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One More for Team Golda and Indira

So Denmark has now elected its first female head of government.  In doing so we are following in the footsteps of: Ceylon, India, Israel, Sri Lanka, Argentina, Central African Republic, the United Kingdom, Portugal, Bolivia, Dominica, Norway, San Marino, Yugoslavia, the Philippines, Pakistan, Haiti, Lithuania, Nicaragua, Bangladesh, France, Poland, Turkey, Canada, Burundi, Rwanda, Bulgaria, Liberia, Ecuador, Guyana, New Zealand, Senegal, Indonesia, South Korea, São Tomé and Príncipe, Finland, Peru, Mozambique, Macedonia, Ukraine, Bahamas, Germany, Chile, Jamaica, Moldova, Iceland, Croatia, Madagascar, Kyrgyzstan, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, Australia, Slovakia, Brazil, Mali and Thailand.

We are, however, ahead of Sweden, and that’s what really counts.

The Danish head of state has been female since 1972, of course – but since Margrethe II is a hereditary monarch it’s hard to count that as a benchmark of progress. Another thing about the above list, which is chronologically ordered: from a quick skim through it looks as though it’s easier for women to gain power in relatively recently established or recently democratised states where power structures are more fluid (Ceylon and India: established 1948; Lithuania: democratic since 1990; Liberia: peace treaty in 2003).

Of course I’m not getting in to the issue of longevity in government, or which women were seen as “heirs to power” through family connections, or the even thornier issue of whether having a woman leader always represents progress. It seems like a plausible theory, though.  To be honest, I’m mostly just relieved that for the first time since 1993, the Danish PM’s name is no longer Rasmussen. That was getting to be embarrassing.


Actress Wanted: Must Have Had More Sex than Lars von Trier

Sex research pioneer Alfred Kinsey famously described a nymphomaniac as “someone who has more sex than you”. It’s also the working title of Lars von Trier’s next feature project, with production slated to begin in the summer of 2012.

The film will supposedly differ from a porn flick in that it will be “mostly dialogue-driven”, which could be interesting. Here’s an idea, though: wouldn’t it be fun if occasionally, a woman got a nice big pile of cash to make a film about “the erotic life of a woman from the age of zero to the age of 50”? I know, it’s a bizarre notion. I just wanted to put it out there.

Also…… yes, it’s a working title and no doubt one specifically designed to grab headlines, but: “Nymphomaniac”?? There’s something so dated about that term, although maybe that’s the effect he’s going for. “Remember the good old days when we were mostly associated with adult entertainment, rather than restrictive immigration policies and climate change treaty stalemates? Well, I’m bringing the sexy back! And my producer will be promoting the film while looking shifty and wearing a dirty raincoat!”

Nymphomania was, of course, a bona fide medical diagnosis in the Victorian era, used to describe a kind of mental illness specific to women. The diagnosis could be based on from anything from a woman having a large clitoris to wanting more sex than her husband; treatments were predictably unpleasant. No doubt Björk will be offered the lead role.