A safe swim for women at MSU

The Otto Recreation Center hosted the first “Women’s only open swim” of the semester. Women all across campus were invited to come to the Highland Pool for a few hours, where they were free to swim, chat and encourage each other in a safe environment.

I sat down with Deqo Ali, a member of the Student Government and the organizer of the event, said she enjoyed open swim.

“I like swimming, even though I’m not very good at it. And I’ve met so many people here, especially girls, that voiced that they would love to swim, especially when it’s really hot out,” she said. “But it always comes down to the same thing, we don’t really feel comfortable with guys coming there or just having that open space.”

The open swim was relatively private, by having the main door to the pool locked as well as having female lifeguards on duty, it created a very welcoming environment for not only women, but those who may struggle with body confidence or by being around large crowds. Floaties and pool noodles were also provided for attendees, all in all, comfort and safety were high priorities for this event.

“We’re always in that survival mode. We always have that anxiety, and just having a space where you can kinda let go and just enjoy,” Ali said. “Where it’s not just a mental thing but also your body’s doing exercise, and you’re just having that sensory feeling. You know you’re the only one there, you’re with women that support you, I think it’s just very helpful. Mentally, physically, emotionally as well.”

If you’re interested in attending an event like this in the future, it’s highly likely that there will be another open swim in the spring semester. You can also visit the MSU’s Women’s Center located in CSU 218 for more information on events or to find a women’s only space.

Write to Ellie Meschke at eleanor.meschke@my.normandale.edu

Header Photo: The Campus Rec Center invited women to attend women’s only open swim Tuesday from 3-5 p.m. at the Highland pool to provide a safe, fun afternoon. (Alexis Darkow/The Reporter)

One thought on “A safe swim for women at MSU

  • danielsebold

    This article is just another American male bash. We males are predators. A safe swim for males where we could swim in our Speedo bikinis without being body shamed is totally unconscionable in progressive, multicultural Mankato. Boys swimming teams across the country wear knee length swimming suits now.

    We males are the body shamed gender. When was the last time you saw a young man in a g string or even a Speedo bikini? You can’t even find Speedos in progressive, liberal Minnesota anymore in the sporting goods stores or at Target, but you can find them at Robinson’s Department store here in Bangkok, the transgender capital of the world. The silly “woke” crowd in the States is all talk and no go. Come to Bangkok and check out our “katuis” in hot pants down on Pat Pong in Silom. (It was difficult, a very self-conscious exercise in homophobia back in the seventies in the USA for any young male to go shopping for such attire in the men’s section at Dayton’s, but now it is outright impossible.)

    I was last summer on a public swimming beach in Blaine, Minnesota. There were teenage girls in bikinis and g strings there. No boys in bikinis or g strings. Believe me, it is not allowed. There are police cameras on the beach to insure we males behave. At least women can wear that stuff.

    You can verify it scientifically. Just go to a USA beach and start counting, or bring up a “Miami Beach Party” video on You Tube and start counting: it is all women in g strings and all males in burka shorts down to their knees. “End sexism” is what our feminist mothers and grandmothers always talked about. I guess they got what they wanted. They never meant ending sexism against males. Just look at the result of the last sixty years of ninth wave feminism.

    Daniel Sebold
    MSU English/Spanish alumnus currently in Bangkok, Thailand, the land of the free.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.