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

Friday, November 16, 2007

"It doesn't really interest us"

If you're Danish and interested in gender women's rights and gender issues it seems quite obvious who not to vote for at the next national election. Denmark's soon-to-be parties in government do not have a whole lot to say on gender equality. The liberal party couldn't even bring itself to answer the questionnaire. Read the article here.


Lennart said...


Ever since women got the vote in 1915 - in every single election since - women have made up the largest constituency of all.

The live longer than men. They are not drafted for war. Those are the main reasons why the make up a bigger constituency than men.

Why all this whining?

You've had the majority all along.

R. said...


I think it is a problem that considering there are still significant inequalities between women and men in today's Denmark, it's not on the agenda of many of our political parties - especially those on the right wing, as the article clearly shows.

Lennart said...


Fast response there :D

Since women make up the largest constituency they can vote for people who take an interest in equality issues.


Now perhaps many women find that we have equality already and as such this issue is less important than other issues.

I would like to know where it is men have rights that women do not?

R. said...

Another quick answer for you... :-)

Generally, I think it is a problem that there is not much of a public debate on gender issues in Denmark - not just during elections. On the positive side, I think it is improving, though.

There are many issues which are not on the political agenda - and simply saying that they're not important because they're not debated is too easy an answer :-)

Inequal pay for equal work and the extremely low representation of women in top management are issues which I think should be debated a lot more among our politicians. But also prostitution and women's legal position in case of rape (retsstilling) could be interesting to hear our politicians discuss.

From a man's perspective there are also plenty of things that could be discussed: the possibility for parental leave and the rights of divorced fathers to see their children.

Lennart said...

Unequal pay (based solely on gender) for equal work is illegal. If you know of any such cases you should report it to the proper authorities.

But when talking about gender issues and the left and the right you might want to consider why the left is more interested in the issues than the right.

The left sees all differences as the consequence of some kind of systematic discrimination whereas the right sees many of the remaining differences as a consequence of individual choices.

This reveals a more fundamental difference:

The left, generally, is culturally deterministic. Whereas the right tends to be more pluralistic. Perhaps people have different talents. Perhaps men and women are not exactly alike in their fundamental composition. Such talk is anathema to many on the left. Any reference to nature is simply brushed aside as essentialism.

Perhaps the left would rather we were all alike - despite all its lip-service to concepts such as diversity.

Moreover, the right is more concerned with having effective leaders and diversity of thought and opinion.

The left is concerned with diversity of ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religiosity.

This reveals yet another fundamental difference between the (new) left and the right.

For the right the leader is not there to show of, rather to do effective leading for all, whereas for the left the leader is there to represent a certain group. Collectivism runs very deep on the left.

Personally I would not mind if every politician was female a long as the did a much better job than politicians do now, and as long as they represented true diversity of thought.

This insight leads to a crisis on the left because sometimes the argue men and women are exactly alike mentally. The consequence is, of course, that it does not matter who leads (only as in vanity.) On the other hand they sometimes argue women should be represented because the think differently, but this defeats their first purpose.

So, the question of right and left and gender is one that is very complicated ass it represents deep underlying differences of thought.

As to the issues you mention. It is all about timing. If something shows up at the right time in it can be used to further the interests of one of the major parties it will be given attention. So these issues meet the same problems as other issues do.