French professor (math and economics) who worked at MIT in Massachussets, clearly explains this fenomenon in his book “Capital in the Twenty-First Century” in which he describes the growing economic inequality in the world. The book was a bestseller, especially amongst politicians. For his work Mr. Piketty was offered the highest French order, the ‘Légion d’Honneur’ in january 2015, but he rejected it because “it is not the government’s role to decide who is honourable”. A nice short video to watch is a TED Talks-presentation by Nick Hanauer, a billionaire himself, about job creation and economic inequality: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bBx2Y5HhplI)

So now Belgium, as many other Western countries, is on the brink of some pitchfork uprising of the masses. The people cannot take it any more. It is not about creating a communist society, a capitalistic system needs richer people and middel class people to function, but within limits. Added to this is an always present corruption at the highest political levels. Politicians ‘serve’ in one or another government, in Belgium they have a panoply of governments to choose from. Six, to be exact. Six independent governments with each their own powers and administrations, serving a total population 11.2 million people (2013). A bit bigger than New York’s population of 8.5 million in 2014, which is served by ONE city council… And let’s not forget the added opportunity for Belgian politicians to ‘retire’ to a highly paid job as member of the European Parliament.

60The corrupt system is sustained by the omni-present nepotism in Belgian politics. Many parliamentarians are sons, daughters or close family members of former high-level politicians, and often public tenders are given to family members. Political functions are commonly cumulated with representative functions and honorary functions in the private sector, like a seat on the board of directors of a multinational, which demands a once-a-year presence but a rich remuneration, and consequential conflicts of interest. Belgian politicians are equally eager to please foreign powers, for that might be their ticket to a powerful job after the expiration of their political career. The USA is a very rewarding country to please, it might yield a powerful job as secretary-general of NATO. There is also the example of former prime minister Yves Leterme whose removal from Belgian politics looked more like an escape, just to end up as deputy secretary-general of OECD in Paris, to hop over a few years later to the job of secretary-general of International IDEA (International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance) in Stockholm, Sweden. Not bad for a politician who has almost literally been thrown out by the population!mike-twohy-and-if-nepotism-exists-my-brothers-will-root-it-out-cartoon

A different problem is the current state of affairs concerning immigrants in Belgium. Due to decades of negligence and short-term electoral advantages politicians neglected the influx of illegal immigrants, and forebore to provide the legally present minorities with enough chances to integrate in Belgian society by providing jobs and by encouraging them to integrate. Brussels is rightly looked upon as the terrorist capital of the world. The most wanted terrorist in Europe, Mr. Salah Abdeslam, managed to hide out for Belgian security forces during more than four months hiding less than 300 meters from his parental home, while a part of the neighborhood was aware of his presence. This is the result of an alienated and even hostile generation of descendants of immigrants, mixed up with new extremist elements that managed to take a leisurely stroll inside the European capital under the radar of underpaid and understaffed security forces.

The threat by extremists in Belgium, evidenced by the dual bomb attacks in Brussels today 22nd March 2016, is a welcome distraction for Belgian politicians. The death toll, the sustained threat, the fears instilled by it in the hearts of the citizens, all these elements enable the politicians to hide their corruption and mismanagement in the past decades that led to this now. And to continue to pretend they are there to save us, and our salvation lies in their hands so we must trust them.

2016-01-05-1451989005-1518671-R1_RealRevolutionBut it is time for Belgian citizens to ask serious questions. Where is all our money going? Why is the yield on these outrageous taxes so low in comparison to other countries? Why is the Belgian government – or better: the Belgian governmentS – not able to protect its citizens with a normal degree of respect of privacy and liberty? Why is it deemed normal that families rule Belgian politics? Why is it an established Belgian political culture to ‘promote’ politicians towards high-power or highly remunerated private functions outside their political career? Why is there a dual system of taxes that is kept secret for the public, endorsed by the very people that were nominated by those same people to serve their interests? Why do politicians not have to answer before justice for the serious wrongs they did during their careers when taking decisions with grave impact, especially those where it is clear money was embezzled or the population was mislead on purpose? Why has Brussels become the world capital of terrorism? In spite of the massive amounts of our hard-earned money we have to pay each year to please the Belgian State.

