Stop Russian tourists from strolling around in Denmark and other western countries

Denmark and the rest of Europe is at war with Russia, not just with Putin.

Several Danish politicians argue that we are not at war with Russia. It’s Putin we don’t like, not the country’s citizens, they argue. Therefore, we should not make restrictions on whether Russians can travel to Europe on holiday, they argue.

To this I just have to say: What nonsense!

“Doesn’t it shake the inner moral compass up when we with one hand financially support Ukraine to fight the Russia’s invasion, while with the other let the country´s citizens spend their rubles in the Copenhagen Magasin mall and Harrods ?

The ordinary Russian does not have the means to travel abroad. Those who travel do not speak out against the regime. If they did, their situation would look completely different. Because in Russia it is wisest not to stick your nose out and speak against the system. If you stay silent, you can live well. And although we in the West want to believe that it is only Putin who has imperialist superpower dreams, many Russians support his regime.

Secondly, some voices say it would be a good to continue to allow Russian students to study in the West. Who knows, the argument goes, maybe they’ll go back and spread the ideas of democracy they’ve been introduced to outside of their censorious, authoritarian homeland. Again, it is the children of wealthy Russians who travel abroad to study. And you have to be more than naive if you think that young Vladimir or Anastasia will go home and speak out against the system that has made it possible for their mother and father to send them away – a system that can bring their parents status down if the offspring speaks against the the system.

Either they are extremely naive or cynical when voices in the public arena argue that individual Russians should not pay a price for Putin’s madness. Especially when it is widely known that Russia is keeping captured Ukrainians in camps, using mass rape as a strategic weapon of war, and bomb towns specifically targeting the civilian population.

You can obviously choose to close your eyes to that knowledge. You could also choose to have integrity and stand up for principles instead of choosing to look at the situation from a monetary perspective. It can be difficult to open your eyes. You risk seeing something you don’t want to.

If you have previously taken a position that does not align with the real world, this can be difficult. But that is what gives a person integrity and character – that he or she dares to let his or her worldview be influenced by the real world and not the world we all wish we were living in.

The school year has just started in Denmark. Many new Ukrainian students have arrived, children who struggle every day to fit in and understand the childhood and the world that has changed for them overnight.

Isn’t it a mockery of the many victims of the war that we let rich Russians luxuriate in the same society we have invited Ukrainian citizens to find peace? Doesn’t it shake the inner moral compass when we with one hand financially support Ukraine to fight Russia’s invasion, while with the other let the country´s citizens put their rubles in the Copenhagen Magasin mall and Harrods ?

The West is not only at war with Putin – we are at war with Russia. The leader of Russia is Putin, and his system penetrates everything in Russia. Putin sends his people to war, and many voluntarily go to fight for him. It may be very convenient to want to separate the leader of a country from its people – but this argument is naive semantics. We have to punish collectively.

If the West dares to stand up for common decency, it may start to hurt the privileged sections of the Russian population who travel to the West and pretend the war has nothing to do with them . Maybe that way they will finally get the courrage to remove their terrible leader – if only to get their comfortable life back for and their children into Europe.

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Selvfølgelig skal russiske turister ikke spankulere rundt i Danmark og andre lande, som Rusland er i proxykrig med

Danmark og resten af Europa er i krig med Rusland, ikke kun med Putin.

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Forfattere i USA står op for ytringsfrihed

Hvad siger det om vestlige demokratier, at de ikke beskytter deres borgeres ytringsfrihed?

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Writers in the US are standing up for free speech

What does it say about Western democracies if they do not protect their citizens’ freedom of expression?

This Friday prominent American writers like Paul Auster and his wife Siri Hustvedt gathered on the stairs in front of The New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue under the slogan “Stand with Salman: Defend the Freedom to Write.” (“In solidarity with Salman Rushdie: Defend the right to write freely.”)

A week ago, Salman Rushdie was stabbed during a literary event north of New York City when a man jumped on stage and stabbed him several times with a knife. Ironically, Rushdie was about to talk about how the United States is a safe heaven for writers who cannot stay safely in their own countries.

For more than thirty years, Salman Rushdie has lived a life with security guards 24/7 – simply because he did what writers do – used his creativity in a literary work. In one such experiment he played with the idea that the holy book of the Muslim faith, the Koran, was not divinely inspired but rather the result of a whispers from Satan. For that work, The Satanic Verses, he garnered a fatwa from Iran’s top Islamic leader that encouraged any Muslim to murder Rushdie. In addition, a bounty of 3 million dollars was put on his head.

For more than thirty years, Rushdie has lived with the knowledge that radicalized Muslims all over the world had a desire to kill him or would rejoice if others did. Rushdie moved from Europe to the United States, where he, for more than twenty years, was almost able to live a normal life. Until now.

