kottke.org posts about Denmark

The pickup artist and socialized feminismOct 09 2013

Katie Baker notes that a prominent member of the pickup artist community has written a book about why Denmark is a bad place for pickup gurus to find women. Turns out that the Nordic country's "excellent social welfare services" also function as an effective douchebag repellant.

Fans of the travel writer will be disappointed that "pussy literally goes into hibernation" in this "mostly pacifist nanny state," where the social programs rank among the best in the world. Roosh's initial admiration for those resources is almost charming, if you're able to momentarily forget that this is a man who considers devirginizing teenagers a sport.

"A Danish person has no idea what it feels like to not have medical care or free access to university education," an awed Roosh reports. "They have no fear of becoming homeless or permanently jobless. The government's soothing hand will catch everyone as they fall. To an American like myself, brainwashed to believe that you need to earn things like basic health care or education by working your ass off, it was quite a shock."

Shock turns into disbelief and then rage when Roosh is rejected by heaps of "the most unfeminine and androgynous robotic women" he's ever met. "Not a feminine drop of blood courses through their veins," Roosh rants. He concludes that the typical fetching Nordic lady doesn't need a man "because the government will take care of her and her cats, whether she is successful at dating or not."

He's not wrong. Several of Denmark's social services are intended to reduce gender inequality by supporting women, a sort of state feminism that he can't accept.

Danish tourism ads by Lars Von TrierFeb 23 2010

Lars Von Trier has directed a bunch of tourism ads for Denmark; here's a sneak peek.

Nordic geopoliticsAug 03 2006

Heading into dinner last night, I believed with certainty that Finland was one of the Scandinavian countries. I rebuffed Mr. Jones' attempts to disabuse me of that notion before dessert arrived, but it wasn't until this morning that I checked into the matter and found that he may be correct.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune investigated the issue back in January, finding that there's some controversy, even among the staff at the Finnish Embassy in Washington D.C.:

I called the Finnish Embassy in Washington, D.C., where press aide Mari Poyhtari started by saying Finland is part of Scandinavia, but then someone in the background disagreed and she corrected herself. The most accurate term is Fenno-Scandinavia or the Nordic countries, Poyhtari said. But, she admitted, "We always say we're part of Scandinavia."

The Wikipedia page on Scandinavia, the result of a vigorous discussion on the topic, indicates that there are several possible arrangements of Scandinavian countries, depending on the grouping criteria used and who you're talking to.

  • Geographically, the Scandinavian peninsula includes mainland Norway, Sweden, and part of Finland.
  • In the region, the common definition includes Norway, Denmark, and Sweden.
  • Outside of the region, the term often includes not only Norway, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland but also Iceland, a grouping commonly called the Nordic countries.
  • Linguistically speaking (pardon the pun), the Finnish language is unrelated to Norwegian, Danish, and Swedish, which is an argument for the cultural exclusion of Finland from Scandinavia.

So there you go, clear as mud. Probably best to avoid the issue altogether in the future by using the term Nordic instead of Scandinavian. All look same anyway.

Update: Underbelly notes that this "issue is in no way limited to Scandinavians":

It's the kind of muddiness you just have to expect when you consider any culture. Was Cleopatra an Egyptian? Are the Tasmanians British? What did the Byzanatines have in mind when they described themselves as "The Romans" while fighting wars against, well, Rome?

(thx, jack)

Kirven Blount travels to Denmark to tryJun 09 2005

Kirven Blount travels to Denmark to try out for a Danish professional basketball teams. "You go to your local gym to play basketball. Some enormous foreigners arrive. They play very well. So do you. They tell you they are professional basketball players from Denmark, and that you should fly to Copenhagen for a tryout."

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