So I might say: it is time for a revolution! Not a bloody revolution, please. But people all over Belgium should go out in the streets, sit down on the sidewalks and refuse to work, all businesses should close, the government should be made to resign, the parliament should be sent home. A new constitution should be written and voted. Not by politicians, and surely not by the 1 percent. That would again be a legal consolidation of the feudal rights of the few against the masses, in the same spirit as all constitutions in Europe were written in the 19th century by the 1 percent at the time to safeguard their privileges while maintaining an air of democracy to appease the population. But a new constitution written by and written for the masses. Where every one has the same rights independent of wealth, where nepotism is excluded, where politicians are held indefinitely accountable for their misleading and mismanagement, where freedom, peace and love for every one that respects our values should be the sole basis whereupon our society should be built.

 

Love ❤️, yann.

anonymous government has failed you

Das Vierte Reich?

das vierte reich
THE FOURTH EMPIRE

I know it is not very politically correct to ventilate these kind of thoughts, but I must admit that I already have these thoughts since many years… I do not resent nor condemn the current generation of Germans as being responsible for the things their country did in the past, even if I do know that even now, these days, many older homes in Germany, especially in the South, have pictures of the Führer hanging on the wall as was told to me by a former girlfriend who is an ambulant nurse for elder people in the German South country.

5reihs
“One empire – one people – one Euro”

But since ten years or so I have a fantasy that the ‘old German class’ of Aryans were about to reach their goal without bloodshed by forming and dominating the European Union. I admit it started as a far-fetched fantasy, but these days I get the worrying feeling this fantasy of mine is not just a bad dream but slowly becoming a horrifying reality.

What to say about a country that caused so many deaths, that staged two consecutive wars just because they thought it was their birthright to do so, which exterminated so many innocent people, amongst them a great deal of children, just because for them they were of the wrong race, the wrong religion, or just ‘different’, knowing that country never had to pay back its debts by causing so much harm and suffering? Germany never paid a dime in war reparations to the countries and people they harmed for their own misplaced glory.

Modified poster of Merkel’s election campaign: “My empire Europe”

And now this same country is the country that hammers on the condition that Greece fully has to pay back its debts. For the German leaders this is a sine qua non for Greece to stay member of the Eurozone. Admittedly Greece incurred those debts by mismanagement, by corruption, by a deficient administrative system. So much of the misery is provoked by the former political leaders of Greece.

But the common people of Greece are more innocent for the past policies of their politicians than the hordes of Germans before and during the Second World War who were jumping up and down to raise their right arm in the Hitler-salute as high as they could. The Greek political system did not lead to war, nor did it cause people to be gassed for their race, religion nor ideas. And still the Greek people have to suffer more for the mess their politicians made than the nazis suffered for the holocaust and deaths they caused.

MerkelnazieuroWhere is the logic? Where is the humility of a country with a horrifying past like Germany? Why is Germany so adamant in making the Greek people suffer? What is their hidden agenda? I might sound like getting paranoia, but seen from a distance, this ethical discrepancy does not seem acceptable any more if you look into the recent European history.

I do not believe our leaders are serving us, the common people any more. I do not believe politicians worry about us, the common people any more. I do not believe justice is unbiassed towards us, the common people any more. I do believe we need a peaceful revolution in our countries, where laws should be rewritten to restore equality, where politicians should be accountable for their words and deeds, and where freedom is a basic right that is respected.

angela merkelnAnd Germany? Maybe they should start paying the Greek debt they are so keen to insist on. The debts Greece made with our financial institutions who wanted to cash-in big gains, but were bailed out by our governments by the taxpayers – OUR – money so the banks could get richer.

anonymous government has failed youWe are Anonymous

We are legion

We do not forgive

We do not forget.

Expect us.

Love ❤️, yann.

Aren’t we all sluts?

The bathroom – Iveta ©yannbastiaans

Most women are sluts.. They are the good ones. Just like most men are sluts, and just like I am – being a sexual active male – a slut. I never understood what was wrong with being a slut? What is a slut? Is it someone who likes to have sex? Is that wrong? Isn’t sexuality a major part of our being, of our existence?

