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A really important silly feminist

Last week I got many surprised comments about the discriminating laws in Sweden -- and by all right. Sweden is, in many ways, a progressive country. Some like to call it "the most equal country in the world", which is stretching the truth a bit since there is no truly reliable global measurement for these things. But, in a bigger perspective, it's a good country from an equality point of view. And that is rather shocking.

As a feminist in Sweden I often get criticized because I focus on "silly things". The men, because it is often men who say these thing, think that I should go out and "do some real good, like help the women in Afghanistan, who are really oppressed". Apart from showing a great deal of westernized superiority while judging women in other cultures without bothering to understand their perspectives, these men also ridicule my struggle. Because it is a struggle. Women and minorities in Sweden might not suffer from unjust laws or war time violence, but we are far from having the same possibilities, real rights and responsibilities as the straight white men who set the agenda. Girls here still starve themselves to death, sexual minorities are constantly discriminated against, household work and following stress levels are far from equal and our history never ceases to remind us about how short this period of relative freedom really is. Our fight does not hinder or dismiss other, sometimes more important struggles, on the opposite do they all work together. We have to work on several levels to active change -- Pulsewire makes that clearer than ever.

Being taken seriously, and believing in myself despite growing up understanding power was not for me, are my biggest challenges. I have learned to reason. To have all the facts. To use my inherent talent for verbal communication and to straighten my back. I have learned the power of online and offline communities which can encourage you when your energy drains. And I have learned to say yes. My heart pumps furiously when I say yes to writing in that magazine -- me? really? Do I know these things well enough? But I ignore the doubt and say yes. Yes I can do it. And slowly, recognition have come, within a very limited sphere, but still. And slowly, although some days I fall back, I have begun believing in myself.

Pulsewire have made me put these experiences into perspective. The women here go through so many different things, but have one thing in common: They never give up. We never give up.

Comments

Jency's picture

Progressive

I think we say progressive, on relative terms, since many women in the developing countries have problems that are far more. But I don't understand that bit about 'girls starving themselves to death'. Is it a case of being beauty conscious or is it something else?

Jency

Zettermark's picture

I know, and I agree. Women

I know, and I agree. Women suffer so much more from injustice in other parts of the world. My point was that even in one of the most progressive countries, women are still discriminated against - and that is scary.

Yes, I was talking about eating disorders and anorexia, a very common problem in my country, and 90% of all who are affected is girl

Zettermark's picture

I agree

I know, and I agree. Women suffer so much more from injustice in other parts of the world. My point was that even in one of the most progressive countries, women are still discriminated against - and that is scary.

Yes, I was talking about eating disorders and anorexia, a very common problem in my country, and 90% of all who are affected is girls.

laurabstull's picture

I enjoyed reading your Week 3

I enjoyed reading your Week 3 assignment!

It's so fascinating to read your perspective on the struggles of being a woman in the "western world". The challenges are extremely different from others that I often read on PulseWire, but I think it's important to remember that the empowerment of women is a fight that continues to evolve and develop worldwide, regardless of the relative wealth of a nation or its international political/economic prowess.

I'm looking forward to reading more from you!

Laura

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