Unfortunately, he is not the only one who has had to move from Europe because he criticized Islam. As Europe becomes more Islamized, several people with inside knowledge of Islam have spoken out and problematized various cultural and value attitudes that are not compatible with Western, free democracies. For their outspokenness, they have received death threats. Several have even paid the ultimate price. In several cases, the European governments have not wanted to spend the financial means needed to protect people who spoke against Islam. For example , Ayaan Hirshi Ali, who is originally from Somalia and became a politician and critic of Islam in the Netherlands, also had to move to the United States because her Dutch homeland could not guarantee her safety.

When an author, journalist, comedian or writer is attacked for what he or she has as a profession, namely his words, what does he have left?

“An attack on a writer, cartoonist, comedian, politician, or public figure because of his or her statements and writing is an attack on each and every one of us who believe in democratic values.

Salman Rushdie has never compromised on his beliefs, but has again and again and again pleaded for the right to express himself freely. He has done this with intellectual depth and quirky humor. Despite living under a constant threat, he has helped other writers and intellectuals who were in vulnerable positions because they spoke out against authoritarian regimes or extreme religious groups. Most recently, he has joined a network that helps Ukrainian writers.

It shouldn’t be necessary to say. But these days, writers and other creative souls cannot freely use their creativity and write without fear. All over the world there is a keen sense of awareness that when you speak out or write critically about totalitarian regimes and Islam, there might be a price of violence to pay.

Our rights and freedoms here in the West are more fragile than we dare to admit. Because if we admit that premise, then we also admit that our societal model and form of government have failed. If we can only feel safe within the borders of our own countries, when we shut down criticism, turn a blind eye, and refuse to speak out on specific subjects, and self-censor ourselves, then the rights we think we have are a hollow illusion.

We are faced with a choice: we can remain silent in fear. Or we can do as the writers who, without face coverings and with their names clearly stated today on the steps in the heart of New York to the library that contains thousands of books – all the result of a creative, free process, refuse to let violence destroy the principles we believe in.

An attack on a writer, cartoonist, comedian, politician or public figure because of his or her statements and writing is an attack on each and every one of us who believe in democratic values in a society with individual liberties.

May the voices that dare to speak against regimes of violence, hatred and religion never remain silent when threatened! May we fight for them to be able to write and say what they wish without fear of reprisals. And may our western democratic states wake up soon, so that you don’t have to be brave to express yourself freely. #StandWithSalman

Muslimske mænd: Mand jer op!

Hvor er vestlige muslimers kamp for afghanske pigers ret til at gå i skole

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Muslim Men: Man Up!

Why are Muslims in Western countries not fighting for Afghan girls’ right to go to school?

It’s been a year since Biden threw in the towel and gave Afghanistan’s girls and women the middle finger. The American exit was a disaster and a scandal, both for the country’s reputation and for the Afghan girls and women who are now caged behind their veils and the walls of their homes. The United States has a responsibility for sure. But what is much worse is that Muslim men in Afghanistan and the rest of the world are not fighting for their Afghan mothers, sisters and daughters – and that is a disgrace worse than the failed US presence in Afghanistan.

A year ago, city after city in Afghanistan fell to the extreme Islamist group, Taliban. For more than 20 years, American soldiers had been present in the country and tried to make a difference in relation to democracy, gender equality, and showing the population an alternative to the Taliban’s regime of violence and terror.

“Where were the Afghan men who reportedly overwhelmingly support girls’ right to school? Why didn’t they form a protective ring around the women?

Faster than anyone could say failed democratization, Afghan men laid down their weapons that should have been used to defend the weakest part of the population, namely women and children. The coward for a president took his billions and fled the country.

We all remember the images of desperate people trying to get out of the country, clinging to the wings of an airplane but ending up dead, while we watched them fall to the ground like little dark specks as the plane took off. In a flash I remembered the towers in New York when they were hit and people jumped off the buildings and straight to their deaths.

Violence, panic, chaos; families that were torn apart; women gave birth on the premises of the base; people died of hunger and thirst in the scorching heat or as a result of violent episodes.

Thousands of Afghans desperately tried to get out of the country when they saw where things were headed. They remembered all too well what the regime of terror by the Taliban. They knew very well that the Taliban speak with a forked tongue. In particular, everyone knew how girls and women were treated.

Imagine how the girls and women who stayed back are doing now – the hell they are living in. Taliban leaders told the West it was only a matter of time before schools would reopen to middle school-age girls. So we waited, and so did the girls in Afghanistan. On the day that was supposed to be the first day of school, they were more than ready. They smiled, there was a spring in their step; this was the day they had been looking forward to. Finally, they could go back to school. But when they showed up, long-bearded, robe-clad cavemen waited for them and told them that they wouldn’t be allowed back to school after all. What a vicious exercise of power, what a dehumanizing humiliating display of power. Since then, the girls have been hidden away and are back in kitchens, doing the laundry, and scrubbing the floors. If they move outside, they risk being beaten or shot.

