Some may hardly believe it, but even I do call myself a feminist. Not that I should feel obliged to support just any opinion once it comes from some woman, but I do think that women are systematically kept at a disadvantage also in the Finnish society and that I am in fact willing to lift a few fingers to try and bring about some change in this point.
Concerning the position of women, there were recently in Hbl a few interesting details: in Hbl of Ons 12.03., p.16, one Elina Grundström, gastprofessor i journalistik, was quoted with the following statement: “I Finland pågår sedan Sannfinländarnas valseger 2011 en utrensning vars syfte är att nedklassa alla synliga kvinnliga politiker. …”; and in Hbl of Fre 14.03., pp.2-3, there was a rather long article titled “Kvinnor faller från politiska toppen”. And I myself have of course already a long time ago formulated the thumbrule that whenever there is a media drive going on against a top politician one can be sure that the target is a woman (they are chased out of office for things which would never ever cost a male politician his position).
An interesting detail in the article of 14.03. are the pictures of those men who try to (or have already managed to) replace a woman politician: SPD’s Antti Rinne and Jari Lindström of the Sannfinländarna both remind me indeed VERY much of Molotow, foreign minister of the Soviet Union under Stalin and proud about having been given the nickname “Iron Arse” by the same. “Iron Arse” presumably meant that he was able to out-sit any opposing negotiator, gaining advantages for the Soviet Union by the simply means of dragging negotiations to such lengths that he opposition simply gave up because of being too exhausted to continue. This method reminds me very much of the confrontation game which one can sometimes observe between teenagers. It is rather successful at face-saving, also at blocking things, nor does it require much intelligence, but it is also indeed time-taking, and it will not easily lead to any constructive agreement. To women, who from their whole living-style (think of the jobs in a simple household) are tuned to getting things done, it presumably gives the impression of a pubertarian nuisance. And it is (seemingly) by such people that the parties want to replace their top women …
Part of this is of course election tactics: men seem to vote for men, women are less predictable in their decisions, thus to put up male candidates seems to be the safer course. And never mind that is VERY doubtful whether these men, once in office, will get anything productive done (especially something NEW and CREATIVE, which Finland would indeed be in need of).
When thinking how to get more women into high positions, it is presumably NOT a good idea to out oneself as a feminist – there seems to be enough hatred of women in Finnish men (read “Tuntematon Sotilas”, or the statistics of family violence) to make this counterproductive. – Personally, I see it as a possible consequence of the Finnish matriarchal system.
A better way may be to first figure out where the main enemy is to be found. And I think that the Finnish Keskiviikkokerho (can be googled) is already a pretty good guess; the mere fact that this club is able to give protection to any man while women are excluded from the club and, presumably, also the protection could already account for quite a bit of the imbalance in the gender of media drive victims.
It is of course quite a question what to do against this enemy (I think “enemy” is the right word, although those gentlemen will never realize or agree that they had deserved such a label). And ONE thing which came to my mind is this: the women who are in some leading positions should form a similar club with very similar rules: men not admitted, content of discussions secret. But instead of the Keskiviikkokerho, whose members simply do not speak in public about any goings-on in their club, the women’s club should every now and then leak some accusations, conspiracy theories and similar about the sinister doings of the Keskiviikkokerho to the public (of course without ever mentioning WHICH women had come up with which idea). This way one could force, or provoke, the Keskiviikkokerho to defend itself in public, which also would raise the public awareness that there IS this club. And during the hopefully resulting discussion one could hope to feed the public some research results about the position of women in general and, e.g.,the usefulness of women vs. men politicians in special. All of this, though, only AFTER having made sure that there would be media available who would be willing to present the women’s side adequately (and that will not be the Yellow Press …).
Further discussion warmly invited …