Spain urges women to swim topless to ‘combat discrimination’
Do you want to fight gender discrimination? Go topless!
This is the message authorities in Catalonia, Spain, are delivering to women in the region as part of a new campaign to end the sexualization of the female body.
Catalonia’s Department of Equality and Feminism has produced an advertisement promoting women’s right to swim topless in public pools after some complained that they had been banned from going topless, said first reported The Telegraph.
“The sexualization of women begins when they are young and accompanies us throughout our lives. That we had to cover our breasts in certain spaces is proof of that,” the video released on Wednesday states.
The campaign also highlights the double standard in modern society, which gives men a pass to go outside shirtless, but shames women for doing the same.
To drive the point home, the ad shows a man’s bare torso, with overlaid text that reads: « this nipple is free », followed by a photo of a topless woman covering her breasts with her hands, accompanied by the caption: « this one is not.
Neus Pociello, executive director of the Catalan Women’s Institute, told the Telegraph the aim of the campaign was to stamp out gender discrimination.
“We wanted to try to tackle the discrimination that women sometimes suffer when going topless in certain situations like swimming pools. Women should have the right to freedom of expression with their bodies,” Pociello told the point of sale.
Across Spain, women are allowed to go topless on public beaches, but local governments are free to set their own rules when it comes to municipal swimming pools. The same goes for private pools.
Catalonia’s pro-topless swimming initiative follows a controversy that was sparked by a summer advertising campaign launched by Spain’s left-leaning government encouraging taller, older women to hit the beach.
Ads featuring slogans such as « all bodies are beach bodies » and « summer is ours too » drew a backlash from critics who called them condescending.