A few days ago, approximately 40 women demonstrated for equal rights. 40 brave women. One almost get a lump in ones throat. The BBC reported that the demonstration was quickly dissolved when the Taliban regime’s scoundrels shot into the air in a show of force. The message to the women was loud and clear: Go home, or we’ll lower our guns and shoot into your little group.

Where were the Afghan men who reportedly overwhelmingly support girls’ right to go to school? Why didn’t they form a protective ring around the women? Why don’t they speak up for these girls when they clearly have no problem declaring in front of an open screen and in various opinion polls that they most certainly support girls’ right to go to school and absolutely do not agree with the Taliban? And where are the Muslims living in the West when it comes to supporting their fellow Afghan sisters? Here in the West, they live in safety with no threat when they utter their views. Here in the West, in stark contrast to the Afghan girls and young women, their sisters, wives and daughters have all the rights and access to free education they could ever dream of. So why don’t we hear a peep from some of the voices that otherwise shout so loudly that their rights in western democratic countries are not respected?

It is a cheap shot and a double standard to criticize things that you consider not adhering and accommodating Muslim values in countries that are based on Western freedoms, while enjoying these freedoms and simultaneously advocating and demonstrating for more legislative changes that accommodate Muslim values. The fact that you don’t lift a finger, take to the streets, or collect signatures to shout out about and for the rights of women who need the loud shouts more than you need to implement Muslim values into the legislation in western democracies, leaves me with a strong disgust, distaste, and lack of respect. So Muslim men : Man you up!

Pinligt, Danmark! Kravl ned fra den høje hest, og stik i arbejdstøjet – kvinder og minoriteter skal op ad ligestillingsstigen

Danmark ligger på en 32.-plads, når det drejer sig om ligestilling, viser ny rapport.

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What an embarrassment, Denmark! It is time to crawl down from your high horse, and shift into work clothes – so women and minorities can climb up the equality ladder

Denmark is in 32nd place when it comes to gender equality, a new report shows.

” Denmark !?” is the reaction I am often met with when I tell people in the US where I am originally from. “Aren´t you the happiest country in the world with a high degree of gender equality?”

As Danes, we are taught to be proud of our country, our culture, our history, and our model of society. Maybe too proud.

A new report from the World Economic Forum, Gender Ecuality Gap 2022 , states that gender equality is overall declining. The report points out that it will take well over 100 years to achieve gender equality.

No country has full gender equality. But the countries in the top 10 are the ones we usually compare ourselves with – countries like Iceland, which top the list with 90%, Finland, Norway and Sweden, which all have a gender equality percentage of over 80%.

Although many Danes are quite proud when it comes to their country, they have to stop gloating about the degree of gender equality. Because the ranking for Denmark is embarrassingly bad. In fact, it has gone backwards, which is visibly marked by a small minus symbol on the right side of the column next to Denmark in the list of the country’s ranking.

Denmark is no longer a hippie-we-are-all-equal-because-we-burn-our-bras-are-and-our-men-knit-kids-hats-country. Denmark is not as equal as the Danes think. We lag far behind countries like Rwanda and Namibia. If Denmark wants to be in the same league as our Nordic neighbors, several parties must get off their high horse and pull on their work clothes.

This applies to men who do not want to give up their place in politics and business, it applies to men who are board members with an attitude about how a person on a board should look, act and speak. And it applies to women who have an expectation of themselves and their fellow sisters, when they let those with career ambitions feel like they are the worst mothers, if the home does not look like an Ikea catalog , the food is not made from scratch, the mother does not go to every school event, and tuck their kids in every night.

But equality also applies to minorities’ access to high positions in the labor market and in political life. And for those who have the skills but may not have the experience moving in the circles of the well read. People who didn´t grow up in a family with middle class dinner table discussions and therefore speaks a language that makes them seem like strange birds? These groups have a different perspective, different voices – and little duck pond Denmark needs that if the country is to survive in a more globalized world.

A few years ago I went to a panel discussion at the University of Washington in Seattle, where the then Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anders Samuelsen, and Crown Princess Mary spoke. But the wisest words came from a female grad student. “Give up the chair you are sitting on,” she said. “Only in this way do women and minorities break the glass ceiling.”

Denmark is no longer a hippie-we-are-all-equal-for-we-burn-our-bra-are-and-our-men-knit-kids-hats-country.

Not unexpectedly, the report from the World Economic Forum has shocked the Danes. Today I listened to a podcast called “Debatten” on P1, where the result of Denmark’s ranking in the report was debated. Among the guests was the Danish Minister for Gender Equality, Trine Bramsen, who unfortunately was neither a particularly great communicator nor had a clear message when it came to propose suggestions on what can be done to get more women on the boards and give them the incentive and courage to be self-employed.

