onsdag, april 06, 2005

N.Y.T. om svensk feminism

Hvad angår vold mod kvinder, er Gudrun Schyman og Liza Marklunds taktik, at brede den indvandrede vold ud, til at gælde alle svenske mænd. Det er ikke til at trænge til bunds i, hvilke mænd der gør hvad . Kun kan man være ret sikkert hvad angår æresdrabene. - Notorisk er ´Schymans omtale af alle svenske mænd som "talebaner" og "mandsskat", hvor alle mænd skal hæfte for en fåtals voldelighed.
Maria Carlshamre er selvsagt interesseret i emnet, efter at ha været voldsoffer i 10 år, og det forlyder at Schyman selv på et tidspunkt skulle ha fået et enkelt vip på hovedet af en ex mand,Lars Westman (hvilket faktisk er billigt sluppet, når man betænker hendes alkoholisme og almene stridbarhed).
HVOR svært det er at trænge til bunds i hvem der gør hvad, kan man forresten læse om hos politikeren Björn Hammerbeck her(første link). Jo mere kontroversielt et emne er, desto sværere er det at få et statisktisk overblik. Enhver kender antalet bredbåndtilslutninger i landet, men ingen kan med sikkerhed sige, hvor mange voldtægter og andre voldshandlinger, indvandrere begår. For mig hersker der ingen tvivl om, at megen kvindevold er indvandret med patriarkalske kulturer, lifesom det gælder for voldtægterne. Men det mørklægges - Schymans nye feminist bevægelse , medvirker til det.


Sweden Boldly Exposes a Secret Side of Women's Lives
LIZETTE ALVAREZ Published: April 6, 2005STOCKHOLM -
Full-throated feminism and its offspring, gender equality, have never gone out of vogue in Sweden.Feminists here are seldom hectored about quashing family values or derided, at least publicly, as a gang of castration-happy women. Relentlessly, they have pushed for women's rights, and their triumphs are well known. Sweden ranks at the top (or near it) in the number of women who hold public office, serve as cabinet ministers, graduate from college and hold jobs. Mothers are granted long maternity leaves and send their children to excellent day care centers.If anything, the movement is gaining strength:
Sweden is expected later this year to create its first feminist political party, which could court as many as 1 in 5 voters, a recent opinion poll indicated.But there is one significant blot on the record of women's empowerment here: domestic violence, a crime that until recently remained muffled in shame.
Swedish men are not any more violent toward women than the men of most other Western European countries. It has simply been easier for them to get away with violence against wives and girlfriends, experts and politicians said, and harder for women to get the help they need.In an unforeseen twist, Sweden's well-guarded sense of privacy and its leadership on women's rights served for many years to mute the issue. Rather than boldly tackle the pattern of violence, many in Sweden reflexively dismissed it as the sort of thing that happens somewhere else."The equality thing put a wet blanket over the issue," said Eva Hassel Calais, assistant to the chairwoman of the National Organization for Women's Shelters in Sweden.But this is changing.
It took a stinging Amnesty International report and startling admissions by well-known victims to set off a national reckoning that began last year. That has been followed by calls for action, not for new laws - Sweden has passed a series of tough, progressive laws in recent years - but for new attitudes.A period of self-reflection was inevitable.
"We've had to change our picture of ourselves in Sweden," said Maria Carlshamre, a former television journalist who acknowledged last summer to viewers, against the station's wishes, that her husband had abused her for a decade. "We are not the gender equality champions of the world."
The turmoil began a year ago with the Amnesty International report, which took Sweden to task for failing to adequately curb violence against women and help victims cope with their situations. The organization also cited spotty prosecutions, vague statistics, old-fashioned judges and unresponsive local governments.The report praised Sweden's laws as "unambiguous," but warned that "strongly worded legislation is not in itself a sufficient instrument to ensure women's right to a life without violence."The group concluded that acts of violence against women had spiraled upward in Sweden in the last 15 years, a jump that could not be explained away as merely a greater willingness by women to report the incidents. The number of police reports filed for assault against women increased 40 percent in the 1990's, according to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention.By 2003 the number of reported assaults had swelled to 22,400, from 14,000 in 1990. An estimated 16 women are killed by a husband or partner each year, the report said. And only a fraction of the cases involving assaults, rape, breaches of restraining orders or continuing abuse lead to prosecution, the report stated. The report also underscored that most incidents of violence against women continue to go unreported.
In addition, the network of shelters for battered women is deeply frayed, the reports says, with only about 150 of the 289 municipalities in Sweden operating shelters. Those open for business rely almost entirely on volunteer workers.Like a picture-perfect family forced to come clean, Sweden found itself baring its own foibles, women and experts said.
"There has been a turning point," said Liza Marklund, a journalist and best-selling novelist whose books have explored themes of violence against women. "Now people are beginning to take it seriously."
In October, Gudrun Schyman, one of Sweden's most colorful and radical feminist politicians, proposed a "man tax" in Parliament, where she is a member of the Left Party. The idea was to force men to pay for the consequences of their violence against women. The proposal stalled, but seized the public's attention.Not long after, the justice minister, Thomas Bodstroem, declared his own outrage during a November demonstration to protest men's violence against women."Let this become an election issue in 2006," he announced. "Silence is a betrayal to all abused women, and a help to all violent men."In March, the prosecutor general proposed building a team of 35 special prosecutors devoted to the issue of violence against women. There have also been proposals to electronically tag men who break the law.The pervading sense that domestic violence is a crime affecting "others" is dissipating."It's not a question of a group of criminals," said Ms. Schyman, who is leading the campaign for the feminist party. "It's not alcoholics and drug users, and it's not people that are put out from the society. It's every man and in every class of society."
The same is true of the victims.Ms. Carlshamre, 48, helped crack the code of silence last summer with her surprising on-air admission that she had been beaten and psychologically abused for 10 years."I said, 'Do you want to know what a battered woman looks like?
Here she is,' " she recalled.Ms. Carlshamre said she was fired because her bosses, fearing slander charges, had warned that the topic was off limits. She then ran for a seat in the European Parliament on an anti-violence platform, and won. "Now you can't talk about battered women like 'them' anymore," she said. "It's no longer about poor women on the fringe of society."Still, many women are skeptical that things will change all that much, or that fast, and they point to the stubborn gender imbalance in the country's power and pay structure as the major reason why.
This is precisely the reason why feminists are trying to form a political party."We have made much progress in the discussion of gender equality; it is a more advanced political debate," Ms. Schyman said. "This is one thing, and reality is another."

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