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MINIMAX THE STUDENT ASSOCIATION AT STOCKHOLM SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS

AN ISSUE

FEBRUARY 2018


CONTRIBUTORS 2 1

LEGALLY RESPONSIBLE PUBLISHER Asmir Mahmuljin mediapres@sasse.se EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Olivia Krall cred@sasse.se PHONE NUMBER 073 747 09 20 VISITING ADDRESS Saltmätargatan 13-17 ADDRESS Minimax/HHS Box 6501 113 83 Stockholm COVER ART BY Filippa Högling TREASURER Nicklas Kövamees PRINTING HOUSE Printr

MINIMAX is the official SASSE magazine. MINIMAX is religiously and politically independent. Opinions uttered in MINIMAX do not necessarily represent the opinions of the editorial staff or the Student Association. The magazine is printed in approximately 5000 copies and is published four times a year. MINIMAX is liberated from VAT and sorted under the Media Committee in SASSE. The editorial staff may edit and reject contributed material. MINIMAX is not responsible for any material sent in to the magazine.


CAPITAL PARTNERS

*McKinsey & Company is also a Capital Partner

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Content 4

7 9 11 13 18 19 21 23 25 27 29 31 33 35

How far have we come? Interview with Lars Strannegård Call People Out: Interview with Karol Vieker #MeToo at SSE Rape Culture Interview with the Presidents of SASSE Everyone Should Feel Safe: Interview with the Entertainment Committee How to Report Harrassment Interview with Nina Åkestam Interview with the Women Behind the #MeToo Petitions within the Finance Sector Opinion: Thinking of Harassing Someone? Opinion: Protecting the Value of our Education Does Not Exclude Protecting our Value as Human Beings Opinion: Let’s Talk Opinion: I Found my Hero- Now Society Needs to Find Theirs.


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR When discussing and analyzing sexism and sexual harassment and assault, the problem has been agreed upon as systemic, so deeply ingrained in all aspects of society. What #MeToo has proven, something most women already knew, is that sexual harassment and assault knows no bounds; it is a societal problem that is spread across countries, industries, and social class. It has shown that it is an issue prevalent all across the world, even here at SSE. As the magazine of SASSE, Minimax has chosen to focus on sexual harassment and assault at SSE, as well as how we can impact and combat it in the business world and the rest of society. #MeToo started a movement across the globe and in Sweden petitions against sexual assault have arisen in almost every sector. In the current news cycle, the risk is that the conversation stops and is quickly replaced, or that people grow tired. That cannot happen. With this issue, the Minimax Editorial Team 17/18 wants to keep the discussion going. Our hope with this issue is to empower people at SSE to change their behavior and thinking, as well as to start answering the question: what happens now? We want to show that SSE is not an exception to the #MeToo movement, things do happen here as well. It is all of our duty to make sure it doesn’t, but when it does, we all need to be supportive of the person being victimized. So where do we go from here? If you know of a case, or suspect something, report it. If you know someone who has done something, do not keep quiet. In the past few months, millions of brave individuals have come forward with their #MeToo stories. We have to continue listening to every person who speaks up, as well as starting to make this discussion into permanent action.

OLIVIA KRALL Editor-in-chief 17/18 P H OTO | I S A B E L L E H E DESIGN | S Y LV I A H O N G Q I U S H U I Z H E N G

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Fransiska Aspegrén

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Vice Editor-in-chief Art Director

Isabelle He

Sigurd Log Røren

Filippa Högling

Layout Designer

Layout Designer

Photographer

Editor-in-chief

EDITORIAL TEAM

Olivia Krall

Sylvia Hongqiushui Zheng P H OTO | I S A B E L L E H E


Editor Journalist

Editor Editor

Matilda Fors

Vendela Palmquist

Johanna Persson

Sara Engstrรถm

DESIGN | S Y LV I A H O N G Q I U S H U I Z H E N G

2017 / 2018

Journalist

Emma Hamre

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HOW FAR HAVE WE COME?

A LOOK INTO SSE’S HISTORY IN REGARDS TO EQUALITY.

1909 1930

According to an interview in Minimax, there were three female students in a class of one hundred students.

1968

Christina Hultgren is elected the first female President of the Student Association.

1969

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Stockholm School of Economics was founded.

Enucka and Enok: two words that, according to a Minimax article from 1969, predetermine our paths in life. The diagram illustrates the unequal treatment of an “Enok” and an “Enucka” as soon as the two pursue their professional careers, while the accompanying article criticizes this. It reveals the tragic stereotypical view of the housewife versus the working husband.

1980

A student contributor writes an article for Minimax complaining about how a billiard table was removed from the Pub. He named the article “Rape/Assault”.

2001

Carin Holmquist is appointed Professor of Entrepreneurship. She is the first female professor at SSE.

2005

The researcher Anna Wahl moves her research group from SSE to the Royal Institute of Technology after several years of harassment at SSE. TEXT | E M M A H A M R E & S A R A E N G S T R Ö M


2014

Lars Strannegård was appointed the 13th male President of SSE. SSE has never had a female president.

2015

In the run-up to the Student Association Board election, a heckling booklet was published. The running female candidates were harrassed and one was described as a “whore”. This was brought to the attention of national newspapers and the entire election process was re-evaluated.

2016

A book titled 179 Years of Solitude is published, sharing the experiences of ten women who are connected to SSE in some capacity. Pia Höök freely quotes a former President of SSE saying:

179 YEARS OF SOLITUDE

“One attends SSE to become a successful businessman. The percentage of female executives are only about ten percent and that is the reality we are trying to reflect.” (179 Years of Solitude, 2016)

Anna Dreber Almenberg was appointed Professor of Economics. She is the first female professor in the Economics Department.

2017

“Every major business education in Sweden, with the exception of Lund, has seen a decrease in terms of female applicants in 2017. Our theory, right now, is that this was some kind of one-off thing, because we are doing everything that we are supposed to be doing to attract a more diverse student body in terms of gender and everything else. If this happens again we will start panicking.” - Karol Vieker, Equality & Diversity Manager

#METOO

2018

63% MEN 37% WOMEN enrolled in the B&E Program, Fall 2017

The #MeToo movement gains momentum; story after story unfolds in the media and our personal lives. 2400 women sign #Akademiuppropet, the #MeToo petition within academics.

Louise Thilander and Hilma Björk initiate the two #MeToo petitions within Finance. Minimax releases this special issue.

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“I THINK WE HAVE A RESPONSIBILITY TO SPEAK UP AND REPORT” TEXT // OLIVIA KRALL Lars Strannegård, the President of SSE

Sexual harassment has been a prevalent issue at SSE, as well as the rest of society, throughout its history. The perpetrators and the targets have been both employees and students. SSE is now working actively against these cases. Minimax spoke to Lars Strannegård, the President of SSE, about the school’s efforts to minimize sexual harassment at SSE and where we go from here.