I was cursing out loud when I heard her say that one way to address the gender gap is to rethink corporate culture and where meetings are held between 5pm and 8pm, “during tugging-in time”.

Since when can ones partner, no matter how he or she is attached to the relationship, not tug the kiddo in? And since when is it implicitly the role of the mother? And if she’s single, then there’s probably a nanny who can do the bedtime story for one or two nights without the kid being long term harmed by it.

Maybe something is simply fundamentally and structurally wrong with the way we look at the role of a mother, when even Denmark’s Minister for Gender Equality uses words, it seems neither she nor the other guests in the radio studio find disturbing. Words that explicitly express a view of antiquated gender roles. Maybe her way of expressing herself was not a Freudian slip, maybe she was simply expressing a view that permeates the view of family life in large parts of Denmark – and which keeps women in a role of expectation that they have a hard time breaking free from, if they do not wish to be shamed as mothers?

Another reason why Denmark is ranked so incredibly bad in the new gender equality report may have something to do with the way the welfare state is set up. No matter what line of work you have as a Dane, you will be fine. An ordinary job will pay for a house, a car, several holidays, all the material goods you need- why work your butt off – and why stand out in an ambitious dream of reaching the top, when the whole Law of Jante socialization from preeschool through the entire education system teaches you not o stand out?

Of course, it’s perfectly ok to love that view on society – it just does not look good in a gender equality report. Therefore, Denmark must either accept that the price for their model of society comes with a disparity when it comes to exceptionalism and gender equality. Otherwise they have to do something about it and actively fight for equality and against the law of Jante where noone dares standing out for fear of being socially ostracized.

So next time an American asks me a question about happiness and gender equality in Denmark, I might answer: “Yes, Denmark ranks second among the happiest countries in the world – perhaps because we do not expect much. And in fact, the United States ranks higher on the Gender Equality Index than Denmark .”

10-årig pige voldtaget, gravid og udskammet af amerikanske politikere

Nu ser vi konsekvenserne af abortlovgivningen i USA, og det er de svageste, der ofres på de selvgodes alter.

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10-year-old girl raped, pregnant, and shamed by Republican politicians

We now we see the consequences of abortion laws in the United States. The most vulnerable are sacrificed on the altar of the self-righteous.

Not long ago, many states changed their abortion laws. It came after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, a 50-year-old ruling that put a woman’s right to make health decisions over higher than the states’ desire to do the same.

In a short time after the Supreme Court ruling, the so-called trigger laws came into affect. These laws were to be activated in the event that the Supreme Court reversed its decision. Imagine how many things you can come up with to make it difficult for a woman to have an abortion when you have almost 50 years to be creative in making it as difficult and illegal as possible to have an abortion or help assist with one. One of the more popular moves has been to ban abortion after week six and not to make any exceptions for incest or rape. The misogyny is unfathomable.

These days, the media is covering a story about a ten-year-old girl from the state of Ohio. She was raped several times and then became pregnant. When the pregnancy was discovered in week six plus three days, the state’s six-week deadline for abortion had been exceeded. Therefore, the girl had to travel to the state of Indiana, where she had an abortion.

Imagine what it must be like for a ten-year-old girl to be exposed to the trauma of a rape. And then imagine that the country’s most famous politicians use your misfortune in a political game. And then imagine yet again how the case is now running it course in the media, where even President Joe Biden has weight in on it.

This is not exactly a dream scenario pro lifers want. So, they reacted in a rather predictable way – by accusing their political opponents and the media of fabricating the story. The caveat, however, is that a 27-year-old man has confessed and that samples have been taken that prove his heinous act.

But the case does not end here. Now, investigation after investigation is being launched. For example, the doctor who performed the abortion must be prosecuted, says the Indiana state Attorney General.

Meanwhile, a ten-year-old child has been both physically and mentally abused and forced to endure the most horrible thing imaginable. She will always carry her experiences with her. But even though her body is now safe, she is being abused in a political stunt by Republicans.

Shame on the self-righteous suburban moms, Republican politicians, and religious forces in this country! To be pro-life should mean fighting for a ten-year-old girl’s right to life.

Højesterets udmeldinger i USA er politiske – derfor stritter deres afgørelser i denne uge i øst og vest

En religiøs, amerikansk fodboldtræner bad sammen med spillerne på banen efter kampene – og har nu Højesterets ord for, at det er helt ok.

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In the United States, the Supreme Court’s announcements are political – which is why their decisions this week are all over the place

A religious, American football coach prayed with the players on the field after the matches – and now has the Supreme Court’s word that it is perfectly ok.

The Supreme Court has taken Americans hostage in a right-wing religious propaganda stunt that is dividing the population more than it already is.

