Saturday, September 05, 2009

Do Swedish babies have any say in this?

The latest news from Sweden:

Swedish father Ragnar Bengtsson, 26, has entered into an experiment that he hopes will help him breastfeed his future children.

On Tuesday, the Stockholm family man began stimulating his breasts with a pump in a bid to produce milk.

"Anything that doesn't do any harm is worth trying out. And if it works it could prove very important for men's ability to get much closer to their children at an early stage," Bengtsson told The Local.

His efforts are to be documented by Swedish TV8, with the first instalment scheduled to air at 9pm on Wednesday on the Aschberg show ...

"If it works and the milk turns out to have a high nutritional value it could be a real breakthrough," he said.

I don't believe that the average Swedish man is going to follow suit. But nor is this little experiment in sex equality to be dismissed as a mere freak. It's a radical application of what is official policy in Sweden - with most of the Western world not that far behind.

The question to be asked is this: why would a Swedish man want to get close to a child the female way?

The answer, in brief, is as follows. The Swedes believe that autonomy is what matters. They believe that we must be free to self-determine who we are. We don't get to self-determine our sex, so therefore sex roles are thought to be negative limitations on the individual. There cannot be distinct roles for mothers and fathers in the family, there can only be one unisex role.

This one unisex role is the hands on, child-caring maternal one. Why? There are a few reasons. First, if there are no distinct maternal or paternal roles, then what is left is the day-to-day care of the child. It is this aspect of the traditional motherly role that is left over for both men and women to participate in.

Second, if autonomy is what matters, then people will be concerned that it is distributed equally. In Sweden, the male career role is considered the pinnacle of autonomy. Therefore, the Swedes want women to participate in careers to an equal degree. But this is only possible if men take on half of the traditional female mothercare role within the home. Sex equality can only work if men become mothers.

Third, we show our "liberation" from traditional sex roles to the highest degree by reversing them. If women are liberated by becoming the breadwinner, then men are liberated by doing mothercare work in the home. In the liberal mind, there is an heroic breaking of boundaries when there is such a crossover. For a man to breastfeed a baby would mean a loss of restraints on our autonomous choice - there would be a freedom for a man to be female.

Finally, the feminist pioneers of this way of thinking were hostile to the traditional paternal role because they associated it with an oppressive, unchosen authority. Therefore, the new unisex model of parenthood had to be based on the maternal role. For instance, back in 1982 Sara Ruddick declared that she looked forward to the day when:

men are willing and able to share equally and actively in transformed maternal practices ... On that day there will be no more 'fathers,' no more people of either sex who have power over their children's lives and moral authority in their children's world ... There will [instead] be mothers of both sexes.

So what do other Swedes think of Ragnar Bengtsson's efforts to achieve the "real breakthrough" of male lactation? Thankfully, some have condemned it outright as sick. But take note of the views of the Swedish expert asked to comment on the case, Sigbritt Werner, a professor of endocrinology.

She is a woman of science rather than of women's studies. But she has exactly the same mindset as Ragnar. She too believes that the aim is for Swedish men to get closer to their children by simulating breastfeeding:

But Werner stressed that while she was interested in the subject, she was more keen for men to use their breasts to comfort their children.

"Men often have trouble finding things. And if the mother is out, the child is screaming and they can't find the pacifier I'm sure there are a lot of men who give their baby their breasts. [Note: she has reached the point of assuming that the liberal world view is true and that men routinely offer their breasts to babies just like women do.]

"Healthy children know instinctively that the breast has a dual function. One gives them milk, the other gives them warmth and a cosy bond. Men don't need to strive to produce milk but they should take the opportunity to get closer to their child by offering them their breasts in the same way as women," she said.

If you believe that there is no distinct paternal role, then other things logically follow. If there is no paternal role, then how do men come to feel connected to their children? Logically, by doing what women do to feel connected - by feminine acts of care like offering the breast to a child.

So it all ends with the idea that the Swedish father should be a copy of a woman.


  1. Mark,

    This "man" is hilarious. What's next? Castration followed by a vagina implant?

  2. You know as a conservative young woman I laugh at this because

    # 1 --- > Wouldn't this after a few years be the setting in their eyes ? Since the idea is to be liberated from '' gender roles '' doesn't that mean that one is suppose to be liberated from the new liberation as well ?

