Note: This is a translation of an article from AVfM’s companion site in Sweden that has stirred an enormous debate in that country about the rights of men and boys. Annelie had already upset the Feminist establishment there earlier this year, and by announcing her direct affiliation with A Voice for Men the whole country is abuzz. Here’s the article, translated from the original Swedish, that has them so upset.—Eds.
Update This article has also been translated into Italian. –Eds.
Now I’ve had enough, have you?
Now that I’ve taken the step to become an editor at AVfM, this move seems both strange and completely natural to me. Strange because I’ve been pretty uninterested in gender issues for most of my life. It’s always seemed completely obvious to me that both sexes should have the same rights and the same responsibilities. But at the same time, completely natural because I’ve come to realize that these rights and responsibilities are a far cry from being self-evident. Women’s issues are making headlines in every agenda everywhere, and feminism is viewed as the fairest of all ideologies—a movement that claims to fight so that both sexes are valued equally. If you are not a feminist, then you are viewed as someone who is against gender equality and equal opportunities. Still, whenever any matter relating to the rights of men surfaces, it is met with complete silence. To have the gall to bring to attention that there are some areas where the rights of men should be questioned and defended is something completely foreign in a country such as Sweden, where feminism is viewed as an ideology everyone must profess to lest they be viewed as chauvinist, backward misogynists. If and when men’s issues are brought to attention or discussed at all, it is nearly always done from the feminist point of view.
In reality, it is utterly absurd that we have gotten into an equal opportunities debate that bears no resemblance to a debate; instead, it is nothing but a power struggle of women’s vs. men’s rights. Equality and equal opportunities should never be about who has it worse or about the rights of the one sex being set against and valued according to the rights of the other sex. Women and men have throughout the ages been fighting at each other’s side. This has been the prerequisite for our survival. What we have today can only be compared to an all-out war between the sexes, and as such it has only losers, men and women alike.
I have always thought of Sweden as a forerunner in gender equality. Swedish women have had the self-evident right to vote for a long time now, just like women in other Western countries. Equally self-evident is a woman’s right to get an education and invest in a career, and most Swedish women today are professionals, which has been made possible due to the extended access to daycare services provided by the state. Whatever prior hurdles that prevented women from fulfilling their desires of getting the education and jobs they wanted are long since gone. This gives Swedish women an opportunity to be economically independent.
That Swedes have liberal views on female sexuality is something that is known to many outside of Sweden. It is not by accident that the movie One Summer of Happiness, with explicit scenes, could be aired as early as 1951 here—something that was utterly unthinkable in many other countries at that time. Today, no one questions a woman’s right to her body and her sexuality.
This is why I, with a great deal of wonder and surprise, during the past few years have noticed that more and more people were speaking up and saying that gender equality issues were in big trouble and that feminism was needed more than ever before. I asked myself, quite naturally, “What?” “How come?” “What happened and how did it come to this?”
Purely out of curiosity and not without a great deal of naiveté regarding the matter of gender issues as something to be treated objectively, I started to look around and read more and more. What I found was a vicious gender issues debate all bundled up under the umbrella of feminism. This type of feminism, to which everyone is expected to adhere to, was not only based on false or inadequate premises, but I also discovered that everyone who doesn’t immediately accept its holy doctrines or dares to question them will immediately be harassed and showered with pejoratives. There is apparently a special place in hell for every woman who dares to criticize the holy dogma of feminism.
Now that I’m an editor at AVfM, I will be publishing all my posts under my real name. Some might think this to be stupid. Others might find it brave. For me, it is simply an obvious choice for me not to be anonymous here. I have nothing to hide or be ashamed of. I am for gender equality and equal opportunity for both sexes. I feel that both men and women should be valued equally. I am not a homophobe or a racist or a gender role conservative or whatever derogatory term is thrown at anyone who questions the holiness of feminism. AVfM is mainly a movement for men’s issues, but my commitment is based on my belief that both men and women will gain from a more nuanced and healthy debate on gender issues. To raise men’s issues, which have been neglected for a long time, will benefit men and women equally.
Those issues that lie closest to my heart and that I’ll touch on in the upcoming posts are:
- the continuous decline of the performance of boys in the school system
- the high number of reported sexual crimes, including the number of unrecorded cases and the reasons behind why they were unrecorded
- the need of children to have both of their parents present in their everyday lives
Gender equality is not a power struggle between the sexes. It is a struggle to raise women’s issues and men’s issues on their own terms. It is a struggle to raise human issues.
We will all be better for it.