Here in my state of Washington, a football coach has become known nationally overnight. The story centers around Joseph Kennedy, who was the coach of the local high school team. After each match, he prayed, often with several of the players. Some have later said they felt obliged to participate – it is after all the coach who chooses which players get to play on the field. When the school district learned about the coach praying on public grounds, they asked him to stop, which he refused. That got him fired from his coaching job.

I imagine the Russian tennis coaches at our local club praying to their orthodox God, after the kids have finished their backhand exercises, I see for my inner eye how my son’s Colombian soccer coach extracts a crucifix from his front pocket instead of a yellow card and gathers the kids around him to some Roman Catholic cheer, I see myself standing for the flag and national anthem at my kids swim meets while being forced to see the coaches standing with their arms up in the air, rocking back and forth, praying as if the Holy Spirit were upon them. You get the point: Jews, Muslims, Hindus and all sorts of other faiths and ways of life that force feed our kids and everyone around them with their religious beliefs.

The football coach in my state of Washington, who felt that his right to practice religion had been violated, took his case to court. Today, the Supreme Court ruled. He and everyone else has the right to practice his religion in public.

The verdict falls on the tail of last week’s Supreme Court announcements that have sent shock waves around the country. Among other things, we learned that Americans have a constitutional right to bear arms in New York and all sorts of other places in the public domain. The following day, we learned that women do not have the right to make decisions over their own bodies. When it comes to choice and family planning, the states have the right to decide that a woman cannot choose to have an abortion. Indeed, The United States Supreme Court is busy these days waging a war on values.

But what if coach Joseph Kennedy´s name had been Yousuf Kamal and he instead of praying to a Christian God had rolled out his prayer rug and invited the players to turn their faces towards Mecca with him after every football game? Would the Supreme Court ruling have ben the same?

If there is one thing Europe is learning quite rapidly these days, it is that religion in the public sphere is a dangerous cocktail. Religion can be an integral part of a culture in our activities at school and in the workplace when the population is homogeneous and most belong to the same culture and religion.

That’s not how it works in the United States. Here the population is one great conglomeration of peoples with vastly different cultures and religions. Unlike in Denmark, it is build into the the American fabric that religion and state must be separated – it does not require a doctorate in either religion or political science to see why that constellation is a good idea if you want a society to function as peacefully as possible. The fact that we in the United States more than ever are moving into a value-based legislation rooted in Christian dogmas is far from the notion most Americans have of the powers of the legal system.

So what happens in an environment where the politically appointed Supreme Court justices are more than busy pursuing rulings based in politics? They may think they are doing what they are set to do by Trump, to please his base, when they announce their ultra-right-wing conservative rulings. But one day, it will not be a right-wing Christian who is praying with the children, but a radical Muslim, a Mormon, or a Jehovah’s Witness. Like Joseph Kennedy they will believe they have the right to practice their religion where ever they are. And they will have the Supreme Court´s ruling to back them up. Maybe it’s a matter of time before young people, and all of us, come to stand as spectators at sporting events, where we are taken hostage in a religious propaganda stunt that can only divide the country more than it already is.

The Supreme Court’s announcements this week point in different directions. We now know, it is more important that an individual has the right to bear arms in the public sphere than the sense of security and safety of the surrounding citizens. Conversely, it is not the individual woman herself who has the right to choose over her own body, it is a decision that elected politicians at the local state level. And in terms of practicing your personal religion and trumpeting it to everyone who is near you, well, then again, it is the individual´s right that stands above people’s sense of discomfort.

So, now this is what I have to look forward to: Being pray to other people’s religious beliefs being forced on me when I just want to see my kids run around and have fun at some sporting event. Land of the free? Well, for those hardcore gun loving, religious fanatics, maybe.

Hvis du kan kontrollere kvindens krop, kan du kontrollere hendes liv

Jeg er på vej til demonstration – nu skal der kæmpes for vores, vores døtres, vores søstres og alle kvinders rettigheder.

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If you can control a woman’s body, you can control her life

I’m on my way to demonstrate in downtown Seattle – we must fight for the rights of all women.

“ Men!, are you capable of being fair? A woman is asking. At least you will allow her that right. Tell me: What gave you the sovereign right to oppress my sex? The man wants to command like a dictator. Given their ignorance, disregard or the disdain of the rights of women we have decided to declare the following rights of women:”

These words could have been written today, but there are from 1791 written by the French activist Olympe de Gouges, who ended her days in the guillotine after writing “The Declaration of the Rights of Women.”

The Supreme Court has overturned the ruling on Roe v Wade, which for 49 years has given women, not the states, the right to decide over their own bodies when it comes to abortion. The rollback that puts states legislation higher than women’s autonomy is a brutal attack that steals women’s right to self-determination. And the theft is committed by none other than the Supreme Court.