DESIGN // F I L I P PA H Ö G L I N G P H OTO / / K R I S TA G L Ö D S TA F

Name: Lars Strannegård

Age: 48

Career: Strannegård took his PhD at Gothenburg University, and his thesis was named Green Ideas in

Business. Before

becoming

President at SSE, he held the Bo Rydin och SCA’s professorate in business, focusing on leadership.

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What can SSE do to minimize sexual harassment in the business world and society? “One way of describing the #MeToo movement is that it so clearly has shown that that too many men treat women disrespectfully. As students, you spend a few very formative years at SSE and I think it is absolutely essential that you leave the school with a strong sense of respect for each other and a clear awareness of limits to behavior. This is of course difficult since – as #MeToo has shown - the disrespect is deeply ingrained in many people and spans over nations, industries and social classes. One of the things we can do is keep the discussion alive. At SSE, we have a Diversity and Equality Manager, Karol Vieker, whose job essentially is about making

sure that we treat each other with respect. It all boils down to what is okay and what is not, and how clearly we communicate the rules. We are continuously discussing this, and we have one pronounced goal: To encourage students to report misbehavior. We know that violations occur everywhere, #MeToo has made that very clear. But if we are not made aware of cases of violations, it is difficult for us to address them. I really want to stress the importance of speaking up. The more reports we get, the more we can do.”

How do we create an environment where people feel like they can speak up and report? “We always put the victim first. I understand the difficulties attached


to speaking up, but I think we all have a responsibility to speak up and report. If you are a student at SSE, it means that you have signed the Student Pledge by which you have taken part of the school’s Disciplinary Statutes, which very clearly state what you are not allowed to do. When an incident is reported, we always listen to the victim. Investigations are conducted in complete confidentiality and as discreetly as possible. We follow the correct legal procedures and our Disciplinary Statutes. It is very important that students feel comfortable speaking to Vieker first to discuss appropriate actions. It might help to just talk about what has happened and get confirmation and understanding that what happened was not right. In most cases, if you feel that a line has been crossed, it has. If something has happened to one person, then it may happen to the next, so by reporting you are not only helping yourself, but also the people around you.”

What can SSE still improve?

Everybody benefits from more self-awareness, and students are no exceptions. Many students at SSE are used to getting their way, are very driven, and will sometimes not take no for an answer. This is of course a delicate balance act. Most of the time, such a mindset is only about perseverance and ambition. But if this mindset entails treating other people without respect, then you might easily end up in situations with consequences such as those reported by #MeToo. It is difficult to create a respectful community and that’s why we need all of your efforts. The school also needs to increase the elements that help further self-awareness and personal development, so that students can become even more well-rounded.”

In what ways has the publishing of 179 Years of Solitude affected SSE’s work with these issues?

“Many students at SSE are used to getting their way, are very driven, and will sometimes not take no for an answer.

“I think we can still develop the responsibility we have as educators in relation to our students. I want us to be more involved in shaping the culture at the school and to sometimes balance the student culture which can become too independent. This holds especially true for the bachelor programs and is something I want to work with more. The SSE culture should be a result of a co-creation between the school and its students.

On this note, I think students should focus more on their studies and less on working or studying at other institutions. I would like to see a culture where the time you have left over after studies is dedicated to creating a better community at SSE. I want students to build communities rather than becoming purely transactional. And I want students to be kind and respectful to each other.The so-called “SSE bubble” needs to be even more focused on creating a good environment for all students, and I believe the school needs to play an active part in this ambition.

“179 Years of Solitude has been a huge help. While it was focused on SSE, and bore witness about what student life can be like here, it also said a lot about society. It broke barriers and gave us more arguments in our endeavour for gender equality and equal opportunities.

We still need more female professors. But after a few years with a clear strategy to improve the situation, we now have higher rankings, and among economic institutions in Sweden we find ourselves in the upper half instead of at the bottom of the list. We regard this as a matter of quality and are actively working to improve all parameters. If we do not have gender balance in our faculty, if people are treated badly or are harassed, and we do nothing to stop it, then students will graduate from SSE with a bad experience and the quality of the school will decrease. Every time an SSE alum exercises power based on gender, the school’s reputation is in danger. But it’s about more than reputation. I want SSE to be a safe and welcoming place for everyone, where people feel that they are free be who they are.”

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CALL PEOPLE OUT: INTERVIEW WITH KAROL VIEKER a

TEXT // OLIVIA KRALL

P H OTO / / I S A B E L L E H E

“I think a lot of it has to do with instilling and empowering people to have a little courage. Somebody, open your mouth and call other people out, and everyone else, back that person up.” Minimax sat down with SSE’s Equality and Diversity Manager, Karol Vieker, and discussed discrimination, harassment and sexual harassment at SSE. Karol Vieker, Equality and Diversity Manager at SSE

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What are the biggest changes that have occurred since you were appointed in August 2015? “Regarding discrimination and harassment, nearly everyone at SSE now knows that my watchdog role exists. I do get paid by the school, but I bark as much at the school as I do at the students. People know that there is someone they can turn to and that

something will happen. In general, the biggest change is that there is a whole new level of awareness about these kinds of issues, though we still have a long way to go. There are so many things that we still need to work on and change, but it is clearly on the agenda. I have an exponentially increasing number of cases that I deal with. My theory is that this is going to continue for a few more years. Hopefully, the more cases that are reported and taken care of, the more people are going to understand that they are not going to get away with it, and then the actual frequency will decrease. We know now that only the tip of the iceberg is being reported; the more iceberg I get the better, because that means that we are actually addressing the problem.”


