This is an exercise in facts and context, which I found quite interesting.
In the debate about rapes by Muslims in Norway, you will often find a quote by a "Norwegian professor" who said that "Norwegian women should adapt". I myself have referenced this attitude in past articles.
The professor in question is Unni Wikan, and her words appear all over the net. For example, this one:
Oslo Professor of Anthropology, Unni Wikan, said Norwegian women must take responsibility for the fact that Muslim men find their manner of dress provocative. And since these men believe women are responsible for rape, she stated, the women must adapt to the multicultural society around them. (FrontPageMagazine.com)
Who is Professor Unni Wikan? Is she 'just' another leftist-socialist-Muslim-lover-multiculturalist? I found it hard to understand. Her book "Generous Betrayal: Politics of Culture in the New Europe" says that excessive respect for the immigrant's culture brought about lack of equality and freedom for the immigrants themselves. Her book was reviewed as follows:
Unsympathetic readers might reasonably accuse Wikan of engaging in a racist polemic, of being an apologist for anti-immigrant or anti-Muslim politics. Overall, the book tends to portray immigrants as lazy, criminally inclined, mostly illiterate men who steal welfare benefits and violently repress their daughters' and sisters' life chances. (American Ethnologist)
Is she an apologist for anti-Muslim politics or for pro-Muslim politics?
I contacted Professor Wikan and got the following response:
Nobody has been able to come up with the source where I allegedly said the outrageous thing that has been attributed to me. My name is being misused, but not in Norway or Sweden or Denmark where my position on violence in the name of religion or culture is so well known that it would be absurd to attribute a defense of rape to me.
Did she say the things attributed to her?
Like most everything else, the answer is a bit complicated. After a bit of searching, I found the original article from which the quote comes from. Professor Wikan did not reply to my questions on that article.
I bring the full translation below. It is important to notice, when reading it, exactly what she is quoted as saying, and what the reporter added. It is also important to note her conclusion.
Yes, she says that Norwegian women should adapt themselves. But the most important issue - how they are supposed to do that - is usually not quoted. What does she suggest, after all? That Norwegian women be careful around Muslim men? That they should assume that Muslim men will be more likely to rape them? That they don't invite them home?
Taking her quote in context, I doubt there are many people who wouldn't agree with her.
Here's the original article, translated from Dagbladet, with my added emphasis and comments:
"Thinks Norwegian girls invite sex"
Professor Unni Wikan isn't surprised by numbers showing that 65% of rapists in Oslo last year are non-Western men. Now she's asking Norwegian women to dress themselves less boldly. [since this claim does not appear as a later quote, I am not sure whether it is a quote or the reporter's understanding or what Wikan said]
"It is sensational how blind and naive Norwegian can be towards non-Western men. Norwegian women must use common sense," says Wikan to Dagbladet. Shocking numbers were published yesterday which show that the total number of rapes in Oslo went up by 40% from 1999 to 2000. For the first time, police classified rapists by ethnic background. The statistics show that fully 65% of the rapists come from a non-Western country.
Wikan, who is a profession of social anthropology, thinks Norwegian women must take their share in the responsibility for having rapes occur. She explains the appalling number by among other things, the culture conflicts that often arise between Norwegian women and foreign men.
"The numbers don't surprise me at all. Many immigrants think Norwegian women send them signals that ask for sexual contact. And then it can quickly go wrong. Many Norwegian women have by far poor knowledge of non-Western men's attitude towards women," says Wikan.
"It is never acceptable with rape. But it is understandable that some men from non-Western countries think that they get sexual invitations from Norwegian women who on their side are just acting normal for a Norwegian woman. It is sensational how blind and naive Norwegian women can be towards non-Western men," says Wikan.
She knows that she will be criticized for these statements, but thinks the debate is important.
"I will not blame Norwegian women for the rapes. But Norwegian women must understand that we live in a multi-cultural society and adapt themselves to it."
Unless they have a desire for sex Wikan advises Norwegian women, as strongly as possible, not to invite home, for example, Muslim men with little knowledge of Norwegian culture.
She points out also that rapists in most Muslim countries are hardly punished.
"In most places people think that it is the woman who holds the blame for the rape. And it is reasonable that immigrants take with them such attitudes when they flee here to the country," says the professor, who herself has lived many years in Muslim lands.
Source: Dagbladet (Norwegian)