Thursday, March 22, 2012

Is Feminism Actually Good For Men, Too? Learning from Swedish feminism




I think it is fair to say that Feminism in English is a word with many different connotations, most of them not very positive. Many younger women have had a hard time taking on this word to describe themselves because it has been connected with radicalism, an idea that women’s rights supercede everything, and that feminists are ugly women who don’t shave and hate men.

I know, I know, this is a silly picture and an untrue one. But even Madonna, when asked in an interview if she was a feminist, responded that she was a humanist.

The opposite is true in Sweden. Everyone and their mother seems to self identify as a feminist. OK, maybe not everyone, but a majority of the political parties on the right and left consider themselves inline with feminist ideals. And despite these feminist friendly overtones, a Feminist party was started a few years back whose main focus was feminism.

In Sweden, Feminism doesn’t seem to have the same negative baggage as it does in the US. Maybe it is because, according to many studies, Sweden is the most gender equal country in the world, or the most ‘feminized’ country in the world, depending on the study.

It’s hard to say why, but the truth is, Sweden’s feminist policies have been pretty good for the menfolk as well. Here are a few things I believe men have gained from the feminist movement in Sweden.

1) Paternity leave – Swedish fathers are eligible for over 400 days of paid paternity leave (a majority of those days at 80% salary). Many Americans I know complain that maternity leave is sexist so there shouldn’t be any. Here in Sweden they took that away by making it available for every parent. Great solution I think! Fathers have the same rights to parental leave as mothers.

2) Joint custody – In divorces joint custody is always awarded unless there is proof of serious problems – abuse, drugs, etc. from the other parent. And single custody is a rare bird indeed. While I sometimes question the common practice of children switching homes every week to live with both parents, many families seem to make this work well.

3) No alimony – In Swedish divorce you don’t have to pay alimony unless in specific cases where there is extreme discrepencies and an agreement where one party wouldn’t work for the sake of the other party. Stay at home Moms or Full time wives are rare here, so in most cases there is no alimony.

4) Men can be capable of taking care of children too – Unlike the US where many people believe a man playing with a child is a predator, in Sweden you often see men taking care of their children early in the afternoon. I know many men at work who leave at 4:30 saying ‘Sorry I can’t stay, I have daycare pick up’ and everyone nods.  No one makes a comment about you leaving your children with your husband (I swear I got this in the US once when I ran into someone while out ‘Where is little Swede?’ ‘Oh, home with Pappa’ ‘What? And you are OK with that?’ ‘Um yeah, I’m actually happy to have some time on my own.’)

So there are many plusses for both men and women in a gender equal society. It isn’t all bad if you let the ladies have a few things they need, it could end up there is something in it for you, too.

45 comments:

  1. But of course feminism is good for men too, who would think otherwise? In som areas you have to give away to gain in other areas, for both men and women. Responsibility goes hand in hand with rights. You can't both work all the time and not be with your children and then expect to get custody. And you van't stay home with the children and not work and expect to get a good personal economy. It's all connected, and it's good for everyone to have so many more choices than those that the traditional gender roles give us. Let us all be more free! That's feminism!

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    1. While men may have some side-affect benefits from feminism, there's no denying feminist remains largely a hate-movement.

      You should watch this video, a professional documentary in which feminist groups were infiltrated and exposed for their hateful propaganda against men.

      http://www.daddys-sverige.com/3/post/2011/3/the-truth-about-swedish-feminism-do-not-watch-this-film.html

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  2. I think it is too much of a generalization to say this: "Unlike the US where many people believe a man playing with a child is a predator or No one makes a comment about you leaving your children with your husband.
    I live in NY city and I have seen countless of men (working men) living the office earlier to take care of their children..and I even see men playing with their children. I do not know where you lived in the US but it is a bit of an exageration to say that you just did in this post about American men...and no all swedish men are the way that you describe..I dated one and he could not even hold a baby!

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  3. @anon1 -ah, I with this were true, but sadly many people see feminism as a push up for women and a push down for men.

