Smart, empathic and beyond feminism – this is a prevalent Swedish feminine ideal. The modern Swedish woman is progressive and does her fair share of bringing back the bacon. She might work late, is willing to take responsibility for the economy and even share the days of parental leave. It may sound like a dream, but it isn’t too far from reality.
For years, the notion of gender parity had been inculcated from childhood. Swedes who grew up in the 1970s and ’80s will remember TV shows that were subtle or not-so-subtle lessons on the topic. Efforts to break down gender roles and promote equality also extended to kindergarten where children wore unisex corduroy and denim, played with anatomically correct boy dolls and read children’s books featuring bearded dads who changed diapers and cooked. In recent years kindergartens and daycare centers with a specific focus on gender equality have become very popular, some even use gender neutral pronouns.
It was about this time that things started to go really wrong. The notion of equality had step by step been replaced by much more extreme ideas. Hatred of men and public male bashing became more and more common. Swedish boys were more or less pushed out of the school system, left to their own devices, and ethnic Swedish boys were worse off since their sex and white skin were seen as a marker of both simple-mindness and privilege.
Swedish women, who had traditionally called themselves feminists, slowly began to wake up. The goal stated by the Swedish government in regards to gender equality is that everyone should have, “the power to shape society and their own life.” In the mid-1960s the project of building gender equality into society was underway. By the 1970s several reforms were in place to facilitate full female participation in the workplace, including free state-run daycare for children as well as care of the elderly and the introduction of state-mandated paid parental leave. Good stuff. But then postmodernism, marxist postcolonial theory in conjunction with radical gender and feminist theory started to take over the universities, traditional media and the public debate. The war on boys and men erupted in the mid 90s and has been going on ever since.
The modern Swedish woman finally had enough. It was, after all, her own sons and brothers who were demonized and depicted as the enemy. And perhaps her father wasn’t a monster after all. Nor did she view the physical act of love between a man and a woman as rape. More and more, progressive and strong Swedish women stood up and let their voices be heard. Think Noomi Rapace, the hardworking and famous Swedish hollywood actress, recently starring in Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus” (ironically also in Stieg Larssons feminist drama “The girl with the dragon tatoo”).
It was time to stop feminism, what it had become, and it was no longer appropriate to call oneself a feminist. The modern Swedish woman leads the way.
Welcome to Sweden!
T h e B r e m e r s B o d e g a S w e d i s h T o u r i s t B o a r d
Tack för bloggtips, Rocki!