Can't Legally Stop Women From Being Topless - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Can’t Legally Stop Women From Being Topless

Published April 3, 2017

Nanna Árnadóttir
Photos by
Wikimedia Commons

There are no legal grounds for municipalities banning women from being topless at Icelandic swimming pools, says Supreme Court Lawyer, Unnar Steinn Bjarndals.

RÚV reports that Unnar told Reykjanesbær’s Sports and Leisure Council that it can’t legally insist that women cover their breasts while visiting public swimming pools.

The council, who sought Unnar’s advice on the issue are attempting to clarify dress codes for public swimming pools as there weren’t any specific guidelines, merely an unwritten rule that women wear bikini tops if not a full swimsuit.

In light of Unnar’s ruling Reykjanesbær and Reykjavík municipality have released statements announcing that people can wear however much or however little they’d like so long as they wear swim bottoms.

Unnar said that even if a municipality wished to ban women from going topless they’d be in for an uphill battle as they’d have to prove not only legal precedent but also that toplessness somehow infringed common decency.

Additionally, banning women from going topless goes against equality between the sexes, Unnar’s judgment reads, it would be easy to argue that prohibiting women from being topless was discrimination and likely a violation of women’s right to express themselves.

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