This spring I had the great honour of receiving the ROKS (a national organization to support abused girls and women) Women’s Deed of the Year award. It feels particularly important since the selection is made by the volunteers and professionals working in the help centers.
The award was for #prataomdet, and I particularly appreciated how the citation pointed at the conversation as having been about how both men and women are oppressed by stereotypical ideas about how we “should” behave sexually.
To be quite honest, I was a little weary when we first got in touch, because ROKS got into a lot of trouble about a decade ago when a TV documentary seemed to reveal some of its activist old-timers as man-hating fundamentalists (which indeed they may have been, I don’t remember the details very clearly, and this of course is the problem with scandal-oriented TV storytelling). But when I saw the citation, I was really calmed. When invited to speak to the annual assembly of the organization I spoke about nuance and complexity in negative sexual experience, and the talk was very well received. Nowhere in my dealings with ROKS did I feel any kind of crazy vibe – which is great, obviously, since the work they do is astoundingly important!
To me, the most inspiring part of the award process was meeting some of the younger volunteers at “Tjejjourerna”, who work primarily with teenagers. I wish I had been as smart and driven (and unselfish!) as these young women are when I was their age.