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Pre-2008 Posts

One of Two Norwegian Men Believe “Flirtatious” Women Are to Blame if They are Raped

So much for romanticizing Norwegian men!  (If anyone does.  I don’t and never have, having known so many of them, despite Norway’s well-deserved stellar reputation as a woman-friendly country.  Now women, that’s whole ‘nother thing.)

The shocking results appear in a report compiled by Amnesty [International] in cooperation with Reform – resource center for men.

One in five men surveyed said that a woman known to have several partners is fully or partly responsible if sexually assaulted, and 28 percent believed that a woman who dresses sexily is wholly or partly responsible for a sexual assault.

“I think the results of this study are frightening. I am the father of a teenage girl. It is disturbing to see that Norwegian men believe she is responsible if she should be assaulted after flirting with a man,” John Peder Egenæs, secretary general of Amnesty International Norway told newspaper VG.

Fully 48 percent of those surveyed believe that women are fully or partly responsible for a sexual assault if they openly flirt before the attack.

“It is unacceptable to blame women who have been exposed to sexual assault and violence. This confirms that female-hostile attitudes are alive and well,” said victim’s legal counsel Trine Rjukan.

Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg said he was disappointed over Norwegian men’s attitude towards women and found the study’s results frightening.

“I had hoped and believed that we had come further than that in terms of men’s view of violence against women,” Stoltenberg said.

Link and thanks to Feminist Peace Network for the heads up.



11 thoughts on “One of Two Norwegian Men Believe “Flirtatious” Women Are to Blame if They are Raped

  1. My boyfriend is Norwegian, moving here to live with me in November. He called me earlier because he’d read this in his local newspaper and was really angry about it. I think he feels a little more than ashamed of his fellow countrymen today. :o/

    Posted by Anji | April 25, 2007, 9:10 pm
  2. Hi Heart,

    I’ve been lurking at your blog for a while, but I’m delurking to comment on this because the article had me shocked. I’m Norwegian though I currently reside in the US, and I was shocked (and not in the Casablanca way) at these findings. These are my relatives, my friends, my colleagues, and this is what half of them think of me. I had honestly thought Norwegian men were better than this. I now have patriarchal, quiverfull Doug Phillips-worshipping relatives in the US through my marriage (my husband left the movement after adolescence and turned liberal – long story) so I have taken great and frequent comfort in the apparent feminism of my home country.

    However. Despite Norway being quite strong on women’s rights, rape is still a common crime. So I can’t say I’m that surprised. Patriarchy is persistent; the only difference is that in Scandinavia, women are well organized and somewhat legally entitled to fight it. It is worth noting that Norway is in many ways a deeply conservative country – we still have a State Church, in which most people are automatically enrolled due to deeply undemocratic laws. It took me years to unenroll once I was 18, because the process was made so complicated. Ergo, most people don’t bother and the practice is continued. Our last Prime Minister was a Fundamentalist Christian. Politics, however, is not considered a proper arena in Norway for discussing faith and so his views went under the radar. He did manage to do a lot of harm behind the scenes though.

    As a feminist I would rather live in Scandinavia than in any other part of the world, because it is still easier to be a woman there. So much work still to be done though. Sometimes I feel that things are moving backwards, and that the patriarchal Religious Right of the US is gaining traction in Europe. I vividly remember a child rape case of some five years ago in Norway – the 60-something boyfriend of a mother was accused of molesting her 6-year-old daughter. The judge let him go, because in his opinion the little girl must have been seducing him. I was shaking mad and still am. Patriarchy and misogyny are everywhere.

    We must keep fighting and not let even the smallest victory leave us complacent.

    Posted by maja | April 25, 2007, 9:19 pm
  3. Why am I not surprised at this latest survey. Because misogny is a global problem and whilst I know not all Norwegian men believe women are responsible for men raping them, far too many believe these myths. Likewise in the UK far too many men blame women for male sexual violence. Reality check – no woman is responsible for a man raping or sexually abusing her – accountability is always with the male perpetrator. Second reality check – if a man is sexually active and he calls a woman a slut he should look in the mirror and realise he too is a slut! Third reality check – women’s sexualities belong to them NOT MEN. A woman flirting with a man is not giving blanket consent to rape. Taking this to its logical conclusion if a man’s wallet is protuding from his hip pocket does that mean he is consenting to my stealing his wallet?