What needs to change within the student body? “I think the biggest issue that needs to be addressed is the relationship to alcohol. I am not anti-alcohol, but there is a lot of it in student life in general. The number one risk factor for sexual harassment is alcohol. SSE and SASSE can lead by example by making sure that alcohol is consumed responsibly at all parties and events.” What other major changes still need to occur? “In terms of employees, there is a lot currently happening only on an individual level. The biggest challenge for all of us who work here is to get everyone up to at least a minimum level of seeing that this is important. For example, it does make a difference when the faculty puts in a little extra effort to improve their teaching. The big challenge among the students is similar. It is clear from the equality and diversity question on course evaluations that there are varying levels of understanding regarding why these issues are important; we need to bring everyone up to at least a minimum level. We are the ones educating you and you are the ones that are going to end up in often influential positions. Even if it is still a long way off, we want to have that kind of understanding in society as well. You do not have to spend all your free time working for equality issues, but at least make sure that your employees are in a safe and inclusive environment.” Is there any training regarding these issues at SSE? “The employees do a one-time mandatory half-day workshop with me, which we follow up on in different ways. The new SASSE board and Equality Group get a halfday workshop with me, and the Introduction Week project group gets a full day. It is all a work in progress, but it is moving in the right direction. Part of my job is to specifically work with and for the students, and I am always available to help out. I do not have a mandate to force SASSE to do any of this. We want to foster an environment where we can work together. It is easy to force people to do something. But when you talk about getting people to change their attitudes and actions, the real difference is made when one person is sitting and talking with another, explaining why their behavior is unacceptable.” DESIGN | F I L I P P A H Ö G L I N G

How do we deal with a culture of silence and rumors at SSE? “Do not spread rumors. If you hear a rumor, try to find out if it is true by asking me or another employee that you trust. I do not know to what extent things were dealt with prior to August 2015, but I know that they are dealt with now. However, we cannot do something about things we do not know about. Even if a majority of students know about a particular case, it does not necessarily mean that the school does. It has to be lifted to our attention so that we can take it to another level. Even if the rumor cannot be corroborated, let the school know, just in case. If you are unsure about something, just come and ask me, and if I cannot help you, I will send you to the right person. Depending on what is going on we can start having a dialogue about where we to go from here.” How do we build a supportive environment so that people feel comfortable reporting? “We have to make it very clear, and put action behind the words, that if you go forward with this, we will do everything possible to make sure that you have all the support that you need. If it is a situation where two students are in the same class, where it is possible, we make sure that you are never in the same seminar group together, for example. Those are the easy fixes. If someone is brave enough to report, support this person and not the perpetrator. We need to build on a culture of supporting each other, not further victimizing the person. From the school’s side, if we go forward with something and the person is being victimized again for coming forward, then the message is: bring that case back to us and that is a new case for us to deal with. We will keep doing that until people realize that it is unacceptable. I know that being in a subordinate position is a big hurdle for students, but dare to take that step. If we can prove that something has happened, I do not care who it is, if we can make the case, nobody is untouchable. If you come and report something to me and say that you want to go forward with it, then it is all hands on deck. And we do not stop until we are satisfied that we have carried out a proper investigation and have come to a reasonable conclusion.”

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#METOO AT SSE T E X T / / O L I V I A K R A L L A N D S I G U R D LO G R Ă˜ R E N

The following stories are a small fraction of the sexual harassment that has occured at SSE. All of the stories are anonymous to protect the people involved, as well as to keep the focus on the big picturethat these things do happen here at SSE, in varying degrees, just as the stories depict. We have been careful in selecting the stories, all of which have occured in the past three years, in order to protect 14

identities as we are at a small school, and to not affect any on-going investigations. Each of the people that have come forward have spoken to the Editor-in-chief or Vice Editor-in-chief, and have either written their stories themselves or with the help of the two of us. We have also asked them to speak to Karol Vieker about their case if they have not already done so.

DESIGN | F I L I P P A H Ă– G L I N G


I was on my way home one night after a school event. Even though it really doesn’t matter, I wasn’t drunk. It was just after 10 at night and I was on the metro on the short distance to my station. When exiting the train, I sensed that someone was walking behind me and I looked back to see a man. I went up the escalator and the stairs, around the corner to walk the few hundred meters to my apartment. 50 meters later, I looked back behind me and saw the same man trying to catch up with me. He started talking to me, asking me which school I went to and I told him that I went to SSE. In hindsight, I regret that I told him that. He told me that he was (working) at SSE and continued talking to me as I walked towards my apartment. I didn’t want him to know where I lived, so I decided to stop a couple of doors away and said that I lived there and that I should go inside, to get rid of him. He then asked for my name and I told him a similar name to my own, but not my own name. He then tried to kiss my cheek and told me that he would like to meet

again. I didn’t answer and waited for him to leave before I went to my own apartment. He told me that he lived in another part of the city and that he should catch the bus home. Knowing this, he had probably gotten off the train at my station just to follow me. The following day, I received an email to my student account from this man, who had most likely found me on the Student Portal. He asked me out for a date, told me that our meeting couldn’t have been accidental and finished the email with a short poem. When I didn’t answer the email, he sent me a text message asking again. I didn’t answer this message either and later that day he called me, asking me out again. I declined the invitation and finished the call. After the call he then texted me again. At this time I felt very uncomfortable and was afraid that I was going to meet him in school, so I decided to speak to someone who could help me handle the situation. After this, he didn’t contact me again.

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I was in the office of one of my professors during visiting hours, simply to ask about a failed exam. In reality this should have take about 5 minutes. After almost 2 hours, I had heard about almost every aspect of his private life, and every time I tried to ask my question about the exam he would turn the conversation back to his life. It all ended with him telling me what I should look for in a partner and grading my looks, before looking over my exam for about 3 minutes. The whole meeting made extremely uncomfortable and I didn’t know what to do because I wanted to go over my exam, so I just sat there quietly.

A group of women have finished a school project and as a part of the project they presented their idea at a company event. During the mingle after the presentation, a male company representative approached one of the girls and said: “I could not say this during the Q/A session, because people might take this the wrong way. Please, don’t take this the wrong way. But I was very surprised to see that you came up with the same solution as us, even though you are all girls.” 16


Defining moments. Some moments simply define who we are. what we stand for. what we believe in. I’m convinced, I live by it. Putting words, values into action- proving, doing. easily said. as easily abandoned. I’m convinced, I learn from it. I defined myself. Proved myself. So did SSE. I am proud. Hopeful. Thankful. SSE puts words, values into action- SSE proves, SSE does. I am convinced. I heal from it.

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We are Here.

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DESIGN | S Y LV I A H O N G Q I U S H U I Z H E N G


RAPE CULTURE

The term rape culture is used to describe a setting in which rape is pervasive and normalized due to societal attitudes about gender and sexuality. Behaviors commonly associated with rape culture include victim blaming, slut shaming, sexual objectification, trivializing rape, denial of widespread rape, refusing to acknowledge the harm caused by some forms of sexual violence, or some combination of these.

EXPLICIT VIOLENCE RAPE . INCEST. MOLESTATION . MURDER . GANG RAPE. REMOVAL OF AUTONOMY DOSING. STATUTORY RAPE. SEXUAL COERCION. GROPING. SAFE WORD VIOLATIONS. COVERT CONDOM REMOVAL.

DEGRADATION CAT CALLS. DICK PICS. THREATS. STALKING. REVENGE PORN. GROPING. UP SKIRT PHOTOS.

NORMALIZATION ”BOYS WILL BE BOYS”. RAPE JOKES. HOMOPHOBIA. TRANSPHOBIA. UNWANTED NON-SEXUAL TOUCH. ”LOCKER ROOM TALK”. SEXIST ATTITUDES. DISCLOSURE OF PRIVATE DETAILS. NON-CONSENTUAL PHOTOGRAPHY. VICTIM BLAMING.

