Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Swedish leftist feminists surf the superficial

Here's what's going on in Sweden:

A new women's political party is set to emerge in Sweden, a country already considered a world-leader in women's rights. Rumors of the planned feminist party have been circulating ever since one of Sweden's most high-profile feminists, Gudrun Schyman, resigned as head of the previously communist Left Party last year to focus on making gender equality the main theme of the upcoming 2006 general elections. *** Despite Sweden's exemplary track record when it comes to gender equality in politics (45 percent of Swedish parliamentarians are women), there is much anger against what is perceived as society's lackluster response to increased violence against women. 'Men's violence against women exists both in the fancy parlors and in the shabby suburbs. This (topic) does not fit into the traditional right-left scale,' said Schyman, an independent member of parliament. Unequal pay is another cause for complaint. Even six years ago, a study on the subject showed women on average were getting only 82 percent as much as their male counterparts, and that trend has continued. Also, few women break through the glass ceiling into the upper income brackets.
A couple of points, starting with the glass ceiling. I can't track down the article I recently read, but I'm sure I just read that the glass ceiling is alive and well in Sweden because women, despite the existence of insanely generous maternity and paternity leave policies, elect to spend more time with the kids. This, not unnaturally, leads them to take more flexible jobs -- and the downside of a more flexible job is that it pays less. As for the violence issue, I doubt that a Communist-leaning party is going to address the real reason for the increase in violence against women in Sweden. It has nothing to do with government policies regarding women, and has everything to do with the huge influx of Muslims. As Fjordman posts:
Alarmed at last week's police statistics, which revealed that in 68% of all rapes committed this year the perpetrator was from an ethnic minority, leading Muslim organisations have now formed an alliance to fight the ever-growing problem of young second and third-generation immigrants involved in rape cases against young Danish girls. As Robert Spencer has demonstrated, rape can indeed be linked to Islamic teachings of Jihad, and even to the example of Muhammad himself, his Sunna. Above all, it is connected to Islamic notions of the role of women in society, and their behaviour in the public sphere. An Islamic Mufti in Copenhagen sparked a political outcry after publicly declaring that women who refuse to wear headscarves are "asking for rape." Apparently, he isn’t the only Muslim in Europe to think this way: The German journalist Udo Ulfkotte told in a recent interview that in Holland, you can now see examples of young, unveiled Moroccan women with a so-called "smiley". It means that the girl gets one side of her face cut up from mouth to ear, serving as a warning to other Muslim girls who should refuse to wear the veil. In the Muslim suburb of Courneuve, France, 77 per cent of the veiled women carry veils reportedly because of fear of being harassed or molested by Islamic moral patrols.
(He's got a long post, and I left out hyperlinks, so I definitely recommend that you go to the source.) So, as I said, it's really not a women's issue, it's a larger, immigrants issue, and I doubt this new "Feminists' party" is the one that's going to tackle that one.