Taipei strips Bikini Night over protest
By Melody Teng, Special to the China Post
July 6, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The summer event Bikini Night, planned by the Taipei City Government, was cancelled following complaints from feminist groups, the Taipei City Government announced yesterday.
The Taipei City Youth Park swimming pool announced on July 2 a new event called Bikini Night. The event, which was aimed at boosting sales at the park, involved offering women who wore bikinis free entrance every Wednesday night during summer.
Numerous local women's groups responded to news of the event with criticism, describing it as sexist. The groups held a joint press conference in Taipei yesterday to protest against the event.
The president of Taiwan Women's Link (台灣女人連線), Huang Shu-ying (黃淑英), questioned how the Youth Park, a government-operated public park and swimming pool, could overlook such matters of gender equality.
"The swimming pool at the Taipei City Youth Park even set regulations that the bikini bottoms need to be in the V-cut style and that those wearing shorts- or briefs-style bikinis would not be granted free entry," said Huang.
Huang argued that the act of objectifying women can damage public perceptions of the place of women in society, something for which feminists have been fighting for improvement. Huang expressed that she opposed such acts that converted the female body into a mere object for the satisfaction of people's sexual desire. She criticized the Youth Park for exploiting the female body as a sales strategy.
Not everyone agreed with the groups' opinions. According to a manager of Lih Pao Land (麗寶樂園), a water park, bikinis have been a tradition of summer, one which values having fun and getting in touch with nature. Chen Kung-cheng (陳功錚), assistant manager at Bada Forest Paradise (八大森林樂園), another theme park, said many people did not see wearing bikinis as demeaning to women but as something cheerful and enjoyed even by moms and little girls playing together at the beach during summer.