For the third consecutive year, Realstars was present when the Göteborg Book Fair opened its doors this past weekend. We were a diverse group of board members and volunteers, who were excited by the book lottery, and treasure hunt.
We met this sea of more or less culturally interested weekend strollers, and I dare say that we all felt that our mission of a Europe free from trafficking is gaining ground – how can you not sign on to this? was probably the most common reaction heard in our booth. It was exciting to see how many recognize us and are familiar with the important work that we do – “you visited my school and it was great” – we were told by many students – that warms a teacher’s heart!
There are many observations one can make after two full days for Realstars at the Book Fair – why is it that a significant majority of women of all ages who care about “our” issues? Nearly all women who we met with saw it almost as their duty as a fellow human being to sign our petitions and contribute with money. Apart from several excellent exceptions, it was more difficult to catch the attention of men passing by, and that way connect, something that otherwise was easily made during these days.
All of us stars, who manned our booth, of course drew the same conclusions, and some theorized that among some men there is an uncomfortable collective guilt that all of us men carry when it comes to global sexual oppression of women. I subscribe to this explanation, but at the same time feel that the step toward male redress need not be further than to get involved with Realstars – if only by signing a petition or buying a lottery ticket. We made another more exciting observation when we proudly announced our top price in our treasure hunt – a one-on-one lunch with Björn Ranelid. One had the feeling that the poster boy for the Book Fair – this super literary he-man who divides Swedish society into two camps, and this was certainly confirmed by all who stopped by our booth – no, is this really true! one hopeful woman exclaimed while her husband remarked frankly: “eat lunch with him, one won’t get a word in edgewise.” Who knows – perhaps the wife will get the last word there. It is now less than a year until the next Book Fair – see you then at the Realstars booth!