Monday, July 19, 2010

Machos with Dinosaur Values Not Popular in Sweden, Unlike Here in the USA

Here's more feminist news from Sweden, funny how all news from Sweden seems to be feminist news. If it makes you green with envy, remember that it's never too late to apply for immigrant status to Sweden or one of the many European nations that are serious about legislating and promoting women's rights.

It will be a very long time before the USA even wakes up to the embarrassment of lagging so far behind. The important question: What is wrong with the USA? Why does the U.S. trail so far behind Sweden and other modern nations in gender equity?

In this land of Viking lore, men are at the heart of the gender-equality debate. The ponytailed center-right finance minister calls himself a feminist, advertisements for cleaning products rarely feature women as homemakers and preschools vet books for gender stereotypes in animal characters. For nearly four decades, governments of all political hues have legislated to give women equal rights at work - and men equal rights at home.

Laws reserving at least two months of the generously paid, 13-month parental leave exclusively for fathers - a quota that very well could double if the Social Democrats win the September election - have set off profound social change.

Birgitta Ohlsson, European affairs minister, put it this way: "Machos with dinosaur values don't make the top-10 lists of attractive men in women's magazines anymore." Introducing "daddy leave" in 1995 had an immediate impact. No father was forced to stay home, but the family lost one month of subsidies if he did not. Soon more than 8 in 10 men took leave.