Young Icelandic Women Fed Up With Patriarchy In Paradise For Equal Rights

Young women's frustration with the patriarchy broke out with the #freethenipple movement in 2015. Women flocked to the streets and even to work with bare chests or no bras.

Even though Iceland has been touted internationally as a sort of “paradise for equal rights” a new Ph.D. thesis in sociology by Ásta Jóhannsdóttir points to something different. She interviewed numerous young women who feel that they are confined to social ideas about femininity and that equal rights have not been attained. Jóhannsdóttir says everything is however “going in the right direction because young people are starting to doubt and to defy the “norms.”The thesis focuses on gendered self images of young people aged 18 – 25 in Iceland, the country of equal rights.

The thesis was comprised of four branches, the first concerning ideas of masculinity for young men,  the second on ideas concerning femininity for young women, the third about the #freethenipplemovement and the fourth was an experiment made by the author on habits concerning body hair. What surprised the author was how young men connected fatherhood with masculinity even if they were not asked at all about parental roles. “The young men spoke about being caring fathers.” She speculates whether new laws on paternal leave from the year 2000 may have something to do with this and how laws can have a positive effect. First seen on Iceland Monitor.

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