Danish Round-Up: Divided by a bridge and feminism

In many ways, Denmark and Sweden are very similar, but on women’s rights they couldn’t be more split

The outcry that greeted a woman’s naked bust in an advert for breast enhancement on Copenhagen buses in 2014 sported differing reactions in the Nordic world.
While the Danes continued to sip their tea, the Swedes couldn’t hold back. Many were outraged.

More reaction in Sweden
“I don’t think that the ad would have got through in Sweden,” Pia Lianno, a Swede who lives in Denmark, told CPH POST.
“It feels completely outlandish. But it would definitely spark a debate about sexism and the female body.”
According to Professor Rikke Andreasson at Roskilde University, the reaction in Denmark would have been more varied.
“Some might see naked female breasts on buses as a sign of Danish liberation, others as a sign of capitalism, and others still as an illustration of how Danish culture objectifies women,” she told CPH POST.

Minimally feminist
A recent You Gov and Cambridge Globalism poll revealed that Denmark is one of the least feminist countries in the developed world.
In Sweden, in contrast, 46 of the women profess to be feminists. And this is no surprise to those living there.
“For me feminism is about working actively in order to achieve equal political, economically and social rights between genders,” explained Lianno.
In Denmark, the definition of the word is viewed somewhat differently. As Charlotte Venvike, a Dane interviewed in Copenhagen recently, told the Guardian: “It depends what you mean. I’m not marching on the streets.”

Feminism in the fabric
Sweden has been ratcheting up down on its feminist policies in recent years. Just recently it became the first country to use the word ‘feminist’ in its foreign policy.
“Our gender equality policy aims to achieve gender equality on all levels: from the economy to education, health, and so on,” added Lianno.
“The first step is to acknowledge that we live in an unequal society – both in Denmark and Sweden.”

Negative connatations
Just across the Øresund, Denmark was the last of the Nordic countries to initiate a feminist political party, Feministisk Initiativ, and when it made its debut in the municipal elections in 2017, it received just 0.7 percent of the vote.
Very few Danes back the #MeToo movement – just 4 percent of men and 8 percent of women, according to a recent survey, which was a much lower rate than in Sweden.
In a sense, many Danes view their society as equal already, according to Professor Andreassen.
“Feminism is often associated negatively with angry women or women who hate men,” she said.
“Or feminism is associated with being a victim. Most people don’t want to be victims. Many Danes are in favour of women’s rights and gender equality, but they do not want to label themselves as feminists.”

Borgen and porn: No faking it
Facebook and adult website users extra vigilant ahead of June 5 vote

Some 13 parties have confirmed they will contest the 2019 General Election on Constitution Day on June 5, which will include 29 days of campaigning – the longest period since 1975, which clocked up 35 days.

Right-wing concerns
The major parties have said they won’t include new Islamophobic party Stram Kurs in any coalition, with Claus Hjort Frederiksen, the defence minister, expressing concerns their rhetoric will raise the terror threat.
However, Dansk Folkeparti has said it will have no problem “discussing a co-operation” with the party.
In light of the right-wing news that has polarised voters in recent elections, Facebook is in talks with Danish entities, including the fact-checker Tjekdet, to ensure the election will be as free from ‘fake news’ as possible.

Erection campaign
But there was nothing fake (not even an orgasm) about the news that Liberal Alliance MP Joachim B Olsen has knocked out a surefire winner by putting an ad on Pornhub to reach prospective voters.
The former Olympic shot put silver medallist’s rhyming slogan translated as: “When you finish wanking, vote for Jokke”.
“Half the internet is porn and you need to be where the voters are,” he told DR.

Rainiest, sunniest, snowiest
We’ve had the rainiest March ever, followed by the sunniest April, and one of the snowiest Mays! That’s right, it snowed on May 3 and a day later the coldest ever May temperature (0.8 degrees) was recorded. At the time of going to press, there were no signs the customary May warmth will arrive anytime soon. Meanwhile, the country remains perilously dry.

More liberal than ever
The Danes are even more liberal and free-spirited than at any time in their recent history, according to a new book written by an Aalborg University academic. Most people now approve of casual sex (72 percent; 1981: 42), abortion (95; 79), divorce (99; 89), homosexuality (96; 66), cannabis consumption (55; 22) and euthanasia (94; 82).

