• 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
Cashless Swedes sitting on old bills worth billions

Old Swedish bank notes worth 1.4 billion kronor are still circulating, according to the country’s central bank, despite them having been declared invalid a month ago.

Stockholm one of world's best places to live: magazine
Living the dream. Photo: Hasse Holmberg/TT

Stockholm is the tenth best city in the world to live in, reckons this British magazine.

The Local Recipes
How to make Swedish 'Dream' cookies for fika
Now not only in your dreams. Photo: Jurek Holzer/SvD/SCANPIX

Want to fika but think cinnamon buns are too complicated? Try this recipe for a simple but yummy Swedish cookie.

Fears new funding rules could hobble Swedish startups
Elin Olsson funded the development of her innovative smoke detector through crowdfunding. Photo: Anders Andersson/TT

Crowdfunding is a risky business, but could Swedish plans to regulate it make it too hard for small companies to get investment?

Ikea recalls chocolate over nut allergy fears
Ikea has recalled several chocolate bars. Photo: Cornelius Poppe/NTB Scanpix/TT

Don't eat these bars if you are allergic to nuts or almonds.

Did this Swedish cop just make the arrest of the year?
Mikaela Kellner in action. Photo: Private

Imagine wrestling a criminal to the ground – while wearing a bikini.

Sweden's champion prawn peeler hauls in a big catch
Prawn peelers in action. Photo: Bengt Johansson

The Olympics are getting closer, but Sweden already has a new champion in an hotly contested "sport": prawn peeling.

Baby dies after midwife denies woman's request for c-section
Uppsala University Hospital. Photo: Fredrik Persson/TT

The midwife insisted on six attempts at vaginal birth before an emergency caesarean section was carried out.

Don't let them bite! Bedbugs proliferate in Swedish hotels
Swedish bedbug fighter Jonny Ström does his thing in 2014. Library photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

The number of bedbugs in Swedish hotels has doubled in recent years, according to figures from pest control firm Anticimex.

Swedish state agencies 'outsource jobs to spies'
The Stockholm headquarters of the Swedish Security Service, Säpo. File photo: Tomas Oneborg/SvD/TT

Foreign countries are trying to infiltrate the Swedish state by winning government contracts, it has been claimed.

Sponsored Article
What can newcomers learn about Sweden at Almedalen?
National
Anyone for a bite of 340-year-old shipwrecked stinky cheese?
Gallery
People-watching: July 27th
Politics
Why Sweden's high taxes are not as high as you think
Blog updates

26 July

A summer of change; a summer of beauty (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"You would have had to try hard to miss the political upheavals in the UK after…" READ »

 

22 July

After the horror, carry on regardless (Globally Local) »

"This time last week, we were just digesting the horror of the Nice killings, in which…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
Gran Canaria: Where Swedes go to work (and play)
National
What's haggis in a condom doing on Swedish children's TV?
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Meet the northern Swede who is the world's best mosquito killer
National
Sweden's Hollywood star Alicia Vikander puts her pen in the bottle
Gallery
People-watching: July 22nd-24th
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
The Local Voices
The Jewish Syrian who dreams of rebuilding his country
Sponsored Article
Five easy ways to travel more often
National
Watch this Swedish weather host leave his fly open... on live TV
The Local Voices
'I fled war in Syria. I never expected to be beaten in Sweden'
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
WATCH: Asylum seeker brutally beaten by Swedish bus driver
Sponsored Article
'Sweden's Lauryn Hill' touches the country's musical soul
Technology
Why everyone is talking about Sweden's GTA pride parade
National
EU hits truck cartel with record price fixing fine
Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Society
OPINION: Why Sweden is the most extreme country in the world
Sponsored Article
Local guide: the best of Berlin
The Local Voices
'There is equality in accommodation in Sweden: Everyone is suffering'
Sponsored Article
Why you need a EuroBonus American Express Card
Gallery
Property of the week: Gräsö, Östhammar
Gallery
People-watching: July 15th-17th
National
How to make sure you're not caught out by Sweden's old bank notes
Business & Money
Why Sweden has been named the most innovative country in Europe
National
Terror attack: what should you do?
National
French expat on the moment he was assaulted by a Stockholm bouncer
Technology
Gunman? Nah, smartphone Swede
The Local Voices
'If the war in Syria ended today, would you go back?'
The Local Voices
‘I feel like I’m living in a grave!’
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Sweden's Princess Victoria celebrates 39th birthday
Gallery
People-watching: July 13th
National
Swedes discover surprise mountain
Politics
What Sweden's home secretary thinks of Britain's new PM
The Local Voices
'Even xenophobic Swedes can be polite’
The Local Voices
'The best time to be smuggled to Europe is August 20th, 2015'
The Local Voices
Swedes: Stop obsessing over your material life and start talking to strangers
3,372
jobs available