Now women are de facto second-class citizens, with men ruling over women’s bodies. It is a crime against humanity, misogynistic and undemocratic.

We knew it was coming. The document about the Supreme Court´s intention to reverse the Roe v Wade ruling was leaked a few months ago. In the reversal, there is no exception for rape, incest, or if the woman’s life is in danger.

“Now women are de facto second-class citizens, with men ruling over women’s bodies. It is a crime against humanity, misogynistic and undemocratic.

The vast majority of Americans are in favor of a woman having an abortion. But the Supreme Court ruling is entirely in Trump’s misogynistic spirit. As you know, Trump nominated three Supreme Court justices to cover his right-winged, religious, ultra-conservative base.

In the United States, church and state are separated – but now all women are force fed a Catholic, right-wing, religious attitude to abortion through legislation.

And why? In order for men to be able to control women through legislation. This desire is certainly not new. Women have had to fight for the right to vote, the right to own real estate and many other things, and as they gained those rights men lost some of their control. With the announcement today, the official United States shows that control over women’s bodies does not belong to women. If you become pregnant, then you must give birth and become a mother – even if it is against your will. This is how men want it.

My mother had an abortion, as did my grandmother’s sister. One through the official healthcare system, the other by a quack. Abortions have always been a way for a woman to assert autonomy over her own body and future – even if or because she was in a difficult situation.

And now we are at it: Where is the focus on the difficult choice women have to make? No woman takes the choice of abortion lightly, but where are the voices focusing on how woman end up in a situation that requires a life-changing decision in the first place? I also hear no talk about what responsibility men bear for the choice the woman has to make.

Imagine if men were told that they could only have sex with women if they used protection, and that there was a life sentence for it if the woman became pregnant – that would surely result in politicians taking action. Until then, we women must be the ones reacting.

Today, I walk with thousands of other women. We must show men that their lust for power stops now. Stop the discrimination, stop the hatred – once and for all!

Ingen kvinde, homoseksuel eller minoritet kan vide sig sikker i USA

Den amerikanske højesteret tager politisk standpunkt imod kvinders rettigheder. Tiden er ikke til at fortvivle, den er til at kæmpe – for kvinder, minoriteter og sociale udsatte gruppers rettigheder.

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No woman, gay, or minority should feel safe and protected in the United States

The US Supreme Court takes a political stand against women’s rights. The time is not to despair, it is to fight – for the rights of women, minorities and socially disadvantaged groups.

“Keep your fingers from my uterus!”, “My body, my choice!” and “Abortion is a matter between a woman and her doctor,” are some of the statements on the banners the demonstrators carry. For the last few days, I have been following the debate about the leaked document from the Supreme Court and the intent to reverse Roe vs. Wade. The population in the United States is shocked about this news. My shock goes deeper than just shaking my head when it comes to the polarized stands in America on weapons, politics and abortion.

The hatred, the lies, the desire for power and oppression leave me with a sad uneasiness and feeling of having been manipulated and misled- even though I was aware that Trump’s appointment of no less than three Supreme Court justices could have fatal consequences, beyond his time in the White House.

Nearly 50 years ago, a case was settled in the U.S. Supreme Court that grants a woman the right to abortion. The law is known as Roe vs. Wade – a woman sued the state of Texas because the state banned abortion unless the woman’s life was at stake. The case ended before the Supreme Court, which ruled that the individual woman’s right to choose abortion is above a state’s abortion law.

Maybe we should do something about the structural reasons for why a reversal of abortion legislation will disproportionately affect the weakest in society instead of making life harder for them?

Since then, the debate has been heated. In recent months, several states have enacted legislation on abortion that makes it virtually impossible for a woman to detect that she is pregnant before the time limit for having an abortion is exceeded.

There are, of course, many arguments from both the pro life and the pro choise sides shouting and waving their banners. That´s how it is in the United States, especially when it comes to highly contested political views.

What I do not understand is why pro lifers can not just be against abortion – for themselves. Why can´t they let other women decide what is right for them? How can you be so self-righteous in your indignation that you feel you have the right to judge another human being who may or may not have a thousand reasons for her choise? Freedom for all, is something America pride itself of, apparently that does not apply to a woman’s right to decide over her own body.

For when self-righteous, often white, ultra-religious with privileges and access to health care feel they have the right to impose their anti-abortion message to vulnerable women, it honestly makes me sick to see their desire for self-assertion and lack of empathy.

This is America, and here, as opposed to Denmark, you do not have access to the health care system when you need it, without having to pay for it. It is primarily black and Latina women who need an abortion – and there are many reasons for this.

Maybe we should do something about the structural reasons for why a reversal of abortion legislation will disproportionately affect the weakest in society instead of making life harder for them? How anyone can think they have the right to harass and persecute others with their arrogant, cynical stance on something that should be a private matter between a patient and her doctor, I fail to understand.

