In Sweden, that wonderful nation of truth-tellers, the spunk and gumption-filled womyn’s movement there is totally unafraid to tell it like it is. “Men are Animals”:
A new graffiti has appeared on the streets of this city.
“Men are animals,” it says.
The slogan has become a symbol of a heated debate in this country over why full gender equality has not been achieved despite decades of legislation promoting it.
Absolutely! Whenever any statistical disparity exists between the sexes, the sole reason is that men are being their bestial, bastardly, oppressive selves and need to be harshly penalized, controlled and re-edumacated. It’s the opposite of whenever any statistical disparity happens to favor us females in a way that is beneficial to us. If that sort of inequality exists, equality between the sexes is no longer very important and there’s never any need to take action.
The “‘men are animals’ controversy,” as its known here, exploded onto the front pages of newspapers in May, after Ireen von Wachenfeldt, a government official who is one of Sweden’s best-known feminists, was featured in the Swedish Television documentary, “The Gender War.”
At the time, von Wachenfeldt was head of ROKS, the national network of shelters for abused women, which is a government institution. A reporter on the program noted that the organization had printed excerpts of the “SCUM Manifesto.”
If you haven’t read the SCUM Manifesto, I suggest you do so immediately. It’s quite liberating. Some people have exploited it to make anti-feminist propaganda, but the genocidal passages within the document are merely clever rhetorical flourishes which shouldn’t be taken too literally.
(True, its author (Valerie Solanas) once shot Andy Warhol and probably would’ve killed others had her gun not jammed. Some oversensitive folk might call that behavior “attempted murder”, but the patriarchy brainwashed poor Val into doing it so she didn’t deserve to be thown into that nasty prison. She was the real victim because the stupid soup-can hack Warhol deserved it anyway.)
But I digress. Back to Sweden:
“Man is an animal,” von Wachenfeldt said. “Don’t you think so?”
The documentary sparked fierce reactions across the country. Some women’s shelters have left the national network in protest, and von Wachenfeldt resigned in the midst of the controversy. But her remarks opened a national discussion on the topic of women’s equality.
What’s with all the furor? Was she telling too much truth? It’s high time that us righteous, badass wimmin stopped using such fucking polite language all the time. The womyn’s liberation movement has gotten way too contrite and mousey nowadays. It fucking pisses me off.
Furthermore, the phrase “Men are animals” is exactly the kind of bubble-headed, vapid caricature that us feminists need to squawk so often. Deprive us of bubble-headed, vapid caricatures and we’ll have almost nothing that we can talk about.
After the women’s liberation movement took off in the 1970s, the Swedish government passed laws mandating equality in every aspect of public life and even some aspects of private live. The government prohibited violence against women, required salary parity for men and women in similar jobs and gave men and women the right to equal parental leave. In the 1990s, Sweden’s government became the first in the world where half the ministers were women.
Still not good enough! In a truly equal society, womyn will always be able to get everything we want whenever we want it. Because, obviously, men always get everything they want whenever they want it. The entire universe is always responsive to all male desires, every male wish automatically gets granted. Males never have to deal with unfairness or disappointment or hardship or negative feelings of any type. Males (even the impoverished black ones) enjoy mountains of power and privilege while us white, suburban, upper-middle-class, college-educated womyn live lives of hardscrabble, threadbare degradation.
We won’t live in an equal society until every female complaint and irritation, no matter how small, is erased from the planet. And you can bet that I won’t ever keep my mouth shut until that wonderful day comes to pass.
[Rebecka] Edgren says many MEN feel particularly threatened because the demands now being made by feminists, such as requiring parents to take equal amounts of parental leave, will force them to make even more drastic changes to their lifestyle and career.
That’s very true. And feminists should not demand that we females make any inconvenient changes to our lifestyles because we’re already perfect by default. For instance, we need not enter hazardous or dirty male-dominated careers for the sake of statistical parity (ick!) We need not stop calling men nasty names. We need not stop expecting chivalrous treatment for ourselves whenever it’s convenient. We need not stop demanding our oppressors buy us diamonds and fur coats. Traditional female behavior doesn’t create any obstacles to further change; only male behavior ever contributes to social inequalities.
Suggesting otherwise would be blaming the victim.
After the “Gender War” documentary, von Wachenfeldt denied the assertion in the show that the government agencies dealing with women’s issues are dominated by radical feminists, and accused Rubar of taking her comments out of context.
What’s with the mealy-mouthed excuses, Ireen? There’s no need to be ashamed of your words. Men are animals. And us females are equal to them.
Except we’re not equal in any negative way.
As you can imagine, some fucking assholes out there think that this group of like-minded vagina-warriors are not necessarily the sweet voice of reason on every subject. Such as this mindless, self-hating Stepford Wife:
Hanne Kjoller wrote in one of her columns that “the group of feminists that [feminist sociologist Eva] Lundgren belongs to have an ideological and economic interest in portraying abuse of women as normal male behavior.”
Oh, what bullshit! Typical. Just typical. Just because these people support orgnizations whose economic interest lies in hyping the problems they claim to address does not mean they can’t be trusted to publish studies on the matter.
If you don’t believe that abuse of females is normal male behavior, then just check the statistics put-out by domestic-violence advocacy groups. They certainly don’t have a financial stake in exagerrating the problem. Lung-cancer studies from Marlboro are reliable, too.
Anyway, I’m gonna have my holdays in Sweden from now on. Radical, ass-kicking chicks like me can really learn a thing or two from them.