There are no isolated events. Everything happens in a context. Attitudes and actions on the bottom of the pyramid reinforce and excuse those higher up. This is systemic.

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DARE TO SPEAK UP :

INTERVIEW WITH SASSE PRESIDENTS TEXT // OLIVIA KRALL P H OTO & D E S I G N / / S Y LV I A H O N G Q I U S H U I Z H E N G

Left to right: Sofia Arnekull, the President of SASSE 17/18, and Rebecca Gustavsson, the President of SASSE 18/19

“You can always fall back on the purpose of SASSE: to promote good camaraderie between the students at SSE. Sexual harassment does not fall under good camaraderie.” The Presidents of SASSE 17/18 and 18/19, Sofia Arnekull and Rebecca Gustavsson, talk about what the Student Association can do, and is doing, to combat sexual harassment. What are your thoughts on sexual harassment at SSE and within SASSE? Sofia Arnekull: “Considering this is a problem in our society, SASSE and SSE are not an exception. It is really good that we actually have an Equality and Diversity Manager, Karol Vieker. It means that more cases are being reported more than ever if you compare SSE to other universities. Now people can speak up to a person who they feel they can trust, and we can solve the problem and work proactively in the future.” Is there any policies within SASSE right now regarding these issues? Is there anything that is going to be implemented? SA: “The number one policy that we rely on, when working with the cases that are being reported, are our Disciplinary Statutes: our rules and disciplinary actions.

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“IT IS YOUR BUSINESS IF YOU COULD HELP PREVENT SOMETHING REALLY BAD FROM HAPPENING.” However, what we are truly missing is a clear action plan. Right now, we are more likely to report it to the school. I think we need to implement a clear action plan for how people can report and what the consequences actually are. We are currently having a close dialogue with the Chair of the Student Council, Ida Andersson, and are working on a policy and action plan against sexual harassment, which is something the new board will carry on with as well, together with the Students Council’s Board of Directors. We also have the Alcohol Policy and the Equality Plan. Communication between the President of SASSE, the Equality Representative, and the Equality and Diversity Manager at SSE is key.”

but also feel safe to begin with?

SA: “I think that what you (Rebecca) said about just raising awareness is super important. We have been increasing the budget for security guards, in order to make sure that there is a safe environment at parties. The people in charge and those working at the bars also need to look for more signs than just people who have had too much to drink. If people look uncomfortable, or people are behaving strangely, they should go out there and ask a simple question like, ‘Hey, are you okay?’ That does not need to be limited just to the Come Forward people working at the bars Rebecca Gustavsson: “I think the most and the guards, it should be important thing is raising awareness about anyone. Just make sure that how you actually take action when something the people around you are happens. This is what we can do foremost to feeling okay. This is up to the make SASSE a safe environment. You should feel individual since we all have our own limits.” like you can speak up when something like this happens. I have also spoken with Charlie Bech- RG: “Some of us may feel like it is none of our Jansen, the new Equality Representative, about business, but it is your business if you could help having a contact person from the Equality Group prevent something really bad from happening.” within every committee so that if you have doubts about how you should handle something, you can Is there anything else you would like to add? always contact that person.” RG: “Everyone should know that you will always SA:“We have also been discussing a ‘Whistleblower be seriously listened to.You can always turn to the System’. I know that the school is also thinking President of SASSE, the Equality representative, along the same kind of lines.” or anyone else in the SASSE board or Board of Directors.” What is the whistleblower system? SA: “Dare to speak up. As soon as you dare to SA: “It is a system to help people report cases in speak up, I am confident that you will get support a simple way. By reporting online, you can choose and that you will encounter others who have to be either anonymous or report your name. been through the same thing. It is really easy Obviously, it makes it easier for us to help if you to think that you are alone, and it is really easy put your name on it, but it is better to know even to think that this is just my little problem, why a little bit than nothing at all.” should I even tell anyone about this? But the more people that speak up, the better we can handle How do we create an environment where the different issues.” people not only feel safe coming forward,

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EVERYONE SHOULD FEEL SAFE

—— INTERVIEW WITH THE ENTERTAINMENT COMMITTEE T E X T / / V E N D E L A PA L M QU I S T & S I G U R D L O G R Ø R E N P H OTO / / V E N D E L A PA L M QU I S T D E S I G N / / S Y LV I A H O N G Q I U S H U I Z H E N G

Left to right: Fredrik Agmén, President of the Entertainment Committee 17/18, and Oscar Dieden, President of the Entertaintment Committee 18/19

Many consider parties a high risk-zone for sexual harassment. In SASSE, it is the Entertainment Committee that organizes most of the festivities. We interviewed the former and the newly-elected President of the Entertainment Committee, Fredrik Agmén and Oscar Dieden, about the drinking culture in SASSE and how they work to prevent sexual harassment. How would you describe the drinking culture within SASSE in general? “I would say that the drinking culture within The Student Association is very intense. The new after-school pubs that the Entertainment Committee is introducing this upcoming year will encourage a more relaxed view where you can have a beer while mingling with friends. We want people in SASSE to perceive alcoholic beverages like a social thing, rather than something that is necessary to have fun,” Agmén states. “We have also introduced proper alcohol-free drinks during parties, which will be better marketed in the future,” he adds. Despite this criticism, Agmén and Dieden also emphasize that students at SSE take good

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“EVERYONE SHOULD FEEL SAFE WHEREVER THEY ARE, ESPECIALLY AT SCHOOL AND AT SCHOOL PARTIES. ” care of each other and the premises at parties. According to them both, the guards working at SASSE parties prefer working at these parties since they are significantly more calm and wellbehaved than other student parties. Is it the responsibility of the Entertainment Committee that the Rotunda and the Pub is free from sexual harassment? “Absolutely! Since everyone should feel safe it is very important,” Agmén states, even more engaged than before. “In addition, it also affects our alcohol permit. Hence, it is absolutely our responsibility,” he adds. “I think that as soon as incident of sexual harassment has happened, it is a problem. It should never be accepted. Everyone should feel safe wherever they are, especially at school and at school parties. Once someone feels unsafe, it is a problem, and then, we need to work more actively with it,” Dieden states. If you have ever experienced sexual harassment at SASSE parties, who should you contact? “It is important to emphasize that you always can seek help from us in the Entertainment Committee or the guards during a party if you have experienced something that makes you uncomfortable,” says Dieden, before he elaborates further. “At the internal [Entertainment Committee] education, we discuss how to detect sexual harassment at parties and how to prevent it in the best way. Our goal is that people should not need to notify us. We want to be able to prevent it before it even happens.”

