Monday, March 8, 2010


On Saturday a few exchange student friends and I finally went to Kvindemuseet, the Women's Museum at Århus. I had been thinking about women's rights on this weekend before International Women's Day.
Women organizing for equal pay for equal work. Poster from the Danish communist party

It's a pity International Women's Day isn't recognized enough in the States. It's because of its origins from the socialist party. You know that if there's anything we don't like in America, it's socialists. Can you hear it in the scary campaign attack ad stage whisper...

I found most interesting the items about the second-wave feminist movement, in particular the collection of posters from that era about sex, abortion, and contraception. Well, I can't actually read them so I had to use the dictionary to piece together the meaning. I'm still not sure what some of them mean but I find them visually striking nonetheless.
P-piller is the oral contraceptive pill

The top corner of the left-most poster reads: Make Love! Not Babies!
Fri Abort: Free abortion If you get infected with the red dog, you can get a legal abortion. Maybe red dog is a slang term for pregnancy?

Love, Not Infected
Many people have STDs but do not know it. Committee for Health Education

Something about voluntary motherhood -- ønskebørne means a wanted child.

I can't figure out if this poster is advocating for the right to abortion. The red paint font looks rather menacing.

The museum is small but I'm glad I went though some of the displays seriously lacked English explanations, like there was an exhibit about women's participation in government that was all in Danish. I managed to take away this graph illustrating women's representation in local and national government.

Percent of females in the Danish Parliament (red) and Århus municipal council (blue) 1909-2006
Almost 40% of members of Folketing, the national parliament, are women in 2006.

Afterwards I went to a coffeeshop with an rooftop patio. We soaked up the sun and looked out on the orange-tiled roofs in the city center of Århus.

Notable dates in Danish women's rights:
1915 Women gain the right to vote
1970s Red Stocking women's movement begins
1973 Abortion is legalized
1989 same-sex marriage is legalized
1999 A cabinet-level minister for equality is created


Katherine said...

Love the photos. and the socialist whissspper.

Last year Silvio shut down the pizza shop to have a GIANT women's day celebration with about a million italian women and 1000 bottles of wine. It is really too bad that the USA has columbus day and not womans day.

Jessieroo said...

"You know that if there's anything we don't like in America, it's socialists."

I had to chuckle, it's so true.

I also really, really, really like that the Danes have a single word for wanted (planned?) child. That's wonderful.

CYW said...

@Jessie, who knows if I've translated it correctly. Still, I hope it's true.

@Kate, that's really awesome of Silvio's to do that, though it should be 1000 people and 1 million bottles of wine!