Sexist Terms Directed At Finnish Female Ministers Are A ‘Threat to Democracy’

JUSSI NUKARI/Lehtikuva/AFP via Getty Images

A report from NATO has revealed that Finland’s female-led government has received a torrent of sexist and misogynistic comments on social media, with a Finnish minister labelling the comments a “threat to democracy.

The NATO report reviewed hundreds of thousands of posts on the social media platform Twitter and claim to have found a record number of misogynistic remarks directed at the female ministers in the cabinet of Prime Minister Sanna Marin.

Rolf Fredheim authored the report as part of NATO’s Special Centre for Communication Strategy (Stratcom) and told Swedish broadcaster SVT, “The misogynistic remarks are extensive.”

The four-month-long study examined around 350,000 tweets directed at the 19 ministers in the Finnish cabinet and found few threats of physical violence but many derogatory terms such as referring to the Finnish government as the “lipstick brigade” or the “Tampax team”.

Fredheim admitted to SVT that the algorithms used in the study could not detect irony or sarcasm, however.

Maria Ohisalo, Finland’s Interior Minister and leader of the Green Party commented on the study, saying, “This is a threat to democracy and risks discouraging young women from seeking politics.”

Ohisalo, along with Prime Minister Marin, is said to have received the highest number of derogatory comments during the period examined in the report, with each averaging 50 to 60 comments daily.

The current Finnish government took office in December of 2019 and made headlines across the world for not only being largely led by women, but also for the age of most of the senior ministers, the majority of which were under 35 at the time.

The senior politicians are also mostly left-leaning, with Miniter of Education Le Andersson previously stating she was a self-professed Marxist and Interior Minister Ohisalo previously calling for the legalisation of all illegal narcotics.

Prime Minister Marin has also received questionable remarks from foreign politicians, such as former Estonian Interior Minister Mart Helme who labelled Prime Minister Marin as a “salesgirl” and referred to her ministers as non-educated “street activists.”

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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