Amanda Hansson boarded the bus in Malmo on Friday in the midst of Sweden’s heatwave, wearing shorts and a camisole top. But she was told by the driver that her clothing contravened the bus company’s dress code, as she was showing too much skin.
“I asked him what sort of sexist s**t he was trying to pull, but he just continued to say that I should cover myself up,” Hansson told the a local newspaper.
The incident was reported by national media, and has prompted severe criticism from women’s rights campaigners, though the bus company was quick to state it had no policy regarding customer clothing.
Sara Mohammad, chair of Never forget Pela and Fadime, which campaigns against so-called honour culture and female body shaming, told *The Local*that she had been shocked by the bus driver’s behaviour.
“What gives a bus driver the right to decide if a woman has ‘unsuitable clothing’ on?” she said. “It was good that Amanda rejected that. I wish all women rejected this, whether it’s from a bus driver, or a father, or a mother or an uncle, whoever it is. It’s my body. I own it.”
After the story was first reported, the local transport authority and the bus company apologised. The driver has been suspended from his post until an internal investigation is completed.
The traffic director Linus Erixon immediately addressed the incident via Twitter. “Something went wrong,” he wrote. “Of course people are welcome on board our buses and trains in shorts and a camisole.”