Video of Finnish Prime Minister partying sparks outrage – and applause
But many women rushed to the dance floor and posted videos on social media tagged #SolidarityWithSanna to denounce what they see as unfair, sexist treatment of Marin. They claim that the criticism she has received has been unfairly meted out for being a young woman in an atmosphere dominated by older men. And on TikTok alone, the clips have been viewed more than 100,000 times.
When Rikke Dal Stottrup and her collaborators of the popular Danish women’s magazine Alt for Damerne heard the news, they got a feeling of deja vu.
They recalled that tall, blonde Helle Thorning-Schmidt — Denmark’s prime minister from 2011 to 2015 — was constantly reprimanded for what she wore when she held office.
“It seems that certain people today still struggle to understand that you can be both a young woman…and a competent politician at the same time,” Stottrup said.
Amid last week’s controversy, employees at Alt for Damerne, which translates to “Everything for the ladies,” scoured their devices in search of their own dance clips. They then posted the videos to the magazine’s official account, captioning it: translates to “In solidarity with Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin … we at the editorial staff of Alt for Damerne emptied the film roll for clips that never … should have seen the light of day.”
“We wanted to emphasize that you can be a great prime minister, CEO, editor, nurse – insert job title – and hit the dance floor on the weekends too,” Stottrup said. “If we want to have more diversity… we need to broaden our view of what a politician can look like. We have to accept the whole package and not just what we are traditionally used to.”
Melani McAlister, a professor of American studies and international affairs at George Washington University, said the opposition to Marin reminded her of how Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DN.Y.) was reprimanded in 2019 when a video surfaced of her dancing in college. (Ocasio-Cortez responded with a new video of her dancing in front of her office.)
“Somebody thought this could become a problem, even if it’s clearly a storm in a teapot,” McAlister said of Ocasio-Cortez’s viral clip. “The fact that she’s a woman, the fact that she’s young, and… the fact that she’s a minority positions her that she has to stand firm in order to earn her position of power or be seen.”
McAlister said that while critics demand a higher standard from young women and others who are, Underrepresented in politics, Marin’s partying is nothing special and socially similar to how older male politicians play golf. As more young adults take up government positions, she said, voters will have to adapt to what the age group is doing outside of work.
“As long as [Marin] manages to keep calling this for what it is, then it’s good for her,” McAlister said. “She doesn’t let it get any more traction than it should.”
Vitriol from Finnish rivals to Marin may seem at odds with the reputation of the Scandinavian country, which is often considered one of the top industrialized nations for gender equality, said Eiko Strader, a GWU sociologist and assistant professor. But country rankings don’t tell the whole story.
“Finland seems to be doing much better than other countries, but when you look at labor market indicators such as earnings and managerial representation, Finnish women are still lagging behind Finnish men, because social and cultural norms that cannot be captured by standardized measures affect our everyday life. shaping life,” Strader said in an email.
Stottrup said that although sexist attacks on female politicians are likely to continue around the world, supporters will continue to unite.
As she put it: “We probably still have a few decades to go before we won’t see these cases again, but the Sanna Marins of the world should know we’re right behind them.” To dance.”