    @anon2 - alas, tis true, this blog is mostly generalizations, but I am sorry if I was unclear. I am not at all saying that men in the US are incapable of taking care of children, or that Swedish men are natural born experts. I am saying it is more accepted here that men can take good care of children without being child molesters than in the US. I know many of my friends in the US cringe at the idea of hiring a male babysitter (why is he interested in working with kids??) where as here it is just much more socially acceptable for men to interact with children. I actually think, if I am making sweeping generalizations here, it is the judgements, often of women, of men taking care of children in either countries that is different and what plays a part NOT the actual quality of care the child is getting.

    But again, this blog is totally the opinion of one woman and that is me. Many have and will disagree!

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  4. I think it is great how my husband has changed as a father since we moved here thanks to the ability to take time off work to be with the kids. Friday he took the baby to the doctor all by himself. Never would have happened in the US!

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  5. Hej, I am big fun of Sweden and the way of parenting there. I am coming from Latvia, one of the Baltic countries, and here is still long way to go because baby sitting and caring is moms job.

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  6. I used to believe that Sweden was a country with a high standard of living. What I have seen in recent years is that Sweden has become a female-tyrant state and swedish men looking like females.

    How can that be better? In Sweden any kind of sex is seen as a violation, men don't even have the right to make choices, are forced to obey women and more ridiculous if to urinate sitting.

    Recently I saw a video on Youtube called "Fun with scum" and I was horrified. If these are your women, you are living in a frozen hell.

    I know that my country (Brazil) has many social and economic issues, but here still cultivate the human dignity. Here the Patriarchate is well regarded and women are happy. Brazilian women are quite macho and proud of it.

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    1. Are you kidding me???? People in sweden feel more free and aren't afraid of being who they want to be. If men are wearing female clothes, that's because THEY want to do that. And men still have much power, and rapist still get out of court without jail so I don't see that sweden is a female-tyrant sate at all? Fuck off cis man.

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  7. All of the points you mentioned sounded more like laws passed by men's rights activists than feminists. The thing about feminism in America is that its goal is to take men out of the picture and make life as unjust and unbearable for them as possible.

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  8. The short answer is it quite bad for men and well liked by women as long as your not too ambitious. The environment in Sweden produces women who are flaky, cold, incapable of accepting any criticism, deeply narcissistic and chronically unhappy - for men this is a nightmare. Many laws are highly anti male and remove accountability from women. Speech which is not politically correct can land you in jail and bar you from employment. Your children can also be taken if your politics are deemed as not politically correct. The press is heavily censored and full of feminist propaganda.

    There is an ongoing persistent exodus of self motivated enterprising Swedes because of the disincentives to success in Sweden. Straight Swedish guys through the internet realize anywhere else is (often drastically) better as far as women go and quietly leave Sweden. Swedish men speak to Swedish women in ways which would be considered very unacceptable in other places outside of Sweden. Swedish birth rates are far below replacement and there is heavy Islamic immigration. The Sweden of ABBA and other Swedish stereotypes are a thing of the past, never to return. At its current demographic trajectory Sweden will be unrecognizable withing a century. Of coarse somewhere along the way things are bound to change, right wing extremism is on the rise.

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    1. Mr Markus! There are many countries who because of wars and destruction caused by the warmongering west have to leave their land and come to Sweden. The immigration is not "Islamic" as you wrote. The are dozens of other nations, east European, African and Latino immigrating to Sweden.Do you call them Christian, Buddhists, Jewish, Ortodox Immigration?You prov your self a fucking racist idiot. I tell something here. West has caused endless wars, invasions, plundering and bombing of middle east and this little Sweden was part of that. Just last year west plundered Lybia and stole their 144 ton gold and now control their resources. Syria is another case, west is conspiring with Al-CIADA in favor of banking Elite. West has killed 2 milion people in Irak and plenddered this ancient cradle of civilization. NATO control drug bussiness of Afghanistan which gave them annual some 500 bilion USD they spent some 120 bilion of war maschine the rest is profit. So dont blame some few muslims who last their land, families and coming here. I tell you, no person from middle east is happy here, this cold, dark and unhappy country. Middle east is the cradle of civilizations, when there were Empires and civilizations in the past 10000 years, you in the Scandinavia had no food to eat, you running in the jungles without clothes searching for piece of dry shit to eat. Here was not even weath, potato nothing. Just open some real book and read in order to understand what is going on.

