Women fight for right to bare breasts

Published: 20 Sep 07 12:32 CET
Online: http://www.thelocal.se/8557/20070920/

Dictionary tool Double click on a word to get a translation

Two female students are demanding their rights after they were banned from bathing topless at a swimming pool in Uppsala. If girls are forced to wear bikinis, boys should be too, one of the women told The Local.

Ragnhild Karlsson, 22, and her friend Kristin Karlsson, 21, live on the same corridor in a student residence in the university town. On September 5th they took a trip to the Fyrishov leisure complex, where they decided to hop in for a swim without their bikini tops.

Though the pool was full of swimmers, a female lifeguard eventually caught sight of the bare-breasted women and reached for her whistle.

"We had been swimming for a while without anybody paying us any attention when the guards called us to the side and told us to either put on a top or leave. So we left," Ragnhild Karlsson told The Local.

On Wednesday, the two women sent a letter to the Equal Opportunities Ombudsman explaining that they saw no reason for men an women to be treated differently. If anything, a bikini top could be accused of drawing unnecessary attention to a woman's breasts.

"It's a question of equality. I think it's a problem that women are sexualized in this way. If women are forced to wear a top, shouldn't men also have to?"

The two friends said they were surprised when they were approached by the lifeguards.

"We thought it was against the law to treat people differently," said Ragnhild Karlsson, who is studying to be a speech therapist. Her friend Kristin aims to practice occupational therapy.

Staff at the pool later referred to studies showing that crimes of a sexual nature were particularly common in swimming pool environments.

"Surely women should be allowed to decide for themselves whether they need protecting. And is it not strange that women should somehow bear responsibily for sex crimes carried out by men," said Ragnhild Karlsson.

But a spokeswoman for the leisure complex stood by their decision not to allow the women to bathe topless.

"Swimming pools generally require men to wear swimming trunks and women to wear either bikinis or one piece swimsuits," Inger Grotteblad told The Local.

"There are three reasons for this. First, there is a security aspect, then there is a hygiene issue and finally there is what we call 'prevailing manners and customs'. It is above all this last point which is important here," she added.

She also pointed out that the swimming complex always needed to bear in mind the preferences of its guests.

"We have a lot of visitors here, ranging from families with children to the elderly. We also have people from different ethnic backgrounds. We want all of them to be able to enjoy themselves when they come here.

"This issue is new to us and we welcome the debate. It is important that everybody gets to voice their opinion, from families with children to naturists, older people and Muslim women. We have asked our governing body to look into this and hope they will come back to us with recommendations," said Grotteblad.

Paul O'Mahony (paul.omahony@thelocal.se/08 656 6513)

Fark It! Digg This Facebook  Share everywhere
Send to a friend Printable version Twitter This
Today's headlines
Sweden to recognize Armenian genocide

Sweden to recognize Armenian genocide

The Swedish parliament voted on Thursday in favour of a motion to recognize the 1915 Armenian genocide, prompting Turkey to recall its ambassador from Stockholm. READ (90 COMMENTS) »

Police identify Uruguayan star's tormentors

Police identify Uruguayan star's tormentors

Police have identified nine of the sixteen Hammarby supporters who crashed an AIK training session on Wednesday and threatened Uruguayan international midflieder Sebastián Eguren. READ (1 COMMENT) »

Swedish security police eye terror T-shirts

Swedish security police eye terror T-shirts

Swedish security service Säpo has said it is monitoring Danish clothing firm Fighters + Lovers, which relocated to Sweden last year after six of its members were convicted of supporting terrorism. READ (9 COMMENTS) »

Murder plot suspects kept for questioning

The seven people arrested on Tuesday on suspicion of a suspected plot to assassinate Swedish cartoonist Lars Vilks have had their periods of detention extended by an Irish court for another three days of questioning. READ »

Ambassador 'concerned' over sudden Roma influx

Sweden's ambassador in Belgrade has expressed concern over the number of Serbian citizens seeking asylum in Sweden in the wake of a recent relaxation of visa restrictions. READ »

Auschwitz theft suspect awaits extradition

Auschwitz theft suspect awaits extradition

Former Swedish neo-Nazi Anders Högström is to be extradited to Poland in connection with the theft of the "Arbeit Macht Frei" sign from the Auschwitz death camp, Stockholm district court ruled on Thursday. READ (4 COMMENTS) »

Bicycle thieves pedal off with Malmö art work

A bronze sculpture worth 136,000 kronor ($19,000) was stolen from an art gallery in Malmö on Wednesday evening. Two men smashed a window, grabbed their loot and fled on their bikes. READ (2 COMMENTS) »

Källström jubilant as Lyon eject Real Madrid

Källström jubilant as Lyon eject Real Madrid

Swedish midfielder Kim Källström is set to play a part in the quarter-finals of the Champions League after Lyon held off the challenge of Spanish giants Real Madrid on Wednesday. READ (1 COMMENT) »

