Sweden’s Sexual Assault Crisis Presents a Feminist Paradox

Article here. Excerpt:

'Sweden prides itself on being a beacon of feminism. It has the most generous parental leave in the developed world, providing for 18 months off work, 15 of which can be used by fathers as paternity leave. A quarter of the paid parental leave is indeed used by men, and this is too little according to the Swedish government, which has made it a political priority to get fathers to stay at home longer with their children.

Sweden has never ranked lower than four in The Global Gender Gap Report, which has measured equality in economics, politics, education, and health for the World Economic Forum since 2006. Of all members of Parliament, 44 percent are women, compared to 19 percent of the United States Congress. Nearly two-thirds of all university degrees are awarded to women. Its government boasts that it is the “first feminist government” in the world, averring that gender equality is central to its priorities in decision-making and resource allocation.

But while Swedish women rank among the most equal in the world, they increasingly fear for their physical safety on the streets. Reported sex crimes increased by 61 percent between 2007 and 2016. Meanwhile a rise in gang violence among men–the number of victims injured by gunshots increased by 50 percent between 2004 and 2016–indirectly affects the safety of women. Police admit that rape cases are piling up without being investigated because resources are being drained by gang violence and shootings.'

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So much to unpack

Indeed. Disempowering men while empowering women results in economically under-successful/unsuccessful men. History has shown repeatedly that people of both/either sexes who are living (and especially, raised) in poverty are much more likely to assume criminal lifestyles in an effort to survive or thrive when lawful means are either denied or substantially more difficult to pursue w/out having money in the first place.

If as women's socioeconomic status rises, men's also declines (as there is by nature of material reality, a limited number of resources available to any given population), it figures an increasing number of men will become more likely to assume a criminal lifestyle. Once a person becomes a criminal in one way (for example, he or she takes up theft as a way of getting stuff), it becomes easier to become criminal in other ways. Thieving easily can lead to violence as the thief may be caught and attacked by an owner, or the thief may need to create his or her opportunities by attacking (incl. killing) an owner of something to be able to steal it. So it's easy for a thief to become a mugger/muderer as a matter of evolution.

Once a person learns that violence is an effective way to get what he or she wants, sexual violence becomes a "lesser evil" to him or her as compared to murder (followed by theft). In the case of rape, sociologists and criminologists long ago realized rape (ie, forcible rape) isn't really a sex act so much as it's a sexualized act of violence and/or an expression of a desire to dominate/control the victim either in particular or as the unfortunate representative of an abstract idea the rapist seeks to attack. Regardless, seeking to express anger or to deny/avert feelings of powerlessness by using rape is a sociopathic act. It entails a failure on the rapist's part to own his or her own feelings and to extend ordinary human empathy to another person. Even if this is a temporary lapse of humanity, it's still a sociopathic act and quite rightly a criminal one.

Possibly one unintended consequence of raising women's ships in Harbor A by lowering men's ships in Harbor B is that latent anger or sociopathy in some percentage of the male population gets triggered. These same men may under different circumstances never express sociopathic tendencies via sexual or other violance. But placed in a context of increasingly limited opportunities due to implicit anti-male sexism manifest in the realm of economic opportunities, some may act out compensatory behaviors via sexual or other violence aimed at women.

In the old South in the US, white Southerners were noted for both fearing their black slaves while at the same time deriding them as non-human. Perhaps the root of that fear rested with the intuitive knowledge they possessed that indeed, "their" slaves were in fact fellow human beings and that by enslaving them, they were inflicting such a great wrong on them that anyone would naturally expect a violent response from those they have so wronged. What's remarkable about US history is not that there were occasional slave revolts or that at times slaves would attack their enslavers; it's that it didn't happen MORE often than it did.

I don't suggest that the change in socio-economic status vis-a-vis the sexes in Sweden is as bad as the enslavement of people in the US (or in the many other places and eras where slavery has existed and still does). I do suggest that for some poorly-adjusted men or men who are borderline sociopathic under good conditions (but under bad ones, they "cross over"), the new world order in Sweden may be a stressor they are handling in maladaptive/criminal ways, including by resorting to sexual assault.

Exactly what Sweden can do to take the pressure off its men without deliberately choosing to legislate/campaign for better opportunities for men, I don't know. And can they actually screw up the courage/get the idea through their heads to do so after so many decades of vaunting the feminist agenda? I'm skeptical.

As I've mentioned before on MANN, a state where men in a society are diminished while women are vaunted may make women's sociopolitical and economic state generally better, but it doesn't necessarily make them safer or even happier. A lot of women have very rigid standards around men when it comes to personal rel'ps. They won't allow themselves to "settle" for "anything less" than a man of X means, of Y status, etc. But what if the machinery of a society is set up such that the supply of such men is reduced so significantly that a large percentage of women cannot find men who meet their exacting standards? Many women will simply refrain from having LTRs with a man unless he can meet her standards, leading to personal frustrations of various kinds, leading next to chronic unhappiness, possibly further leading to long-term depression cases.

I don't know about Sweden but in the US, the reported level of overall happiness among women has been steadily declining since the 1970s, not increasing as one might expect to parallel the increased status of women in US society. Also reported levels of long-term depressive disorders among women has been rising also. To what degree this is due to personal life vs. professional life frustrations, I couldn't say. But one of the downsides of having a professional life at all is the unavoidable fact that as a matter of statistics and economics, only a limited percentage of people can be "successful". So possibly the decline in overall female morale rests more with them experiencing the same reality men have been dealing with for millenia as economic vectors in the paid economy. "Welcome to our world, ladies."

The article goes into some discussion attributing much of the increase in sexual assaults to young men from "patriarchal societies", ie, Muslim countries in the M.E. and North Africa.  But is the rate of forcible rape comparably high in M.E. countries as in Sweden?  I don't believe so.  Rape is a crime in Muslim societies heavily derided as being quite wicked.  Admittedly, obtaining a conviction in a Sharia court for it is very difficult, as the evidential standard is very high, possibly because the punishment is so severe.  Is the behavior of some number of young recent immigrant men an expression of their culture/values, or more a very maladjusted expression of their problems living in their new home?  And can only some of the increase in sexual assaults be attributed to the recent immigrants with the rest of the increase attributable to native-born Swedish men?  And also, what percentage of the increase is due to the other factors mentioned, such as the broadening of definitions or that some number of these reports are false (a factor not mentioned in the article)?

Clearly a lot more effort needs to be made both to investigate these cases and make arrests where warranted.  Justice delayed is justice denied.  But so long as all the drivers in the phenomenon aren't accounted for, no one will know what to do to make things better.

And I hope things for everyone get better in Sweden soon.

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