‘A Southern man can have a harem of up to twenty Danish women’: Sexotic politics and immigration in Denmark, 1965–1979

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Abstract

During the late 1960s and early 1970s, Denmark received about 15,000 foreign workers from Turkey, Yugoslavia, Pakistan, the Middle East and North Africa during a unique period of women’s and sexual liberation. As foreign men visited discos—sometimes in search of sexual relationships with Danish women—a segment of Danish men accused foreigners of taking not only ‘their’ jobs but also ‘their’ women, and depicted foreign men as hypersexual or sexually violent (e.g. in union newspapers, men’s magazines). These ‘sexotic’ depictions of foreign men had immediate and negative effects on immigrants’ lived experiences in Denmark. In gay male subcultures, ‘sexotic’ depictions of men of color served mainly to entertain white fantasies, which also affected the experiences especially of gay men of color in Denmark. Overall, sexualized stereotypes about the male Other were central to broader political discussions in Denmark in the long 1970s, including debates about Danish wage suppression, immigrant ghetto formation, and the definition of sexual liberation.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSexualities
Volume23
Issue number1-2
ISSN1363-4607
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Exotification
  • Feminism
  • Gay emancipation
  • Guest-worker
  • Labor migration
  • Orientalism
  • Stereotypes
  • Workers movement

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