Overall, Swedes have a very liberal view when it comes to women’s right to abortion, which is most often mentioned in relation to Sweden being a very secular country. Most Swedes are however happy with this arrangement and believe that everything is a-okay. Well, maybe not everyone, as Edward Pentin has a few chosen words to share (Edward who?). And what better than a quick educational spiel by someone who is not Swedish and seems to know very little about Sweden overall. And why not throw in some biased people to further support your own preconceived notions. Interestingly, Edward Pentin (again, Edward who?), a writer for the Catholic “ZENIT – the world seen from Rome” basically believes that Swedes are an abomination. In his article “Secularism in Sweden: Where Irreligious Trends Leads After Decades”, he points out that Swedes not only support abortion, but that their marriage rates are down, and that they are very accepting of…HOMOSEXUALITY…can you believe it? We can only imagine the disgust Pentin must have felt when typing the words; “Meanwhile, sex education is graphic and compulsory, and children are taught that whatever feels good sexually is OK. The age of consent is 15”. Yes, it is true, sex education is compulsory, although we do not remember it being particularly graphic. We really have no idea what Pentin means by graphic, but perhaps his definition would include using the horrible word vagina in class. Yes, the age of consent is 15, even though the average age when Swedish teens have their first sexual experience is no lower than other nations where the age of consent is higher. In other words, even though the age of consent is 15, we have yet to hear stories or news reports about sex crazed 15 year-olds who as soon as they turn 15 hurry out to find someone to copulate with. And yes again, children are being taught (if it is legal of course) that if something feels good sexually it is OK. What if parents and teachers told kids that uncomfortable, non-consensual, illegal or intimidating sexual behavior is OK? Pentin, are you trying to advocate for unpleasant sexual experiences? Hmmmm.
Pentin, who is not a Swede, seems completely disgusted with Swedish people overall. But we do not understand why. Being accepting of other people’s sexual orientation and believing in women’s right to make their own reproductive choices does not seem particularly devilish to us.
Overall, the article is full of nonsense and the two people that Pentin interviews are both of course opposed to abortion, highly conservative and very religious, anomalies in Sweden overall. We know that those who oppose abortion are most often very religious, and since we are not, it is difficult for us to understand the disgust, and aversion to both atheists and abortion. Again, we can imagine Pentin angrily hacking away at the keyboard when writing these words; “Indeed, some studies have found Swedes to be one of the least religious people in the world and a country with one of the highest numbers of atheists. According to different studies carried out in the early 2000s, between 46% and 85% of Swedes do not believe in God”.
We would like tell Pentin to “Get you rosaries off women’s ovaries,” and stop worrying about marriage, sex ed and homosexuality in Sweden – we are okay!
Picture of Swedish flag was taken by Hennie Weiss and is shared under a creative commons license. You are free to share, copy and redistribute the work as long as attribution is given. You may not make commercial use of the work.