At Oceana, women not wearing bikinis are kicked out?!

Last summer, my husband and I who live in France went to Lebanon to visit family. While there, we decided to go to Oceana to enjoy the sunshine and cool water. I wore a two piece suit that included a tankini top and what they refer to as “shorty” or bottoms that don’t show your thighs.

A lifeguard approached me and told me to get up so he could see what I was wearing. I obliged and came up to the surface of the water. He told me I have to wear a swimsuit or get out.

I told him this is a swimsuit. He said “no”, it has to be a bikini top and a panty with laces on the side. So I flipped and told him why should I wear a bikini? He wasn’t wearing one.

So he got upset and said “I’m a man, I can’t wear a panty”. So I said “OK, so because I’m a girl, I should obliged your eyes so you can see my ass, but you don’t want to show yours”? He got upset because I started making a scene. He said, I have to get out because he didn’t consider what I was wearing to be a bikini.

So I asked him for the rules of the swimming club that pointed out that all females had to be in bikinis. He said I should go and speak to the manager if I had a problem, because he didn’t set the rules. So I told him that if the manager had a problem with my attire, then he should come and tell me himself. Furthermore, if he does have a problem, then my family and I are leaving and would like a refund.

Not only do they charge us horrendously four using the pool and God given beach, but they also want their female customers dressed in bikinis for the pleasure of their eyes. So he insisted on being stubborn and asked me to leave.

Then my husband interefered in English or French because he isn’t Lebanese. The lifeguard said he didn’t speak anything but arabic. Eventually, he agreed to go away.

On our way home, we stopped by the entrance to check the rules and found no mention of “bikinis”.

Life guards in Lebanon should be trained to prioritise safety NOT check out girls! Shame on Oceana!

Submitted by Anonymous

Location: Oceana Beach Club, Jiyyeh

Time of harassment:  16-20: Afternoon Rush Hour / العصر

Do you have a personal experience with sexual harassment or assault you would like to share? Please click here and fill out the online submission form. All submissions are posted anonymously unless you specify.

هل لديك تجربة شخصية مع التحرش الجنسي أو الاعتداء تريد مشاركته ؟ الرجاء الضغط هنا وملء استمارة التقديم على الانترنت. وتنشر جميع التقارير مجهول ما لم تحدد

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9 responses to “At Oceana, women not wearing bikinis are kicked out?!

  1. Why didn’t you call for the manager and get the lifeguard fired on the spot, especially if there’s no written rules and he was obviously hassling you? How did you know what the lifeguard said if he only spoke Arabic and you don’t. Sorry for your experience but a few more facts would have been more helpful and clarifying. Rather than being a victim or looking overly aggressive, maybe you should have taken a stand to make your point to defend yourself – yes I know you shouldn’t have to but, this is the world we live in. Your husband should be there to back you up rather than avoid making a scene. Just my 2 cents.

  2. She speaks Arabic, her husband doesn’t! So he couldn’t back her up.
    Thus in the Lebanese man versus Lebanese woman equation, Lebanese woman lost again.

    • I don’t think she lost, the guy left them alone and she did not mention leaving immediately. However, she definetly should complain.

  3. I am so sorry about your experience! Actually I am more surprised as i am a huge fan of La Suite Oceana and I reallly really love that place and the staff and I think they are very nice people and helpful.
    The music and the atmosphere is magnificent and I am pretty much shocked that a staff would ask you to leave the pool if you are wearing a swimming suit… I was not able to see other women with the same suits as your description but I am sure it idoesnt need to be a bikini as there are many of my friends who came along with me to the resort who wore one piece and it was never ever an issue!

    If I were you , I would have left the pool calmly when he talked to me and asked quitely to talk to the manager to understand, this way no scene can be made and I am sure he would have been very understanding.

    I am so sorry about what happened, I always recommend La Suite Oceana to everyone who is visiting Lebanon as it is truly a very nice place to be in and they have great parties 😦

    Everyone I recommended Oceana too, thanked me later. I am sorry this happened to you but don’t give up on the place 🙂

    • Hehe, a typically ridiculous Lebanese opinion: “I would have left the pool calmly when he talked to me and asked quitely to talk to the manager to understand, this way no scene can be made.”

      I get quite embarrased at Lebanese people at times, but this is one of the worst examples I’ve seen. Like, it’s up there right next to speeches made by Geagea or Aoun. She SHOULD make a scene. She -should- get a reaction out of the snobbish Lebanese lot who were there!

      And yes, she should’ve made even more of a scene, and got that dick fired.

      I’m always careful about not generalizing over any people. But Lebanese people unfortunately tend to push me towards that sort of generalization (as the -only- people in the world, I might add). A beautiful country, and the beautiful people there are truly beautiful. But in addition to finding the absolute best human beings there, you also find the absolute worst to have come out of the human race. Yeah, Lebanon is a love-hate thing for sure.

  4. Thanks for your comments to my testimony ladies. Just to clarify, yes I speak arabic, but my husband doesn’t. This is why he couldn’t back me up.
    For the record, I didn’t walk out…I continued to use the pool with my family and truthfully, when being unjustly judged, I prefer to make a scene and make it known rather than go and speak to the manager quietly. Honestly, I didn’t even think before making a scene because I was so shocked and upset.
    I don’t have anything against Oceana, but I thought it was necessary to write this testimony to ensure that ALL beach clubs train their lifeguards on customer tact and on priorities with regards to saftey. Sadly, Lebanon’s beach clubs are becoming more and more like meat markets rather than health clubs for people to enjoy the day with their families and friends swimming and taking in the sunshine. This summer, I also noted selective entrances into Riviera in Beirut. They were saying the club was full to certain people and free for others to enjoy.
    I just don’t understand why we have to stick to a certain attire for the pool as long as it is hygenic and safe. It’s not as if I was wearing a dress or jeans that could in fact unhygenic and unsafe.

  5. In Lebanon, so many people worry about ‘making a scene’ instead of actually looking at what is ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ in this life? For those of you who think that she should have avoided making a scene, that is bullshit if that is all you think about in life!
    To avoid making a scene, one will give up a lot of who they are in the process and thus a lot of what one’s principles- I wonder, how many sacrifices will one make or simply shut up to avoid a scene! Hell, if you are right, always take a stand! Go girl for standing up for your principles!
    In addition, we always tend to depend on our men in Lebanon to defend our rights…In this case, the husband in issue does not speak Arabic & thus was unable to defend his wife…As such, the lifeguard was probably appaled seeing a woman stand up to him like that- well get used to it! Women also have minds & are very intelligent & can very well defend themselves!
    So, to all the men out there who don’t expect women to open their mouths, get used to the idea, wake up and learn to never hampen on a woman’s rights!

  6. Its so upsetting that this happened, and actually this happened in the beginning summer of 2006 to my cousin as well. She was 13, visiting from California, and I took her to Oceana for the day. She was wearing swimwear that was also shorts and a more modest top, but still swim suit material. The lifeguard approached her and told her she wasn’t allowed to be in the pool since she wasn’t wearing a swim suit. I had been away for a minute and when i came back i found her crying! she didn’t speak arabic either and was so embarrassed by what had happened. I also had to make a scene with the lifeguard who eventually said it was fine but the day was ruined for her. all because she didn’t want to wear a revealing bikini.

  7. In my opinion girls shouldnt be allowed to go to the beach if not wearing a thong bikini.
    To be honest I once saved someones life in the swimming pool of oceana because the lifeguard was eating and watching the man drown

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