Without sex there would be almost nothing in this world. No trees, no bees, no flowers, no animals, no humans, etc.. Without sex we wouldn’t be here to have this – in my opinion – absurd discussion. I said ‘absurd’, but by no means ‘unnecessary’. The self-crowned moralists of this world have decreed sex as being something bad, something obscene, something taboo, thus negating the only reason they exist.

‘Slut Walk’ – Washington DC 2012

Why did I say sluts are the good ones? Because they are the people that are in harmony with themselves. They accept the fact that a whole part of their being is their sexuality. From nature’s point of view we are just sex. So why are there too many people giggling, or even worse: getting upset when confronted with sex? Every normal and grown-up being in this world has sex, or should have sex. Even needs sex for many reasons. Whether it is sex with your husband our wife, or with your friend, or with some stranger, or with a group of people, irrespectively of gender, color or race.

©Terre des Femmes

When are these double standards about people liking to have sex going to disappear? When a man has a lot of sex he is a hero, a king, a boss, and he can even talk and sing about it. When a woman says she enjoys sex, or even attempts to do 1/10th of what a man does, she is branded a slut. Why is that? Where is the equality?

I do like sex. Not just with anybody, but when the person is right, I love it. And I might engage in sex with several people at the same time, as long as my partner is consenting. Some people like it this way, others like it that way, but isn’t that just the beauty of our world: diversity? And there is nothing wrong with liking it this or that way, it is not going to hurt me if two (or more) adults have sex their way with mutual consent. So I see no reason to judge those people, the only thing I might say is: “it is not the way I like it”. Nothing more.

©Terre des Femmes

There is nothing negative about a human being, be it a woman or a man, having sexual fantasies, or fulfilling those fantasies. As long as it is with respect for the other(s) participating, and with consent, there is no wrong. Women’s liberation still has to go a long way. Discrimination has no place in our time. A woman can look for sexual satisfaction as much as a man can, and it is just natural, a part of our life. So people, get over it, just be happy, mind your own business and let others live their sexuality as they feel like. As free and liberated human beings. And pursue your own sexual satisfaction, for that is your sole responsibility.

©Terre des Femmes

As for me, I brand myself as a ‘slut’, out of solidarity with all the women being looked upon when they dare to admit they like sex. Yes, definitely, I am a big slut, and I wear this name with pride.

Love ❤️, yann.

Unlawful absurdity legalized in a Belgian town

Ronse-Renaix
View on the city of Ronse (B)

The mayor of the Belgian city of Ronse issued a new decree. Any one finding himself in a public place within the city limits holding an opened can of beer or soda can be subject to a fine up to 375 euros (!). This via the system of “GAS-fines” (read my article named “And justice for all” – 27th March 2015) instated by the government so citizens can be fined by lower municipal officials avoiding the hassle to give people a fair trial in front of courts, and giving the power to mayors to decide what they define as unlawful behavior even if that is not written in any voted law, and sometimes even contradicting current laws. Every locality in Belgium has now its own do’s and don’t’s and nobody is ever able to know the peculiarities of every place in the country, so everybody is a potential sponsor for this illegal money-making scheme set up by our national politicians.

6339669843_f0dbf7ddb0_b
The latest nightmare of the mayor of Ronse seeing himself engulfed by soda cans when stepping out of his office.

The mayor of Ronse declared he took the decision because of the nuisance caused by certain people buying cans of beer and soda and then throwing it away in parks or on the street. It seems to me that now every one drinking a soda on the street is designated as a criminal by his decree. As far as I know we already have laws against illegal dumping of trash, maybe vigorously enforcing this law would be the more sensible thing to do?

The mayor insisted that not all bearers of opened cans would be fined, and even the amount of the fine would be subject to the evaluation of the fining official. When I grew up I was taught that laws and rules apply to every one, now I can imagine people being discriminated for color or race in all impunity, or people being fined whenever an official has a bad hair day or some quarrel with his spouse at home.

