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'Political princess' article riles Swedish minister

Published: 13 Mar 2014 18:29 GMT+01:00

With her hair in a French twist and swathed in turqoise lace, Centre Party leader and young hot-shot politician Annie Lööf features in the first of a series of interviews in the gossip and society magazine Svensk Damtidning.

Made-over and glammer than on Nobel Banquet night, the politician talks about her desire to start a family, among other things. T

The tone and the content of the interview soon became a topic of conversation in Sweden.

"This is what I nag and nag and nag about all the time", wrote feminist blogger Lady Dahmer. "How we women, EVEN when we quite clearly have accomplished something in life that amounts to more than colour-coordinating our lipstick with our shoes, are always reduced," Lady Dahmer wrote.

Equality researchers weren't far behind the critics on social media.

Lena Wängnerud, political science professor at Gothenburg University, told the Svenska Dagbladet (SvD) newspaper that the three-page interview with Lööf had caught her attention. Not only because it addresses what SvD dubbed traditional women's topics such as buying a home or shopping, but also because the series of interviews excluded men entirely.

"I have to say I'm a bit surprised that they have chosen to profile only women politicians," she said. "It'd be one thing if they'd chosen to profile the princes and princesses of politics, which you might have expected in today's society."

Interviews with other top-level female politicians are to follow, including articles with cabinet ministers Maria Larsson, Beatrice Ask, and Maria Arnholm. From the opposition, Social Democrat party secretary Carin Jämtin agreed to an interview, as did the Left Party's Rossana Dinamarca and the Green Party's Åsa Romson.

Lööf, the first of the "princesses", was quick to point out that she had not chosen the way the interview was presented.

Lööf, who spent Thursday morning chatting to readers of the business daily Dagens Industri online, further tweeted that the way her Svensk Damtidning interview had been edited and published was "noteworthy and sad".

Loof's defence was not enough, however, in the eyes of feminist blogger Lady Dahmer, who on her blog also included an older Expressen article that showed cabinet ministers posing like clothes models.

"You CAN actually steer the article's content," she opposed. "At least when it comes to a profile. I've been interviewed a few times and the journalists that want you to be in their newspaper WANTS YOU IN THEIR NEWSPAPER."

"In other words, they will adapt to your wishes," she wrote. 

The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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