• Sweden edition
 
Swede of the Week
Swede's 'Sexist of the Year' boob up for grabs
The gender photographer Tomas Gunnarsson. Photo: Tomas Gunnarsson

Swede's 'Sexist of the Year' boob up for grabs

Published: 06 Feb 2014 11:53 GMT+01:00
Updated: 06 Feb 2014 11:53 GMT+01:00

Who was the most sexist person in Sweden in 2013? 
 
Gender studies lecturer Tomas Gunnarsson, aka the Gender Photographer (genusfotografen), posed this question on his blog on Sunday and almost 200,000 visitors have taken notice. The blog entry lists a collection of "nominees" and offers readers a chance to vote for who they think has been the worst example of blatant sexism.
 
The winner... or perhaps loser... gets the title of "Sexist of the Year 2013" and will receive a mug in the shape of a golden breast (Guldtuttmuggen in Swedish) that Gunnarsson made himself.
 
Nominees include a topless woman used on the homepage of a high-end Stockholm eatery, the TT news agency for erecting a Nicki Minaj "breast wall", and Anders Vendel, a chef whose Facebook page featured nearly naked women cooking in the kitchen.
 
And people have responded.
 
"There's been an overwhelmingly positive response from people who want to take part in the voting," 31-year-old Gunnarsson tells The Local. "I had the modest hope that 1,000 people would vote, and I said if I can get that many, then I will personally deliver the golden boob mug. So far there've been 17,000."
 
genusfotografen.se
 
But the clear front runner, Gunnarsson explains, is an ad campaign from American Apparel that saw unisex clothes advertised using fully clothed men but near-naked women. 
 
"That's the worst one. If you look at the images, the women have nothing on them besides the shirt. They're walking around an empty apartment with a polo stick while the man stands there looking cool, slightly sedated, upright, not pleasing the viewer, it's the perfect example of the male gaze."
 
 
He says the images remind him of child porn, and adds when he once showed the pictures in a lecture, people working with rehabilitating sexual abuse victims almost jumped out of their chair. So what drives the Swede to blog about something that's already made headlines around the world?
 
"These scandals blow over very quickly and there isn't much analysis," he explains. "I haven't seen anyone actually comparing these kinds of pictures and looking for a connection, or giving an academic perspective. There have been a lot of sexism scandals in Sweden and I don't know if we're getting more allergic to sexism or if there is some kind of a backlash going on."
 
Blogging, he explains, is a much quicker outlet to "hack the media" and to thoroughly share his theories in a manner anyone can understand.
 
So why do Swedes care so much about finding the sexist of the year? Isn't Sweden meant to be one of the most gender equal countries on earth? Indeed, a quick Google of "sexism in Sweden" points immediately to examples of gender equality, such as the recent news that Stockholm cinemas had introduced a test to acknowledge gender bias in films.
 
Has the world got the wrong idea?
 
"For Swedes, this kind of self-satisfied image of us being the most equal in the world is a bit delusional. Compared to other countries, sure, Sweden is more equal, and there are a lot of concrete examples of this on paper," he says, pointing to prostitution laws and splitting parental leave between the father and mother.
 
"But we have raging misogyny on the internet directed at female journalists and commentators - at any kind of women with opinions. And we have extremely shocking and stupefying examples of rape cases where women have screamed 'no', or had 2.0 promille of alcohol in their blood, and still the court has ruled that the rapist didn't know she was drunk, or thought it was some kind of BDSM thing."
 
"When you hear things like that it makes you want to say 'stop deluding yourselves'. Wishful thinking and praising ourselves won't get us the distance we still need to go."
 
With people joining his fight to crush sexism in Sweden, he hardly needs to keep an eye out for further examples of it in the media, with Swedes using Gunnarsson's Twitter account as a fast track to alert him to anything they find odd. 
 
As for the Sexist of the Year, voting closes at 8pm on Friday, but that won't be the end of Gunnarsson's fight. Having built a successful brand as the mouthpiece of a movement, he plans to take his show on the road, but he's tight lipped about details. 
 
"I'm planning an exhibition that I hope can be crowd funded," he tells The Local. "But I can't reveal anything more than that for now."
 
Editor's Note: The Local's Swede of the Week is someone in the news who - for good or ill - has revealed something interesting about the country. Being selected as Swede of the Week is not necessarily an endorsement.
 

Oliver Gee (oliver.gee@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Late summer sun set to hit Sweden

Late summer sun set to hit Sweden

Forecasters have predicted sunshine across Sweden this week, with a warm front moving in from Russia and temperatures of up to 25C. READ  

International police hunt
Swedish killer arrested after European hunt
Photo: Police

Swedish killer arrested after European hunt

UPDATED: Police arrested a man on Tuesday afternoon after he went missing from a psychiatric ward in western Sweden at the weekend. The man had been convicted of murdering a five-year-old schoolgirl in 2003. READ  

Music
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Swedish singer Tove Lo. Photot: TT

The five best Swedish songs of the month

The summer may be (almost) over but the music will keep on playing here at The Local. Our resident music guru Paul Connolly will be selecting his top new Swedish tracks for us in a new monthly feature. READ  

Hedgehog pet craze sweeps Sweden

Hedgehog pet craze sweeps Sweden

African pygmy hedgehogs are being bought by growing numbers of Swedes, as a trend for keeping exotic pets sweeps the country, the Department for Animal Welfare and Health tells The Local. READ  

Poisonous mushrooms cause stir in Sweden
The mushroom in this picture is not the same as the one from the story. Photo: Shutterstock

Poisonous mushrooms cause stir in Sweden

A person selling freshly-picked mushrooms in Gothenburg has come under fire after it turned out the delicacies were not only poisonous but also hallucinogenic. READ  

Pirate Bay founder case starts in confusion

Pirate Bay founder case starts in confusion

The largest hacking case in Danish history began in confusion on Tuesday, after lawyers representing Swedish Pirate Bay co-founder Gottfrid Svartholm Warg accused the prosecution of "unreasonable" tactics. READ  

Swedfund joins H&M in Ethiopia expansion

Swedfund joins H&M in Ethiopia expansion

As H&M expands into Ethiopia, Sweden's state venture capital unit Swedfund has announced that it will back the clothing giant, in a move hoped to create more jobs for local women. READ  

Elections 2014
Social Democrats reveal election manifesto
Photo: TT

Social Democrats reveal election manifesto

UPDATED: Sweden's main opposition party the Social Democrats has revealed its election manifesto at a press conference at a high school in Stockholm, with a key focus on education and welfare benefits. READ  

Teen run over by train after 'shoplifting' chase

Teen run over by train after 'shoplifting' chase

A teenage boy is in a critical condition after he was hit by a passing metro train in Stockholm. The accident ground rail traffic to a halt, and has police suspecting attempted murder. READ  

Swimrun
Record win at Sweden's tough island race
Photo: Jakob Edholm/ÖTILLÖ14

Record win at Sweden's tough island race

Two Swedes crushed last year's course record at the Swimrun world championship in Stockholm's archipelago on Monday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Lifestyle
The five best Swedish songs of the month
Sponsored Article
Introducing… Insurance in Stockholm
National
Huge clear up underway after Skåne floods
Politics
Sweden's Alliance reveals full manifesto
Tech
Sweden's highest peak to lose title next year
Blog updates

02 September

America night (Blogweiser) »

" There was an event this weekend for the ‘Americans in Sweden’ Facebook group. I’m a member, and I brought my girls to the evening. The gathering was at a Boston-themed sportsbar in a mall. There were loads of screens, a bowling alley, a game room and a jumbotron. It was as good a place as any to..." READ »

 

25 August

Hit och dit, här och där (The Swedish Teacher) »

" Hej igen! A common challenge for Swedish language students are the location adverbs hit/här, dit/där, hem/hemma etc. Some of the location adverbs come in two versions. We should use one type of location adverb when we use a verb describes where we are, and we should use the other type of location adverb when we the verb..." READ »

 
 
 
Politics
How immigration became a key election issue
Society
Brit's life in Sweden becomes BBC radio show
Gallery
People-watching August 27
Gallery
Top ten false friends in Swedish
National
Roma advocate scoops Wallenberg prize
Society
Meet the man who made a Swedish store recall its high heels for kids
Business & Money
'How I came to run my own business in Sweden'
Politics
Expert explains why Sweden's election oozes uncertainty
National
City plays Schindler's List theme at Nazi rally
Society
For Stockholm Fashion Week, here's the A-Z of Swedish fashion
National
'Amnesiac' man avoids deportation for ten years
Gallery
Princess Estelle through the years
Business & Money
Swedish city all set for six-hour workday trial
Business & Money
Five golden rules for the Swedish job hunt
Sponsored Article
Graduates: Insure your income in Sweden with AEA
Gallery
People-watching August 22-24
National
Armed royal guards caught (very) drunk on the job
National
Sweden orders textbook on Roma discrimination
Gallery
Violent anti-Nazi demonstrations in Malmö
Society
A closer look at Sweden's five official minority languages
Sponsored Article
Find out what gives this Swedish school executive appeal
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Your finances in Stockholm
Sponsored Article
Introducing...Housing in Stockholm
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

746
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
http://psdmedia.se