There’s been some controversy over what exactly is going on with Swedish/Scandinavian feminism, with some claiming that it’s worse than the Anglo version and others claiming that, actually, men have it better over there than in Anglo countries. I tend to favor the latter position, possibly because I’m a father and I know that Scandinavian countries are not nearly so punitive toward fathers as the legal regimes in the Anglosphere. However, due to the extremely broad definition of rape in Sweden, some claim that it is akin to fundamentalist Muslim regimes.
I’m not sure the rape hysteria in Sweden is entirely a feminist creation, however. It’s more likely that it’s a reaction to a trend that has been ongoing since the Swedes, in their infinite wisdom, imported a very large Muslim community, which has, to put it mildly, very different sexual norms from the native Swedes. In Islamic countries, a woman who sleeps around, bares her skin, dances at clubs, etc., is a whore. According to Islamic (and earlier Christian) custom, rape does not apply to whores, ergo Swedish women are free for the taking. When one combines this attitude with extreme cultural relativism as practiced by Swedish “enlightened” liberals, there are bound to be some misunderstandings.
My take on it is that Swedes have attempted to legislate Swedish cultural norms surrounding sex as a response to this problem. For example, a typical Swedish man would not assume that because a woman shows some skin and acts in a sexually provocative manner she is consenting to sex. In Muslim countries, men assume exactly that. Therefore, the rape laws are instructive in nature, designed to “civilize” the Muslims into the norms of a sexually libertine society. Feminists may have supported these laws, but the impetus for their passage likely derived from outrage native Swedes felt about their women being used by foreigners. This is an entirely normal feeling, but naturally Swedes don’t want to seem xenophobic or restrictive, so they dress the laws up in feminist language and thereby retain their progressive aura.
However, child support and custody in Sweden are handled far differently than in Anglo countries. Joint custody is much more common, and men are never thrown in prison for inability to pay child support. In fact, if a man can’t afford child support, the state will actually help him. Fathers’ rights are taken seriously, and fathers are given leave to spend time with children along with mothers. Men are almost never killed by the police for their wives or girlfriends, divorces are less expensive and usually not very acrimonious, and marriage is neither demanded nor punished as it is in the Anglosphere.
Evidently, the situation is even better in Finland. The national government in Finland takes men’s rights seriously, and fathers are given a great deal of consideration.
So although we see that feminism is real, and sometimes annoying, in Scandinavia, it isn’t as much of a threat to the average man as it is in Anglo countries.
I think it has something to do with the Anglo form of government, which is based on an adversarial relationship between the government and the people. From the Magna Carta onward, English speaking people have sought to define themselves apart from their rulers. Americans enshrined distrust of government into our Constitution, and to this day we remain extraordinarily suspicious of government power.
In Scandinavia, the people – including men – feel that their government is for their benefit rather than opposed to their interests. They are not only less suspicious of it, but less inclined to see themselves as at odds with it. Their government is also less inclined to view the people as a threat.
Our governments, on the other hand, have a tendency to exist in an uneasy state of truce with the people. This creates a lot of opportunities for special interest groups to ally themselves with the government against the people. Feminists instinctively understood that they had a willing ally in the state against the men the state taxes and rules.
As women entered the political world, they began to see the state as a very powerful tool for extracting concessions from men. The result was a very aggressive form of feminism that has proven over and over again its willingness to support the most punitive confiscatory regime the United States has ever had, under the guise of protecting women and children of course. Additionally, feminist family law has provided a great many constitutional loopholes, rendering any man who lives or works with a woman – that is, the vast majority of men – defenseless against civil rights abuses.
The question this raises is whether Anglo-style democracy can long survive following women’s empowerment. I’d argue that it probably cannot, and that our democracies will degenerate into something closer to Latin regimes, where votes are simply bought and sold and rule of law is tenuous at best. In such a scenario, women’s status will necessarily decline, as tax revenues will shrink to levels that can no longer support the police state required to keep them “equal.” Companies that don’t want to pay women higher wages will simply grease the palm of some official, and women’s complaints will be in vain. Police will stop regularly responding to DV calls, as the money to arrest, prosecute and incarcerate women’s lovers over domestic fights simply won’t be there any longer. Child support will be reduced as more and more men, the elderly in particular, end up on welfare (when many divorced men, made poor by their ex-wives, are old and unemployed they will be an enormous social burden).
When seen in the context of the traditional Anglo antagonism toward government, it’s pretty clear that feminists are, for all intents and purposes, allies of the state against the people. It is akin to a symbiotic relationship between two parasites feeding off the same host; something like the relationship between the mosquito, the plasmodium parasite (malaria) and the human being.
Perhaps we’ll have to accept that the very structure of our society and the nature of our ideals contained all the elements necessary for their eventual collapse. If the adversarial relationship between ruler and ruled – the state and The People – becomes a characteristic of the relationship between our men and women, and our brand of feminism gives us every indication that it has, our society in its current incarnation is doomed.