Feminism | Posted by Sari S on 09/26/2011

Some Thoughts on Feminism in Sweden

how is feminism doing in Sweden?

how is feminism doing in Sweden?

What grieves me most as a Swedish feminist is hearing that our movement is dead or that it is only a trend. I’ve argued with anti-feminists, whose best argument nowadays is that feminism advocates female supremacy. If this group of anti-feminists were small, I would not worry about their opinions because there will always be people who disagree with you. What troubles me, however, is that this way of viewing feminists seems to be mainstream in Sweden.

The Swedish media thrives on stories about feminists, who, the media says, claim that “men are animals” and that “any man would rape any woman at any time.” Hardly anyone seems to know what feminism is really about.

As a socialist-feminist I think that laws could help our society become more equal. I believe in quotas that would help women reach higher positions in the labour market, like chief-positions. Here in Sweden, almost no one seems to agree with me and many people (especially men) argue that “that would be discriminatory against men.” They ask “so the gender of a person should decide the position, and not the qualifications?”  In Sweden 90% of the absolute highest positions in our economy are held by men, and these men tend to hire other men for high-level positions. How can we ever break that trend without quotas?

In a perfect world, there would be no need at all for laws that could seem in any way unfair or discriminatory. In a perfect world people would not be hired based on their gender or connections. But there’s a long way from here to there.

As long as there are thoughtful and brave people left in the world who demand equality, the “trend” of feminism that has already achieved so much will never die!

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  • Emma E @ at 5:25 pm, September 26th, 2011

    I actually just read an article in Mclean’s (a Canadian political magazine, because I’m cool like that) about feminism in Scandinavian countries (is Sweden in Scandinavia?) like Norway, Sweden, etc. The general concensus (sp?) from the article appeared to be that Swedish women were deciding that they could be ‘happy without feminism’ and that ‘we have the right to be housewives’. The article was called ‘Why are Swedish women so happy?’, but basically claimed that feminist aren’t happy. I wanted to scream. Feminism is about choice, nothing else. Wanna be a housewife? Go ahead! You have that choice, thanks to feminism. Arrrrgh. I really want to educate these people.

  • Bellen @ at 11:12 pm, September 26th, 2011

    Great article! I loved it.

  • Anna @ at 11:34 am, September 27th, 2011

    Emma E: Scandinavia consists of Sweden, Norway and Denmark, but sometimes the term is taken to include Finland and Iceland as well because of historical and cultural similarities. I’m part of the Swedish-speaking minority in Finland, and I tend to think of Finland as “Scandinavian” simply because we have much more in common with the Scandinavian countries than our other next-door neighbors; Russia.

    Sari S: If feminism is a trend, it’s one heck of a trend; it’s been around for a couple hundred years or so (to my knowledge), despite being declared “dead” many times. :)

    I actually don’t think that true anti-feminism is as widespread in the Nordic countries as it seems sometimes. I mean, it’s there, for sure, but we’re among the most progressive countries in the world, and the more I talk to people about this stuff, the more I find that many are just ignorant and misinformed.
    Some people know what feminism is truly about, and maybe even agree with it, but they pretend not to, because they don’t want to make themselves vulnerable to the crap that feminists sometimes get.

    I’m usually happy to discuss these things and I try to answer any questions people might have about feminism, but if someone accuses feminism of being about female supremacy or discrimination against men, I don’t waste my breath. People who are too bigoted to believe the definition of feminism that any dictionary will give them (1. the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes. 2. organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests. – Merriam-Websters) probably won’t take my word for it either.

  • Anna @ at 1:07 pm, September 28th, 2011

    http://jezebel.com/5844395/the-best-and-worst-countries-for-women

  • Vanessa M @ at 10:14 am, October 4th, 2011

    Well, then we feminists need to urge teachers to teach what’s really important: don’t go “ZOMG feminism is EVIL!” Just because a dumb chauvinistic female claims to be a feminist.

  • David @ at 4:56 pm, October 13th, 2011

    El feminismo actual no se trata de buscar una igualdad natural, ni tampoco de buscar una igualdad real. Se trata de beneficiar a las mujeres selectivamente, según ellos para compensarlas en las situaciones donde desde cierta perspectiva se piensa que tienen alguna desventaja.

    Por supuesto que a las feministas no les interesa los puntos de vista de las mismas mujeres; ignoran o minimizan los espacios donde verídicamente aparecen las ventajas para las mujeres (tanto en contextos tradicionales, como no tradicionales); no les importa que las ventajas y “ventajas” que les estan dando los gobiernos a las mujeres sean artificiales, forzadas, antinaturales, inmerecidas o aún peor, a costa de injusticias.

    Tampoco entienden que no tienen que esperar que nadie les de nada sólo por ser mujeres (que es lo que hace el estado) sin ganarse y negociar con los hombres lo que tienen en un libre mercado.

    Tampoco entienden que el mundo nunca será perfecto, y lo que realmente sucede en el ambito laboral no es la discriminación de sexo, si no que ciertos cargos se deciden por relaciones, ese es el verdadero problema; debe tratarse de que se manejen métodos de selección imparciales y congruentes con los principios de competitividad; siempre que no entre en contradicción con los principios de libertad de asociación y de decisión de quién quiero que trabaje para mí.

    De cualquier modo una práctica institucional discriminatoria inversa no puede justificarse (y menos para regalarle inmerecidamente a las mujeres menos dicriminadas cosas extraordinarias que prácticamente nadie tiene). Y el atreverse a justificarla es quiza el paso más riesgoso que ha tomado el feminismo; porque estan justificando el autoritarismo en nombre de una ideología. Sin darse cuenta estan legitimando ellas mismas que el día de mañana llege alguien con una “ética” diferente, y en base a ellas viole los elementos más básicos de igualdad formal.

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