More National

Blog Update: Boston Blatte

12 March 00:59

 »

"Sweden’s parliament voted today to recognize the Armenian genocide (article). While I generally stand clear of political controversy in my blog (mostly since no one ever wins and inevitably there’s some nutter who is going to try to draw some moronic comparison to something completely unrelated and irrelevant) everything unbridled in me emotionally is thrilled. ..." READ »

Highlights
RESTAURANTS »
Find a table at Sweden's best restaurants - then review them on The Local in our new restaurant section
Josh Rouse
LIFESTYLE »
What's On in Sweden: March 12th - 18th Josh Rouse hits Gothenburg with his guitar; international comedy in Stockholm; hot house music in Malmö.
Photo: www.erikolsson.se
GALLERY »
Property of the Week
Photo: www.stureplan.se
GALLERY »
Out on the town: March 5-6
Photo: Winston Davidian
OPINION »
'Inflexible welfare model keeping young Swedes out of work'
Photo: Anastasia Pirvu
GALLERY »
Stockholm/Uppsala Street Style, March 7-8
Photo: www.finest.se
GALLERY »
The weekend's 'finest': March 5-6
Photo: Scanpix
SPONSORED ARTICLE
Should I join a union?: We weigh up the pros and cons of becoming a member.
Photo: Piteå Kommun
SPONSORED ARTICLE
Swedish Rail Destinations with SJ: Piteå is best known as a summer destination, but wintertime offers skating across the ice in the Gulf of Botnia and cosy dinners in the pretty town centre.
Latest news from The Local in Germany
Blog
  • Film studio Sweden
    Sweden – with its midnight sun, northern lights and desolate areas with certainty of snow – is attracting filmmakers from all around the world. Besides an exotic environment, Sweden has other...
  • Veronica Hedenmark
    “I’d like to travel and fly without having to think about the practical arrangements — but the practical part severely restricts my movements,” says entrepreneur Veronica Hedenmark, who uses an...
  • Victoria Webster
    Victoria Webster became Sweden’s first specialist in emergency medical care. This attracted considerable media attention, since she has a cerebral palsy (CP)* disorder.
  • Jesper Odelberg
    “I want people to stop seeing the wheelchair and instead see the person sitting in it — only then can we be treated as equals,” says comedian and musician Jesper Odelberg.
Essentials

Jobs - in Sweden, in English
Get your career on track with our job listings from Sweden's top employers.

Property - renting or buying in Sweden
Navigating the minefield of renting or buying an apartment or house in Sweden.

Weather
"There is no bad weather, just bad clothes," say the Swedes. Here's the forecast for everyone else.

Introducing...
Every week The Local serves up a spicy helping of Swedish celebrity for your delectation.

Stockholm Syndrome
Tales of crazy Swedish classes, hamfisted attempts to understand - and explain - real Swedes, and varied experiences of fellow foreigners gathered for your amusement.

Search News


Register

Register now for:
> Free use of noticeboard
> Special discounts
> Weekly news roundup
> Unlimited use of discuss

REGISTER FOR FREE »

Jobs in Sweden, in English

439 jobs in Sweden, in English
129 new jobs this week
0 new jobs today

ALL JOBS »

JOB: Digital Ad Operations Coordinator - Stockholm
The Local seeks a digital advertising specialist to administer advertising operations for our network of sites
FULL JOB DETAILS
JOB: Financial editor - Stockholm
Handelsbanken Capital Markets seeks a talented individual to join their equity and fixed income research editing team
FULL JOB DETAILS
Counseling in English Individuals & Couples - Stockholm
Beth Rogerson PhD - Clinical, Marriage & Family Therapist
Click or call 08-5580 1266 now
JOB: Sales manager - Stockholm
The Local is seeking a talented media sales professional to drive our online advertising sales
FULL JOB DETAILS
Visiting Stockholm?
Then you'll find The Local's new Stockholm Section useful. Find pics, guides, news and lots of useful information about Stockholm.
www.thelocal.se/stockholm
The Local's new Marketplace
Find products and services that are specifically focused on English speakers living in Sweden!
FULL DETAILS
Welcome to Adlon Hotel in Stockholm
A perfect location both for business and pleasure. Centrally located, with atmosphere.
www.adlon.se
Winter archipelago tours
Visit Stockholm's beautiful archipelago. Great boat tours for all preferences.
MORE INFORMATION
Doctor of Psychology
Therapy in English

David Schultz PsyD
Individuals & couples
In Stockholm in person or by phone or video conferencing
www.anxiousorblue.se
Play football in Stockholm
Kick-off the new football season with LFC, Stockholm's premier English-speaking football club.
MORE INFO