A photo of Finnish Prime Minister Sana Marin in a fashion air conditioner has caused a stir in recent days on the net and sparked a debate about sexism in the country.
Marin, who became the youngest leader in the world when she was appointed to the post at the age of 34 last year, was photographed for the October issue of Trendi magazine wearing a shirtless laser underneath it.
The photo sparked a lively debate in Finland, with some arguing that such a photo was unworthy of the prime minister’s status. This is beyond criticism of the very existence of the interview for the fashion magazine, claiming that it is a “waste of time” while the government is dealing with the corona crisis.
However, the interview, in which Marin talked about the job demands, exhaustion and difficulty balancing work and family life, also led to a wave of support across the network. In response to criticism against her, women and men posted pictures of themselves in blazers under the hashtag #imwithsanna (me with Sana).
Social media surfers have claimed that the criticism against Marin is sexist, and is not heard when it comes to male leaders who are photographed shirtless. For example, Russian President Vladimir Putin and former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott have often been photographed bare-chested, but have not faced similar criticism.
“In general, men were against the picture while women thought it was great,” Marie Paloslo-Yosinmaki, director of the women’s department at A-lehdet magazine, which publishes Trendi, told CNN. “It was quite surprising. For years we had photos like this in the women’s magazines: women in blazers with nothing underneath. The photos were also famous, and we never got such reactions.”
Regarding support for Marin, Paloslo-Yosinmaki said: “Women are tired of being set limits and told how to behave and how to look, and are tired of being judged by their appearance – if you are beautiful and young, you are not taken seriously.”
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