Today, 21st of March, the entire planet has the same hours of light and darkness. There is no distinction between North and South, centre or pole we are all the same.
We could call this ‘Equality Day’ instead of Equinox.
Swedish society is very conscious of gender equality. which also extends to social classes. This country is well known for its advanced gender-equality policies that are truly light years ahead of the rest of the world (as far as I believe).
A series of laws over the past 50 years have notably shaped this society. Before there used to be the same ‘breadwinner society model’ we are used to in Europe but thanks to a reform that taxed the individual (not the married couple) many women were forced into the labour market. With these laws everything has changed. This economic reform made women wage-earners and contributors to both the State and family’s overall wealth. This gave them power to be more independent, free and create another life outside the circles of friends and family.
Equality, not a battle but a project.
There is no need for women to wear the feminist uniform and chant their slogans, most of which were written in the 60’s and 70’s and force them to surrender their individuality to open fire in a battle against the oppression of men.
Instead what we as a society need to do is self-analyse ourselves and understand what we are doing wrong and how we can avoid it and ‘change our ways’. A bit like going for counselling, every one of us should spend some time thinking about the problems related to sexism and discrimination and try to find ways in which they, as individuals, can change things.
Things need changing: both in broader society such as laws and policies but also in our everyday lives.
I’m no expert in social engineering and laws that could change society but a lot of inspiration could be drawn from the Scandinavian countries; what I can try to point out are a series of common sense everyday things that both men and women need to do to truly obtain equality.
End the Gentlemen-era
Men should stop letting ladies on buses first to be polite as the entire concept of ‘ladies first’ is patronising and not flattering.
Men do not necessarily need to ask a woman out on a date but vice-versa could occur
Scrap Valentine’s Day, anniversary and all the massive expectations that most females have about Romeo organising (and paying) for a romantic dinner or holiday, why can’t the opposite happen too?
Change in the Clubs:
If a woman gets a drink from a guy she should offer to pay the next round. This is what girls do in Sweden and it is done so that nobody feels psychologically ‘in-debt’ or ‘inferior’ to someone else and this ensures that equality is guaranteed.
Girls should hit on guys: it is odd to think this, but automatically the thought of a girl asking for a guy’s number or buying him a drink is seen as a move of desperation or a new level of slutiness in Europe but in Sweden it is totally normal and that is how it should be.
Send the right signals! Body language is key in many situations and sometimes problems arise when there is a misinterpretation of signals.
Refuse to go to clubs or bars where there are only female (or male) ‘professional dancers’.
Change in Society:
Abolish single sex schools and teach everyone in the same way.
Promote sport amongst girls and boys in the same way and create mixed sex teams.
Stop using sexualised bodies for financial gain.
Discourage the lad culture and competitive aggressiveness.
Abolish gender roles, expectations including blue and pink ribbons.
Don’t generalise by saying men and women (although I’m doing it myself in this post) but referring to individuals.
Scrap the figure of ‘Woman’s Officer’ but create the institution of the gender-equality officer.
Only in Sweden! (Photo courtesy of Thomas Weber).
Are not sluts if they chat up a guy or ask for his number.
Can dance with a guy instead of waiting for him to approach them.
Should become good at DIY and not be considered dikes for doing so.
Should not accept that men always carry the shopping or lift heavy weights. There have been scientific studies that have proven that men are naturally predisposed to having stronger bodies then women by only 6% so the fact that guys are stronger is down to a series of habits not nature (you can’t lift it? Go to the gym!).
Do not all have massive tits and are waxed from head to toe.
Can have emotions and should not need to repress them to be respected.
Are not sissys if they show emotions.
Can have Justin Bieber on their mp3 players which does not necessarily state their sexual preference.
Still have a dick even if they aren’t part of a football or rugby team.
Are allowed to be shy.
Can cook, clean, take care of children and it is patronising of women to think that they do it best. A man isn’t a failure if he is a househusband whilst the wife does a 9 to 5 job.
In case of separation should be allowed by law to spend the same amount of time with their kids as the mothers does
Should not be expected to be more polite and understanding towards women as that too would be patronising them.
Do not all have a 6 pack, athletic figures and a massive dick.
These are just a few ideas but overall the number one rule is:
Love and respect yourself before expecting other people to do so and always try to use your common sense.