I think we all know that it is dangerous to make people into heroes, since they often show us their all too human sides. Yet, I also think it is important to acknowledge that there are a lot of people doing heroic work, trying to change society for the better. One of the major reasons why this is important, is because it is hard work to do so, and it can be easy to think that it doesn’t make any difference, and that nobody appreciate the work.
So, in that spirit, I want to acknowledge some amazing people doing great work in Denmark.
In recent months, I have been lucky enough to be at a couple of events where some of these amazing people participated, so I thought I’d share a couple of pictures from these events, and acknowledge the great work these people do.
The picture shows a debate panel of five feminists, which happened on September 26, 2016. The debate was about feminism in the future, and didn’t try to create a false balance between feminists and non-feminists, but instead invited five feminists, so we could skip the whole debate about whether feminism is even necessary.
The participants are:
- Rasmus Brygger – a libertarian feminist. I have some serious problems with Brygger and the brand of feminism he represents, but I admire him for trying to fight for feminism in a very hostile environment.
- Emma Holten – well known for her great work fighting for consent and against revenge porn. She has done a lot to change the whole debate on this issue, not only in Denmark, but in all of Europe. On top of that, she does a lot of other great work for feminism and against inequality. I am a huge fan of her and hers work.
- Natasha Al-Hariri – a Danish-Palestinian feminist. Often involved in debates related to feminism and immigrants, and debates about immigrants and integration in general.
- Sanne Søndergaard – a comedian who often incorporates feminist themes in her sketches. The comedy scene in Denmark is quite misogynist, and Sanne Søndergaard is often the target of horrible attacks started, or at least cheered on, by her colleagues.
- Henrik Marstal – musician and self-described gender traitor. One of the few vocal male feminists in Denmark.
I don’t agree with all of these five people on all issues, but they are doing a lot of work trying to make Denmark more feminist, suffering a horrific amount of abuse in the process. Even so, they continue the work. I cannot adequately express my admiration for what they do.
The second picture is from a political meetup, where the subject was what could be done to reduce hatred in Denmark. This came after the Brexit and Trump votes.
The 3 participants were:
- Tommy Petersen – a liberal member of the city council of Copenhagen for Radikale. He was one of the organizers of the first Copenhagen Pride parade.
- Natasha Al-Hariri – I described her above, but here she participated due to her work with integration and acceptance of immigrants.
- Niddal El-Jabri – the husband of Natasha Al-Hariri. Known for creating a peace-ring around the Jewish Synagogue after the attacks on it in February, 2015. He is involved with Mino Danmark, an organization working to help fellowship and a common community between people in Denmark, no matter their background.
There are many people working hard for tolerance, and against the intolerance expressed by xenophobic parties like Dansk Folkeparti, so these three are only a small sample, but the work each individual do is extremely important.
What is also important, is that we do it in different ways.
Since racism and xenophobia is not based upon facts, but rather feelings, it is important that there are people willing to reach out to people on the other side, and try to show them that their fears are irrelevant. This doesn’t mean we all should do that – there is also a need for people to forcefully confront the lies and propaganda spread by xenophobes, and that is certainly the path I have chosen, but it is good that there are people like Natasha Al-Hariri and Niddal El-Jabri trying to create bridges.