How radical state-feminism triggered communication breakdown in Sweden

2010/12/28 § 16 Comments


An interesting discussion has ensued in Sweden right now, that in the eyes of many has been brought about by the recent accusations against Julian Assange from Wikileaks. The forum “talk-about-it” (Swedish: prataomdet) is at least in part a result of the discussion about whether the situation Assange had to experience has been a rape or not. The forum discusses what people (mostly women) experience as sexual violence and abuse. Ultimately, it could be seen as an attempt to regulate or synchronize the way people think about gender issues, disguised as “open discussion”, while really being dominated by preconceived ideological ideas about gender based behavior and moralistic concepts.

Feminism symbol

First off, contrary to common believe in Sweden, this topic is of little interest to the world (although some Swedes apparently have a tendency to look upon themselves as moral standard for the world). The world hardly takes any notice of this “war of opinion” in Sweden, as it has been called. However, the discussion is so bizarre and so typically Swedish that I find it worth being commented on. It is a prime example for the distorted view the Swedish state-feminism has to offer on sex, equality and men as a group. A group that has come under ever increasing attack in Sweden and is being discriminated against heavily, as has been described in a little noticed book called “Mansfötryck och Kvinnovälde” (suppression of men and the rule of women). Assange is merely a prominent victim of an attitude that puts men under general suspicion for being rapists and aggressors and in short: “men are animals”, as some prominent feminists put it.

While rape is a serious issue and obviously a severe criminal act, opinions vary as to where sexual abuse begins. What is defined as sexual abuse by some in the forum “talk-about-it” may appear preposterous to an outside observer. The world already thought of Sweden as having awkward laws regarding rape, following the Assange case. However, the recent discussion, that apparently attempts to justify the underlying argumentation against Assange, does not help. To the contrary, outside of the circle of the Swedish consensus society- one might call it a standardized feministic moralist opinion- people stand in disbelieve.

In various examples women report how they had sexual intercourse with men that they regretted afterwards and state that this qualifies as “sexual abuse”. Just to clarify, this apparently applies as well, if- as seemingly happened in the Assange case- the female did not clearly state her disapproval. If, in other words, the disapproval has only happened in the woman’s thoughts. As in one example, the women never indicated that she was not interested in sex. In fact, she states “I never even tried to stop him”, in other words it was a “silent-refusal” of intercourse. That is, if a thought can be called a refusal at all.

A guy named Anders tells his version of such a case. His ex-girlfriend accused him of having abused her, claiming that she did not consent to the sex they had had at some point. Anders thinks that she merely wanted to hurt him, as revenge for the fact that their relationship did not work well any longer.

Apparently Anders’ girlfriend never stated her dissent clearly before or during the act. Hence, this is a showcase for sex being used as weapon against men. A weapon that, if the Swedish lawmakers should decide to pass laws defining “silent-refusal” of intercourse as rape, will put men in a situation where every sexual relation could theoretically result in a court-case. Obviously anyone can claim after an intercourse, that they were not really into it, as in Anders’ case. Naturally, only a written consent would put one on the safe side. And bizarrely, some in Sweden discuss this option in all seriousness.

Feminist-ideological “Gleichschaltung”

Non-Swedes may wonder how it could come to such a weird situation? And where are Swedish men in this, why do they not speak up? In fact, they do. But hardly in the mainstream media, that in Sweden has undergone a feministic “Gleichschaltung”. And just as in any ideological indoctrination it leads to a fascistic thinking that restricts individual freedom and the possibility of dissent with the official opinion. Many Swedish men apparently are too intimidated to speak up for themselves, because every expression of dissent is met with the uttermost aggression and attacks are led on a personal level- ad hominem. Dissenting with the predominant feminist viewpoints may equal social suicide in feminist Sweden.

