The difference between Swedish feminism and equality
2010/12/29 § 2 Comments
I agree that we were not there with Assange and I do not claim that there was no abuse, even in the strict sense of the word as most of us understand it. However, based on what is known the recent discussion on “talkaboutit” has begun. My intention was to reflect about some of the stories there, which, as I feel, do not reflect anything that resembles abuse in the way that most of us would define it. I do feel however, that in Sweden some feminist groups are very good in silencing unwanted public opinion. To attempt a nuanced opinion is not wanted. It appears to me that some (not few) in the feminist movement are not striving for equality at all, but rather just for a turn-around of the situation of the last century, with men on the bottom instead of women.
I am all for equality, but I am not for ideology. I have had continuously bad experiences with ideology and believe that people are better off without the rigid frame an ideology such as feminism sets. I my mind, and in the mind of many others I talk with, feminism does no longer stand for equality and needs replacement. Maybe it is simply time for humanism. Many men in Sweden do not feel welcome in the feminist movements and feel alienated, however, they also seem scared to speak up. The feminists I have talked to defend their position quite vehemently and are seldom open minded.
For me this was exemplified in a discussion with a female friend. When I pointed out many areas where men today are discriminated in Sweden she first denied it. After some convincing using real-life examples she yelled “so what? Women have been suppressed thousands of years, now it is our turn!”.
This describes exactly what I do not like in the debate in Sweden at times, i.e. a collective blame of men as a group and arguments based on history (in addition, doubtful history, the story of the so-called “patriarchy” is very much a mythology and arbitrary re-definition of past circumstances rather than a historic fact). Is this not exactely what feminism in the 70s wanted to get away from? Using gender and sex categories? How come more than ever people are divided into boys and girls in Sweden today? Why is it, that today equality is defined as “50/50” quota? Where has the will to look at the individual and help and support the individual gotten lost?
I am startled about Swedish feminism because in my eyes (and in the eyes of many of my female friends too) it is not about equality any longer. It apparently goes for cheap political tricks to get women a presumed advantage, or rather at least disadvantages men when the political climate permits. In my mind, only if men start to speak up for themselves more will this situation change. But in fact, I have many Swedish men heard saying that they are afraid to do so in discussions with women, because they get under personal attack and are “outlawed”.
This type of (also public, i.e. media) opinion control is what I am very interested in- besides real equality, which for me means “all the choices to the individual”, and no selective discrimination of groups. The current policy of supporting women on the expense of men as a group will in my mind rather further the divide between the sexes and will not lead to a harmonious and equal society. I do not think that you have to put one group down or “positively discriminate” (as if that would exist) in order to help another group.
In fact, when we stop thinking in groups will we make real progress- just as was the plan in the 70s. What has happened then? Why do radical feminist rule now? Where are all the humanists. I feel (and quite a few female friends have confirmed that) even women have been “silenced” by peer pressure. The will to conform is strong in Sweden, at times maybe too strong for peoples’ good in general…
Once more an article on DN reveals that in Sweden equality in numbers is looked upon as gender equality. I am startled by this equally preposterous as wrong notion.
Again there has been a discussion about how many female professors are at university versus male professors. The argument is: there are more female students than male, but more male professors than female- a sign for discrimination. Really? In talking to FEMALE professors about this issue, many agreed that it is much harder to motivate female post-docs to go abroad than male doctors. However, having been in a foreign country is a crucial reuirement for many professor positions. We are not necessarily looking at discrimination of women but rather differences in the individuals’ behavior.
It is a shame that feminists in Sweden are so fixated on gender and sex instead of dealing with individuals. What happened with the ideology to put the “individual” instead of a “gender” in the center of attention? Apparently, that is not of interest, as long as it does not serve women then?