Blast from the Past: Boycotting the Girls of Siglufjörður - The Reykjavik Grapevine

Blast from the Past: Boycotting the Girls of Siglufjörður

Blast from the Past: Boycotting the Girls of Siglufjörður

Published March 27, 2017

This March 19 marked the 75th anniversary of the Great Boycott of Siglufjörður women, by the men of said town. This was during the British occupation, you see, and there was a lot of fraternisation. This was not always taken well by the local men, and a game of billiards with the British soon turned violent. The fighting spread out into the street in front of Hótel Siglufjörður, and some locals as well as soldiers were lightly injured.

In retaliation, and aiming for the root of the problem, the young men of Siglufjörður formed a union whose members were forbidden to have anything to do with women who were seen with British soldiers. If members were seen dancing with these women at social events or in any way in breach of their code, they would be summarily fined by the union.

In a small town, the ban was more likely to be observed in the breach and no doubt the union could have amassed considerable wealth with its fines. Instead, the women of Siglufjörður instituted a boycott of their own which was strictly upheld. The men soon saw the error of their ways and the union was disbanded.

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