A group of Icelandic politicians are under fire after a bar patron secretly recorded them rating their female colleagues as “f**kable” or “non-f**kable”.
The six MPs — including former prime minister Sigmundur David Gunnlaugsson — were recorded making the derogatory comments at Klaustur Bar in the capital Reykjavik recently.
The politicians, who were supposed to be in parliament at the time, instead spent three hours at the venue drinking beer, mocking colleagues and savaging the #MeToo movement.
According to The Reykjavik Grapevine, some of the slurs included calling one female politician “a raving mad c**t” who is “f***ing crazy”, while another was described as having “really gone downhill” and as being “a lot less hot than she was only two years ago”.
In the recording, another MP is referred to as a “spaz” while others joked about their female colleagues’ sex lives.
According to Metro, the male politicians in the pack also rated several female MPs as being “f**kable” or “non-f**kable”.
The group also mocked Freyja Haraldsdottir, a female politician who was born with osteogenesis imperfecta (brittle bone disease), calling her an “island”, which many believe was a reference to her wheelchair, which lets her lie flat.
She told The New York Times the scandal had taken its toll on her wellbeing.
“The MPs don’t consider what they did a violation. That is the message they send by not resigning. And it hurts as much as the actual act,” Ms Haraldsdottir told the publication.
“My body has been on everyone’s lips in the past days, and I find it very uncomfortable.
“I wonder what impact this will have on me and other disabled people, like disabled children.”
The group of politicians also joked about a woman who had suffered from domestic violence.
One of the six, a female politician, was not recorded making any offensive comments.
The scandal has engulfed the tiny Nordic nation, with the public now calling for those implicated to resign.
The group issued a joint statement in response to the outcry, which read: “It was not our intention to hurt anyone, and it’s clear that our manner of speaking at that time is inexcusable. We are determined to learn from this and will try our utmost to be polite and respectful to our colleagues.”
The comments are all the more shocking considering Iceland is widely considered to be at the forefront of gender equality.
In 1975, one-fifth of the country’s female population took to the streets of capital Reykjavik in a massive protest over women’s rights, while 90 per cent of women took part in professional and domestic strikes on the same day to prove women’s value.
The unprecedented display brought the nation to a standstill and paved the way for future gender equality wins.
An all-female political party was founded soon after and by 1999, more than one-third of Icelandic MPs were women.
In 2000, the island nation introduced a groundbreaking parental leave policy and it has been ranked the best country in the world for gender equality by the World Economic Forum for nine years running.
According to the 2017 World Economic Forum report, the top five countries for gender equality are Iceland, Norway, Finland, Rwanda and Sweden.
Following last year’s national election, Iceland became the “most equal parliament in the world” after female candidates won 48 per cent of the country’s 63 seats — without any quota system in place. The current prime minister is also female.
And on January 1 this year, for example, it became the first country in the world to make pay equality a legal requirement.
Under the new legislation, businesses with more than 25 employees must receive official government certification to prove their equal-pay policies.
Any companies or government agencies which cannot demonstrate equal pay between staff will risk fines.
Originally published as MPs rated colleagues’ ‘f**kability’