What actions are you planning to take to make the party culture within SASSE safer? “One action that we have recently been discussing is a so-called “emergency drink”. If you order this drink it indicates “please, contact the guards” or “please, remove this person who is bothering me”. We hope to implement this action during the spring. Many, especially girls, think that this will help,” Agmén says. How is the party culture within the Entertainment Committee? “I would describe it as “united”. It is really important that we do things together as a group,” Agmén says merrily and with a big smile. “It’s like a family. We really care about each other. When you are sweeping the floors in the Rotunda at 05:30 A.M. while trying to smile, you really start caring for each other,” says Dieden. Previously, there have been problematic tradition in SASSE. Are there traditions within the Entertainment Committee that can be considered sexual harassment? “Like the rest of the association, there has been elements of such traditions before, but I have never experienced something like that in the Entertainment Committee,” Agmén says. He also emphasizes that the 50/50 gender balance within the Entertainment Committee is a strength. Dieden agrees and continues, “After #MeToo, I think that a lot of people have started to reflect on what each individual considers sexual harassment. I think that people define it very differently and that #MeToo has been an eye-opener for many who have not reflected on their own behavior.”

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HOW TO REPORT HARASSMENT At SSE, when you report, the goal is to get justice for the victim and to set an example about how serious SSE thinks this is. There is a huge spectrum of consequences; the punishment is always in proportion to the crime. You have something to report

You report to a school eployee. The employee can report it to Veiker if the victim agrees. The case is reported to Karol Veiker.

The victim goes forward with the case and Vieker decides how to proceed. How the case is handled depends on who the perpetrator is, regardless of who the victim is.

The perpetrator is a student: The case is handled by Vieker and Lars Henriksson.

You don’t report it. Nothing happens.

The victim decides against going forward with the case. It’s completely up to the person and that decision is respected.

The perpetrator is an employee: The case is handled by Vieker and HR.

A recommendation, based on the investigation, is made to Lars Strannegård, who makes the final decision.

Verbal warning

Written warning

Suspension

Expulsion

Regarding suspensions and expulsions, it is possibile to appeal to the Disciplinary Committee. The decisions are based on SSE’s disciplinary statutes, which include the discrimination legislation, and are separate from criminal cases. The disciplinary investigations are done to such a high degree that they are 99.9% sure that it would also hold up in a criminal case. Nothing is reported to the police unless the victim wants to, and then, since everyone here is legally an adult, the victim reports it while SSE stands behind them.

Verbal warning

Written warning

Suspension

Dismissal

Decisions are made in accordance with Swedish employment legislation. Extreme cases such as physical assault or rape are grounds for dismissal. When it comes to sexual harassment, when it’s obvious things such as grabbing a woman’s breasts, the perpetrator should have understood from the beginning that it was unacceptable behavior. Otherwise, the legislation states that the perpetrator must be made aware of the fact that their behavior is unwelcome and has to stop.

The outcome of the investigation is dependent on the case. The investigators follow a very strict judicial process and are charged with being as impartial as possible, since while they want the victim to get justice, the perpetrator is innocent until proven guilty.

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TEXT | O L I V I A K R A L L


How to support someone you know who has been sexually harassed or assaulted:

KAROL VIEKER karol.vieker@hhs.se 08-736 9079

First of all, take is seriously. The best thing you can do is listen; you do not have to know what to say, and there is not a lot you can do to make it better. So, just listen, be supportive, and if they want to talk to someone who can do something about it, whether it’s with Vieker, a teacher, a counselor, etc., make it clear that you are there for them. Offer to go with them or if they go by themselves, call them afterwards. Just be supportive and, most importantly, be there for them.

28 reported cases

The HR department

2016 - 2017 (26 resolved, 2 ongoing)

Perpetrator - Victim

Staff - Staff

Faculty - Student

Student - Staff

Number of Incidents

2

8

1

Faculty - Staff

Student - Faculty

Student - Student

Other

2

3

5

7

Discrimination 29% of cases

Sexual Harassment 11% of cases

22 reported cases DESIGN | F R A N S I S K A A S P E G R É N

Harassment 29% of cases

Bullying 21% of cases

2017 - 2018 (as of Jan 31, 2018)

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NINA ÅKESTAM: ”WE HAVE OPENED A DOOR THAT WE CAN NOT CLOSE” Nina Åkestam, research fellow at Center for Consumer Marketing

“Nina Åkestam has just defended her PhD thesis on stereotypical and non-stereotypical images in advertising, and how these affect customers as well as brands. She is also a frequent voice in mainstream media, bringing down an academic sledgehammer on sexism, one subway advertisement at the time. Minimax met with Nina to discuss feminism, stereotypes and the cost of inequality in workplaces.

TEXT // M AT I L D A F O R S DESIGN // F I L I P PA H Ö G L I N G P H OTO / / K R I S TA G L Ö D S TA F

Name: Nina Åkestam Career: Graduated from SSE in 2007. Worked in advertising in Stockholm and New York until 2012, then started her PhD at SSE. As of December 2017 she’s a research fellow at Center for Consumer Marketing at SSE. In addition, she lectures, write a column for Metro magazine, and have written the book “Meningen med hela skiten”. Reading tips: “Hon är inte jag” by Golnaz Hashemzadeh. Someone she admires: Professor Sara Rosengren. Follow Nina Åkestam on Facebook for thought, links and blog posts that focus on a norm-critical approach.

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Could you share the story about your awakening as a feminist? “It began when I started working in advertising, right after graduating from SSE. I’d actually been quite confused when we discussed gender as a part of the organization course — I didn’t understand why people would behave as the textbooks described, but during the first year in my workplace, almost all of the things we’d discussed at school, actually happened. I then realized that a lot of the things I’d previously dismissed as random events — for example, that I’d fallen out of touch with male friends as we got older, or the fact that a lot of male students chose to study finance, while the female students chose marketing — were actually parts of a larger structure.” Your research has had a large focus on stereotypes and norms in advertising. Why is this important?

