MPs of the Centre Party used harsh words to describe their female colleagues in a conversation recorded at a Reykjavík bar, Stundin reports. They suggested one politician should be placed lower on the candidates list in upcoming primaries because she was no longer as “hot” as she used to be. Stundin received a recording of the conversation between Centre Party MPs Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson, Bergþór Ólason, and Anna Kolbrún Árnadóttir, as well as People’s Party MPs Karl Gauti Hjaltason and Ólafur Ísleifsson, where they use the word “cunt” to describe two colleagues.
Not as “hot” as before
A transcript of part of the conversation is as follows:
Gunnar Bragi: “I actually think that […] could be damn powerful. She’s a damn cute girl.”
Sigmundur Davíð: “This is that kind of moment, a young woman, young people in the Independence Party, ‘let’s lift her up.’”
Bergþór: “Now I’m going to say something that’s of course very rude, but she’s losing her shine fast. She’s way less hot this year than she was just two years ago. There’s an incredible difference.”
Sigmundur Davíð: “And for that reason, I say she’ll go well down on the list.”
At that point in the conversation, Anna Kolbrún cut in: “Would you consider for a second, if this were a man?” to which the others responded with laughter.
“Full-on crazy cunt”
Centre Party MP Bergþór Ólason was recorded describing Inga Sæland, chairperson of the People’s Party, as a “full-on crazy cunt,” while trying to convince Karl Gauti and Ólafur to leave the People’s Party and join his own. Sigmundur Davíð is heard laughing in response to this statement, agreeing, and saying that Bergþór was “always right.”
At another point in the conversation, the MPs string together the letters U,N, and T, and speculate on which women could be described by placing the letter C in front of the former letters, thereby spelling “cunt.” When it was suggested the word best described Progressive Party MP Silja Dögg Gunnarsdóttir, the group laughed. Bergþór then described her an “unreliable woman” and Anna Kolbrún called her “dangerous.”
Former Independence Party MP Unnur Brá Konraðsdóttir, as well as Social-Democratic Alliance MP Oddný Harðardóttir were also the subject of harsh words in the conversation.
When Anna Kolbrún suggested that women in general lack math skills, Gunnar Bragi asked: “is that why they don’t know how many people they’ve slept with?” “There’s the explanation,” Bergþór remarked in response. “I think that’s right,” added Sigmundur Davíð.
Wrote about HeforShe
It may be noted that Gunnar Bragi wrote about feminist campaign HeforShe in British newspaper The Guardian in 2015. “For me, the crux of the matter is that promoting and protecting gender equality involves more than government action,” Gunnar wrote in the piece. “It requires a shift in attitudes and behavior.” Gunnar Bragi wrapped up the article by stating: “We need men to talk, listen and educate. Gender inequality cannot be the legacy we leave behind.”
Sigmundur Davíð, whose Centre Party hold seven seats in Parliament, only one of which is occupied by a woman, said in a recent interview he believes women avoid politics due to “personal defamation.” He stated more women than men avoid careers in politics because they “aren’t fond of how politics appears.”