    Posted by jennifer drew | April 25, 2007, 9:48 pm
  4. “A woman flirting with a man is not giving blanket consent to rape. Taking this to its logical conclusion if a man’s wallet is protuding from his hip pocket does that mean he is consenting to my stealing his wallet?”

    Yes – I’ll use that the next time someone brings this issue up with me – hope you don’t mind!!!

    Norway, conservative, Church-dominated, yes. I wonder what the survey results would be in other Scandinavian countries?

    Posted by profacero | April 25, 2007, 11:21 pm
  5. “A woman flirting with a man is not giving blanket consent to rape. Taking this to its logical conclusion if a man’s wallet is protruding from his hip pocket does that mean he is consenting to my stealing his wallet?”

    It is a good analogy and I’ve used it, but be ready for it to fly right over people’s heads. The idea that men have the right to coerce sex and women are responsible for being constantly on the defensive is deeply ingrained.

    I just want to scream. Yes, I have dressed up in sexy outfits and gone out looking for sex. So?? I still get to CHOOSE who that sex is going to be with! The idea that women are either off limits (good) or open season (bad) grants us no autonomous sexuality, no agency and no FUN.

    We should be able to say, “Maybe I do want sex, but if I don’t want you, you don’t have any right to my body.” Is that so revolutionary? I guess so.

    To counter that, I think we need to keep our critique of rape focused on the sexual double standard. Rape has been a crime under patriarchy because it violates male property rights. I’ve been raped, and it’s a horrific physical assault, but elevating it to a “fate worse than death” defines women as vaginas.

    To focus solely on rape can be interpreted as protecting chaste women from rapacious males and feed into patriarchal stereotypes. Sexual shaming, dividing women into sluts and hos or good wives and mothers, is a control mechanism of the patriarchy as surely as rape.

    I want the revolution to mean that we don’t have to apologize for being sexual, and we are free from fear of both rape and shame.

    Posted by roamaround | April 26, 2007, 2:21 am
  6. I wonder what the hell these guys think the word responsible means. No woman in her right mind would invite sexual assault. It cannot happen. All forms of assault are by definition uninvited and criminal. I do not think I would even elevate this idea of men that a woman can invite or provoke rape to a myth. It sounds like self-serving willful blind arrogance to me.

    Many men think it makes perfect sense that women can provoke rape, or that if a woman teases a man, or does something that gets him excited, she should have known better. These ideas make a mockery of responsibility. Men need to get it through their thick skulls, men are not entitled to unwanted sex under any circumstances! They initiate sexual assault, so they are wholly responsible. Period, end of story.

    Posted by Aletha | April 26, 2007, 5:47 am
  7. There is a very old Sanskrit proverb that is straight to the point on this issue:

    ‘One cannot blame the flower for the behavior of the bee.’

    Sounds like there are way too many self-entitled, rapist bees in Norway…

    Posted by akkarri | April 27, 2007, 7:23 am
  8. You know, if men keep up this attitude that women should either have sex with no men or be willing to have sex with any and every man alive, they’re going to be in for some very lonely nights with some very blue balls.

    (Oh, wait, I almost forgot….no they won’t, because apparently they’re not above forcing us into it.)

    Posted by mekhit | April 27, 2007, 7:30 am
  9. Mekhit what’s scary is the anti-feminist women who are promoting the same idea of some kind of creepy “sex communism” where if a woman is being sexual any and all men should be able to have a piece of her because some poor man just might get “left out” of the action and start killing people, which as we all know is women’s fault.

    I have to wonder with the extent of misogyny across the globe, if men are born hating women? Is it possible?

