How Sweden is winning the war against gender
U.S. Gender and Marriage expert David Popenoe has described Sweden as “the world’s most androgynous society“. David has never lived here. Had he lived here he may have used a different word. Androgyny is defined as “Being neither distinguishably masculine nor feminine, as in dress, appearance, or behavior.” I think Swedish men past that point somewhere in the 1960’s.
Sweden is one of the world’s most socially-engineered societies. Its been a hobby that Sweden’s elected officials have dabbled in since the 1940’s. These engineering feats are meant to produce impressive statistics. This is all very appealing to the rational mind. But history has taught us that behind the impressive numbers, social engineering often has unforeseen human consequences. In the case of gender equality in Sweden that unforeseen consequence is the effective emasculation of the Swedish male psyche.
From the perspective of a middle class American raised in New England, Swedish men seem feminine. It was Swedish women who first brought it to my attention, usually in social situations after a few drinks. I suppose it was a way of flirting. It was always the same: Winging about Swedish men and what emasculated pussies they are. I would reply “I can’t believe you are telling me this. It was your archaic brand of 60-style feminism that has effectively neutered the male of your species. And now you are telling me you pine for real men from southern Europe?” It doesn’t make sense. But if you live in Sweden long enough you understand that unexamined acceptance of logical contradictions is as Swedish as surströmming (and about as palatable to foreigners).
It’s hard to miss the general absence of masculinity here. I met a British woman in London recently. She told me how she and her girlfriend, also from London, visited Stockholm for three days. It was their first time in Sweden. I asked her how she enjoyed it. “Not very much” she said. “We went to Cafe Opera because everyone said it was the place to go, but I wish someone had mentioned that it was a gay bar.” After that, they went to two other bars in Sture Plan, central Stockholm, but the same deal. She said “I didn’t know Stockholm had such a pervasive gay scene.” I laughed. None of the bars she mentioned were gay bars. I’m sure few of the men there were gay, they were just Swedish. A recent article on the topic in the New York Times commented on this point “In this new world of the sexes, some women complain that Swedish men are too politically correct even to flirt in a bar.”
Swedish blogger Anders Janson observes that “Finns think that the comparatively talkative and urbane Swedish men are homosexuals.” I would not go so far as to call them homosexuals, but they certainly lean towards the metrosexual side of things. And its not just because they are so extraordinarily studied in their appearance. The general demeanor of Sweden men exudes a lack of backbone, even when they try to assert themselves. It’s as if its been beaten out of them and they are resigned to their subservient position in society now.
This perception is reinforced for me daily on my walk to work. Each morning I struggle to negotiate my way through the maze of pram-pushing papas who dominate the sidewalk. They stroll leisurely along, often two abreast gossiping on their way to a cafe or pedicure, obstructing the way for the women and me who need get to work. Today 85 percent of Swedish fathers take government-paid parental leave. They are entitled to take up to 13 months off if their wife agrees.
Swedish men acknowledge the demise of their manhood. In a recent study in Sweden, “51 percent of respondents said Swedish men were more masculine in previous times, with men in particular (58 percent) agreeing with the statement. Only 13 percent of men and women felt today’s men were more masculine than their predecessors.” This decline in masculinity bothers no Swede, in fact it is widely hailed as progress. Having talked with many Swedish men about this, I get the sense that they have been so marinated in Swedish-style feminism since birth that they accept without question that masculinity itself is fundamentally wrong, a defect. There is an unspoken guilt associated with their masculinity and that keeps men from addressing it. Like masturbation for Catholics, it comes with the territory of being human, but I’m not going to march through the streets of Boston declaring my right to self-love.
The Swedish media are onboard with the agenda. In deference to women males are uniformly depicted as impotent fools in all Swedish advertisements. If there is anyone demonstrating a glimmer of intelligence, it will be the woman. If there is an apron to be warn, it will never appear draped across a women’s breast. Same goes for any other domestic cleaning or cooking aids. This has worked. In real life I’ve never known a Swedish woman who knew how to use a cooking or cleaning utensil. I’ve lived with three so far. Love them dearly, but they have been the most domestically-challenged roommates I’ve ever had (and that’s going back to my frat brothers when I was 18).
