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'Swedish aristocratic women should be equal'

'Swedish aristocratic women should be equal'

Published: 06 Mar 2013 12:17 GMT+01:00
Updated: 06 Mar 2013 12:17 GMT+01:00

A Swedish count is calling on the Swedish House of Nobility (Riddarhuset) to allow women equal rights as members of the aristocracy.

Carl Lagercrantz, whose family has had a seat in the tradition-soaked institution since 1682, has submitted a petition to give female scions of noble families the chance to join on equal terms to men.

In an interview with the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper, Lagercrantz said he had little patience for opponents of his petition, whom he called reactionaries and fogeys (mörkmän and träbockar).

The Swedish nobility enforces male primogeniture for the inheritance of titles. The first-born son inherits the title regardless of how many older sisters he has.

"I have a dream, and that dream is every second seat for the ladies," said Lagercrantz, referencing the political concept of varannan damernas - the one-man, one-woman tradition respected by political parties in Sweden when drawing up candidate lists.

"The House of Nobility must change with the times. The current system is bananas."

He believes that allowing women more say will strengthen the old institution.

"There are a lot of women who can contribute with their knowledge and competence when it comes to managing the House's assets," he told DN.

"And this discrimination makes us look ridiculous."

The Swedish House of Nobility was once a part of the Swedish 'Riksdag of the Estates', in which the Swedish parliament was made up of four houses representing the estates of the nobility, the clergy, burghers and peasants. The Riksdag of the Estates was abolished in 1866. The House of the Nobility is now a private foundation.

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Your comments about this article

12:29 March 6, 2013 by Abe L
Despite the nobel claim he provides absolutely zero concrete reasons for such a change other then that it would be a good idea in his opinion. They've managed fine without involving women in their business and managed to keep their wealth and privileged status going.
12:33 March 6, 2013 by trer_r
So, a member of an elitist society is calling for equality?

Does any else see the irony in this?

One thing he did get right though:

"The House of Nobility must follow the times. The current system is bananas."
13:20 March 6, 2013 by Borilla
Here is a good idea. Do away with the "nobility" and make them earn their position in society based on merit rather than the fact that one of their ancestors was better at kissing the king's behind than others.
13:32 March 6, 2013 by texaslass
Yes, I also saw the irony. The way I see it is that it is that it is tradition that drives the reason for maintaining a noble class, so then leave tradition as it is. Tradition is precisely about preserving the ways of the past.

I come from Texas where we still attend Cotillion in preparation for the debut. Yes, it is an antiquated and corny tradition that in some ways still maintains rigid gender roles, but it is nice to have it for tradition's sake.
13:45 March 6, 2013 by Eric1
The nobility have earned there position. Swedes like others, have no since of history and are only concerned about self center things. So many want to destroy anything that is different from themselves. "Destroy the rich people", Destroy Christianity, Destroy anyone that I disagree with. When we are all miserably poor we will all be equal. I strongly support the nobility, their sex makes no difference to me.
18:39 March 6, 2013 by calebian22
It is about time someone realized that female aristocrats are as worthless as their male counterparts.
21:24 March 6, 2013 by eurobloke
Personally, while I would like to see complete equality by removing the Riddarhuset. I fully support the count's position on this. It seems strange that the highest family in the land, namely the Bernadottes have since 1980 complete gender equality with Crown Princess Victoria being the next in line to the throne instead of Prince Carl-Philip.
03:43 March 7, 2013 by Phillynilly
If they give me half their money and if I get a title, then I would consider that equality..
08:47 March 7, 2013 by robban70226
@ Phillynilly

Don't be so greedy I settle for 25%
21:35 March 7, 2013 by Phillynilly
robban, They wanted to be equal. 50% is equal is it not? Yes, I am greedy...
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