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.
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?
»...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.