After making a Swedish open-air swimming bath more inclusive for transgender people by eliminating gender-separate showers, changing rooms and toilets, men were found to be taking advantage of the opportunity to view naked women.
The program, which began in early May and is called “Queer Kallis,” was established in the heavily migrant populated city of Malmö and is held on the first Monday of the month at the open-air bath, Ribersborgs kallbadhus.
Although very few transgender people showed up for the events, men and boys attended for the purpose of entering facilities that normally allowed women only, Aftonbladet reported.
According to Jeanette Larsson, a lecturer in diversity issues who recently attended the open-air bath, “They were in the showers, in the restrooms, in the locker rooms, and on the bathing bridges. The place was invaded by men, not by transgenders from what I could see. Everything felt incredibly unpleasant.”
The presence of the men prompted many women to leave, Larsson said. She noted that some transgender people attended the event, but were also stared at and sometimes mocked by the men.
“It should be understood by anyone that it will be an open market for those who are only interested in looking at women’s bodies,” she said.
“Queer Kallis” was supported by female representatives of the Left Party and the Feminist Initiative Party. Municipality counselor Hanna Thomé of the Left Party remarked on the goings-on at the events, calling the men’s behavior an “expression of the patriarchal world we live in,” and adding her hopes that the program would not have to be terminated.
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