Culture

Pink Is Offering To Pay The Fines Of A Women’s Volleyball Team Who Didn’t Want To Wear Bikinis

"I'm VERY proud of the Norwegian female beach handball team FOR PROTESTING THE VERY SEXIST RULES ABOUT THEIR 'uniform'."

pink photo

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Pink has offered to pay the 1500€ fine (about AU$2400) served to the Norwegian women’s beach handball team after they defied sexist uniform standards and wore shorts instead of the bikini bottoms.

The Norwegian team went against uniform regulations at the European Beach Handball Championships in Bulgaria recently, wearing what the European Handball Federation (EHF) said was “improper clothing … shorts that are not according to the Athlete Uniform Regulations defined in the IHF Beach Handball Rules of the Game.”

The rules stipulate that “Male athletes must wear shorts … Female athletes must wear bikini bottoms … with a close fit and cut on an upward angle toward the top of the leg. The side width must be of a maximum of 10 centimetres.” Um… okay. Gross.

The fine made international news, and even Pink spotted it, hailing them for “protesting the very sexist rules about their uniform”.

In response to the international outcry, the EHF said the matter of the uniforms had been raised at the EHF Congress in April, as raised by the Norwegian Handball Federation, and that it would table suggestions with the newly elected Beach Handball Commission in August – it has to go through a formal process and be approved by the International Handball Federation Council.

The organisation has also donated the money to “a major international sports foundation which supports equality for women and girls in sports,” in response to the blowback.

This is part of a movement of female-identifying athletes pushing back against uniform codes and stereotypes, including the German gymnast team at the Tokyo Olympics wearing full-length unitards that stretch to the ankle, rather than the typical hip-high cut leotards.