When Girlbossing Goes Wrong
Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin is in the midst of a Partygate of her own.
Boris Johnson isn’t the only prime minister dealing with a Partygate scandal.
On Aug. 17, videos of Finnish Prime Minister Sanna Marin partying with Finnish celebrities. One of the clips shows Marin dancing to EDM music with five other friends looking into a cell phone camera. Another shows the prime minister dancing on her knees in what appears to be a dimly lit apartment space before embracing another female party goer who was recording the video. In one of the clips, other party attendees can be heard talking about cocaine, leading to intense backlash from the Finnish media and demands that Marin take a drug test.
It’s not the first time Marin has caught heat for her partying habits. In the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, Marin was caught partying at a dance club after unknowingly coming into contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.
Marin swiftly denied any use of drugs at the party, which reportedly took place over the first weekend in August, and argued that none of her behavior at the party was “inappropriate.”
"I think my ability to function was really good. There were no known meetings on the days I was partying," Marin told reporters in her native language. "I trust that people understand that leisure time and work time can be separated."
"I have a family life, I have a work life and I have free time to spend with my friends,” Marin said, per Finnish media outlet Yle. “Pretty much the same as many people my age.”
Marin remained adamant that she “did nothing illegal."
"Even in my teenage years I have not used any kind of drugs,” Marin, the youngest prime minister in the country’s history, added. Nevertheless, Marin consented to a drug test Friday to quell some of the public outrage, and on Monday the test came back negative. But Marin’s drug test has been overshadowed by the release of another video that depicts Marin grinding with a man that is not her husband.
The man in the video, identified as 28-year-old Finnish pop musician Olavi Uusivirta, pretty plainly appears to be kissing the married 36-year-old prime minister on the neck as "I Gotta Feeling" from the Black Eyed Peas plays in the background. One witness told Finnish outlet Seiska that though the Social Democratic prime minister is not seen drinking in the video, Marin was “clearly intoxicated.” The witness also claimed she “danced intimately with at least three different men,” and “sat on the laps” of two others.
“She acted like a single 20-something. It was hard to believe that she is married,” the witness said, according to Seiska. The witness also claimed that Marin was out until at least 5:30 a.m.
Nevertheless, Marin denied that Uusivirta was kissing her on the neck. Rather, Marin suggested that Uusivirta was either whispering something in her ear or kissing her on the cheek.
"If someone has kissed me on the cheek, there's nothing inappropriate or something I can't handle or tell my husband," Marin claimed.
For 18 years, Marin has been in a relationship with Markus Räikkönen, a former Finnish soccer player turned investor. The pair tied the knot in 2020, two years after the birth of their first child.
Uusivirta issued a denial of his own via Instagram, posting a picture of himself with a caption (translated into English) that reads, “there has been speculation in the public about the quality of the relationship between me and Prime Minister Sanna Marin. Hand on heart I can just say it like it is: we are friends and nothing inappropriate has happened.”
Beyond the obviously immoral behavior, Marin was apparently on duty during the whole ordeal and had to be available around the clock to make crucial decisions because the prime minister canceled her vacation time originally scheduled for that weekend.
Marin’s apparent infidelity and dereliction of her duties as prime minister, however, have become a rallying cry for a cohort of her female supporters. Several women have taken to social media and posted videos of themselves dancing, drinking, or both, to show solidarity with Marin for allegedly being held to unfair standards.
Alt for Damerne, a Danish women’s magazine, created a compilation video of their female employees dancing and drinking to show support for the Finnish prime minister.
"Our first idea was to write a column or editorial but then we thought, let's do this with some kind of humor and show that we all have those clips on our camera roll that wasn't supposed to see the light of day," Editor-in-Chief Rikke Dal Støttrup said, according to NPR.
Other women from across the world have posted pictures of themselves at parties, bars, raves, and other functions with #SolidaritywithSanna in the caption, again voicing the belief that women are held to unfair standards.
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You’d think Marin’s apparent infidelity to her husband would cause female supporters to rethink their support for Marin. But this is precisely the core of the feminist movement: to permit women to act just like the feminist caricature of the opposite sex. Feminism presents itself as an elevating force, providing women the political and economic power to equally take part in society. In reality, it's a leveling force, tearing women down to the lowest, basest instincts of men. Marin and her supporters aren’t bemoaning unfair standards, they are bemoaning that there are standards at all.
Rest assured, policy makers in Washington agree that Finland should be protected under America’s nuclear umbrella if the madman in Moscow decides to venture beyond his northwestern border to ensure that the liberalism Marin so dearly enjoys will carry on in perpetuity.
Sorry, Mr. Räikkönen.