When photos surfaced of Donald Trump reinstating the anti-abortion global gag rule in a room surrounded by white men, the internet recoiled in collective horror. US comedian Martin Belam summed up the liberal take on the scene when he tweeted: “As long as you live you’ll never see a photograph of 7 women signing legislation about what men can do with their reproductive organs.”
Now, a group of female politicians in Sweden have released a photo appearing to mock those controversial Oval Office images.
Isabella Lövin, Sweden’s deputy prime minister, posted a photo on Twitter showing herself signing a climate bill under the watchful eye of a group of female colleagues.
In the photo, Lövin takes the role of Trump, seated at a desk as she signs the bill while seven female members of the Swedish parliament look solemnly on. One of Lövin’s colleagues is visibly pregnant.
“Just signed referral of Swedish #climate law, binding all future governments to net zero emissions by 2045,” wrote Lövin.
“For a safer and better future.”
Sweden is known for having a high level of women in the workplace, particularly in politics. More than 40% of seats in the national parliament were held by women in 2015 (compared to the UK’s measly 29%), while the Swedish government’s website proudly proclaims that “gender equality is central to [our] priorities”.
Lövin’s photo does have something in common with Trump’s: a distinct lack of non-white faces. However, the Swedish politician avoided explicitly comparing the two pictures.
“We are a feminist government, which shows in this photo,” she said, according to the Guardian. “Ultimately it is up to the observer to interpret the photo.”
The topic of the bill seemed particularly pointed given that Trump has made plain that he doesn’t give a damn about tackling climate change – that is, if he believes in its existence at all. He once tweeted that “the concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive”, campaigned on a promise to boost U.S. fossil fuel industries, and is reportedly preparing to withdraw from the global Paris climate agreement.
He has also filled major cabinet roles with renowned climate change deniers and sceptics. Scott Pruitt, Rick Perry and Rex Tillerson (respectively Trump’s new secretary of state, energy secretary and head of the US Environmental Protection Agency) are all men with close ties to the fossil fuel industry who have repeatedly questioned the science behind global warming.
Images: Rex Features