While this attitude prohibits real criticism in the mainstream media, blogs are full of reports and comments of men who feel misunderstood and falsely accused. Men who feel that they are the scape goat for all ills in Sweden. The oddness of the argument that “silent-refusal” should be defined as rape becomes most evident when being turned around, as a male blogger so trenchantly does who describes a situation in which he would have been called victim, had he been a women. However, as commenters point out in several instances, men are apparently supposed to want sex all the time with everyone. According to this stereotypical image men cannot fall victim, only become perpetrators.

As a female Swedish columnist so pointedly puts it, the problem with the discussion is, that “Everyone should think ‘correctly’, no one has the right to problematize too much. And as always when we discuss sex, immediately the female role as victim comes up.” Female debaters call the above described situations of silent-refusal “greyzones of sexual behavior“. This provision of language subliminally accuses men of a crime where no crime has occurred. It apparently attempts to put blame on someone else for ones own behavior.

The postulated greyzones cannot exist, for the reason that if no communication has occurred, the real problem rather is one of communication itself, not of some ominous criminal “greyzone”. The real victim is the person that is accused of a crime he (or in theory she of course) could not have been aware of.

Ironically, the “talk-about-it” debate unintentionally reinforce an old gender-stereotype, that of women not clearly stating their opinions while concomitantly expecting their partner to perform some sort of “mindreading”. I do not in any way belittle the severity of the problem of rape. But the real problem with the argument for the validity of silent-dissent being rape or abuse is, in accordance to many commenters, that it downplays “real” rape, as most people would understand it.

By distorting or expanding the definition of rape to a bizarre extend, to almost include every occurrence of intercourse, the old dream of a 70s radical feministic position seems in reach, that is that every penetration is rape. The “talk-about-it” movement thereby- intentionally or unintentionally- risks widening the trenches in the war of the genders, that de facto rages heavily in Sweden.

Sadly enough, a real open discussion, that would not define what the “right opinions” are, and that would not have a preconceived notion of who the victims are and who the perpetrators, could actually be useful. However, that would demand that the feminist ideology would be cast aside and substituted for one that really seeks equality. Something we won’t see happening in Sweden too soon I am afraid.

The “talk-about-it” forum witnesses a communication break-down regarding sex. The real problem in Sweden however may be, that radical-feminism and state-feminism have invoked and keep reinforcing a communication break-down between the sexes.

PS. A recent court ruling says that “evidence” must be provided supporting a rape-claim when word stands against word. In the described case a man had been sentenced to jail for four years, a sentence that has now been revoked by the supreme court of Sweden for lack of evidence and inconsistencies in the accusation. Interesting case, because it shows that a man could at least until now be accused of rape and sentenced even if no evidence supported the accusation.

About these ads

Tagged: , , , ,

§ 16 Responses to How radical state-feminism triggered communication breakdown in Sweden

  • Tommy Jonsson says:

    Thanks David. Men and Julian A. is in danger in Sweden. I have 20 years experense of this problem.

  • Jens says:

    Thanks David for visiting my blog! And thanks for an explanation to the world about the weird world we live in, especially in my country Sweden! To be a man and to try to stand up against the radical feminism that think that their view of things is the only acceptable way of thinking is tough but I will try…
    //Jens :-)

  • Adelaïde says:

    Interesting take on all of this… Can I just say that I find it ironic how you bring up the ‘victim role’ that women are accused of being rather fond of, when the whole essay just screams male self-pity… I’m sorry, but I really don’t feel sorry for Swedish men that have to put up with the, as described, scary feminists. God boys, you need to take a look around and realise how lucky your women are and you really should be happy for them! Please forgive me for quoting Karl Marx, (I swear I’m (usually) no communist) but I think this one is, sadly, still applicable: “Social progress may be measured precisely by the social position of women”. Stop pretending that women rule the world and take your responsibility in this continuous struggle towards equality. …Oh, nearly forgot: Please!

    • E says:

      Adelaide, it is true what he said. A man cannot even bring this subject up without being accused of this that and the other. The modus operandi is guilting men into silence about what they see as unjust.