Big irony is that the city of Ronse is promoting herself for tourism with offering visitors regional beers. So whenever one of these tourists dares to open one of these bottles or cans he just received from Ronse with a smile… the city can recoup her investment in the gifts right on the spot!

album_large_6040953
The artist making artwork from empty soda cans was cordially invited by the city of Ronse, the city expecting a huge boost in its finances counting the used cans x 375€

Where is Belgium heading to? Where is the silent majority except accepting politicians to instate an illegal and unconstitutional system to fine and punish citizens? Where is the equilibrium, where is the neutrality and the blindfold of lady Justice? Where is the people’s voice of those same people who are supposed to be protected of the state’s arbitrariness by their laws? Why is there so much apathy?

Love ❤️

yann

Anonymous.. Who?

anonymous i am freeSince I often get questions from friends about who or what is Anonymous, I thought I would try to explain the phenomenon. I say try, because the movement is elusive, loosely held together by people joining forces for a certain cause, after which the formed group ‘disbands’ and the people get on with causes they think valuable enough to put their time and resources in, forming new bonds with others.

Anonymous is not an organisation, but rather a movement. No appointed leaders, no official membership cards, no rules, no predefined targets. In principle every one can call himself/herself Anonymous if he/she agrees with the general goals and worries of the movement.

anonymous-march-protest-activist.siAt the beginning Anonymous consisted mainly of ‘hacktivists’, a term formed by the words ‘hacker’ and ‘activists’. They allied themselves in the struggle to keep internet free, to fight censorship, and to react against what they designate as corrupt corporations and organizations, by putting their knowledge into having some effect on the world. To that end they meet via certain websites, and seek out like-minded hackers who want to join forces for a certain project. In 2008 for example, hacktivists started to attack the servers of the Church of Scientology.

Very soon the general idea behind Anonymous became the preservation or the installation of freedom of speech, and of freedom in general. No longer only hacktivists called themselves ‘Anonymous’, but more and more people not involved in hacking and computer technology joined the movement and joined the ranks of Anonymous. They organised protests and actions in the streets, for which they mustered sympathisers via social media. The Guy Fawkes mask is often worn during those protests to show affiliation with Anonymous.

1-vendetta-guy-fawkes-mask-on-black-849146
The Guy Fawkes mask

Guy Fawkes was an English military born in the 16th century, who was arrested and hung on the scaffold, and afterwards his lifeless body was quartered together with three other co-conspirators. They were accused of plotting the death of King James and nobles by blowing up West Minster with dynamite on the 5th of November 1605, but all confessions were obtained by torture. Anonymous made Guy Fawkes as the symbol of the fight against oppression and censorship by the establishment.

polish MP ACTA
Polish Members of Parliament protesting ACTA

The actions of Anonymous are always non-violent. Often Anonymous intervenes in causes where they consider the involvement of the government as being insufficient, in cases of oppression, child abuse, racism and radicalism, corporate exploitation, etc.. Sometimes they act against governments by hacking their systems and protesting. The ‘Occupy Wall Street’ movement in the United States and the ‘Indignados’ movement in Europe were widely supported by Anonymous, so were Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, Bradley/Chelsea Manning, and Edward Snowden. In the case of WikiLeaks Anonymous hacktivists attacked the servers of Visa, MasterCard, PayPal and the Swiss bank PostFinance because they acted against the interests of WikiLeaks. The standard method of the hacktivists is a DDoS-attack, whereby a server is bombarded by millions upon millions of requests until the server buckles under the massive data.

US-POLITICS-PROTEST-ANONYMOUSSo, if you are worried about the evolution of governments in our ‘free’ world, where slowly but undeniably our freedom is restricted in the name of ‘national security’ and ‘safety’, but allowing multinational corporations and money to rule the world, if you are indignant about the establishment not doing much about officials killing people with racist motives, or not acting promptly concerning the abuse of children or women, if you get angry about people oppressing others without our leaders intervening, or if you stand up against every form of freedom restriction, and you want to raise your voice in a peaceful but devastating way, than you are a proud member of Anonymous. You don’t need to have a specific quality like advanced computer knowledge or access to secrets, just your voice combined with millions of others is the force that makes Anonymous unstoppable. We are the masses, we are the 99%.

