The Men

When I walked the streets of Yerevan, two things struck me. You could find statues in many places and almost all of them were depicting men. There was the explorer and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Fridtjof Nansen, the composer Alexander Spendiaryan, the author Alexander Shirvanzade, the main architect behind modern day Yerevan Alexander Tamanian and so on.

I even found a group of statues called "The Men", from a film in 1973 by the Armenian director Edmond Keosayan.

I could only find two statues of women: Mother Armenia looking down on the city with a really big sword in her hands, and an unnamed woman looking very sad.

When I came home I started to look around me in Gothenburg on my way to work. Male statues everywhere. The inventor John Ericsson looking puzzled by all the traffic in the Allé or perhaps from looking straight at the statue of Charles Felix Lindbergh with his walking stick, the men fighting with knives in Bältesspännarparken, King Karl IX on his "mare" at Kungsportsplatsen, King Gustaf II Adolf pointing his finger at his square and so on.

I wasn't alone in my observations. In a column in the newspaper Göteborgs-Posten, Ingrid Norrman stated that it's time recognise more women through presence in the public space. Apparently Gothenburg got its first statue of a named woman in 1987: the author Karin Boye outside the city library. Since then we've had another one: the midwife/surgeon Johanna Hedén outside a hospital.

I suggest Chalmers put up a statue of Vera Sandberg, who in 1917 became the first Swedish engineer. With two campuses, there should be enough space.

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