Girl Squad and modern feminism in Denmark

“Girl Squad” aims to change the way feminism is defined by changing the angle at which we view gender norms. They want to create a new sexual identity for the woman, something that has been continuously shunned, and help reformulate the idea of a “man”.

by Noura Kalo and Kyle Veidt

Copenhagen, Denmark – Feminism in Denmark has taken a sharp turn with the rise in the popularity of the controversial “Girl Squad” and their media representative, Louise Kjølsen, Denmark’s “Twerk Queen.”

Kjølsen is the holder of a master’s degree in psychology, where she wrote her thesis on how twerking and feminism interlink and work together to empower women. She is also a professional dancer and has performed with big names such as Major Lazer, in the past.

Kjølsen, along with her two other “squad” members, Ekaterina Krarup Andersen and Nikita K Laestrup, have used their already established status to raise awareness on an issue that Danish people seem to be unaware or disapproving of.

Photo credit: Noura Kalo. Nicoline is a young member of the LGBT community, fighting gender and social norms through her choice of self-expression

 

Being born into a modern idea of the home where both parents treat each other as equals, and where the father was the primary caregiver for a longer period of time, Kjølsen did not know that she would go out into the world and be treated purely based on a “physical or biological feature on your body”.

She believes that feminism stems from the cumulative difficulties that women have where they have “this birth right that I am equal to any other person in the world, and then going out into the world and insisting on this right, and then met with no… because you are a girl.”

And then as she grew older and began to show interest in dancing, specifically twerking, she realized that others began to view her as a sexual object, and, therefore, not as someone who can be a powerful independent woman.

Photo credit: Noura Kalo. Denis is an American traveler who is immediately recognizable among a group of homogeneous Danish people.

 

This is the main idea that Kjølsen focuses on; the idea that a woman can express her sexuality and be sexual while maintaining her humanity and not being reduced to an object.

Kjølsen believes that these ideas can constitute a fourth wave of feminism, something independent from the movements that have come before it; but not many people agree.

In a debate on dr.dk, on the 9th of March, many confronted “Girl Squad” about their opinions regarding these ideas, calling what they do pornography, and rejecting the fact that these women are feminists.

Photo credit: Noura Kalo. Nina chose to express herself by not conforming to the typical image of a Dane.

 

Kjølsen and Andersen replied by saying that they want to challenge the definition of feminism. They said that they want to expand it and make it more flexible so that it can include women’s sexuality, and can give them the right to use their bodies’ as a mean of expression in any way of their choosing, without being objectified.

“When I started twerking, it made a lot of sense to my body, and it was an expression that fitted my body and my temperament and my sexuality very well. I felt very at home and liberated in it, and then again I was met with expectations from people when I said that I twerk, that I should be in a certain way. A lot of people thought that if I twerked then I am a sexual object and that I couldn’t be a strong independent feminist,” Kjølsen said.

She believes that this is not true, that feminism and twerking are connected and in fact complementary. However, many people were questioning the concept and some were questioning the need for feminism in the first place.

Tommy Lubek Petersen commented,

“Men work 23 minutes more per day on average – shall subject themselves to the state’s military service, have no right to their own body and have to accept being subjected to religious mutilation, and are disadvantaged in divorces where children are included.
Do you think that feminism has really got a grasp of the priorities – or is feminism only a benefit program for women?”

Kjølsen and Andersen both agree with what has been said, in a way. They believe that there is a misconception when it comes to the ideas upon which feminism stands. Feminism affects both men and women in different ways, but the common ideas that have been propagated in recent years are not aligned with this. These ideas may include that feminism strictly focuses on women, or that feminists hate men.

And this is what “Girl Squad” claims that they are here to do. They want to change the concepts that we have, both about feminism, and about women’s sexuality.