Saturday, December 14, 2013

How to slut-shame a PM

Ditte Giese is a Danish journalist who writes a great deal about gender, and I think this piece hit the spot on the subject of an all too well-known selfie. I felt the need to translate this so it could be shared with a broader audience. Giese's article of December 13, 2013, is in the original Danish here.


How to slut-shame a PM
A prime minister enjoying herself at a festive memorial captures the moment. Cue name calling where she's deemed slut, cupcake, and The Fall of Man herselfie.

DITTE GIESE
Most of the Western world is now acquainted with the Danish prime minister. Not for the good stuff: her policies, her drive and ambition on behalf of the Danish nation. But because of her blonde hair and long legs. Once more we saw, as #selfiegate exploded, that a women is always just that, a woman. And no matter how much power she may hold, she will always just be her body, sex, hair, and clothing.
The toughest critic yet is right-wing columnist Andrea Peyser of the New York Post, who, under the the title of 'Flirty Obama owes us an apology', fired off such vitriolic misogyny that I can’t ever recall having read the like. It’s called slut-shaming, the shaming of women for their looks, clothes, or sexual morals. I guess you could say Andrea Peyser and her pundit colleagues are quite the experts in the field.
»The president flirted, giggled, whispered like a recalcitrant child and made a damn fool of himself at first sight of Denmark's voluptuously curvy and married prime minister, Helle Thorning-Schmidt«.
We are told that Helle Thorning-Schmidt is buxom and curvy, an interesting observation, since here in Denmark she’s more often chided for being too thin. Add to that the fact she’s MARRIED. And married woman should never under any circumstances speak with men other than her own.
There’s also the subject of the prime minister’s legs. They’re far too Scandinavian.
»The Danish hellcat hiked up her skirt to expose long Scandinavian legs covered by nothing more substantial than sheer black stockings«.
So this predatory minx of a PM with Scandinavian legs has dared to show them off in black nylons, which everybody knows is practically a ”booty call”. Cover up, you want to shout. Where’s your burka, Helle?
Another commentary:
»...a blonde bimbo who hadn't the sense to cover up and keep it clean«.
Because a black suit with a matching skirt just screams "you know I'm nasty". Public knowledge. How can she leave the house with those legs! That she sits with, and crosses as she pleases! Taking them to South Africa with her, maybe that’s the worst of it!
Which would make it the first time we’ve experienced ”Scandinavian” as an adjective for a body part. But let’s just roll with it. Boast about ourselves, be all ”Let’s see those beautiful Scandinavian shoulders”, or ”My Scandinavian little toe is a bit sore”.
And so, the catfight is all set up, a tune the media loves to play. The old women always hating on other women, being jealous, and competing for each other’s men and attention. The world’s tabloids immediately jumped on the #selfiegate angle of Michelle Obama as the scorned wife who sat and stewed over the fact that her husband was flirting excessively with that Danish PM-tart. Despite the facts that the photographer behind the picture quickly gave us a whole other story, and that there were numerous pictures where Michelle Obama was indeed smiling. But nothing beats a good catfight, and it was also a chance to air the ”angry black woman” stereotype.
»With Michelle glowering, the world judging and mental fidelity floating into the abyss, the president leaned into the air space of the cross-legged Danish cupcake, who is known in Copenhagen as a fan of America's randy TV show 'Sex and the City'. It was the memorial equivalent of a bodice-ripper«.
And then, of course, the man must be punished. Andrea Peyser has it all figured out. What with Obama being such a huge flirt, he certainly won’t be getting any action on the homefront at all. NONE. She knows.  
»Obama then proceeded to absorb body heat from the Dane, which he won't be feeling at home for a long time«.
So what have we learned here? That female prime ministers are not allowed to have legs. Especially not the Scandinavian kind. They’re not allowed to take selfies. They’re not allowed to enjoy themselves. They’re not allowed to talk to men who brought their wives along with them. They’re not allowed to wear skirts. Or nylons, God forbid. They’re not allowed to be fans of iconic TV shows. And they’re certainly not allowed to talk to men, other than the ones they’re married to. As a matter of fact, it would be preferable if there weren’t any female heads of state at all. Everything would just be much easier that way.

A final reminder, this is my (very hurried) translation, of today. I will probably be revising it a bit tomorrow. Again, to go to the original article, in Danish, click here



3 comments:

Was said...

I am sorry but I fundamentally disagree with your defense of Helle's actions. She did what she did and she knew she screwed up - her actions and her actions only caused the world to see the Danish Prime Minister in such light. Of course, it is allowed to take selfies, enjoy yourself and talk with other married men. But she knows pretty well how the media works nowadays and that the hungry jackals are always around the corner grabbing every opportunity to overblow things. Especially when you are a public figure. That's the reality, no matter if we like it or not. I see what you did there, shifting the blame to the media, making the case for sexism, which in my humble opinion is way off the point. Take Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton, Angela Merkel, Dilma Rousseff and compare them to the way Helle behaved. She screwed up. Digging into it only makes things worse. Have a wonderful day!

Jennie said...

Was,

1) This is not my defense, this is my translation of a Danish article. Any critique you have can be directed toward the journalist or the publication.

2) This was not a defense. It was an analysis of another media's commentator slut-shaming a head of state.

Thanks for your 2 cents.

Jacob Saaby Nielsen said...

Then let me be the first to "defend" your hypocritical piece of morality.

1) This was not a funeral. This was a ceremony of remembrance, appreciation and joy.

2) There was music and bands playing.

3) It was in a stadium.

4) The bigger scandal is the skizofreni sign language interpreter, who didn't actually interpret anything.

5) There is no wrongdoing here. There is only your screwed up hypocrisy, your inability to properly interpret which kind of event this was, and your misinterpreted "code of conduct".

Get the facts straight. Read the photographers story. Add a little understanding of that type of ceremony. And perhaps a pinch of empathy.

Now go back to watching Fox News. Buh bye.