“If you google ‘vintage ads’, a lot of the images tend to be very typical portrayals of that time. It could be dutiful housewives in the 1930’s, or puffed-up yuppies from the 1980’s. Advertising is inclined to represent and even reinforce the ideas of a certain time. So in a sense, the pictures we show create the reality we live in — how we think, what we buy, what we strive for. That’s why it’s so important to show pictures that have a positive influence on people, and not pictures that make them feel marginalized or self-conscious.” In your opinion, what is the biggest loss of living in a society where men and women don’t participate on the same premises? “I’d say that on an individual level, the biggest loss is that people become limited in what they choose to do and which goals they choose to pursue. It might mean refraining from going into a career that one would be perfectly suited for, or not making


friends with people of the opposite gender. Naturally, this is a problem that reaches into society as a whole, to the extent that we can never be really sure if we have the right person for the job — and not just the ”right gender” — in any position. I’d say that this is a huge loss; politically, socially, economically and also in terms of creativity and problem solving. Gender norms make everything much more rigid than it should be.” As aspiring economists and businesspeople, we like to think in terms of revenue and cost. Is it possible to see any purely economical consequences of increased equality in workplaces? “Again, there are multiple layers to this issue. On an individual level and with the current political system, women earn less than men during their lifetime. So if nothing changes, women who graduate from SSE now will earn less than their male classmates, along with smaller pensions. However, looking in the bigger perspective, and particularly from the perspective of companies, we come back to the idea of having the right person in the right place. Across so many industries, there are expectations on professional skills based on gender, which leads us to assign roles based on pretty weak merits. What’s the cost of having your employees underperform, simply because they’re not given the full opportunities to do what they are best suited to do? What could be the profit of putting the right person in the right position? As you understand, the potential gains of breaking normbased thinking are limitless. A third aspect of this issue is that inequality increases the risk for mental illness and burnout. Women might be under more pressure to perform and prove their worth, compared to their male colleagues. Ultimately, the cost of mental illness is not only borne by employers, but by society at large.” As a result of #MeToo, a lot of people are talking about zero tolerance when it comes to sexual harassment, but how do you translate these ideas into practice and truly alter the culture of a school or workplace? “I think that a pronounced policy of zero tolerance goes a long way. Just that gender equality is continuously brought up as something that we should work towards, and the fact that this is not up for debate is very important. Also, clear directives for what happens if someone doesn’t follow the rules! There has to be consequences for acts

of misconduct. Otherwise a policy of zero tolerance doesn’t mean anything.” How do you communicate with someone who is obviously sexist? Is it even possible? “My strategy as a feminist has always been to communicate with those who are actually curious and willing to listen. It’s a matter of self-preservation — if I’m to stay engaged in these questions year after year, I need to save my energy. I figure that even the most reactionary people will sooner or later catch up. With that said, if you experience harassment of any kind, you should always report it.” What are you hoping for as the next step for the #MeToo movement? “I hope that we’ve opened a door that we can’t close! Some people have compared this to the fight for women’s right to vote in the beginning of the 20th century. Back then it was extremely controversial, but today not even the most conservative parties in the Swedish parliament would consider retracting women’s right to vote. The question of public preschools has followed a similar course. So hopefully, #MeToo will make it impossible to relativize sexual harassment and sexism anymore. It will become something that we’re forced to confront and find solutions for. If you’d gone around just a few months ago and asked people whether sexual harassment existed in their workplace, most people would’ve said no. Today, no one can say that. I hope we’re in the middle of a true shift of paradigms.” Last but not least, what would the Nina of today like to have said to the freshly graduated Nina from SSE? “Well, for starters, I’d like to tell her that the fault is not in her but in the system! Also, I’d like to advise her to shift some focus from herself. The older you get, the more you realize that so many things that you worry about actually have nothing to do with you. Educationwise, I’d like to tell her not to take all the choices and crossroads, like choosing a specialization in the third year, so seriously. You can change your mind and your career so many times.”

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FINALLY, THE #METOO MOVEMENTS REACHES FINANCE INTERVIEW WITH THE WOMEN BEHIND THE #METOO PETITIONS WITHIN THE FINANCE SECTOR. TEXT // SIGURD LOG RØREN

D E S I G N / / S Y LV I A H O N G Q I U S H U I Z H E N G

During the Swedish #MeToo debate, the finance sector was absent for a long time. Louise Thilander and Hilma Björk were sick of the deafening silence. Therefore, they initiated the two petitions against sexual harassment within the finance sector. Thilander is the Head of SEB’s website and Björk is a customer analyst at the insurance company Folksam. They have now initiated two petitions against sexual harassment within finance that now 300 women have signed: #inteminskuld translates to “Not My Debt”, which in Swedish can be interpreted as “Not My Fault”. #påvåravillkor translates to “On Our Terms”. Why did you initiate the #MeToo petitions within finance? “When #MeToo was happening everywhere and our sectors were still silent, we took the matters in our own hands.” What do you want to achieve? “Real change. We want our employers, industry organizations, unions, and colleagues to understand that the structures we see in society also effects the finance sector. Sexual harassment is not single cases of “clumsiness”, but a result of a culture where patronizing, belittling comments and sexist jargon are normalized and accepted. By working with our values and acting vigorously against all types of discrimination and oppression, even at the lower levels, we will counteract sexual harassment and more severe assaults.”

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What do you think has caused this amount of sexual harassment within finance? “It is the same reason regardless of where it happens. It is due to those structures that enable, more or less visible, and sometimes unconsciously, oppression of women.” What can SSE students do to help create a business community free from sexual harassment? “Start with yourself. Reflect on how you think. Reflect and then act in your everyday life. Start talking about these questions, in mixed groups or at “guys dinners”. If you are a guy, listen to women who talk about their experiences of sexual harassment and assault without questioning their experience. Lastly, demand from teachers and institutions that questions regarding equality, harassment, offending special treatment, and norm-critical thinking are included in the education.” The culture within finance is heavily debated. What are your tips to young women who are considering a career within finance? “The finance sector is not worse than any of the other sectors or society in general. Choose a sector and tasks after interests and try to choose a good boss with healthy values.”


I AM NO LONGER ACCEPTING THE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE, I AM CHANGING THE THINGS I CANNOT ACCEPT. -ANGELA DAVIS

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THINKING OF HARASSING SOMEONE? IT’S TIME TO GET GET YOUR SHIT TOGETHER. HERE’S HOW.

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TEXT // SIGURD LOG RØREN DESIGN // FRANSISKA ASPEGREN


OPINION The famous author Jan Guillou said that he does not dare to have female acquaintances after #MeToo. The musician (and former SSE Student that never graduated) Alexander Bard tweeted: “Guys, don’t flirt with girls. Ever. And when they flirt with you, ignore. It should at least keep you safe – until they start lying. #metoo”

can do to with their own bodies and define what they, personally, define as sexual harassment. Still unsure? Here are some principles to guide:

In this post-#MeToo world, is it dangerous to be a man who flirts? Of course not. You can flirt, but you cannot sexually harass someone and the difference is obvious. According to Swedish law (and common sense), the one being harassed is always the one to decide whether it was harassment or not. I have the right to decide over my body. So do you. So does the woman dancing in the Rotunda. Everyone has the right to decide what people

• Treat others the way you would like to be treated—with respect! • Consent is golden. Only a “yes” is a “yes”. A lack of a “no” is not consent. • Have you been an ass several times while consuming alcohol? Then it is time to consider not drinking. • Ever in doubt? Ask! • Do you regret something you have done? Say sorry! • Be an “upstander”, not a bystander: If your friend is behaving badly, tell them. • Reflect over your position of power. Are you in a prominent position which might make it hard to refuse?

