SEXISM AT DANISH UNIVERSITIES – THE ACADEMIC #METOO MOVEMENT
Friday October 2nd, 2020, a mail with an open invitation to sign the petition ’Sexism at Danish Universities’ went out from a group of 16 initiators to the entire Danish Academic sector.
The petition arose from a deep personal and professional desire to cast light on the prevalent and ongoing problem of sexism in Danish Academia. But also to qualify and nuance the understanding of the varied forms of sexism and, ultimately, to contribute to ways to counter sexism structurally as well as culturally.
On Friday October 9th, a news story of the initiative and its 689 signatures and more than 800 testimonies broke on the front page of Politiken, one of the largest Danish newspapers, with a publication of all 689 signatures and an in depth coverage of the initiative and the need for it, as well as quotes from the testimonies received to the mailbox – examples of different instances of sexism.
In the days following the Politiken coverage, the petition was given attention by most Danish newsmedia and other relevant news-outlets such as university posts.
This petition was one in a series of sector-specific #MeToo initiatives that arose during the fall of 2020, sparked by TV-host Sofie Linde’s speech at the Zulu Comedy Gala, August 28th, 2020. It distinguishes itself by explicitly and continuously insisting on 1) the structural aspects of sexism rather than on individual instances – no cases of naming specific people or contexts; 2) on finding ways to counter sexism – in all its many manifestations from subtle everyday sexism and gendered power demonstrations to explicit sexual harassment and violence; and 3) drawing closely on state-of-the-art expert knowledge – a number of the group of 16 initiators have expert knowledge as gender researchers and practitioners.
Action and insights
In honor of the many testimonies sent to the mailbox as well as the numerous instances of personal reaching out to members of the group of initiators beyond the mailbox input, this website is a result of the following actions that have taken place between October 2020 and the launching of this website, March 2021:
- To read more about initiatives and publications, please go to the direct link.
- Also, the book ‘SEXISM EDU: Sexism in Danish Education and Research’ is available for free download on the direct link.