While 56 percent of Finnish women see #Metoo as something very or quite positive, only 41 percent of men share this opinion. Furthermore, a quarter of Finnish men see #Metoo as a downright negative phenomenon that has adversely affected communication, a recent survey by pollster Taloustutkimus carried out on behalf of national broadcaster Yle has found.
Incidentally, the "baby boomer" generation in the age bracket 50-64 turned out to favor the #Metoo movement the most. Urban residents also turned out to be more positive toward the consequences of the campaign than those living in the countryside.
Ylva Perera, one of the initiators of the Finnish campaign against harassment is not surprised that men are less enthusiastic about the campaign than women. She argued that it is understandable that it was more unpleasant for men to share stories about men's violence and abuse against women, yet stressed that it was dangerous to worry more about men's feelings than about women's safety.
"The sad thing about the statistics is that a quarter of men think it's nicer when women never say out loud they've been harassed or subjected to violence. Hereby you actually say it's more important to avoid bad vibes than for women to feel safe," Perera pointed out.
Nevertheless, she was happy about the positive effect.
"The #Metoo call wasn't made too long ago, so it would be quite strange to already expect a radical change in how people behave, for instance, in pubs. The fact that so many people still feel that there has been a change is great," Perera told Yle.
In Finland, the #Metoo movement has spurred significant changes. The Parliamentary Women's Network is pushing for a Sweden-style "consent law" to stop sex abuse and an anti-harassment ombudsman is currently under discussion and may be introduced. In addition, government funds have been earmarked for developing educational materials, gender equality plans and strategies to deal with sexual harassment.
In 2017 the #Metoo campaign swept Scandinavia, prompting tens of thousands of women representing dozens of professions to sign trade petitions to protest sex abuse and harassment, including politicians, celebrities, journalists, church officials, military personnel and even prostitutes, forcing a spate of high-profile resignations.
In neighboring Norway, Conservative Labor Minister Anniken Hauglie recently nominated the #Metoo movement for the Nobel Peace Prize, the newspaper Verdens Gang reported.