Finnish Female-Only Island Caught In Gender Equality Crossfire

An American entrepreneur bought an island off the Finnish coast to set up a luxurious, women-only resort, but her initiative is being criticized as exclusionary.

Valerie Vlasenko
Valerie Vlasenko NewsMavens, Finland
Source: Helsingin Sanomat
Finnish Female-Only Island Caught In Gender Equality Crossfire - NewsMavens
Smiling woman. Pixabay.

Why this story matters:

After her company, Matisia Consultants, was listed on Forbes' Fastest Growing Women-Owned Businesses, Kristina Roth was ready to embark on a new mission -- to bring women around the world together.

Despite her genuine intentions to have a community for women where they can focus on personal growth and development, the SuperShe resort was deemed an anti-men initiative by several media outlets.

Kristina Roth confronted criticism by stating SuperShe is not an initiative against men and that men could visit the island in the future. In The Independent, she was quoted saying: "Transgender women are welcome to become members and travel to SuperShe Island.”

“Women need to spend time with other women. Being on vacation with men can cause women to become side-tracked, whether it’s to put on a swipe of lipstick or grab for a cover-up,” she added. 

What makes this particular story interesting is that it resulted in such a polarized debate on gender equality. Absolute exclusion, like at SuperShe, can split public opinion and create predjudice against advocates of women's rights. Personally, I believe that a constructive dialogue on the equality between sexes can only be achieved with both parties present.

But, while this sort of polarized thinking has its dangers, it does create a discussion and raise awareness of gender equality, which is a good outcome in itself.

women's issues, gender

Details from the story:

  • SuperShe is a private women-only retreat located off the coast of Finland.
  • The island accommodates 10 people in luxurious cabins, offering activities such as yoga, meditation, healthy eating, cooking classes, and fitness classes.
  • Despite media criticism, the intention behind SuperShe island is not to exclude an entire gender, but to create a community where women can bond and network without being influenced by men.
  • The island will open to the public in June 2018.
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