Flipping through a local newspaper the other day, two short articles really stood out. These two articles confirm how we feel about inequality in Sweden; that it is often assumed an issue that has already successfully been dealt with. Many Swedes appear to think that as a country, we have reached equality or even passed to the point in which men are now considered the “second sex”. It is often reiterated that Sweden is one of the most equal countries in the world, if not the most equal country. To us, this overconfidence is very troubling because it leads to the denial of male privilege and the persistent influence and power of patriarchy.
The first article that seriously annoyed us discussed the historical origin of Mother’s Day, explaining that from 1920 and on, Mother’s Day was celebrated with breakfast in bed and a day off from cleaning the house and doing chores. The article stated that it was probably a more important day in the past when most women were responsible for taking care of the household. Say what? But most women are responsible for taking care of the household! They are also responsible for taking care of the children while often working on top of that. Are Swedish women really so lucky as to be free from household chores? Research on the topic says no. [Read more...]