What do 1942 and 2018 have in common? During both years the Nobel Prize was cancelled. Except that the first one is because of the war and the second one was because of a scandal that has been going since November 2017. Last Friday, because of a scandal involving sexual misconduct, the Swedish Academy announced that there will be no Nobel Prize.
It all began back in November when movie producer Harvey Weinstein was accused of harassment, inciting women all over the world to denounce men. At the same time, in Sweden, the accusations against Jean Claude Arnault, the husband of one of the members of the Academy. All those events took place between 1996 and 2017, although many figures knew of his behavior, no accusations were made against him. But in November, a journalist started the investigation with the statements of 18 women. Many of them cited that the events took place in the forum. The forum is a place where Arnault worked that was being financed by the Academy, provoking conflicts, making the Academy cut all ties with him. Unfortunately, the permanent secretary Sara Danius was forced to resign from office. For a further punishment, the Swedish Academy announced that no Nobel Prize for Literature will be given. Instead, two prizes will be awarded in 2019. Although the accusations are recent, some of the facts are too old to be considered by the law, making it difficult to know for sure if this will end in a court of justice and if the women’ voices will be heard.
As a response to the hashtag Me Too, actresses of all ages in Hollywood started the Time’s Up movement by wearing all black at the Golden Globes 2018, as a sign of protest but also as a sign of compassion to all women. Even though this started in Hollywood, women all over the world were affected by this, causing those two movements to become a worldwide phenomenon. What happened in Sweden is happening all over the world, making it hard to believe that society is doing something to improve women’ conditions.
-By Bérénice M