Journal Article

Sweden and the #Metoo movement


Ester Pollack


The international #MeToo initiatives organized in October 2017 received a quick and widespread response in Sweden. Women from a wide range of occupational groups and work environments—after sharing their stories in closed forums on social media—made their testimonies public under several related hashtags. The testimonies about allegations of sexual misconduct and abuse were described as men’s misuse of power in relation to women in weaker positions, often women who were younger and dependent. The published testimonies quickly led to a stream of news reports and commentaries in the legacy media, in some cases resulting in individualized scandals and media hunts. One of these scandals related to the Swedish Academy, the institution responsible for the Nobel Prize in Literature. While the initial Swedish #MeToo movement was dominated by broad collective mobilization in different societal areas pointing to sexual harassment as a structural problem, the individualized scandal coverage in leading media outlets in some cases represented unverified ‘naming and shaming’ that later led to ethical critique and new public debates. A political result of the #MeToo movement in Sweden was a new law prohibiting non-consensual sex that came into force in July 2018.

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  • Type:
    Journal Article (peer reviewed)
  • Journal:
    Interactions, Studies in Communication & Culture, Vol 10, Issue 3.
  • Pages:
  • Published:
  • Language:

About the Author

Ester Pollack

Ester Pollack, PhD, is a Professor of Journalism Studies in the Department of Media Studies at Stockholm University. Her research combines sociological and historical perspectives on the relations between two of society’s institutions: journalism ... Read more


Pollack, E. (2019). Sweden and the #Metoo movement. Interactions, Studies in Communication & Culture, 10(3), pp. 185-200.