What's up, Europe? Gender, media and European integration. The story of a a young Dane exploring the continent.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Nordic Men

As a Nordic woman I find the Nordic cooperative television project "The Nordic Man" very interesting - and incredibly amusing!

After watching two episodes the Nordic Man comes across as somewhat lost to me. In a world filled with independent women that have invaded almost all traditional male domains the Nordic Man struggles for his masculinity. What is a man to do when women don't need his protection anymore? When they hunt their own food - within his territory?

“Men and Love”
In the programme about men and love we look at the group of men that have a hard time catching the independent Nordic women that tend to leave the small villages and take a higher education in the cities, leaving behind a group of heart aching under- graduated men. The programme shows the men’s dilemma, but also how inventive souls have taken positive steps to free themselves from their misfortune.

“Men and Work”
Women are an active part of the working filed in the Nordic countries and traditional male territory is beginning to get inhabited by women. In Norway they have taken a radical step to get women to the core within trade and industry. A new law states that 40 % of all board members must be women, or else the board will be dissolved by force! In the programme about men and work we look at how men respond to this, and how the men themselves gain new territory within working fields that used to belong to women.

Poor guy, the Nordic Man.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Britpop, my generation and revolution

Yesterday I watched a documentary about Tony Blair's New Labour and the role of Britpop in the British landslide election of 1997. The film tries to reveal how New Labour, so to speak, abused artists such as Oasis, Pulp and Blur to win the hearts of young voters. "New Labour grabbed the moment" - as a music journalist puts it in the documentary - and began associating themselves with Britpop bands. And the artists went a long with it - for example the memorable moment of the Gallagher brothers praising Tony Blair at BritAwards.

The connection to Britpop enabled New Labour to reach an otherwise very political-cynical audience that was fed up with Thatcherism, suburbian life and American popular culture. But after the victory of New Labour reality struck the Britpop artists. "Maybe I was naive but I thought I had been taken in because they wanted to hear what I had to say. But once they were where they wanted to be it was just fuck-off," says Damon Albarn, former leadsinger in Blur. Blair was just a politician like the rest. The change the artists had advocated for didn't come.

But it is interesting to consider if the Britpop artists would have been able to initiate a social change by themselves. I guess, what they wished for was some sort of revolution - would they have the potential to fuel a revolution if Tony Blair had not been there? Or was being an ornament for New Labour as political as Britpop could get?

In my opinion the I-don't-really-give-a-fuck attitude of Britpop protagonist Liam Gallagher makes it pretty evident how unlikely it was that Britpop would foster revolution. At the end of the day Britpop lacked will and aims. Today, I think the same apathy goes for many Western youth cultures. It seems to me that the radical youth movements of my generation simply don't have the energy and the organizational skill necessary to actually make a difference. If New Labour had not taken advantage of the situation in the nineties then Britpop probably wouldn't have had political effect at all. How sad.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Being political

"As feminist political philosophers have repeatly shown, the incorporation of "the feminine" in the political domain has been constructed by otherwise sharply opposed authors as undermining its rational and universal basis. In the form of explicit treatment of the nature of politics such views have disappeared from the public arena. However, when reviewing the experience of women in politics, their struggle with the dominant codes of conduct, and their representation in various media, it is clear that a practice, politics is still very much constructed as male territory." (Liesbet van Zoonen, 2004)

Today, I have joined a new blog community - a political one! Which of course is great and I hope my blog will attract some readers (eventhough more frequent updates might be a necessity!). Nevertheless, it seems that my gender somehow turned out to be relevant in relation to this. And I wonder why? Maybe I will have another way of adressing politics than the opposite gender. Maybe I'll mix my postings on politics with other types of postings - or maybe I'll do "hybrids". Or maybe I'll just do it the old-fashioned way and comment on the cover stories of Danish newspapers. Hell, maybe I'll even bring up feminism. We'll see. One thing is for sure: This blog is political. It might just not be in the way everybody expects it to be.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

International woman

A bit delayed this blog celebrates International Women's Day:

You are my sister, we were born
So innocent, so full of need
There were times we were friends but times I was so cruel
Each night I'd ask for you to watch me as I sleep
I was so afraid of the night
You seemed to move through the places that I feared
You lived inside my world so softly
Protected only by the kindness of your nature
You are my sister
And I love you
May all of your dreams come true
We felt so differently then
So similar over the years
The way we laugh the way we experience pain
So many memories
But theres nothing left to gain from remembering
Faces and worlds that no one else will ever know
You are my sister
And I love you

- Antony and the Johnsons

Monday, March 13, 2006

In search of a PM blog

Anders, why don't you have a blog that people can comment on? Please? We have so much to tell you!

Sunday, March 12, 2006

The left-wing saviour

Today the Danish newspaper Politiken brought an incredible photo of the Danish politician Marianne Jelved. She is portrayed as a sort of opposition Messiah. Great shot!

I don't really understand the current project of the Danish opposition though. But that is another discussion.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Another clever commentary

Thanks to TV2-Sputnik I just watched the latest episode of the Danish comedy "Klovn" (in English: "Clown"). Do watch it! It has a clever commentary to the ongoing debate about freedom-of-speech.

That exactly this TV series comment on the incident is interesting. The lead role is played by Frank Hvam who Jyllands-Posten referred to when the newspaper published the drawings in September last year. This is the headline and first few lines of the article:

"The Face of Mohammed

The comedian Frank Hvam recently realized that he does "not dare to joke about the Koran on TV." An illustrator that drawed the prophet Mohammed for a children's book wish to be anynomous. The same goes for western European translators of a collection of essays that are critical of Islam." (Jyllands-Posten, September 30 2006)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Clever commentary

It does not happen that often - but once in a while I agree with the Danish prime minister. This quote about the infamous cartoons and the attitude of Danish intellectuals I even applaude:

"Writers and others that at the utmost benefit from freedom-of-speech have failed when it comes to this matter. And I think I know why - they see it in a totally different light [...] They disapprove of the Danish Peoples Party, they disapprove of Jyllands-Posten and they disapprove of the government. And possibly in that order. Because it is close to hate when it comes to these three factors they seem unable to stand up and defend freedom-of-speech..."

Politiken, February 28 2006 (my translation from Danish)