    Posted by Kiuku | April 30, 2007, 3:11 am
  10. Comparative analysis on this issue in Europe on the WAMI blog due to the increase [extreme in some countries] of


    this is one of those issues the left REFUSES TO TALK ABOUT OR EVEN PROSECUTE


    of the whole appease cultural relativism and not to offend culture–HOWEVER,

    in doing that, they also, REINFORCE ABUSES TO MUSLIM WOMEN IN MUSLIM COMMUNITIES, and this is another factor that the left REFUSES to address.

    the Right wing nationalists of course point the increase of rapes of women by Muslims YET REFUSE TO CONFRONT THEIR OWN RAPING AND MISOGYNY–

    currently am working on comparison because at the same time this study came out, there was an interview with men from Senegal and Somalia, increase in rapes/gang rapes of Oslo’s women/Norway–and the

    similarities between the two studies are just too similar to not see. Both blame the women, one goes as far to blame alcohol, as if its Western culture that forces them to rape–and Then, they even lie about how they respect women in Africa–any one with any sense knows thats a load of crock…I’ll be adding the rape stats in Africa in those two countries next–

    this is ongoing research, the two questions are,

    1. Does misogyny/attitudes in host nations pave the way for more acceptance/tolerance for more extreme laws and/or abuses of women and/or

    2. does the infiltration of extreme misogyny revert progressive thinking in men [in host nation] as well as works to influence misogyny and tolerance to in a more extreme way and if not for that infiltration would there be more possibility for consciousness of misogyny not being tolerable?

    here is the interview–done the same year this study on Norwegian men was done.

    Oslo police recently released its 2007 Rape Report. The report shows a marked increase in Somali rapists, generally on account of gang rapes.

    At least ten women were attacked and molested by a gang of Somali men at Sofienberg park in Oslo on Saturday evening.

    Last year a record-high 161 rapes and 35 rape attempts were reported in Oslo. Over 70% of the rapists were non-Norwegian [ed. ethnically, a majority had Norwegian citizenship].

    Lawyer Abid Raja visited a cafe in Grønland in Oslo for Norwegian broadcaster P4. There he met three young men (ages 26, 30 and 35), from Somalia and Senegal.

    The men, who refused to have their names published, spoke with P4 about the rape and robbery wave hitting the city.

    [ed: The transcript below is not complete (in the original)]

    A: Honestly? Norwegians are horrible!

    Q: What are you thinking about?

    A: I’m thinking of everything. Not least the food is bad. (He then speaks of the fact that Muslims don’t eat pork).

    Q: What do you think of Norwegian women then?

    A: They’re something completely different, he says as his friends laugh.

    A: But listen now, Norwegian girls complain that foreign boys do this and that, but the reason there are so many rapes is that Norwegian girls go around almost completely naked! That’s like saying “come here and fuck me”, you understand?

    Q: You’re saying that Norwegian girls are asking to be raped?

    A: Not exactly asking, but when then go out almost completely naked and get completelydrunk in Frogner park or go to a party together with some friend, and then they complain about being raped? It’s their fault, says the 26 year old from Somalia.

    Q: But even if they go around lightly dressed and get drunk then they’re certainly not asking to be raped?

    A: No, but many of the foreigners aren’t used to this where they come from. They’re not accustomed that girls go dressed as they want, then maybe they interpret this a bit wrong, you understand?

    Regarding the gang who attacked several girls, threw them down and tore off their clothes in Sofienberg park in Grünerløkka, the men explain this saying that the boys were very young.

    A: Weren’t these boys young? Such as 13-14 years old? I think this was curiosity as to how girls look. They were so young that they didn’t know what they were doing, says the 35 year old Somali.

    The 30 year old comes from Senegal and thinks African men respect women, but that attack rapes happen when the men drink.

    A: We who come from Senegal don’t like to speak with Norwegian men, but we like Norwegian women. That’s because in African culture they respect women, but not men.

    Q: But why do young African men attack Norwegian women?

    A: Such things happen now and then. When we drink too much and get drunk it happens that we attack them, but if we don’t drink, we don’t attack Norwegian women – but respect them, says the Senegalese, who speaks in bad English.

    The 26 year old Somali speaks the most. He thinks his and his friends’ points of view represent the attitudes of many in the Somali community.

    Q: You don’t think many will be scared that you have such attitudes if P4 broadcasts this interview on the radio?

    A: Just broadcast it, because this is true. That’s the way things are – it’s the facts. I’m not lying. I’ve never been with a Norwegian lady, but I’ve been with many Norwegian girls – they are fairly nice and very skilled in bed.

    Source: P4 (Norwegian), h/t Snaphanen (Danish)

    Note: The audio interview is under ‘lyd’ on the right hand side. It’s mostly in Norwegian, but the Senegalese speaks in English towards the end.Muslim men in Norway that are on the increase


    Posted by Tasha | June 20, 2008, 6:08 pm


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