With the vision that the world has of Denmark, it comes as a surprise that only one is six Danes consider themselves to be ‘feminists’. This was announced as a result of a poll conducted by YouGov-Cambridge Globalism Project of more than 25,000 people in 23 major countries, targeting Denmark as one of the candidates because of its narrow gender pay gap, equal employment rights, and universal nursery care.
In a global survey of attitudes of gender, equal rights for both men and women and the importance and wide-spread reach of the #MeToo movement to come out and encourage women to share their voice and stories of harassment, that Denmark is one of the least feminist countries in the world.
This project was conducted three years after the country’s equality minister and member of the party Venstre, Karen Ellemann, said she did not consider herself to be a feminist. The project also found that only two out of five Danes supported the #MeToo movement and only 4% of men and 8% of women questioned in the survey had a ‘favorable’ view of the #MeToo movement. Some even raised challenges like they believed #MeToo would make men feel constrained in their relationships with women. Sara Phil was noted saying “I think some men are afraid of talking to women at work, in case they get accused of something.”
When asked further questions, the responses ranged from “I don’t want to be equal in all senses” to “I’m not marching in the streets”. They also discovered that the women would rather prefer to be wolf-whistled and cat-called, instead of being called feminists. Helene was stated saying “I don’t mind it so long as it’s done in a nice way. I see it as a compliment, actually.”
Rikke Andreassen, Professor of Communication Studies at Roskilde University also came on record for The Guardian and proclaimed that Danes are known to be okay with low-level, non-intended, I-didn’t-mean-it-in-any-other-way-but-for-fun kind of sexual harassment; saying “We have had a culture where what you say isn’t racist or sexist if you don’t intend it to be. You can grab a woman, but so long as you did it because it was ‘fun’, then culturally we tend to think it’s not that bad.”
This raises huge concerns for the female citizens of Denmark, especially the ones who consider #MeToo to be favorable, as harassment behavior is propagated and creating a safe-space for women is considered as a hindrance by its citizens.