University leaders blast ‘sexist’ student parade

Chalmers University of Technology in Gothenburg is seeking to distance itself from an annual student parade after the organizing committee gave the thumbs up to drawings deemed sexist and "totally unacceptable" by the university's president.

University leaders became aware of the Chalmers Cortege Committee’s (CCC) plans when a sponsor got in touch to express dismay at one of the drawings published in the programme for the 101st annual Chalmers cortege.

Among the pictures provoking the ire of sponsor FlexLink is a depiction of a set of golf clubs stuffed between the legs of an upturned woman, accompanied by the caption: “Tiger Woods’ new golf bag”.

Having viewed this and other drawings considered sexist by the firm, spokesman Klas Ålander said FlexLink regretted taking out an advert in the programme.

“Our company cannot abide the view of women represented in the parade programme, and none of our employees should have to think otherwise. This is not acceptable and somebody has to say so,” he told local daily Göteborgs-Posten.

And with just a week to go until April 30th and the annual Walpurgis Day parade, Chalmers University has also expressed its displeasure. The seat of learning, intimately linked with the parade in the eyes of the public, has decided to remove its logo from the big screen by the VIP stand at Götaplatsen as a form of punishment aimed at both the CCC and its parent organization, Chalmers’ student union.

University president Karin Markides called the programme “totally unacceptable”, while Chalmers’ gender coordinator Johanna Andersson said the portrayal of woman in this year’s programme represented a step backwards.

“It’s outdated. We’re going to have to have a serious chat with these guys and girls [on the organizing committee],” she told Göteborgs-Posten.

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