One of the Supreme Court judges’ argues that Roe vs. Wade should never have been in favor of the individual woman’s right in the first place – because the Constitution does not mention abortion. There is quite a lot of our current way of life that is not mentioned in the American Constitution of 1788. If the argument is stretched, then what implications does it have for gay marriages just to name one example?

Several states are ready to introduce legislation that makes it illegal to have an abortion. Other states have indicated that they will help women with the procedure who cannot have an abortion legally in their own state. The United States is more divided than it has been for decades, and women’s rights are now an active part of a larger movement that divides the country even further.

Wanting to control and oppress women is nothing new, men have always wanted to dominate women and their right to control their own bodies. But if you think they will stop at women’s bodies, you are wrong.

In a society with racial, cultural and religious diversity and with a disparity between rich and poor, sontrol and oppression of the vulnerable and minorities is what keeps you in power.

The time is not to despair, it is to fight – for the rights of women, minorities, and socially disadvantaged groups.

Stålværket i Mariupol bliver en humanitær katastrofe, mens verden ser på

Står vi foran en massakre, der ikke kan løses med diplomatiske midler?

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The steel plant in Mariupol is turning into a humanitarian disaster while the world is watching

Are we facing a massacre that wil not be solved through diplomacy?

Are there new reports about the discovery of new mass graves and more signs of massive human rights violations in Ukraine on today´s news? Is there a new account from a horrified woman with a rushed adrenaline fused voice or the sound of deep grief standing in front of a tv-reporter?

Several times a day I check the news and my podcasts. What’s the latest developments in Ukraine? Where are the Russian forces, how are the Ukrainians doing? I find myself wondering if I am borderline morbid, if it is tasteless to follow a development where people’s lives and horrific circumstances unfold before my eyes, while I intensely follow the development as if I was watching some kind of Netflix series.

Why am I and the rest of the world just sitting here, waiting for what is going to happen next to the surrounded soldiers and civilians at the steel plant in Mariupol ?

I am fairly sure I cannot be the only one feeling this way. If you look at the news coverage of the war in Ukraine, there must be viewers like me following the development closely. The war in Ukraine is covered massively by news outlets, experts of all sorts are brought in to explain the geography and military movement in Ukraine to the viewers while pointing to an electronic map, military experts and politicians are interviewed about the latest development, and every day journalists in Ukraine are ready with a new affected Ukrainian citizen telling his or her personal horror story.

I remember the feeling of constant alert from the first year of the Corona virus. The feeling that it was crucial, a necessity to get the most current details, graphs, personal accounts to better understand and figure out the best way to handle my own life and my family’s situation.

But the truth is, the more I try to understand, the less I actually understand. Of the horrors, of the slow reaction of the Western states, of the human psyche. It should not come as a surprise – it was after all in the high school’s ancient knowledge classes, I became acquainted with the phrase “I know, I know nothing”.

So why do we follow developments so intensely when we are powerless and the only thing many of us can do is to send donations? Why am I and the rest of the world sitting in front of our screens waiting, watching in slow-motion, for what is going to happen to the surrounded soldiers and civilians at the steel plant in Mariupol?

It is an accepted and convenient truth that humanitarian disasters must be resolved through diplomacy. But what happens when one humanitarian corridor after another is either canceled or much smaller than agreed upon? What happens when the Russian forces move closer and closer and hermetically hold women, children and the elderly in an iron grip, where it is only a matter of time before either there is no more food or they are stormed? Is it still, then, up to diplomacy to let the Russian bear call the shots and use the West in their sick manipulatory propaganda program?

As an individual citizen it is hard to to anything about the situation in Mariupol, isn´t it? Think about it. Had it not been for individuals taking the initiative when Russia invaded Ukraine, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians would have arrived in Poland without a roof over their heads. Before the politicians were done negotiating solutions, individuals in Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Poland, and many other countries felt compelled to do something.

The steel plant in Mariupol is what we are all watching these days, watching and waiting for what is going to happen. One one hand side I want to yell: “Do something! The West must send forces and get people out, this ends in a terrible disaster!”

On the other hand, the consequences of what a military intervention from the West would mean for Europe is beyond what I can fathom. Would this be the beginning of a great war in which the western countries, including Denmark, was at war with Russia and its allies?

So here I am, watching. I do believe, everyone can contribute change – if nothing else then with donations and shouting from the rooftops. But when you cannot act in other ways, we in the West have learned to trust a political solution through diplomacy. Let’s hope for a diplomatic solution before a massacre in Mariupol unfold on our screens.

Kan ro og orden gå hånd i hånd med ytringsfrihed?

Urolighederne i Sverige viser, hvilke enorme udfordringer Europa står over for.