    Like since men are mothers and women are fathers then wouldn't this be the setting after they '' kill '' the '' old order '' ? And since the idea is automony and NO rules then sooner or later women have to be liberated from the father role and men from the mother role

    Or the '' unisex '' or '' genderless '' role ... but then we would have radical individualism to kill that too

    And then we all go back to the same story ... it's all in cycles

    Maybe that is why gender feminism is '' down '' right now ...

    # 2 --- > Genders are NOT illusions and there are only TWO genders ( not six genders sorry ! )


    This is a sick and twisted experiment in Nature

  3. I'm not convinced that autonomy has much to do with it at all.

    More likely (in my mind, anyway), is this one:

    "This one unisex role is the hands on, child-caring maternal one. "

    It is the elevation of the feminine, ueber alles. While I think your assessment of autonomy as being part of the root of feminism is accurate, at heart, feminism is, on the whole, little more than suffraged female sexism.

    Applied to this case, such sexism expresses itself by denigrating/dismissing the masculine role and elevating the feminine, and encouaging men to do the same.

    This nuzzling at the breast/pecs of men is...ick...what kind of out of shape, flabby herb does a guy need to be in order to have sufficient moobs to pull this off?

  4. Maybe its time for the Russians to roll across the tundra....

  5. RobUS, thanks.

    Bhanu, you're right - there's no logical end to this. What's next - trying to figure out some way for men to give birth?

    Anonymous, yep, the theory doesn't really work. Liberals can attempt a gender swap as a way to break free of the unchosen influence of biology. But look at the reality of things in Sweden. It's difficult for people there to choose against the state policy of unisexism. So how can Swedes then claim to be self-determining? They are not choosing their own lives any more than other people do, perhaps less so since most people naturally prefer to follow their distinctive natural impulses as men and women.

    As Jaz pointed out in a recent comment, if you want to maximise autonomy as a liberal then you can't have any stable identity or role as a person at all.

    EW, you might be right. The only thing I'd point out, though, is that when it comes to the world of work, then it is the masculine role that is held out to both sexes in Sweden as the ideal, human one. So it's not as if the Swedish feminists are wanting to privilege the feminine role throughout society.

  6. Maybe these sick,sexually confused people will "liberate" themselves right off the planet in a few years. One can only hope.

  7. My reaction to this story is that there are some things so sick and repulsive they ought to be simply ignored, not analyzed. The liberal culture has the power to grab us into endless fascinated/horrified contemplation of its perversity. We shouldn't oblige. We shouldn't give it that power over us. Besides, once things go as far as this Swedish freakster is taking them, they are already beyond the point where they can be saved. So what's the point of analyzing or discussing it? To give a story like serious attention can only bring us down, and weaken our ability to fight the liberal culture. There are all kinds of monstrously sick things in the world. We should just turn our heads away from them. Let the freaks bury their freaks.

  8. "Men often have trouble finding things."

    Uh huh - no jumping to stereotypes here - eh ? -sarc-

    "And if the mother is out, the child is screaming and they can't find the pacifier I'm sure there are a lot of men who give their baby their breasts."

    Yeah - this assertion based on some robust statistical references, Prof ?

    Or a bit of a straw pole amongst your academic social circle ?? Now there's an after dinner conversation that boggles the mind:

    'Hands up all the Mere Males who take your infant carbon-emitters to the breast when the Femmo-partner is out and you are lost ?'

    =More sarc -

    With this sort of culture and robust scientific support - I reckon about two more generations and the nordic Swedes ( versus more recent immigrant groups who don't swallow this garbage ) will be extinct. A mighty cheer for their plunge into terminal population control !

  9. Mr. Auster, I suspect that Sweden is just as much a "land of the dead" as you think Britain is, we're just slightly less aware of it because of the language barrier.

  10. My God this is insane. These people are simply nuts, nuttier than a nut sandwich made from cashew bread.

    Its simply hard to get a handle on.

  11. sweden is probably more of a "Land of the dead" than the UK, at least in the UK you have some people trying to fight back, even Jeremy Clarkson and his courageously Un-PC Rants could be considered signs of a land which has not yet lost its soul.

    Sweden on the other hand is a land of bland and disgusting orthodoxy.

  12. How can you write a whole blog post about this without using the words "Child Abuse"?

    There is a reason we have these laws, and it's not just so that Mommy can get Daddy arrested on false allegations.