The Times article summed up the state of affairs like this “In this land of Viking lore, men are at the heart of the gender-equality debate. The ponytailed center-right finance minister calls himself a feminist, ads for cleaning products rarely feature women as homemakers, and preschools vet books for gender stereotypes in animal characters. For nearly four decades, governments of all political hues have legislated to give women equal rights at work — and men equal rights at home.”
But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. There is also the more absurd fall-out from Sweden’s gender engineering. Just a sampling of the headlines induced by this social experiment:
- The political debate to allow women to ride topless on the subway because men were allowed to do so (by the same logic women are already topless in city parks, municipal swimming pools and, of course, on beaches).
- The elementary school system in one Swedish city mandating that for one week all male children had to wear dresses to school to help break down stereotypes (female student’s, however, were not obliged to reciprocate by wearing mens clothes).
- Organizers of the Miss Sweden contest forced to cancel the event due to “feminist harassment”. When the Miss Sweden pageant returned the next year the rules were changed to allow men to compete, remove the swimsuit portion and to declare that physical appearance had nothing to do with the judging. Yah, right.
- Sweden’s government paving the way for the development of road signs at pedestrian crossings that portray women rather than just men.
- A feminist group at Stockholm University is campaigning to ban all urinals from campus, and one Swedish elementary school has already removed them based on the “logic” that a man standing up to urinate is deemed to be triumphing in his masculinity, and by extension, degrading women.
- Last year after the Pirate Bay file-sharing trial, Annika Qarlsson, a female member of Sweden’s parliament, wove a meandering web of “logic” that went something like this: Since most of the people sharing files are boys, and they support the right to share files, then they are protecting their privacy, and most Swedish woman who are raped are raped by people they barely know, if the woman barely knows the rapist then the rapist is protecting their privacy, therefore Pirate Bay supporters are rapists. ““I realize that my earlier post can be interpreted to mean that I’m accusing all Pirate Party supporters and all young men of being rapists.” she later said.
- Tiina Rosenberg, a professor of gender studies at Stockholm University, and the brain trust behind Sweden’s politically influential feminist movement who boldly asserted that “women who sleep with men are traitors to their gender.”
- The case of Ragnar Bengtsson, the 28-year-old Stockholm father who wants to breastfeed his children. He spent three months last year pumping his breasts in public to try to stimulate lactation. It didn’t work. He says he did it because he wanted to be closer to his children. He is a student at Stockholm University. Maybe he was trying to get some extra credit from Tiina Rosenberg. (see YouTube commentary below).
- Sweden’s Trade Ethical Council against Sexism in Advertising (ERK) which deems practically any depiction of a woman as sexist and protects the Swedish population by having it banned.
- And then, of course, there has been the recent outrage over the fact that Sweden’s princess Victoria had her father walk her down the isle at her wedding which was heavily criticized as sexist here in Sweden and widely touted as an outrage against all women.
And that’s just what makes the papers. I experience the effects of all this gender bending every day in both my professional and private life. It’s as if masculinity is an itch and Swedes love to scratch it. So they constantly seek it out and then claw it to pieces. To me Sweden’s zeal in this endeavor is not so much about equal rights for men and woman. That’s not the focus. I suspect there is another silent, perhaps subconscious agenda. It may be misplaced anger and frustration, false entitlement, or part of a larger political agenda.
Direct observation has taught me that Sweden is every bit as sexist as any other developed country. I see the same disrespect, the same bullying and the same political and workplace abuse, and the same submission to power. Its just that here the tables have been turned and its the women wearing the pants. This is modestly disguised under a thin veneer of girl power (as if that is supposed to justify it). I just wonder how long it will be before erections are outlawed.
There is one question Swedes may want to ask themselves as they progress with their gender cleansing campaign: Is masculinity just some vestigial remnant from the Neanderthal mind that should be scrubbed from the gene pool or is it an essential part of what makes us human? I think both Swedish men and women should ponder the consequences of the utopia they are engineering before it is too late.
Personally, I think true discrimination should be engineered out of society ( I preface it with “true” because the word discrimination is widely misapplied today). But the Swede’s won’t solve sexual discrimination by neutralizing gender. No more than we would solve racial discrimination by neutralizing skin color.