God bless the Swedes and their sensible, sex positive outlook! A middle school principal in Nykoping, Sweden has thrown his support behind a mural inside the school depicting a modern art-style vagina.
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Oh, FEMEN. Whether you respect their antics or think they’re terribly offensive and annoying, you have to admit they’re good at publicity stunts! The topless feminist activist group’s latest hijinks? Going into a mosque in Stockholm, Sweden, while wearing burqas and then whipping off the veils to reveal their bare breasts underneath and political slogans written across their stomachs. Keep reading »
Oh, you were thinking of naming your son “Anal,” and you live in New Zealand? Too bad! The country’s Internal Affairs department vetoed the name, along with 76 others, claming they were inappropriate, bizarre or offensive. A sampling of some of the verboten names?
- Queen Victoria
Yes, somebody wanted to name their child the punctuation symbol for “period.” Keep reading »
Students at a Swedish high school have requested and received a gender neutral changing room as part of the school’s locker room for any student that wants to use it. Soedra Latins upper secondary school already has male and female locker rooms, but students proposed last year that they have an additional space for students not defined by gender. Trans folks (and gay folks) all around the world are discriminated against by people who assume they use opposite-gender bathrooms just to leer; it’s particularly hard on trans kids who are, in many cases, already susceptible to bullying. A gender neutral space gives those bigots no excuse. This Stockholm suburb is the same place that discourages preschoolers from calling each other “him”/”her”/”boy”/”girl” and instead identify each other as “friends.” Between your progressive ideas about gender and your IKEA meatballs, you’re not doing anything to make me not love you, Sweden. [Huffington Post] [Photo of girl in gym locker room via Shutterstock]
Because skinny is more important than healthy, some modeling scouts in Sweden have taken to hanging around outside of eating disorder clinics to find new models. Yes, I’ll say that again: modeling scouts are approaching girls — some of them too weak to stand — at the Stockholm Center for Eating Disorders and offering them modeling contracts. Dr. Anna-Maria af Sandeberg, who helps run the clinic, said the scouts are “repugnant” and send the “wrong signals when the girls are being treated for eating disorders.” Keep reading »
A lingerie shop in Sundsvall, Sweden, is in trouble for requiring that employees wear placards revealing their boob size. A Swedish employment tribunal (which sounds more smiley and blond than frightening) found the company guilty of gender discrimination, and awarded employees financial compensation for the gaffe. Keep reading »
A Swedish department store is at the center of a maelstrom of controversy after it used larger mannequins in its in-store displays. Spotted in a Swedish H&M, the move was lauded by the group Women’s Rights News for offering up a more realistic example of what women’s bodies look like, and more than 30,000 commenters responded.
The decision certainly makes sense in light of research that shows that female consumers respond negatively to skinny, beautiful models selling them consumer goods. For reference, the new curvy models are much closer to the average size of American women — a size 14 — than the typical model form, which ranges from between a 4 and 6.
And in light of the fact that nearly 70 million American women are overweight, stores would likely benefit from using mannequins that actually look like us. [Yahoo]
You’ve always wanted to know what it would be like to be homeless, right? (No, not at all). Wouldn’t you like to pay for the privilege of pretending to be homeless for the night? (No, not really). Faktum Hotel, in Gothenberg, Sweden, will give you the opportunity. For just $10, you can get to be a real live homeless person. (Okay). Says the “room” description: “Feel the city’s pulse from dawn to dusk at Gullbergsvass. This delightful dwelling is just a stroll from the romantic Dreamer’s Quay: a source of inspiration to musicians and artists alike. And all under the noble eye of the Skansen Lion from his centuries old fortress.” Keep reading »