• Sweden's news in English

Politician causes stir with sex play outburst

TT/The Local · 26 Nov 2009, 18:27

Published: 26 Nov 2009 18:27 GMT+01:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

The remarks by Sofia Bothorp, which have brought her both praise and ridicule, came during a session of the local council in Karlskrona in southern Sweden.

During the debate, Bothorp sought to praise what she saw as a particularly Swedish acceptance of freedom of expression, in particular when it came to discussion of sex.

According to Bothorp, part of being Swedish is being able to “lick pussy in the morning and suck cock in the evening if you want to”.

Bothorp then went on to say she was proud to be Swedish because it meant being able to make jokes about “Allah’s little dick” and “the impotence of God the father”.

"Considering the forum, my wording was unfortunate. I said it in the heat of the moment and it just slipped out, but I think it's important that the point I was trying to make doesn't get lost," Bothorp told The Local.

The remarks, which soon found their way to YouTube, prompted readers of the website of the local Blekinge Läns Tidning (BLT) newspaper to both praise and criticize Bothorp’s choice of words in online comments.

While some spoke of a “low water mark” in Swedish politics, others appreciated the Green politician’s earnestness.

“Finally, someone who speaks frankly, even within politics,” wrote one commenter.

But Gunilla Ekelöf, a member of the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet) and chair of the council, thought the comments were out of line.

“I think it was a totally unacceptable choice of words. You have to watch your language and think about what words you use in a gathering of politicians. I think it’s completely unnecessary to make reference to sexual matters,” she told Sveriges Radio (SR).

Bothorp explained that her comments ware made in the context of a discussion in which she argued against the Sweden Democrats' definition of the ideal Sweden as a homogeneous land with a strong emphasis on traditional values. As in many other southern towns, the far-right party is well-represented on the local council in Karlskrona.

"Theirs is a Sweden of the 1950s and Astrid Lindgren. I grew up with that history and I like Astrid Lindgren but they shouldn't be the only things that define our country," Bothorp told The Local.

"We also have foreign aid, and we're maybe seen as somewhat gullible doves among hawks, but at least we try to do the right thing.

"We have the right of public access (allemansrätten), freedom of speech, the principle of public access (offentlighetsprincipen), strong rights for women, and so on: all things we can be justly proud of," she said.

Story continues below…

Asked whether she was concerned that her comment referencing Allah might be seen as inflammatory in light of recent debates about caricatures of the Muslim prophet Muhammad, Bothorp was bullish.

"We in Sweden are sometimes afraid of defending values like freedom of speech. But it isn't worth much if we don't stand up for it, and the fact that I can say these things means that our system actually works. I mean, I'm not going to be indicted for saying what I did. And the diversity we have here is a prerequisite for retaining a high threshold for tolerance.

"After the debate, a politician who is a Muslim came up to me and said: 'I don't agree with what you said with regard to sex, but these freedoms are the reason I came to Sweden'. I'm proud to live in a society with this level of acceptance," she said.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Today's headlines
The Local List
12 Swedish words with just awesome literal translations
A filthy-minded lobster, i.e. a snuskhummer. Photo: Gorm Kallestad/NTB scanpix/TT

One of our favourite things about the Swedish language is its wonderful compound words, which range from being utterly bizarre to making perfect sense.

Rwandan genocide suspect held in Sweden
A memorial centre in Kigali, Rwanda. Photo: Ben Curtis/AP

A man has been arrested in Sweden suspected of involvement in the 1994 Rwandan genocide which claimed 800,000 lives.

Sweden can extend border controls, EU says
A police officer carrying out a check at Sweden's border with Denmark. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

EU countries including Sweden should be granted permission to extend temporary border controls by a period of a further three months, the European Commission has decided.

Nobel Prizes
'I'd say he's arrogant but I'd be lying': Swedes on Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing in France. Photo: David Vincent/AP

Almost two weeks have passed since Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and he has yet to acknowledge the win. The Local asked Swedes what they think of the singer's silence.

Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast by thousands
A Swedish migration authority office in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The country has also slashed its prediction for 2017.

Swedish researchers plan new trucks for women drivers
File photo of trucks in Sweden. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT

Could vehicles adapted for women attract more female truckers to the profession?

These stats show Swedish driving isn't so gender equal
File photo of a Swedish woman driving a car. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A new survey shows that few Swedish women get behind the wheel when driving with their male partner.

Revealed: Game of Thrones could be coming to Sweden
Game of Thrones cast members at the Emmy Awards in September. Photo: Jordan Strauss/AP

The producers of the hit show have asked for three rounds of location pictures of Swedish island Gotland.

Prime Minister to meet Swedish troops in Iraq
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and his Kurdish counterpart Nechervan Barzani. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Löfven is set to meet Swedish troops in Iraq on Tuesday.

Swedish politicians wage war on winter time
Soon it will look like this on your way home from work in Sweden. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Should Sweden stick with summer time all year round?

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available