Going topless is a standard practice in the Picornell pools in Barcelona, in a file photo.MASSIMILIANO MINOCRI
We saw the latest campaign of the Ministry of Feminism and Equality of the Government of Catalonia a few days ago, coinciding with the celebration of World Topless Day: “That you have to cover your chest is not normal, it is discrimination. That’s why, on World Topless Day, we remind you of your rights.”
I’ve had to watch it twice, I confess.
Not only because there are not a few public pools where topless swimming is prohibited; nor because in the same video that claims the presence of the boobs, what it shows is a male nipple, affirming that it is “free”.
But what impressed me the most is remembering that a few weeks ago the Government itself educated us with an infographic explaining the use and names of Islamic veils that, of course, are only used by women.
Because I don’t know how empowering it is to go topless, a practice, moreover, more than usual on our beaches and that our mothers already did (I know our grandmothers don’t, don’t call me nostalgic, it’s only been done for 50 years) .
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Come on, I’ve had to watch the campaign twice, because most women do what we please on the beach, without the counselor’s advice, and that, I’m afraid, is not the problem. The problem is those women who, obviously, cannot do what they like, and to them, I would say, this should not be directed, but rather a specific campaign -perhaps in Catalan, Spanish, English and Arabic-.
Because it seems to me a lie that they don’t think about all those women, who, as Pujol would say, are Catalan because they live and work here and who should also have the support of the administrations to get rid of the hijab, the chador… garments that, I remind the counselor, sexualize and discriminate against women, even though in some other Catalan municipality its use has been celebrated and claimed, also at the hands of ERC.
They will say that I mix issues, or they will call me Islamophobic, but the truth is that the same call for bodily freedom that is made by the Generalitat should involve all of us, because the use of a garment such as the hijab is not the result of the free decision of women, but of patriarchal imposition, which is why it is surprising that this government campaigns in favor of the practice of toples and does not even mention the use of the hijab, which, by the way, is becoming more and more frequent on our beaches and swimming pools. It seems that what is modern is not to do what a woman wants, but to show her breasts because the Generalitat says that this is liberation and to cover her hair because the imam demands it and the Generalitat says that it is multiculturalism. And both with public sponsorship.
What is feminist, Madam Counselor, is not advising that we take off the top part of the bikini, but daring to claim the rights of women, of all women, and fight against all forms of oppression and discrimination. Of course that, I suppose, gives more headaches than empty applause.
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