If you are still in doubt, I have made this quiz to help you understand the difference:

3

Is it okay to use a hug as an excuse to rub your erect penis against someone’s thigh? A Yes, of course. Men’s sexuality is so spontaneous that they cannot control it. B Hmm, this one is hard to tell. C No, it is sexual harassment.

4

You are a teacher assistant. Is it okay to help a student to solve a practice exam? A Yes, of course. B Hmm, this one is hard to tell. C No, it is sexual harassment.

5

You are a teacher assistant. You start declaring your love over email to a student you have never talked to, only stared at during class. You decided to follow her when she walks home. Is it okay? A Yes, of course. B Hm, this one is hard to tell. C Nom, it is sexual harassment.

7

Is it okay for a professor to grade a student’s looks instead of advising the student on the upcoming exam? A Yes, of course. B Hmm, this one is hard to tell. C No, it is sexual harassment.

8

Is it okay to smile at someone you consider pretty? A Yes, of course. B Hmm, this one is hard to tell. C No, it is sexual harassment.

9

Is it okay to yell “Hey sexy!” at someone you consider pretty? A Yes, of course. B Hm, this one is hard to tell. C Nmo, it is sexual harassment.

10

Is it okay to “grab the pussy” of someone you consider pretty? A Yes, of course. B Hmm, this one is hard to tell. C No, it is sexual harassment. Solution (Unless there is explicit consent of course):

2

Is it okay to hug someone who does not want a hug from you? A Yes, of course. B Hmm, this one is hard to tell. C No, it is sexual harassment.

6

Is it okay for a professor to give a student advice on how to pass the next exam? A Yes, of course. B Hmm, this one is hard to tell. C No, it is sexual harassment.

ACCACACACC

1

Is it okay to hug someone? A Yes, of course. B Hmm, this one is hard to tell. C No, it is sexual harassment.

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“PROTECTING THE VALUE OF OUR EDUCATION DOES NOT EXCLUDE PROTECTING OUR VALUE AS HUMAN BEINGS” Up until recently, I thought that being easily offended was one of the most unlikable characteristics a person could have. Then #MeToo happened. I realized that not liking the quality of being easily offended is dangerous in many ways. Thinking of it as being irritating, and simply irksome, is also a way to shut oneself off against injustice.

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DESIGN | F I L I P P A H Ö G L I N G


Being afraid to seem easily offended can make me reluctant, in many situations, to stand up for myself, excusing inappropriate behavior, just to avoid being “one of those girls”. I remember when a friend of mine told me of an incident that happened in the Rotunda a fellow student set out to make out with her without checking if she was up for it, which unfortunately is not an uncommon thing to happen anywhere in the world. I remember her telling me about it in an excusing way“He probably just thought I wanted to, again, I was standing next to him.” Here is where the easily offended comes in. I think most (girls?) can remember a situation when someone (a guy?) misinterpreted the situation and did something you were not completely, or at all, up for. Then, in the fear of seeming as an easily offended person, which social structures has taught us to avoid at all cost, you dodged the discussion and accepted the situation as it was. Even though you have that nagging feeling that something happened at your expense, you find yourself excusing the other person for the unfortunate situation. With the #MeToo movement, I have been forced to question myself, as most of us have. Even though the majority of us are not Martin Timell, we are all in some extent the product of not only our upbringing, social class, and friends, but also our school. Many institutions, including our own, have a legacy that we learn from day one to respect and nourish. We are told on our first day of school that SSE´s brand should be protected and that bad PR is reflecting not only on the worth of our own education, but of all those before us. Consequently, we become the guardians of the less flattering secrets of our school and we enhance all the things that we are proud of. Without much reflection, a culture of silence is born, and as every existing and prior student can testify for, it is not always easy to navigate through our own values, the actual values of the school, and the expectations on us as students. Although, it is never once mentioned that we should keep inappropriate behavior in the dark on our first day, the fear of revealing things that can harm our school, and in extension ourselves, is greater than the fear of letting societal structures pray on our value as humans. With #MeToo, this ends here. Why do we educate ourselves? Well, there are two sides to it. Firstly, it’s to learn facts, how to calculate things, and how to make beautiful PowerPoint slides. Secondly, which TEXT | S A R A E N G S T R Ö M

OPINION

is also independent from what you are studying, is to learn how to become a relatable, tolerable colleague to other grown-ups and members of society. We learn to not wear a hat inside already in middle school. We are taught not to bring a portable cooking stove and make pasta at your desk (as my dad’s colleague strangely once did). These are things that we are supposed to figure out by ourselves by simply existing alongside other people. However, (and this is where it gets real crazy), not behaving like those exposed by the #MeToo movement, has been somewhat absent in earlier history of education. Ask yourself this, students of SSE; If we were to continue promoting a culture of silence, that is completely uncalled for by the values of SSE, what will become of us in the future? What will we bring with us into our future workplaces, and our lives in general? Will it be okay to make out with a colleague that simply happened to stand right next to you? And if you are still not convinced, how do you feel regarding wearing sweatpants to a customer meeting? Or cooking pasta at your desk in the office setting? Being a sexist idiot is just as irrational. Respect the purpose of education and dare to go further than beautiful PowerPoint slides and financial reports. Embrace the possibilities to learn how to coexist with others. You will be, and the rest of us will most definitely be, greatly rewarded. It is a fine line between caring for the school´s brand and reputation without, for that matter, covering up things that in the long run are harmful for us as humans. It only contributes to sustaining a society that has exploited women since the dawn of time. I am not suggesting that protecting our school or protecting ourselves is mutually exclusive - that we either protect the worth of our education or stand up for injustice. I suggest that we can do both as we embark on a journey into a better, more inclusive, and fair society. If anything, I believe that we should continue to speak up, and foster the voices that have begun to speak up with the #MeToo movement. That, in return, will improve how the rest of the world perceives SSE and how it values the worth of our intense and well-spent years of education. So here is some concrete advice; do not cook pasta at your desk, be certain to check if the person you want to kiss wants to kiss you too, or that what you are about to say is appropriate, and lastly, do not be afraid to speak up if something has happened to you. You are not easily offended. You are courageous and one hundred percent right.

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LET’S TALK

TEXT // OLIVIA KRALL D E S I G N / / S Y LV I A H O N G Q I U S H U I Z H E N G

“How late was it?” “Had you been drinking?” “What were you wearing?” “Were you flirting with him?” “Did it look like you were asking for it?” “Why didn’t you leave?” “Are you sure that you didn’t want it?” “Why didn’t you say no?”