    • elementary_watson says:

      The essay didn’t say women per se were fond of the “victim role”, rather that that’s the role many feminists have for them when it comes to sexual encounters. I don’t see you refuting any point David made, instead trying to shame him and saying that men’s well-being is irrelevant for society and even men should focus on women’s well-being instead of their own. That rather makes his points than contradict them.

  • Sven says:

    There is a wealth of opinions and discussion on the subject and it is rather you that politicize it in this post. At least the communication have started I am very grateful for that. The analysis of the discussion might be left for later.

    @Jens: If you find it hard to stand up to radical feminists in Sweden I suspect you find many things very hard in life.

  • I think it’s important to remember two important facts in the current feminist/Wikileaks controversy: 1) the US government effectively infiltrated and smashed the feminist movement, just as they did the civil rights movement, the anti-war movement, and the progressive movement and 2) the angry, arrogant, ball-breaking stereotype feminists enjoy in the mainstream media is mainly the one the US government created for them. Unfortunately the US intelligence role played America’s feminist poster girl Gloria Steinem is still largely invisible, even on the left. In 1976 Steinem blocked Random House from publishing details about her CIA past (see http://www.mail-archive.com/ctrl@listserv.aol.com/msg02217.html). A great pity – as its publication might have changed history for American women. Steinem went on to undermine the work of the National Organization for Women in their efforts to pass the Equal Rights Amendment (NOW co-founder Betty Friedan publicly confronted Steinem for being an agent provocateur). Steinem also very effectively used Ms Magazine to create massive divisions between professional and working class feminists and between feminists and progressive men. More recently evidence has surfaced about an operation Steinem created and ran for the FBI to plant so-called “black feminists” in civil rights organizations to break them up (see http://rah.posterous.com/black-feminism-the-cia-and-gloria-steinem-fwd. In my recent memoir THE MOST REVOLUTIONARY ACT: MEMOIR OF AN AMERICAN REFUGEE (www.stuartbramhall.com), I write about my encounter with some of these nasties in the African American community it Seattle. I currently live in exile in New Zealand.

  • [...] män som Pelle Billing och en och annan foliehatt fritolkar min DN-text och sätter upp problemet som att män betraktas som alltid felande och [...]

  • [...] is a response to a comment on another weblog regarding my blog entry on a DN [...]

  • Johan says:

    As someone with experience of different cultures and having lived in Sweden for five years, I can’t other than agree on your take on this subject David.

    There is no room at all for an opinion that is different, at the same time as the struggle seems to not be for equality, but for the female sex only. At the same time as these issues have come up in media, the legal rights of the fathers are terrible.

    Right now, the father of a child does not have the legal right of being the father of a child, if he is not married to the mother – and the mother doesn’t give her consent.

    ( read further on this here in swedish: http://www.svd.se/opinion/brannpunkt/faderskapsreglerna-ar-absurda_5821739.svd )

    Personally, I’d rather see that myself as the male sex earned less money than not having the right of being equal to the law when it comes to own sons and daughters.

    Just as you said, the discussion in Sweden today is mostly about the females as victims and men building “power structures” (maktstrukturer, extremely fashionable curse word aimed towards men, when it comes to feminism in Sweden these days). Any alternative discussion that would lead to any equality is forgotten.

    It’s a sad thing to see that feminism still haven’t gotten exchanged for a strive towards total equality, not mattering what kind of person someone is. Sex, race, religious views etc etc should not matter at all.

    Johan Dahlfors – dahlfors.net

    • davidkramer says:

      Johan, just to clarify. You imply somewhat that men make more money. They do in average, because they choose jobs where they can earn more (i.e. more demanding jobs, either physically or timewise). This is, I just need to clarify for the readers, not the case for the same jobs. I find it of great importance to point out that men and women earn the same money for the same job! There is no discrimination against women. In fact, recent studies find that young women in New York earn more than their male counterparts because they “tend to work harder”, the investigation claims. This is to show that the common argument is, that if a women earns less it is discrimination, does she earn more, it is due to her being “better”. In general though the formula is: same job, same money (Check SCB’s stats on that for reference).

