As we get ready to enjoy what is expected to be one of the best days of summer, we also ponder over what has been on Icelanders’ minds of late besides studded snow tires and the upcoming elections. Here’s a round-up of fresh debates, hot topics and crazy madness from these past few days.
Er jafnrétti að vera með jafn mikið af körlum og konum í öllum stöðum? Er ekki betra að hæfileikasti einstaklingurinn fái starfið? Kynjakvóti er ekki af hinu góða!!
— Elmar Bjarnason (@ElmarBjarnason) April 8, 2018
With the #MeToo revolution sweeping the nation, you’d think we had finally pinned down some fundamentals. Yet, it doesn’t look like everybody has gotten the memo. Football player Elmar Bjarnason and his astonishingly naive tweets on gender equality in Iceland prove that. “The patriarchy is a conspiracy theory—isn’t our PM a woman?” he wrote. “Stop with the BS, just work harder and better than your male counterparts.” Elmar also went on to criticise gender quotas, claiming that an individual should get a job because of their skills not because of their gender. Thank God we have someone like Elmar to show us the light. Now that we know it’s all in our head we can just go back to the kitchen and just work harder. Chop chop.
When it comes to cringy situations however, nobody tops the Icelandic government. After the air attack on Syria carried out by United States, France and Britain, Iceland’s Prime Minister ambiguously claimed on national TV hat Iceland had not specifically expressed any support for the mission. Only one day later, however an assistant to the Minister of Foreign Affairs revealed that the Icelandic government had actually supported the bombings. Awkward.
The news sparked a harsh controversy in Iceland, not only because of the despicable actions of Icelandic authorities, but also because it seems that, in the grip of the Independence Party, the PM and the Left Greens have turned against their own ethos, supporting an organisation they’ve long been opposed to.
Then again, it’s hard to decide on what side of the road to stand on. Among the topics Icelanders are lately divided over, there is a possible ban on diesel cars. A recent survey found that about 39% of people living in Reykjavík are in favour of a ban on diesel cars for the year 2030. In comparison, only 44% of inhabitants would be opposed to such measures. The ban on diesel cars could potentially become part of Iceland’s plan to employ renewable energy for about 40% of local transports. But will it ever be implemented, in a country that loves cars so much it should have a 4×4 stamped on its own flag?