Denmark has ranked last in a survey of Western countries on how feminism is perceived.
The poll, conducted by the YouGov-Cambridge Globalism Project, surveyed more than 25,000 people across 23 countries asking them about their perceptions of feminism. Remarkably for a country where levels of equality are perceived as comparatively high, just one in six Danes said they identified as a feminist.
When asked about wolf-whistling at women in the street, a third said it was acceptable, according to the findings reported in The Guardian.
When asked about the ‘#MeToo’ movement, two in five had an unfavourable view of it. Only four per cent of men and eight per cent of women in Denmark questioned said they had a ‘very favourable’ impression of the #MeToo movement, compared to 16 per cent and 34 per cent in Sweden, their Scandinavian neighbour, and compared to 19 per cent and 24 per cent across all the countries surveyed.
Only one-quarter of Danish women surveyed considered themselves a feminist. This around half that of those in Sweden, in which 46 per cent of women described themselves as such. Denmark also came in lower than the UK, Italy, and Spain, all of which rank lower than Denmark on gender equality metrics.
Denmark’s Equality Minister Karen Ellemann has also gone on record as previously saying she does not identify as a feminist herself.
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 8, 2018
The Scandinavian country is one of the most equal societies in the world, particularly in terms of equal gender rights, so the results may seem counter-intuitive; however academic studies have previously shown that the more equal a society becomes, the more people adopt traditional gender roles and attitudes.
A pair of researchers from the University of Bonn and the University of California found, in a study of 80,000 people across 76 countries, evidence showing that gender preferences differ more in countries which have more gender equality and are more affluent than in countries with less gender equality.
Another study by the University of Gothenburg, University West, and the University of Skövde in Sweden found similar findings. A study of over 120,000 people across 22 countries resulted in the conclusion that “The self-rated personalities of men and women differ more in more gender equal countries.”
“Countries with very high levels of gender equality, such as Sweden and Norway, showed differences in personality between the sexes that were around twice as large as countries with substantially lower levels of gender equality, such as China and Malaysia,” researchers found.