Is there a person alive who wouldn't want to go to a party and get at least partially naked? Who wouldn't want to, as the young people might say, get lit?
Latest news about the world's most controversial leader, Sanna Marin, is that she appeared in a photo in which she and another woman lifted their tops and covered their breasts with a sign which said "Finland". Looks like the party was at the PM's residence. That comes right on top of video of Marin dancing at a party. And it seems like just five minutes ago that the Finnish PM was out partying despite having been exposed to COVID. (Actually last December.)
World's most controversial leader. The leading paper in her own country, Finland's paper of record, Helsingin Sanomat, says Marin doesn't behave like a leader should behave. And we know why it has that idea. Our image of leaders is the pale, stale, males who eventually fail.
These men pretend to be behaving with propriety but beneath their neat ties, ironed shirts and apparent laser focus, they lie to their constituents about all manner of issues, from invasions to election results to party attendance during lockdown to taking on six jobs at once when they can barely manage one.
When they do get criticised, it's not about dancing. As Ian Farquhar tweeted earlier this week, "I totally agree that everyone is being terribly mean to Scott Morrison. I mean, he only secretly undermined our democracy! It's not like he was photographed dancing or anything."
If I get a choice, I'll take partial nudity and dancing any day of the week. And I loved that women all over the world posted videos of themselves dancing in solidarity although Australian women could give them a few lessons in how to work collectively. When one commentator critiqued former prime minister Julia Gillard for her décolletage, a whole bunch of women shared theirs in a convoy of cleavage.
When HS, as it's known affectionately, asked eight members of Marin's own party to dish the dirt on her, not sure it turned out quite as the paper might have hoped. (And forgive me, but since I don't speak Finnish I had to turn to Google Translate and I can only hope that apart from assigning the wrong gender to Marin, everything else is all right).
Basically, these eight influencers said Marin's position is secure although some described her actions as "imprudent" (a new word for having fun). Here's the killer (Google Translate) quote: "Everyone sees [her] as very capable of doing [her] job as prime minister. [She] has incredible stamina, parties wildly and also takes care of [her] work."
In other words, she's doing a good job, works hard and has fun. I had no idea that was a crime in Finland. Never believe anything from Monty Python.
Marin is a spring chicken with more life in her left boob than many male leaders have in their entire being. She is just 36, married, has a four-year-old and is the Prime Minister. She and Jacinda Ardern could be in a competition for the title of Girl Genius.
And think about the reception of Marin's dancing incident compared to the way we responded when we learned the Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese attended a Gang of Youths concert on a school night and had a beer on a school night. (Yeah, I know Nathan Albanese left school long ago. My kids are much older than Nathan and I still have the school night vibe). We were so enthusiastic about Albo being one of us (I mean, not one of us. I still can't have a beer on a school night without panicking and my children left school and home years ago). Straight-out cheering. Except from those idiots at Sky News who think Albo should have been wearing a suit. Suits and ties never helped them.
Why do we expect our leaders to behave in ways we couldn't manage ourselves? And why are standards for women leaders so different than for male leaders?
Michelle Ryan, the director of the Global Institute of Women's Leadership at ANU, says there are clear reasons.
"For me, it's the old 'boys will be boys' excuse that we roll out - we make excuses for boys' and men's bad behaviour, but never for women," says Ryan.
"[We think] it even makes them more relatable or likeable - think Bob Hawke and his beer drinking and swearing."
And maybe that whole immature behaviour accounts for the way Scott Morrison decided to make jokes about the whole undermining democracy thing as if it were no thing. His memes were truly embarrassing.
Ryan says women have to be on their best behaviour at all times - "because there is a view they shouldn't really be in that role in the first place".
The standard is set higher for Marin not just as a woman but as a very young woman leader, says Ryan.
He was responding to Gillard's statement that societies would only reach their full potential if women participate politically. It wasn't the first time Jones had slagged off Gillard. He'd said she should be thrown in the sea. And it wouldn't be the last time. Remember when Jones said her father had died of shame?
I'm trying to imagine an Australian woman leader would be treated better today. I doubt it. And Ryan isn't confident that any other country in the world treats women leaders with more respect.
"If it was anywhere, it would be in Scandinavia. So if Finland can't do it, what hope do other countries have?"
While it's never been clear from our male leaders, it is possible to do two things at once. Walk and chew gum. Lead the country and dance.
- Jenna Price is a visiting fellow at the Australian National University and a regular columnist.