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    2. "Middle east is the cradle of civilizations, when there were Empires and civilizations (in the past 10000 years) you in the Scandinavia had no food to eat, you running in the jungles [the environs of the Arctic Circle have NO jungles] without clothes searching [in the cold, people dress up: the south is where the poor and the slaves were forced to go by wearing little more than leather thongs] for piece of dry shit to eat."

      Sweden stopped causing wears 214 years ago: that's when they ran out of Finns to use as cannon fodder. Your "West" does not exist, you nincompoop. Former and present-day colonial countries do exist. Apparently they created you. Mankind is lessened by this atrocity.

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  9. Feminism in Sweden is good for men, too. Like the prostitution laws that only held men accountable for prostition. That's equality, feminist style.

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    1. I realize this discussion is probably dead, but I felt I needed to correct you about Swedish prostitution laws in case anyone else comes by to read this.

      Swedish prostitution laws do not hold men accountable. They hold the buyer accountable. Admittedly a majority of the buyers are men, but this says more about the (sadly) still prevalent gender norms than it does about any perceived "unfairness" of the law.

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    2. Buyers will always be men rather than women because women can get it for free.

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  10. I live in Sweden since some years. There is no country in the world, where you will feel the hatred against male. Women and girls are arrogant, talking like men, argumentative and try to compete with men in every issues.The divorce rate is high and relations very cold and weak. Men talk and act like women. This sick feminism distorted the nature of man-woman relation and attraction has disappeared.I know many Swedes who marry Asian women, coz it is often impossible to stay with a masculine woman. The children has whatsoever no respect to parents, specially girls, who mom teach them how to be a masculine woman. Swedish men are very weak coz of feminists threat and accusation.
    The main attraction for women is the male power and when you take it from them, so the attraction disappear.

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    1. What a dick. So you can't handle women with more power and confidence to speak up? that they are "argumentative" like men? what have you never met one before? was it that first time you saw this bewildering aspect of a female?
      If you have problems with women competing men, then you clearly do not see them as equal.

      No the main attraction is not to be with a dominant douche-bag: who doesn't want women should be "competitive" but only submissive doormats.

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    2. enjoy the cats, dyke.

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    3. Enjoy your blown up dolls..

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  11. you are mixing up the things. The traditional rols let men have enough contact with their sons, and if it wasnt the case is because other thing, because you dont leave in a rich country with good salaries. In other hand in a traditional society you not even need to worry about alimony or joint costudy; becuase what is rare in a real tradidtional society are the divorces.

    Besides, independient of what you say, the feminism is a mountain of shit the want to use all the power to impose its ideology; and who use the power cant complain if is crushed for other power.

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  12. what a swedish woman need is a strong man that kidnap her, dominate her, showing her why nature make men stronger than women and making her feel stocolm syndrome.

    And the funny thing, is that I bet you that this is what very inside of their hearts they would want.

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    1. What the fuck is wrong with you?

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    2. If you dont stop talking soon I will only hate feminismen even MORE!
      You have destroyed my masculanity enough!
      I just want to put some sperma in your face!
      /Swedish Blond Man

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  13. Insanity! You should write "Surviving in a Madhouse called Sweden". I am from Brazil and tell you that women have strong laws that protect them here. I recognized that still exists violence against women and here we are fighting against it, I think it is horrible violence against women but most against with any human being. What you guys are doing in sweden it is a violence against men, you are castrating them! Equality between genders only under the law but not reducing man to slag. Man and woman are different period. Think about it

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    1. Strong laws? sure - comparing a 2nd world country comparing to the likes of Sweden... right... just doesn't make sense really.