The definition of feminism, a sentence I really can’t discrimination looks the same for everyone, that it takes believe I still have to write, is the theory of political, different forms depending on the different identities we are defined by and that society places on economic, and social equality of the sexes. us. It is about using our voice to help those This takes the form of a range of ideologies ”It is about who don’t have one and lending our voices and political and social movements. using our voice to those who need them most. Intersectionality is the interconnected to help those nature of social categorizations such as race, who don’t have In a society that would rather further than hold the perpetrators class, and gender as they apply to a given one and lending victimize accountable, coming forward is a difficult individual or group, regarded as creating overlapping and interdependent systems our voices to decision to make and it can be traumatic to of discrimination or disadvantage, as those who need relive and re-tell. Women are finally being defined by Kimberlé Crenshaw. By applying them most. listened to, and it is so important that they continue to be heard. We need to continue intersectionality to a movement, that for most of history has mostly focused on to give a voice to all individuals who have white, middle-class women, it becomes more inclusive. felt like they could not speak up earlier, and find a way to Intersectional feminism is the understanding that not all lend a voice to those who still feel like they cannot.

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OPINION

Nobody is putting sexual harassment, assault, and bad dates in the same category. We know that all of these are different. Despite them being categorized differently, they are all worth speaking out about.

what they want without repercussions in a world that centers around the satisfaction of men.

In all honesty, I cannot believe that this, something I find so obvious, is still necessary to write, but it is and We have opened a door we can’t close and for us to be it is because of this that we all have to fight to change able to move forward we need to create a culture where these norms. As Nayyirah Waheed wrote in one of her those being marginalized feel safe coming forward and poems, “all the women. in me. are tired.” Tired of being talking about all of their stories, not just with their close told what I should do as a female and how to be more friends, but with everyone. The #MeToo movement, as it “ladylike”. Tired of not being believed and being told that gained momentum and sprung into the public’s eye this we are over-exaggerating and being dramatic. Tired that past October, has been the start of just that. people cannot take no for an answer. Tired of having to ask my friends to contact me when they get home late at The discussion around #MeToo has mostly focused on night, because you never know what can happen.Tired of what women, and those being subjected having to speed-walk with my keys in my to this unacceptable behavior, should do. hand, all my senses at the highest alert, all the women. However, there is still something missing as soon as the sun sets. Tired of having in me. from the whole conversation and it is a women, both friends and strangers, come are tired. clear discussion in regards to what the to me, crying, with their #MeToo stories men need to do. Boys, and men, needs to that keep happening. Tired that we have -Nayyirah Waheed be held accountable for their actions.The to be afraid, that I have to be afraid.Tired perpetrators, and those complicit, should of being told that it is up to those who be considered the problem, not the individuals they are identify as female to fix this problem. Tired of being told victimizing. everything is going to be okay, it is going to be fine, it will all work out in the end. It is not and it will not. It is time to talk about societal constructs; how society’s expectations do not benefit anyone. Call it what you Unless things change. want- systemic sexism, patriarchy, a lack of manners, or simply put, a lack of respect for your fellow human It is time to stop asking us, only half of the world’s beings. No matter what you choose to call it, they are all population, to carry the weight of an issue that affects intertwined and are part of the bigger problem. Society us all. It is time for all of us to contribute to solving this as a whole needs to reconsider the gender norms we systemic issue. It is time for society to question the force upon individuals at a young age, and what we teach constraints we have put on ourselves by continuing to out as acceptable or not. The impact isn’t made if only have a system in place that only benefits a select few. It is one group does it- we all have to. We have to analyze the time for people to be held accountable for their actions, societal constructs that are detrimental to us all; the ones and lack thereof. that allow men to abuse their position of power to get

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“I FOUND MY HERO – NOW SOCIETY NEEDS TO FIND THEIRS”

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DESIGN | F R A N S I S K A A S P E G R É N


OPINION

We all experience defining moments in our lives, revolutionary times which bring significant changes in both opinion and behavior. My defining moment was this autumn when reading the stories about sexual harassment in the news. It was the movement that gave me the courage to post the #MeToo-message on my Facebook timeline and talk about my experience, which before that moment had been too taboo to even mention. The movement and the people behind it became my personal heroes, and I believe that we, as a society, need to find the hero that will truly make these stories count. We need to unite and find what will lead us into a new era of equality.

On a regular day, out of nowhere, there it was – the #MeToo campaign, the single event that in the most unexpected of ways would define the end of 2017. Starting out with the allegations against Harvey Weinstein, women all over the world began to speak up, and in Sweden over 52 000 women signed manifestos against sexual harassment. Although the size of the movement was growing, a Novus survey showed that 45% of men and 30% of women who took part in the survey believed that the campaign was out of proportion, and that it is instead a witch-hunt-in-disguise to punish men. Could this mean that it all was for nothing? That all the people who finally dared to put their experiences into words could have just as well stayed quiet because of the ignorance of society? The result of the survey showed disbelief, but it also showed that 70% of women and 55% of men believed that the campaign was, and is, justified. It meant that the vast majority believed the stories, the problems that surfaced, and in the upcoming change. Acknowledging this is vital because we have to believe in this movement to make the change. We also need to make a change because the stories that have been published can not be ignored.They are there and they will not go away. It is our duty as fellow citizens to react against injustice and make the necessary changes. Just as “Rome wasn’t built in a day”, we can not expect this change to happen overnight. Nevertheless, changes are already being set in place. Politicians are working to

TEXT | J O H A N N A P E R S S O N

legislate laws directed in favor of the campaign and the media continues reporting on issues concerning sexual harassment and assault. However, we can never forget the goal of the movement – change, and the final change lies beyond the government and media. The challenges that we must overcome are found in our everyday lives and, therefore, I believe that we must start by including everyone. We need to make both victims and perpetrators aware of their own faults in order to bring about change, instead of blaming and scrutinizing. We need to understand that everyone, men and women, are responsible for the ongoing issues and the upcoming change. This task, and great responsibility, starts with identifying our heroes, the changemakers – ourselves. Women need to continue talking about their experiences and men need to reflect upon them. Change will only follow if we are in a crisis, and we are. I believe that someone will have to take the lead in this and be the hero that society now needs. We need someone to make #MeToo and the autumn of 2017 count. I do not know who it will be or when we will be able to see this hero, but I believe that the common hero is necessary if we want to find a long-term solution and permanent change. Until then, I will continue to be my own hero and you will continue to be yours, because if we all are not heroes, how can we expect somebody to take the lead and be the hero for us all?

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WE CANNOT GO BACK.

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WHAT WILL HAPPEN NOW ?

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