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Is peace and order possible in societies with freedom of speech?

The unrest in Sweden reveal enormous challenges facing Europe.

Are you allowed to spit on a book, step on it, burn it off in a godforsaken rest area in the outskirts of Sweden? Yes, you have the right to do that – even if it is neither very original, nor constructive.

There is no need to discuss what our rights are, we are well aware of them. If you would like to, you could portray Christ with a ginormous boner and gods and prophets with and without bombs in their turbans.

The right and ability to mock politicians, religions, gods and prophets is a way of measuring whether a society is free – it is precisely when freedom of speech is pushing our limits for feeling comfortable that we know it works. It is the cornerstone of a free country. But in a globalized world people with different views move around. And when the majority views freedom of expression differently than countries, in for instance Scandinavia, is it then time to scale back on ideology and keep ones positions on politics, religion etc. to conversations around the dining table within the confined space of our homes?

The Danish model worked because the population was homogeneous and largely based on the same culture and the same values. That is no longer the case. You can mourn it, but it’s the reality. When the demography changes, so must the model of society.

How do we deal with the massive aggressions lurking beneath the surface in many European countries? Around Europe, streets and residential areas are on fire every time religious criticism is perceived as personal persecution.

Something has to give. How should secular nations of atheistic culturally Christians on the one hand and hardcore believers for whom there is no difference between faith and the individual, on the other, live together in the same country?

It is difficult for a Dane to understand the feelings that exist within Islam. And it is a corner stone in Danish identity to seek consensus.

A few years ago, a priest in the United States wanted to burn a Koran in front of his church. The Pentagon asked him not to. For the safety of US forces in the Middle East.

It should be clear at this point in time that in a global world, actions taken in the small Danish town of Skive can reach all the way to Shanghai, Koran burnings at a rest stop in Sweden and drawings in a Danish newspaper can become known throughout the world in an instant.

It should also be clear at this point that it is both ignorant and arrogant to believe that all immigrants from totalitarian regimes who come to Western democracies will naturally embrace the values of western democracies.

We know the conditions in Saudi Arabia, the repression in China, the killings of journalists and political opponents in Russia, Turkey’s mafia methods around Europe on opponents of the president, killings and rapes of women in India, girls’ repression in Afghanistan. The list is long, I have unfortunately only just started. When democracies are attacked by totalitarian powers, and when violence is met with the desire for dialogue, when basic human rights are met with oppression – then resistance is shattered, democracies lose and the dialogue falls silent.

Simply put: The soft fight for freedom of expression, as we have defined it until now, is lost. For the premise of mutual understanding is basically not just skewed, but in a conflicting relationship where the parties can never reach each other. “Freedom of expression is inviolable” faces “nothing critical may be said about Islam”.

Western democracies are fundamentally based on dialogue, exchange of views and compromise. Especially in a democracy like the Danish one, where minority governments have historically been the norm, our approach to resolving disagreements is negotiation, consensus and dialogue.

Denmark is one of the world’s best functioning countries. The Danish model worked because the population was homogeneous and largely based on the same culture and the same values. That is no longer the case. You can mourn it, but it’s the reality. When the demography of a population changes, so must the model of society.

The United States has long debated freedom of speech, and the different states are massively divided on their approach. In general, we have learned to censor what we say and do in public when it comes to religion. There are no Christian holidays here, no Easter egg hunts, and no Christmas decorations in public schools.

That’s fine with me – the less religion takes up space, the better. But for those of us in favor of freedom of expression, the line has been crossed in an attempt to compromise, when books that can be perceived as offensive are censored out of libraries and curricula at educational institutions. The result is young, ignorant and single-minded people.

The balance is difficult, and personal preferences mean that the population groups themselves in enclaves, select schools and educational institutions that meet their beliefs, choose friends with the same ethnicity, culture, and religion. The American society works, but it is divided.

I wonder if Europe will not develop into being more like the ones we have in the United States? How long can European societies last if the streets are constantly set on fire because of hurt feelings before drastic changes have to take place?

If we want a society of peace and order and a peaceful coexistence in a population that is no longer as homogeneous as it once was, freedom of speech and peace and order are opposites.

If we give in and keep quiet, we are compromising the ideology that most of us treasure as absolutely essential to our freedoms, identity and human condition. But if we do not give in and continue as usual, the streets will be on fire again and again and human lives will be lost. None of these to premises are acceptable.

How do we find a different way of living our values than the one that worked in what seems like an antiquated Danish society, where the population shared culture, ethnicity and religion? If we insist on going about religious topics in public space in a way we found healthy and liberating in the 1970s, we risk a divided society.

What did the American priest end up doing? He canceled his Koran burning event – and avoided a reaction of violence and hatred, perhaps even saving the lives of American soldiers in the Middle East. But he did so at the expense of freedom of speech.