We are Anonymous

We are legion

We do not forgive

We do not forget

Expect us.

anonymous malcolm XLove, yann ❤️

To free, or not to free.. the nipple…

free
The Free The Nipple campaign T shirt

The much ado about nipples these days is quite disturbing for me. Maybe I was pulled out of my comfort zone. Not by the sight of all those nipples appearing on the internet, in the news and social media, for I have seen female nipples by the thousands, maybe by the hundreds of thousands, in my life, and I never thought anything of it except that they looked nice. To get excited I fortunately need something more than fat and glands with a nipple on top, a physical trait that doesn’t look very dissimilar to the construction men tend to carry themselves on their chests.

But the whole free-the-nipple action took me out of my comfort zone because I had never given any thought about the physical discrimination inflicted on women by society for their somehow larger breasts. I always saw breasts as being a natural part of every human being, them being often swollen a bit more in the case of women, but still, nothing out of the ordinary as I grew up in Africa where people regard breasts as a female trait with a primary function to feed babies. Later as a kid on I played on the European beaches where women went topless, and during my pilot’s career I often found myself relaxing next to half naked flight attendants getting a tan on a Caribbean beach. The sight of breasts never meant that much to me as long as there was no sexual allusion in play.

caea delevingne
Topmodel Cara Delevingne protests against the discrimination

So I am rather ashamed I gave no more thought to the subject. I know, I am a male and I never was confronted with limitations imposed by some groups in society as they tend to do with women. So yes, I can only encourage women to fight for their rights. And yes, I am ashamed that they have to fight for those rights, for it seems to me as a natural thing that the same rules apply to both men and women.

What really caused me a lot of irritation during the biggest part of my life was the sexualization of nudity. When people tend to confuse someone being naked with someone wanting to have sex. Or do they get upset because the sight of nudity causes a sexual urge within themselves? What is offensive about a natural human body? We were born naked, our ancestors long ago roamed the earth naked, and it feels liberating to be naked, even if it is only in our own private space and for our eyes only.

Some folks pretend they are Christian, or Muslim, or whatever, and from this background they condemn nudity. I can only ask them that if their god created us like we are, are his creations then so hideous they have to be permanently hidden by clothes? Would it not be truly grateful toward their god to revere the gift god created in all its splendor?

scout-willis
Scout Willis walks topless in the streets of NY to protest against Instagram policy

Others say that children should be protected from nudity. Have you ever seen a child reacting against the sight of nudity out of itself? Are there not similarities between the teaching of racism and the teaching of primness to our children? A child will never make a difference between color or race if not told, neither will a kid express any opinion on nudity without influence from parents, friends or society. So prudishness is not a natural given, it is a thought imposed by grown ups and society in general. If people behave like female breasts, penises and vaginas are not okay to display and to be seen, then kids will follow these thoughts and grow up this way. If children see naked people around behaving in a normal, friendly, non-sexual way as is done in nudist camps, then they will think nothing of it and be perfectly at ease with their own nudity.

movie free the nipple
From the movie “Free the Nipple”

For this is a real disease of our society. We cannot be who we are, we have to be someone else or we do not really belong. We do have to dress following certain codes called ‘fashion’, women have to paint their faces with make-up, people have to abide by the strict rules of bodyweight and shape, etc.. Even the way a woman trims or shaves her pubic hair, which is usually kept invisible for third parties, is influenced by dictates of the era we’re living in. There is nothing wrong with someone nicely dressed, with beautiful make-up that emphasise beautiful eyes or eye lashes or lips, just as there is nothing wrong with a woman not being made up and not dressed to seduce every passer-by.

Why can’t every one be free? Why can’t someone post a family picture of her/his family on nude vacation on social media? Who are the perverts? Those who are naked in family between like-minded people thinking nothing wrong of it, or the people sexualizing the whole thing and trying to ban this out of fear of getting aroused? Is everyone that is naked having sex or even thinking about it just like the prudish seem to insinuate? Why this whole taboo about penises when half of the world’s population pendulates one? Why this whole cover-up of vaginas knowing at some point we all crawled out of one, having been blessed with the biggest wonder in the universe: birth?

