In Germany, the topless pool revolution

“Change is on the way”, enthused daily newspaper. In Hamburg, in northern Germany, elected officials from the local Social Democratic Party (SPD) are preparing to put legislation to the vote allowing topless swimming in municipal swimming pools, regardless of gender.

If the proposal is adopted – “which is very likely” –, the dress code imposed on women and non-binaries will be less strict, in the name of the principle of equality.

“These people should soon have the same choices as men.”

According to the left-leaning Berlin headline, legislation that goes this far, without restrictions on days or times, has never been implemented in Germany. “If in Berlin, Düsseldorf or Munich, you can already walk around and sunbathe topless in certain places, it remains prohibited in the swimming pools.”

Göttingen, pioneer city

The debate around bathing is not new across the Rhine. In Göttingen, topless swimming for women and non-binary people is even already allowed on weekends. A measure implemented as part of a four-month pilot project, launched in May 2022.

The previous year, explains the daily, a person had been expelled by the lifeguards of the Badeparadies Eiswiese complex, in the city of Lower Saxony, after having removed his swimsuit top. But this person “didn’t want to be categorized into a particular genre”.

Subsequently, the incident took on a national dimension. “The alliance All the same chest had called to demonstrate in many cities”, ultimately prompting the authorities to take action.

A national movement

Other major German cities could decide to reform the dress rules in force in swimming pools. “In Hanover, it seems for a few days that some elected officials want to follow the example of Göttingen and Hamburg”ensures the daily newspaper.

In Berlin, where only certain private pools allow topless bathing, this type of initiative could also be examined. A year ago, a woman filed a complaint after being reprimanded by the police for sunbathing topless at the edge of a swimming pool in the capital. If the complainant wins her case in court, political consequences could follow.

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