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.
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.
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.