• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

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

Oliver Gee · 6 Feb 2014, 11:53

Published: 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."
Story continues below…
 
"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)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Brussels attacks
Swedish terror suspect 'dumped bomb in toilet'
Osama Krayem. Photo: Facebook

Belgian media report that Osama Krayem tried to dispose of the explosives before carrying them onto the Brussels metro system.

Eurovision 2016
Regional politicians hit out at Sweden's Eurovision flag ban
Lots of flag-waving at Eurovision. Photo: AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson

Spanish politicians have criticized Swedish Eurovision organizers after a regional flag was banned alongside that of Isis from the competition in Stockholm.

Eight charged over shooting at Gothenburg restaurant
People leaving flowers at the scene of the fatal shooting last year. Photo: TT

The attack last spring left two people dead in one of the most high-profile shootings in Sweden in recent years.

Swedes want answers from Russia after Nato warning
Russian T-14 Armata tanks make their way to Red Square during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in May. Photo: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

UPDATED: What exactly does Russia's foreign minister mean when he says his country will "take action" if Sweden joins Nato?

Two historic shipwrecks found right in central Stockholm
Divers looking for a ship in central Stockholm. Photo: Anders P Näsberg/Statens maritima museer

Another two shipwrecks dating back to at least the 1600s have been found in central Stockholm.

Alicia Vikander scoops lead role in new Tomb Raider
Alicia Vikander poses at the Scandinavian terrace during the 68th Cannes film festival last May. Photo: Jean Christophe Magnenet/AFP

The next Lara Croft will be a Swede.

Brussels terror suspect wants jail time in Sweden
Osama Krayem. Photo: Facebook

Osama Krayem wants to come home if found guilty.

The Local Recipes
How to make Sweden's famous veal burgers
Photo: John Duxbury

These mouth-watering burgers, or Wallenbergare, are a classic at Swedish restaurants. Food writer John Duxbury shares his recipe with The Local.

Russia's foreign minister warns Sweden off Nato
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Photo: Ivan Sekretarev/TT

Sergey Lavrov also blamed Sweden for a breakdown in relations between the countries in an interview with newspaper Dagens Nyheter.

Eurovision 2016
Swedes create world's first crowdsourced singing voice
Screenshot from the 'Sound of Europe' video by Tele2.

Can tech, connectivity and Eurovision help the world unite?

Sponsored Article
Kista: The best office space in Sweden?
Analysis & Opinion
Why Sweden's fretting about Brexit
Sponsored Article
Why international researchers love to call Malmö home
National
INTERVIEW: Swedish police officer 'beat me up and used racial slurs'
Gallery
People-watching: April 27th
Blog updates

29 April

Editor’s blog, April 29th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Relations between Sweden and Russia went from slightly strained to full-on James Bond this…" READ »

 

18 April

A day as a guard (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Life as an Ambassador. Driven around in the Jaguar. Visits all planned so you go straight…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
‘Life in Stockholm’s suburbs is better than people realize’
National
Öresund bridge border checks net record number of drink drivers
Sponsored Article
'A huge waste of resources': how to fix integration
National
Swedes bid farewell to iconic Volvo
Gallery
Property of the week: Enköping
Gallery
People-watching: April 22nd-24th
Sponsored Article
'A sustainable Sweden must embrace diversity'
Politics
Could Brits in Europe stop Brexit?
Sponsored Article
What's the best way for expats to transfer money abroad?
National
The first official picture of Sweden's new royal Prince Alexander
National
Sweden's Sami reindeer still live in the shadow of Chernobyl
Sponsored Article
Sigtunaskolan: 'The best of what Sweden has to offer'
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: April 20th
Sponsored Article
How to launch your international career
National
Why was a Nazi flag hoisted in a Swedish town on Hitler's birthday?
National
How did Sweden's deputy PM get in trouble over New York comments?
Sponsored Article
Becoming an expat: where to start
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: April 16th-17th
Sponsored Article
'I may work at a Swedish company, but we’re global'
Culture
Sweden finally axes historic dancing ban
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: Stockholm's secret dating scene
International
Have you phoned Sweden yet?
Sponsored Article
'Swedes must realize only soft power can defeat radicalism'
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: April 13th
National
Is booze going up in Sweden?
National
How Sweden's fake 'smombie' traffic sign is being used for real
Culture
Sweden's Tarzan drops trousers
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: April 9th-10th
Sport
Zlatan wants to be new 'Rambo'
National
Swedes in a huff about giant TV penis
3,244
jobs available
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:
psdmedia.se