Sunday, January 10, 2010

In Sweden the man alone is guilty

A couple of news items from Sweden.

In the Swedish town of Kalmar three girls ran out of money on their night out. So they came up with a plan to replenish their purses. They would go to a local hotel, offer sex for money, but then run off with the cash. They knocked on one hotel room door, but the man refused them. The next time their offer was accepted. They got the cash, undressed, the man went to the bathroom, they attempted to dress and flee with the money but were too slow. The man demanded his money back before letting them go.

The upshot of all this? The man has been charged with attempting to buy sex. But as there is no law against attempting to sell sex, the women have been let off scot free.

Apart from how tawdry the whole scenario is, what's striking is the legal bias. It was not the man who sought out a prostitute - it was the three women who went knocking on hotel room doors looking for the man. And it was the women who attempted a deception for financial gain, with the man being the targeted victim of the deception. And yet it's the man alone who is considered guilty under Swedish laws.

Is this sex equality Swedish style? Can we really say here that men and women are being treated equally under the law?

The second item concerns the extent of lesbianism in Sweden. An online survey of 900 young Swedes has produced an interesting result. According to the survey, the extent of male homosexuality/bisexuality in Sweden is not so high. Only 3% of the men have ever engaged in any kind of same sex activity (a result which accords with other large-scale surveys from other countries).

But 13% of Swedish women claim to have had same sex experiences. That's way above what previous surveys in other countries have shown.

Of course, the survey itself could be flawed and misleading. But if it's accurate, then it raises the question of why a cutting-edge feminist society would produce a higher rate of lesbianism.

The researchers themselves give a standard liberal answer. Sven-Axel Mansson, a professor of sociology, explained that,

We are seeing a greater openness among young people, particularly among young women. There is an increasing interest in experimenting and pushing boundaries, and a growing resistance to defining oneself as heterosexual, homosexual or bisexual ...

Many [women] no longer wish to be tied in to rigid sexual identities, they want to be open and free as people and as sexual beings. That is my interpretation ...

The assumption here is that we should be autonomous, self-determining beings, which means that we should not be limited or restricted by any particular sexuality, but should instead break norms, taboos and impediments and adopt fluid, open sexual identities. That's just orthodox liberal autonomy theory.

But what else could explain a high rate of lesbianism in Sweden? If individuals identify positively with their own sex, they usually go on to have a heterosexual orientation. In Sweden the female sex role has been cast in very negative terms as an oppressive and artificial construct. So perhaps if women can't identify positively with a feminine sex role, it then becomes more difficult to relate in heterosexual terms (after all, heterosexuality is the attraction between the masculine and the feminine).

That's all speculation on my part. I think the issue is worth considering, though, as Sweden is held up as a model of what the future should be like when it comes to relations between the sexes.


  1. My cousin, a tall 6'4 blond from Eastern Europe, lives in Sweden and constantly gets accosted for sex by Swedish women (strangers no less).

    I didn't believe him until a friend went to visit him and told me how he witnessed a stranger off the street pleading with him for sex.

    Looks like Swedish men have had enough with feminist tramps.

  2. When drugs and prostitution are illegal in a country then the government has two choices - it can go after the people offering the service/selling drugs, or the people who are buying.

    From a purely economic perspective it actually makes more sense to go after the people buying if you want to stop it. Think about it - you go after the people selling and arrest them what happens? Prices go up, more people see the demand and enter the market offering that service. However if you go after the person buying then you're making it less attractive for them to buy and you're removing customers for the seller, lowering demand and prices, thus making the industry less attractive to them.

    However I do agree that it is grossly unfair that the man was punished, although that said I don't think any of them should have been punished except the women for stealing.

  3. I'd tend to think that the low status of males in Swedish society would be a factor. Follow the money!

    Also, Swedish (and Finnish) women tend to be 'hotter' than the men, IME. This doesn't seem so true of Norway or Denmark, though. Again this may be connected to social status - the low status of Swedish males is reflected in their low attractiveness.

    Societies where men are high status and women are relatively oppressed often seem to have high rates of male homosexuality (eg the Islamic world), so there may be a connection.

    Finally, female sexuality may be inherently a bit less differentiated than male; IME women are much less likely to think of themselves as lesbian or straight, except in regard to the sex of their current partner. If their partner is female they call themselves lesbian. If they then get a boyfriend they see themselves as straight. Respectable women pretty much never call themselves bisexual.

    Men, at least in Western society, tend to be more consistent in self-classification.

  4. But what else could explain a high rate of lesbianism in Sweden?

    The large number of pussywhipped beta males, that's what! Of course these women are unsatisfied with the men who won't keep their women in check.

  5. Double standards galore! I'm sure if the first scenario had been orchestrated by male police officers it would have been rightly condemned as entrapment. As for the illegality of buying sex but not selling it - well, you can't buy something that isn't for sale!

    The sexual act has been so disconnected from love and procreation in Swedish culture that the sex of one's partner no longer seems to matter. And the women, in general, are more masculine than the men in their behaviour and thinking, so it makes sense that such a situation has come about. My experience of Swedes and their culture concurs with Simon's observations.... My worry is that this is beginning to happen elsewhere too.

    Jack, you make a good point, but this about more than economics. Morality is relevant here, and sex isn't just another commodity. If you only punish the buyers, you fail to establish that selling one's body is wrong. What sort of message does it send to young women if they can flaunt themselves with impunity and the only ones to be punished are the men they tempted?!

  6. "And the women, in general, are more masculine than the men in their behaviour and thinking, so it makes sense that such a situation has come about. My experience of Swedes and their culture concurs with Simon's observations.... My worry is that this is beginning to happen elsewhere too."

    Certainly here in London there are a lot of young men who dress and act a lot like young women. These are not the gay men, who have their own particular demeanour. 'Metrosexuals' I guess, but I think they're pretty much 100% straight, they just seem to have had their testosterone removed and developed a liking for floral pattern woolly hats, striped leggings and other female/androgynous clothing. They don't generally have the gloomily oppressed air of Swedish men, though. I'm not sure Scandinavian style gynarchic culture is likely to spread much beyond Scandinavia (inc Finland and possibly Norse-settled US etc).

  7. Society is incredibly heterosexist. It believes that men are masculine, dominating and strong; women are feminine, nurturing and weak. Everywhere from romance novels, porn films, sit coms, advertisement boards, TV ads, the same heterosexist message is shoved into our minds. Everyone starts to believe the myth.
    On the basis of heterosexism, it makes sense that there are more openly gay men than women. This because heterosexism says ‘women are feminine and weak,’ thus it’s more difficult for a man to reduce himself to being ‘inferior’ and act homosexually. This is why a gay man is always seek as being a wimp.
    But it’s not the same the other way around. It’s far easier for a woman to rise to a more superior position in society and be a lesbian. Lesbianism is an attractive option for women – would they rather be an inferior housewife?

  8. Women are repulsed by metrosexuals
    I HATE pink on men