Thursday, March 08, 2001

It's the International Women's Day (I knew that) and I should be on strike (I didn't know that). How can I not support the demands and still talk about solidarity and sisterhood? At the same time, it's easy to see how the young girls of today's Norway can feel that this doesn't concern them. The main topics of the meetings are international, and don't really touch on the daily lives of Norwegian girls and women. I live in a society where women don't need to be liberated from external violence, but the internalised violence. While we have more women in higher education than men, these women think they will have worse grades and achieve less than their fellow male students. While we have a law supporting women who apply for positions as leaders, we have women who think they are not good enough to lead. While we have the best female soccer-team in the world, Women think a) they can't cooperate with others, be "team players" and b) they have to look good to succeed.

One of my favourite images from a world championship in football (soccer for the americans) was when one of the Norwegian girls pulled her shirt up to hide her face, running around in blind joy after a victory. She was however never "discovered" for doing that, as was one of the American girls who did the same later in the same championship. The Norwegian girl didn't show off a strong tanned body and a black bra, but was taped with sportstape, covered with bruises from playing a rough match, and her breasts were hidden behind a sports-bra my grandmother would have approved of. To me, the picture of her is a moment of wonderful pride and pure joy of achievement, looks be damned! And while I will never run around a soccer-field like that, I want the girls who are my students to feel that they can enjoy and display their pride, their joy and their ability to achieve with the same ruthless exuberance as the Norwegian Women's Football-team express when they show the world they are THE BEST!

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