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It's an election year in Sweden, which means all the parties are fighting for everyone's attention. Since we have eight parties in the Riksdag already, and a dozen minor parties outside of the Riksdag trying to get in, some of the advertising ideas in order to cut through the noise can get weird. Like when the feminist party burned money in 2010. These days, as you may have heard, party leaders burn the Q'uran instead.
This seems quite harmless in comparison, the KDU (Christian Democrat Youth) are out campaigning on the beaches of Västerbotten. They are going to where people are to talk politics and answer questions about the party. Clearly repping the party in KDU-marked bathing suits, carrying pamphlets and free beach balls. This has prompted an opinion piece "Someone forgot to tell KDU that 'sell thing with a girl' is out"
The expression 'sell a thing with a girl' was coined by the Swedish Women's Lobby (Sveriges Kvinnolobby) a few years back as they protested sexist advertisements in the subway with their own campaign. The author of the opinion piece in Folkbladet, Linda Westerlind, refers directly to this campaign when she explains the whole concept of 'young girls picking up votes for the autumn elections only wearing swimsuits' rubs her the wrong way. She also reminds us that proposals have been submitted to the Riksdag by active Social Democrat women to ban sexist and sexist advertising.
I'm sorry, but even if it's the girls themselves who came up with the "slightly different" campaign, it's just a proof of how patriarchy's values have been internalized to such a mild degree that you as a woman or girl think it's a good thing to try get attention by doing it with your own body as a tool.
Nike Örbrink, Chairman of the Christian Democratic Youth Association Sweden and a candidate for the Riksdag, responded immediately on Twitter.
We wear jackets when it's cold, T-shirt on a hot spring day, swimwear on the beach. If we want. @Westerlinda from the social democratic Folkbladet, today I also campaign on the beach, do you want me to put on a shirt?
Jackor har vi på oss när det är kallt,
T-shirt en varm vårdag,
badkläder på stranden. Om vi vill.@Westerlinda från socialdemokratiska Folkbladet, idag kampanjar jag också på stranden, vill du att jag ska sätta på mig en tröja? pic.twitter.com/sy0F9bAlEm
— Nike Örbrink (@nikeorbrink) July 8, 2022
Henrik Reimer who was campaigning in Malmö joined in and apologized for wearing shorts in Malmö the other day, to "anyone who may have taken offense or was seduced by our bare legs."
Vissa av oss som kampanjade i Västra Hamnen i Malmö i lördags hade shorts på sig. Vi ber om ursäkt om någon tog illa upp eller förleddes av våra bara ben. 😎 pic.twitter.com/LgLsgO0OSs
— Henrik Reimer (@hreimer) July 8, 2022
At least nobody was twerking for attention. Yet?