In recent days, the Prime Minister of Finland has been involved in a scandal and her government has been going through difficult days. No, she is not involved in cases of corruption and did not delay the purchase of vaccines against the coronavirus. Sanna Marin, 36, of the Social Democrats, is being criticized for… dancing at a party.
Really. In videos that were leaked last week, Sanna is seen doing funny choreography at a party with friends. Videos last a few minutes. She’s not naked, she’s not making controversial statements, none of that. She is dancing and having fun. A normal thing, that anyone, even younger like her, does.
What’s the problem? She is a woman and prime minister. And, as is well known, women in politics, and also in other situations of power, are criticized for anything. If they are very serious, they are “cold” (see Angela Merkel), if they are firm, they are “hysterical” (see Dilma Rousseff).
In Sanna’s case, the opposition took the opportunity to say that she was using drugs and that her behavior would not be appropriate at a time when there is a war in a country neighboring Finland (Ukraine) and a gas supply crisis, which leads to inflation.
But, who says Sanna hasn’t been doing her job? She does.
Finland, which has already started the process of joining NATO – which was an old demand in the country. Sanna faces Putin. She negotiates with Zelensky and other European leaders. Why couldn’t she, after work, party with her friends?
It would be a problem if they were in a luxurious place spending public money, but that wasn’t the case.
Since then, Sanna has had to undergo a drug test, as many people spread that she was drugged. And explain yourself. But no, she’s not apologizing (thankfully), she’s speaking firmly. In an interview, she said:
“These videos were private and shouldn’t have been leaked. But I spent a night with your friends. We just partied. I had fun and danced. I belong to a generation that uses a lot of social media. And despite being first- minister, I’m still a person and I’m not going to change my behavior,” he said firmly.
The reaction is being beautiful. Despite the crisis, Sanna has been receiving solidarity from women across Europe, who have posted videos dancing and using the tag #solidaritywithsanna. Policies are also getting in on the trend.
After all, isn’t a woman entitled to a private life when she’s a head of state? Can’t a girl in a position of power be super serious at work and in her personal life and have fun? Serious woman doesn’t dance?
Dance yes. What needs to change is this patrol over women who make politics (we are still a minority, but we don’t intend to stop).
When she contested the elections in 2019, Sanna already had to prove that she was serious because she was very young and beautiful. Yes, even that can count for negative points for a woman in politics. Since, “if she’s pretty, she’s dumb”. Male candidates, when handsome, tend to gain votes and trust.
Women like Sanna came to prove that this has nothing to do with changing structures. It was time.