Some people are claiming that Iceland, with its openly gay prime minister and high number of female politicians, is the most feminist country in the world. And this news seems only to bolster their claims. Earlier this week, Iceland passed a law that will ban all strip clubs and make it illegal for any business to “profit from the nudity of its employees.” So that means no topless waitresses, either. Hooters franchises in Iceland are history.
Kolbrún Halldórsdóttir, the politician who first proposed the ban, firmly told the national press on Wednesday: “It is not acceptable that women or people in general are a product to be sold.”
With these incredibly heartening sentiments, it’s natural to speculate on what would have to happen to make a law like this pass in the United States. But as Irin points out on Jezebel, it’s unlikely, at least in the near future. Some people have suggested that the women’s movement has had enormous success in Iceland because of their crippling economic crisis. In a piece in Vanity Fair, Michael Lewis wrote:
“One of the distinctive traits about Iceland’s disaster, and Wall Street’s, is how little women had to do with it. Women worked in the banks, but not in the risktaking jobs…. A few days before [Lewis met a rare female banker] for instance, she heard banging on the front door early one morning and opened it to discover a little old man. “I’m so fed up with this whole system,” he said. “I just want some women to take care of my money.”"
Will the U.S. need a devastating economic crash before we come to the same conclusion? I certainly hope not – but at the same time, it’s hard to imagine our legislature passing something so, well, unequivocally feminist.
Photo from Wikimedia Commons.
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