Göttingen will be the first city in Germany to permit female topless swimming at indoor and outdoor pools. A measure aimed at increasing gender equality made this possible.
Bathing topless is now allowed for a limited time period as test limited to weekends (from May 1st to end of the August) in Germany.
“This decision” means that swim without wearing top for women are now allowed in public pools. L’Essentiel writes, “The city has become a forerunner in the country concerning the debate on equal treatment between the sexes, by permitting women to show their bare torso in aquatic leisure establishments such as swimming pools.”
The gender-equality debates
The committee’s temporary regulation requiring topless swimming for all swimmers at weekends is likely due to the row over gender identity last year.
The transgender swimmer was expelled from the pool due to their refusal to cover up. After arguing with staff, they were subsequently banned. DW reports on the story of a transgender man who was asked to cover up at his local pool. Despite asserting his identity as male, he was expelled from the premises.
A woman was removed from a pool because she wanted to bathe without a shirt on. The person who threw the woman out recognized her as a man and has changed the rules so that women can’t wear swimwear in the indoor pool, whether they identify as male or female.
Limited progress for gender equality
The measure would advance the debate on equal treatment for men and women in leisure spaces. The principal questions were; why can men publicly expose their bodies but not women, and why must female bodies always be sexualized.
Göttingen debates whether “limited equality” is fair. The new provides women are only allowed to swim topless during the weekends for a few months, as opposed to men who can go to parks and sunbathe torso-nude at any time.
Some residents are opposed to the change because it limits school swimming lessons, which take place during the week. Officials insist that the new practice will not harm these lessons as long as they occur outside of school hours.
Germany is more inclined to go “textile free” according to several articles published earlier. Articles about Germany’s tolerance for nudity point to the fact that Germans have a fondness for being textile free. In many cases, Germans are known to revel in their de-clothing, whether in spas or on lakes.
Women have new right to swim topless in public pools
Since nudity is legal and accepted in Germany, the global attention that has been generated following the recent event in Göttingen was surprising.
The Göttingen Tagerblad is amazed that small town in the middle of Germany is now internationally known. The town is famous because here, women are able to show their breasts at the swimming pool.
“Topless” is an artistic movement with roots in the early 2000s that explores gender equality. In a few different countries, women are allowed to walk topless in public pools and beaches because of this movement. In others, including British Columbia, Germany has embraced this idea.