Try me! - Erika
Try me! – Erika ©yannbastiaans

Maybe that is why I never gave much thought about breasts and nipples, I was too busy getting irritated by the narrow-mindedness of society about dicks and pussies. I was already one step ahead, one bridge too far, or better: one bridge further.

Just love yourself, respect and love your body, for it is a wonderful gift from nature (or your god) that should be adored and honored. And there is nothing to be ashamed of, you share the same bodily specifics with at least 3.5 billion people of your gender. Do you still have the illusion you are so physically unique to the point you should be ashamed of it?

Take care, yann ❤️

To free, or not to free.. the nipple…

free
The Free The Nipple campaign T shirt

The much ado about nipples these days is quite disturbing for me. Maybe I was pulled out of my comfort zone. Not by the sight of all those nipples appearing on the internet, in the news and social media, for I have seen female nipples by the thousands, maybe by the hundreds of thousands, in my life, and I never thought anything of it except that they looked nice. To get excited I fortunately need something more than fat and glands with a nipple on top, a physical trait that doesn’t look very dissimilar to the construction men tend to carry themselves on their chests.

But the whole free-the-nipple action took me out of my comfort zone because I had never given any thought about the physical discrimination inflicted on women by society for their somehow larger breasts. I always saw breasts as being a natural part of every human being, them being often swollen a bit more in the case of women, but still, nothing out of the ordinary as I grew up in Africa where people regard breasts as a female trait with a primary function to feed babies. Later as a kid on I played on the European beaches where women went topless, and during my pilot’s career I often found myself relaxing next to half naked flight attendants getting a tan on a Caribbean beach. The sight of breasts never meant that much to me as long as there was no sexual allusion in play.

caea delevingne
Topmodel Cara Delevingne protests against the discrimination

So I am rather ashamed I gave no more thought to the subject. I know, I am a male and I never was confronted with limitations imposed by some groups in society as they tend to do with women. So yes, I can only encourage women to fight for their rights. And yes, I am ashamed that they have to fight for those rights, for it seems to me as a natural thing that the same rules apply to both men and women.

What really caused me a lot of irritation during the biggest part of my life was the sexualization of nudity. When people tend to confuse someone being naked with someone wanting to have sex. Or do they get upset because the sight of nudity causes a sexual urge within themselves? What is offensive about a natural human body? We were born naked, our ancestors long ago roamed the earth naked, and it feels liberating to be naked, even if it is only in our own private space and for our eyes only.

Some folks pretend they are Christian, or Muslim, or whatever, and from this background they condemn nudity. I can only ask them that if their god created us like we are, are his creations then so hideous they have to be permanently hidden by clothes? Would it not be truly grateful toward their god to revere the gift god created in all its splendor?

scout-willis
Scout Willis walks topless in the streets of NY to protest against Instagram policy

Others say that children should be protected from nudity. Have you ever seen a child reacting against the sight of nudity out of itself? Are there not similarities between the teaching of racism and the teaching of primness to our children? A child will never make a difference between color or race if not told, neither will a kid express any opinion on nudity without influence from parents, friends or society. So prudishness is not a natural given, it is a thought imposed by grown ups and society in general. If people behave like female breasts, penises and vaginas are not okay to display and to be seen, then kids will follow these thoughts and grow up this way. If children see naked people around behaving in a normal, friendly, non-sexual way as is done in nudist camps, then they will think nothing of it and be perfectly at ease with their own nudity.

movie free the nipple
From the movie “Free the Nipple”

For this is a real disease of our society. We cannot be who we are, we have to be someone else or we do not really belong. We do have to dress following certain codes called ‘fashion’, women have to paint their faces with make-up, people have to abide by the strict rules of bodyweight and shape, etc.. Even the way a woman trims or shaves her pubic hair, which is usually kept invisible for third parties, is influenced by dictates of the era we’re living in. There is nothing wrong with someone nicely dressed, with beautiful make-up that emphasise beautiful eyes or eye lashes or lips, just as there is nothing wrong with a woman not being made up and not dressed to seduce every passer-by.