Euro elections on May 26
Some 13 seats are up for grabs in the European Parliament in elections on May 26 in Denmark. The deadline for EU residents to register to vote in Denmark has long passed, and so has the deadline in most of the other 27 states. Meanwhile, Margrethe Vestager remains a 10/1 fourth favourite to become the next president of the European Commission.

Three holidays in 25 days
Denmark is looking forward to the first of its late spring/early summer bank holidays this Friday. Great Prayer Day secured its place in the calendar when numerous holy days were merged into one. It will shortly be followed by Ascension Day (Thursday May 30) and Whit Monday (Monday June 10).

Opposition to fence
Many people living in the German district of Flensburg oppose the construction of a 1.5-metre high fence across the Danish-German border to keep out wild boar and wolves. The fence’s placement in the forest of Kollund Skov would contravene a local statue introduced in 2006, and local Flensburg politicians want it rerouted.

Army assault concerns
The association for female veterans, Foreningen Kvindelige Veteraner, has called for an investigation into the prevalence of sexual violations in the military. The news comes in the wake of the association receiving about 100 reports over the past two years from women who feel they’ve been sexually violated while serving in the military.

Danish accent is sexy
The Danish accent is the 16th sexiest in the world, according to a survey of Big 7 Travel readers. The survey didn’t specify whether it was the sexiest accent speaking English or the most alluring mother tongue. Topping the survey were the Kiwi, South African and Irish accents – the exact brogue a traveler might want to hear emerging from the undergrowth in an emergency.

Aarhus top for students
Aarhus is the best student city in Denmark in 2019, according to Studentum.dk. Copenhagen came second, followed by Aalborg, Randers and Viborg. Odense was a disappointing 11th place and Esbjerg 16th.

Influential in the EU
Denmark is among the top five most influential countries in the EU, according to a University of Gothenburg survey. Denmark is considered a preferred co-operation partner, the survey found, and punching above its weight in terms of wielding influence in the Council of the EU. The other five were Germany, France, the Netherlands and Sweden.

Minister at Nuuk meeting
The foreign minister Anders Samuelsen, attended a meeting in Nuuk on May 9 concerning expanded American engagement in Greenland, where the US was represented by its secretary of state Mike Pompeo.

Caught in Rostock
A man who escaped custody at the Eastern High Court on April 30, where his appeal against an eight-year prison sentence for killing somebody in 2017 was being heard, was apprehended in Rostock in Germany after taking a ferry there from Trelleborg in Sweden.

Cycling offences rare
Around 5 percent of cyclists break the law, according to research carried out by the Vejdirektoratet traffic body at traffic-light controlled junctions in eight major cities. Of the 28,579 cyclists monitored, there were only 1,649 traffic offences logged.

Jail for Facebook post
A 31-year-old man from Randers in northeast Jutland has been sentenced to 10 days in prison for writing a detailed post about how to kill wolves in a closed Facebook group. The man denied that the initiative was to encourage people to kill wolves.

Great year for pant
Danes returned 200 million more deposit bottles and cans in 2018 than in the previous year, raising the total to 1.4 billion – a saving of 143,950 tonnes of CO2. According to Dansk Retursystem, 90 percent of the pant vessels are returned.

Blaze in national park
A huge blaze broke out in Stenbjerg Klitplantage, which is part of the national park in Thy in northwest Jutland, on May 7. In dry and windy conditions, 70 firefighters managed to contain the fire.

Climate law enthusiasm
Some 1,045 proposals were submitted by the end of April by citizens eager to contribute to a future climate law. A proposal for a new law is expected in October.

Free to sell cannabis
Spectrum Cannabis has become the first Danish enterprise to be given the green light to officially produce medicinal cannabis. Following an 18-month trial, the Lægemiddelstyrelsen medicines agency approved a permit. Spectrum believes its product, which it will start selling to pharmacies and overseas in the autumn, is cheaper and of a better quality than foreign versions.

Calls for donor blacklist
Concerns over large amounts of foreign money supporting the building of mosques have led to the government and Dansk Folkeparti proposing a donor blacklist similar to the one applying to ‘hate preachers’. The immigration and integration minister Inger Støjberg, would like to see a ban of up to two years for donations of over 20,000 kroner that work against Danish democracy.

Fewer legit cigs sold
Danes paid tax on a reduced number of cigarettes in 2018, according to the Tax Ministry. The number fell by 14 percent to 5.28 billion, suggesting that people are smoking less (possibly at the expense of e-cigarettes) or buying more illicit cigarettes from abroad. Last year, the number of smokers increased for the first time in two decades – a total that includes party smokers.