“Swedish women have launched a campaign called Just Breasts which fights for their right to go topless on beaches and in swimming pools. Scandinavian feminists were outraged when two women were asked to cover up their breasts by a lifeguard at a public pool near Stockholm.”
The news has also reached ex-red paper La Libération and the question being posed by the Scandinavian ladies is simple: Why should we cover our breasts at the pool when men do not act likewise? The campaign has a Swedish name that translates simply into “Just Breasts”. It’s not a fluke like the recent one that made the news in Malta – it’s a real campaign and it advocates just the opposite of what the fake “MinusTwo” campaign purportedly wanted to achieve.
It will be rather interesting to see how far this thing goes. Interesting because it is an attack on the general mores coming from a very different angle. This time there is no religious belief lurking around behind the different attitude. This is no veil or burka, it is the right to rid onself of material that is in question. It is the right to bathe topless without becoming some sort of pariah.
When I first read the news I thought that it was a bit strange. Actually my first reaction was “Cool!” as I imagined a dozen scandinavian babes fighting for their rights on the beaches. Solidarnosc was little more than a basic instinct at that point. Then, as the testosterone levels subsided and I read more into this article I could not but compare with recent “social issues” that we have faced in our iPod society. The right to cover and the right to uncover… how to protect both and reconcile the two? Will this be the new battleground? Are Europe and its nations ready for a liberal interpretation of rights that allow for peaceful coexistence and tolerance?
I also remembered a documentary about Palestine and its beaches full of swimmers clad from head to toe in black as they swam fully clothed (see picture). The theme was that of a happy, observant Muslim community. No Swedes there, that’s for sure.
So is the world big enough for all of us? A funny way to examine the clash of civilisations. But I guess that it too will have to be done.