Canadian woman fights for right to swim topless

  • 22/07/2017
topless woman
A woman filed a human rights complaint after being told she wasn't allowed to swim topless in pools. Photo credit: Getty

A Canadian woman looking for somewhere to take her husband for his birthday says she's frustrated because no hotels will let get in the pool without a top on.

The woman, who has not been named, has now filed a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal.

Her lawyer, Marie-Pier Dupont, told CBC News she was not given any reason why she could not swim topless. She said while controversial legally it's straightforward.

"In this case, I think, every lawyer would tell you essentially the same thing, which is that the human rights code prohibits that type of discrimination."

But she said there had been some critique of the woman calling ahead of booking a reservation. 

"Some people have suggested that it's kind of dishonest of her to do a complaint without actually having been a client. The real reasoning behind that is simply because she doesn't want to be put in a situation where she would be publicly humiliated."

Ms Dupont said the Ontario Human Rights Code says every person has a right to equal treatment, regardless of sex of gender.

"At all those facilities a man could show up without a top, and he would be allowed to swim that way, "she said.

"But they discriminate against women because of some type of different conception of the woman's breast versus man's breast."

Since the case was filed, at least three of the hotels she approached now allow women to swim without a top.

But others said places for families and children should not be sites where women can swim topless.

Ms Dupont said there was no difference between female and male breasts, and that if men were allowed to go around without a top then women shouldn't be treated any differently.