  • Romeo Andersson says:

    State sponsored radical feminism in Sweden is similar to state sponsored terrorism in Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan.
    All Swedish women should oppose this uncivilized and vulgar way stigmatising the most beautiful faculty of human beings: sexuality and LOVE.
    It is a very dirty, condemnable,obnoxious, shambolic,immoral disdainful attitude to accuse an ex partner of “rape” as a way of taking “revenege”. I URGE the Swedish women to withdraw the co callec charges against Julina Assange. Women uphold your morality as your own sexuality…

  • Anna says:

    Not all people who write about their experiences claim that they have been sexually abused! That is why it is called “prata om det – berättelser från gråzonen”. Because it is a very grey area.
    The woman you mentioned here, who said she didn’t even try to stop the guy, did not claim she was sexually abused. Well, at least I don’t interpret it hat way. I see it as a story of self-abuse. About how women feel that they can’t say no, for some reason. That they are not allowed so say no because they invited the guy in to their home, as if that was saying “yes, I want to have sex”.

    You are also talking about how women have to really show that they don’t want to have sex for it to be classified as rape. But how do we do that? Do we have to scream “No!” for men to get that we don’t want to?
    You don’t think that men also have a responsibility in this, to interpret our signals? To not scream no, is not the same as to say yes!!

    • davidkramer says:

      Thank you Anna. I disagree that it is a grey area. I reject that term, because it appears to claim that someone committed a mistake, maybe even a criminal act, where in my mind no such claim can be established. Hence, I also disagree that men have to somehow have to learn to “interpret” womens’ signals, as you put it. The beauty of being human is in part that we can use more than signals; we do have language as a tool at our hands. I think you contradict yourself when you claim on one hand that men must understand womens’ signals and that on the other hand that the reports on “talkaboutit” are not claiming abuse. If a men understands a “no-signal” and does not react it would be abuse. You cannot have it both ways, is it abuse or “self-abuse” as you call it?

      In fact, several reports I have read claim precisely that, that it has been some kind of abuse, not self-abuse as you call it. Though I could agree with your definition as “self-abuse”- and yet, some of the women that report seem to still see some guilt on the men’s part, even though if anything, they report how THEY THEMSELVES committed a mistake by not being clear about their feelings. I think this is preposterous. To me it is a reflection of the Swedish habit to put guilt on men for all sorts of problems. Men have become the scapegoat for all kinds of ills. It is about time that women do not only accept the advantages the Swedish society offers them nowadays (often on the expense of men) but also accept the responsibilities that come with freedom.

      To enjoy sexual freedom is a great thing, but it also demands self-responsible and cautious behavior. If one decides to go along with certain behaviors one must also take control for the situation. That means, if you do not like the development of something, it is your responsibility to say so.

      By using the words “scream no” you exaggerate and problematize, and maybe worse, you imply aggression. Nowhere did I demand that someone has to “scream no”. I think your expression is an unfair way of arguing and a misrepresentation what most stories on “talkaboutit” are about. The emotions you imply thereby are not reflected in most reports on “talkaboutit”. Most reports are about a situation where a women has taken a man home or followed with him, started to have sex, and either during the act, or even only the next day realized that she did not want the intercourse. There was no force or aggression involved and the women in most reports admit that they did neither say anything to indicate disagreement.

      A simple and calm “no” might have done the job. That these women sometimes report that they felt they could not say “no”, or should not say “no” is of little relevance for their partner. I have personally been in similar situations myself, but I would never blame someone else for the fact that I may not have had the guts to speak my mind. I think this is an attempt (at least of some of the women reporting) to justify their own behavior while putting blame on someone else unfairly. We all- men and women- should first and foremost be responsible for our own actions. And in the spirit of fairness we should at least give our partner the chance to act upon our wishes by expressing them, and not by some ominous and possibly hard to identify “signals”. I think this is a simple rule to follow…

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

What’s this?

You are currently reading How radical state-feminism triggered communication breakdown in Sweden at DavidKramer.DK.

meta

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 36 other followers

%d bloggers like this: