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Fi ? equality's worst enemy

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18:27 CEST+02:00
Equality is a Good Thing, and it's splendid that these days all politicians have to be seen bending over backwards to help women to combine career and children, to see to it that gay people can get married, to fight racism.

Which is why anyone who cares about equality should shun Sweden's Feminist Initiative. This self-serving, politically correct bunch of pseudo intellectuals is making women's rights and gay rights look like a freakshow.

Every time one of them starts waffling about “patriarchal power structures”, or about abolishing marriage because it represents “heterosexual norms”, you can almost hear the rats scuttling off Captain Gudrun Schyman's sinking ship.

But what does it matter if Fi disappears into obscurity? In itself, not at all.

But people like Tiina Rosenberg, who this week apparently said that women who sleep with men are “traitors to their gender”, risk not only sinking Fi, but taking with them the sympathy that many ordinary voters have for feminism and gay rights.

It has to be asked, after the shambolic conference last week, whether the party is really serious about winning votes. Floating the idea of abolishing marriage, and the rapturous applause for performers who sang “fucking man, we're going to chop you to bits”, did not illustrate a party that is serious about winning votes.

Meanwhile, the longer Fi survives, the bigger the risk that serious politicians in serious parties are going to be bunched together in the eyes of voters with the extremists every time they open their mouths to talk about equality.

And even in Sweden, which can sometimes be painfully politically correct, there is still a need for people to worry about equality.

Why? Well, partly because there are equality issues that should matter to all of us: women are still not well-represented in Sweden's boardrooms; boys are being failed by the education system – in many classes at the most popular upper secondary (gymnasie) schools in Stockholm girls outnumber boys many times over.

There are also major failings in racial equality – a recent Swedish government report described the country as structurally racist.

These are serious problems without easy solutions, and at the moment Fi is simply clouding the issues with extremism, hatred and (worst of all) the ghastly pseuds' language so beloved of the wimmin's movement.

So if Schyman really cares more about equality than getting her face in the papers, she'll scupper her initiative before it turns back the clock on Swedish equality.

Is Feminist Initiative harming equality? Discuss here

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