Well the Swedish feminists did it. They won. They finally are allowed to bathe topless at an indoor swimming pool. It took months of protests and failed action but finally they won.
And 13 year old boys throughout Sweden have taken a sudden interest in swimming.
A feminist group called Bara Bröst has been campaigning to bare their breasts at indoor swimming halls. In a lovely double entendre (I took French in high school), Bara Bröst means not only Bare Breasts, but also, Just Breasts. Which strangely enough sounds quite sexist to me. Since I don’t have breasts. They are more like well defined pecs.
Anyway, the group, which has a whopping 40 members in a country that prides itself on liberalism and feminism, has been staging protests in various cities throughout Sweden, like Stockholm and Uppsala, where a few women go into a swimming pool and swim topless until someone kicks them out. And they have always been kicked out. Until they reached Sundsvall. As the article states, there they are “used to naked people. Nobody cares.” Except for 13 year old boys.
In November, it seemed as if the group may be left out naked in the cold. The sexual equality ombudsman had ruled that it was not sexual discrimination to require women to bathe with tops on. The group then decided that obviously if women had to bathe with tops on that men should also. And swimming wear companies from the early 1900s rejoiced as they dusted off their full body swimming suit designs and winked smugly at each other as if they knew it was just a matter of time.
Luckily, for companies such as Speedo, and middle schools boys, the group did not give up. They fought on. Valiantly I might add. And they won. And now, women in Sundsvall can bathe topless if they so choose. While some might take this for a victory for women throughout Sweden, I see it as a shrewd marketing ploy by the Sundsvall Tourism board. I mean, who has actually been to Sundsvall? Not me. But now…
Welcome to Sweden.