Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Chat behaviour

Last night, the readers of the evening paper Aftonbladet had the opportunity to chat with the Swedish ambassador Margareta Winberg (a copy of it is here, only in Swedish though). The reason was that Winberg and a collegue of hers, Annika Barthine, have written a feministic manifesto, encouraging women to make their own choises and to refuse to stay underpaid at work, among other things.

I joined in (though my question never appeared so it remains unanswered) and while waiting for the chat session to start, I noticed that the editors had chosen two questions as a headline, or introduction. I don't remember the first question, but the other one was "Do we need a feminist party?". The rest of the introduction was something like "MW will be here shortly to chat with you and answer your questions".

I remember thinking that this could get the debate off the track. Nowhere in their manifesto, or in the relating article about them, did Winberg and Barthine say they plan to found a feminist party! So why did the paper decide to pose this irrelevant question to the chatters? And as it turned out, 7 of the 16 questions posed to Winberg during the chat session were about the needs, structure and ideology of a feminist party, even though she's never said anything about founding such a party. It irritates me a lot that Aftonbladet governed the debate the way they did.

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