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

Friday, September 01, 2006

Save me from the baboons

I found a couple of interesting quotes in a commentary in yesterday's edition of the new free Danish daily Dato (collected during a really quick trip to Denmark!). Journalist Esben Kjær comments on a feature in Berlingske: "Feminine values killed the alpha-male" (28th of August 2006). Judging from the headline my spontanious and honest response is to agree with Kjær (he labels it "childish bollocks") but I will read the article more thoroughly later and maybe give a comment. For now I see it mostly as another example that we need a far more nuanced debate about gender roles in Denmark.

But let me pass on two of Kjær's interesting points about gender roles:

"First and foremost women have not made any coups. They have fought openly for equality and modern femininity for almost 40 years - and with great success. Meanwhile the man has more or less done nothing to define a similiar masculine project. So if the women set the agenda then it is the fault of the men - the gender that is presumed to be capable of decisive action. Men need to give word to what the modern man believes..."

"Secondly: men are not 'womanish' ('kvindagtig' in Danish) just because they do not walk around and beat their chests. Because while the women have be talking - and as we know they are pretty good at that - men have been doing what they are good at: acting. Author Bertill Nordahl [...] speaks of a new, masculine identity that builds on more than career. The modern man is an engaged, (almost) equal father - in his own way. He flirts with the feminine (as liberated women flirt with the masculine), is body-conscious and vain, with broad shoulders and a determined look. A many-sided masculinity that we have never before seen so many men have in society."

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