Saturday, April 04, 2009

A Swedish future?

Sweden is the left-liberal society of the future, so it's always interesting to keep up with the latest news from that country.

The first news is that a Swedish university has begun an affirmative action programme for men. It has been struck down by the courts as unfairly disadvantaging female applicants.

Now this must surely be playing with the minds of Swedish feminists. It's all supposed to the other way around according to patriarchy theory: men are supposed to be the privileged ones and affirmative action is supposed to be a legitimate way to rectify injustice. But no, it seems that the future is otherwise; it's women who are privileged at Swedish universities and affirmative action is condemned by the authorities as unjust.

Other news from Sweden is that legislation has been passed to make homosexual marriage legal both in civil and church ceremonies. The lesson here is that once you make non-discrimination an absolute principle, then certain results will follow.

Back in 1995, Sweden set up civil unions which gave homosexuals the same legal rights as married couples. This arrangement didn't last because there was still a discrimination made between homosexual unions and heterosexual marriage. Nor will the new law survive the non-discrimination principle. The new law allows individual ministers of religion (not churches) the right to opt out of performing homosexual weddings. There are some who have already condemned the opt-out option as discriminatory:

The Swedish Association for Sexuality Education said Wednesday that option gave "authorities a legal right to discriminate", and suggested that all religious communities' right to perform marriage ceremonies be withdrawn.

Again, if you accept non-discrimination as an absolute principle then logically it will become compulsory for all churches and all ministers to perform and bless homosexual marriages.

Finally, you would think that if Sweden were leading the way to human liberation, justice and fulfilment that it would be an increasingly happy place to live in. Maybe not:

Swedish health authorities are growing increasingly concerned about the mental health of the country’s young people, according to a new report.

In its latest report on Sweden’s public health, the National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) warns that psychological problems are increasing among young people and women.

The number of suicide attempts by young people in Sweden has risen dramatically, the agency reports, and more and more youths are being admitted to hospitals for treatment of depression and anxiety.

Isn't Sweden supposed to be the cool feminist country? And yet it is young people and women who are being hospitalised for depression and anxiety. Is modernity not working out as it's meant to up north?

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