      Well I guess you really must be from the "developing" world with your very primitive attitude (thinking a man having a greater care role is a...slag??? so what do you think women are slags) a.hole.

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  14. Holy crap, these vitriolic anon comments scare me. Especially the kidnapping/rapist one.

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  15. So what I read from a many of these comments from other people is that taking on more "caring" roles is:
    a. bing a slag
    b. men acting like women/being all female
    c. like castrating

    What a bunch of idiotic losers. It's called eliminating gender bias. So one gender does not have to conform to only one ideology thus giving way for more equality. I bet all of the Swedish men are far less primitive in their views, thoughts, actions than those from "Brazil" and "US" as the comments state above - God, it's like doing anything remotely "feminine" in Brazil and US is a disgrace and shame. well then how is their society ever to progress? shame on those people.

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  16. Sweden and Scandinavian countries are so far ahead in their policies, economy, social and gender equalities etc. The rest of Europe could learn a thing or two.

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  17. feminism is great for sweden.
    just look at how the feminization of sweden has allowed hundreds of thousands of noneuropeans to flood the country and now, thanks to that, Stockholm is the rape capital of Europe. REJOICE!

    100% of rapes in Stockholm are commited by noneuropeans who have bennefitted from the feminization of Sweden's government and the open floodgates policy of the feminist state.

    REJOICE, Stockholm&Malmo are burning.

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  18. Sweden is naturally not a country,it is a circus company with a bunch of Feminist favoured rules and laws.Sweden is regulated under feminism.They are living in an anti clock wise direction.here the count down is started for to reach its dead end.It is already happening in this circus company.

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  19. Oh Gosh, compared to Sweden Brazil is like a paradise, hope each Swedish man has the opportunity to get an Asian woman and be happy out of this Scandinavia feminist hell.

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    1. And the swedish women are more than happy to be with the africans/middle eastern..

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  20. What is the weapon most used by Swedish women against men?




    Their children!

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  21. I've read lot of scandinavian press (Google Translate + Firefox plugin) and came to a paradoxal conclusion: our Russian press, blogs, news sites are FAR MORE free than Swedish. Even your neighbour, Norway, seems as a more free place than you. And Denmark seems as the ideal of freedom.
    You have only one place in Internet where you can more or less express your thoughts. It's called Flashback. And it is blamed by all other news sites and blogs. The rest is expressing only one official point of view.
    Absolute majority of comments are anonymous. It seems that people are afraid for their work and families, so they don't publish real names.
    All official media publish articles strongly according with the main "party line". The "good" themes are: feminism, feminism, feminism, freaky gender "innovations", and how good is life in Sweden and how bad is it elsewhere. Oh, and also feminism. The "bad" ones: immigrants, men's issues, patriotism. There is no articles on these issues.

    As I understand, the main concept of Swedish political and economical system was taken from USSR. You wanted to get the best and throw the worst out. But it seems that the worst aspects of the soviet system were drawn as well.

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  22. It's not. And stop saying Feminism is for equal rights, at least not the one in Sweden. If these Sweden Feminists care so much about their women's right, why don't they voluntarily go to let's say, India to help them ? One word. Hypocrisy.

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  24. This is rally sad... . Let the ladies have what they want and there might be something in it for you too? Go to hell you brainwashed idiot!

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  25. I doesnt see something good in try to make men as women or women as men. Besides you forget say that Sweden is the country with more divorces, monoparental families, infidelity, inestable marriages and gender violence in the world.

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  26. Sweden has gone completely over the top with their gender equality. It so totally irrational that it boggles the mind. Just yesterday I was involved in an "argument" over which is better, the swedish national male hockey team or the female counterpart. Of course, true to swedens insane denial of basic truths, the consencus was that they are equally good. Someone was kind enough to explain that even if it may seem that the male team is better, this is only because the male dominated, sexist power structures teach us to think that men are better at ice hockey.

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  27. No wonder that Sweden has one of the world's highest suicide rates.

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  28. As an American expat living in Sweden for the past 4 years, let me tell you the truth about this country....it is far and away the most politically correct/feminist country on Earth!

