From Iceland — You Can Call Me Mr. President!

You Can Call Me Mr. President!

You Can Call Me Mr. President!

Published February 5, 2010

You remember our last issue, right? The one where we tried to give some sort of account of what went down in Iceland in 2009 by asking a bunch of folks to contribute their thoughts. And among the group of dudes commenting on THE SITUATION, there was but a single female contributor?

Anyway. I mentioned it then in a disapproving tone, and I apologize now, on behalf of myself as editor, and the Grapevine as a publication. We should have worked harder to add some raging feminine voices to our ranks that time. The problem is noted, and will be avoided in th’ future.

You weren’t the only one that noticed, either. The ordeal recently scored us a write-up in a fancy scholarly web-zine. If you belong to our target audience, you won’t be able to read it (it’s in Icelandic), but I’ll summarize in saying that they were pretty annoyed at us, and that they saw this as a symptom of a larger societal menace that seeks to marginalize women by not seeking out their voices or opinions and is reflected in the media.

Our cries of “they just didn’t seem that interested in contributing to that particular debate!” were met with disdainful reproaches of “maybe you should think about why women aren’t interested in behing heard in your paper, instead of laying the blame for your phallic ignorance on the people you subordinate!”

And I gasped. Issues of gender equality and feminism are subjects that I’ve always held close to heart and taken sorta seriously, and it felt shitty to learn that my efforts to be inclusive weren’t good or far-reaching enough. It sucks to fail. But then some of their arguments seemed sorta far-fetched as well, and it became evident early on that many of those participating in the debate hadn’t read a copy of GV for aeons (if ever). For what it’s worth, a pretty even half of our writers are female – this is evident to anyone who reads the damn thing – and we do strive to cover issues of gender. Our last contribution was Louise Petersson’s excellent recounting of a ‘Gender And Power In Scandinavia’ conference at the University of Iceland in our Xmas issue (go read her excellent feature on ICE-SAR on page 8).

Of course, this doesn’t change the fact that our year-end list was absurdly slanted towards patriarchal penismongers and their penii. And the fact that the local media landscape keeps getting more and more male dominated, both in terms of its subjects and the journalists that cover them.

As for my errors, I accept full responsibility and plead to do better in the coming year. Again: it won’t happen again. Promise.

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