Why can’t every one be free? Why can’t someone post a family picture of her/his family on nude vacation on social media? Who are the perverts? Those who are naked in family between like-minded people thinking nothing wrong of it, or the people sexualizing the whole thing and trying to ban this out of fear of getting aroused? Is everyone that is naked having sex or even thinking about it just like the prudish seem to insinuate? Why this whole taboo about penises when half of the world’s population pendulates one? Why this whole cover-up of vaginas knowing at some point we all crawled out of one, having been blessed with the biggest wonder in the universe: birth?

Try me! - Erika
Try me! – Erika ©yannbastiaans

Maybe that is why I never gave much thought about breasts and nipples, I was too busy getting irritated by the narrow-mindedness of society about dicks and pussies. I was already one step ahead, one bridge too far, or better: one bridge further.

Just love yourself, respect and love your body, for it is a wonderful gift from nature (or your god) that should be adored and honored. And there is nothing to be ashamed of, you share the same bodily specifics with at least 3.5 billion people of your gender. Do you still have the illusion you are so physically unique to the point you should be ashamed of it?

Take care, yann ❤️

Discrimination is our society’s disease

steve carruthers
Steve Carruthers

These days the media are full of incidents where individuals are assaulted by others – often operating in groups – because of them being ‘different’. A schoolgirl beaten by other girls at a bus stop because she is not behaving by the ‘cool’ standard set by those other girls, a black businessman pushed out of a metro train by football supporters just because he has a different color of skin, a Birthday party of a little kid where none of the classmates turn up because that kid is autistic, and I could go on for pages and pages.. Unfortunately…

Why is it that people like to discriminate because somebody is ‘different’? Why does society not embrace those people as being unique, as having something special most of us don’t, adding to the color and flavor of our community? Why are people not judged on the things they do, the talents they have, on the amount of love they hold inside and are able to spread if given the opportunity?

What tore my heart apart this morning was an article in the newspaper about Steve Carruthers and  his fiancée Vicky Matthews, another fait divers in the too long row of people whose lives are being turned into hell by those who do not accept ‘different’. True, Steve suffers from the Crouzon syndrome, a genetic affection, since his birth, and it does give him a face that is uncommon between the population. Does that change in any way who he is, how he feels, how he thinks, how much love he is able to offer? Yes, it does.. I believe, although I do not know him, that him being ‘different’ made him a different man than most of us. It forced him, from the earliest years of his life, to look behind the mask of skin that is stretched over our facial bones and to look for the heart and mind of people he met, without judging any one for their looks. From that point of view it molded him into a more honest and more beautiful being than we all will ever be, looking at people not for how they look, but for who they truly are.

Vicky-Matthews-and-Steve-Carruthers
Vicky Matthews and Steve Carruthers

The article about Steve and Vicky says they are receiving hate-mails and remarks on their Facebook profiles where Steve is branded as a ‘monster’ and Vicky is being scolded at for being dumb wanting to marry a monster. I just cannot believe people really do this, this can’t be true! Why??? Do Steve and Vicky hurt people by being in love with each other? Do they deprive others from something by marrying? Are his looks so disturbing people can’t even leave them be? Why are people so mad and envious at each other that they forget to keep in touch with their mental roots in life, and which are all made from love?

Unfortunately these abominable things happening with Steve and Vicky are ‘just’ symptoms from the general illness our society is suffering from. That illness is fueled by religion, politicians, and by commercial practises to make us believe we should go in the direction they stipulated for us. If you want to belong, you should believe this, you should think this way, you should dress this way, you should behave like this. If not, you are an outcast and are exposing yourself to the wrath of the flock of sheep turning into little monsters, who will do everything in their power to bash and hurt you, even if you are different in a way you can’t change.

Best friends - Elke & Britt
Best friends – Elke & Britt ©yannbastiaans

When will this world differentiate between people just by the criterium of ‘love’? When will love be the unique instrument used to judge others and to lead our decisions? No more gay-bashing, no more racism, no more exclusion of different-looking people. Just love and admiration for those who are different, or dare to be different. For they are the strong ones, the true ones, and often the loving ones.

Love, yann ❤️