    One recent example is a story in the "media" (all strictly controlled and censored by the government) about a female photographer who won some international award. The story featured a photo of the attractive young photographer, so naturally several comments on the story mentioned that she was beautiful and that she should be the one being photographed instead of her taking the pictures.

    Immediately after these innocent (and actually complimentary) comments appeared the editor of the newpaper (a female, naturally) deleted them and screamed (in ALL CAPS) that these were "sexist" comments and anyone who dared to notice that this photographer was good looking was a "pervert" or a "creep" and that they were now banned from ever leaving a comment again!

    Not one of the comments said anything even remotely sexual, they simply mentioned she was pretty. Yet this is what us men have to deal with on a daily basis in Sweden. We are literally supposed to ignore the human laws of attraction and pretend that there are no men or women, only people.

    The ironic part is that all the feminists here turn a blind eye to true female degradation happening: the way the hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees in Sweden are treated like animals and/or property by their Muslim husbands, fathers and brothers.

    So if a European man simply mentions that a woman is attractive they are labeled "sexist" and "pervert" but if a Muslim refugee beats their wife in public that is completely fine since that's a considered "cultural enrichment" of 21st Century Sverige. Insanity!!

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  29. in 4 of 5 cases, the woman gets the children / custody.
    in no way at all, that is fair or benefitting men.
    shared parenting IS NOT equal parenting.

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    1. This is not the case in Sweden, in my experience, kids spend one week at Mom and then one week at Dad with shared custody and shared parenting in a majority of cases.

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  30. I'm an African-American woman married to a white Dane, so I might have some insights about the Scandinavian psyche maybe some of you haven't considered.

    I came here in 2009 hearing the stories about how Scandinavian feminism has "liberated" women and made Scandinavian countries the most "open-minded" and "tolerant" in the world. But after 5 years of living here, I can now say with certainty that the Scandinavian version of feminism has failed MISERABLY.
    The mood has been far more right-wing and reactionary than I ever imagined it to be - even more so than the United States (which is saying something, given America's own long-standing problems with racism).

    I don't think it's fair to call every single white man who criticizes feminism a racist, though this kind of behavior does dominate on the fringe elements of the right.

    My husband has been married before (to a white Danish woman), and they had three kids. My husband was only able to keep custody of his son (my stepson) because my stepson was totally adamant against living with his mother. My stepson's biological mother is a borderline psychotic, and she can barely take care of herself, let alone three kids. Yet both the social services and the divorce court thought that she should retain custody of the daughters, and they were convinced that my stepson's criticisms of his mother were just words planted into his mouth by his father.

    Everything from the social services to the judicial system is dominated by middle-aged (white) women who have these strong, somewhat insane feminist beliefs, so any man who wants to have any kind of say in the child's life is going to be behind in points simply for being a man.

    I come from a culture where it was a long standing practice for Black families to be broken up, and this practice still has had its impact on the African-American community to this day. So I really don't share the same plight or the same concerns of a white feminist - I actually find a lot of them are completely oblivious to the "pain" of non-white women, both at home and abroad.

    I really can't understand this need for Scandinavian women to have this kind of dominance over men. It has even affected my husband to a point where he wants to emigrate to the USA or to Canada, and my stepson wants to follow suit. The longer he stays in Denmark, the more his self-confidence seems to be eaten away by the women "at-large". And this is by no means healthy for a man.

    I know it's hard for people to have a more introspective look at their own culture, but I think in the case of Sweden, it's absolutely neccssary, When Anders Behring Breivik committed terrorism in Norway, it didn't escape my attention that he was murdering mostly ethnic Norwegian women and girls - the people he and people like him think are the ones who are "ruining" Norwegian society. (If he really wanted to be the "anti Muslim conservative" he claimed to be in his propaganda, he had an opportunity to commit terrorism in the eastern part of Oslo, where most of the non-Western immigrants live. But he didn't.)

    I have a suspicion that the "Swedish Breivik" is going to be far more violent and indiscriminate than the Norwegian one. Ignore this at your own peril!

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