So now the desperate offspring of the Swedish christian democratic party KDU has issued a propaganda campaign that has the aim of abolishing the rational debate around gender and politics. The aim seems to be to ”lämna det genuskonsensus som samtliga andra partier anslutit sig till och formulera en borgerlig jämställdhetspolitik”. So they want to leave the commonplace knowledge of gender and social science (who the hell needs a bunch of people smarter than you are and with more strange ideas of change than a normal christian democrat can handle?). As DN writes, the KD are trying to reconnect with the senior citizens of Sweden, putting their hope to people who grew up in an enviroment where segregated schools, universities and hatred for (homosexual) people where commonplace. Well, I somehow see why they need things like theme songs to support their struggle.
Many bloggers and a few editorials have shown support for abolishing the ‘gender-frenzy’ that they claim started with appointment of the Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research and some of their recent activity like gender branding courses and universities. The KD and KDU are pursuing the same line of though that the Swedish Democrats whose agenda is far darker than KD’s but nonetheless hostile toward any view of politics that moves too far and too fast ahead of ”the real people of the world”. Political scientists Marie Demker and Andreas Johansson Heinö have interestingly pointed out that idea. The fact alone that the Swedish Democrats and the KD are now the only major political parties in Sweden that are not outspokenly feminist, is worth looking into.
People like Tanja Bergkvist will certainly stop at nothing to prove that there is a major flaw with the gender analysis of the worlds universities, think tanks and political board rooms. She and her bunch keeps on trying to undermine the idea that today’s society is somehow slanted towards a certain group of people that for most of the last 5000 years have had the world privilege to choose, rule and decide over every human institution we know – men.
Bergkvist and others (oftentimes mathematicians or people with none or scarce knowledge of social and political science) have been scared by gender theory because it aims to level the field of knowledge (and therefore power), and introduce a sensibility toward groups or individuals that normally are shut out of ‘rationally’ based institutions and fields of knowledge. One great example of this struggle is by pedagogy professor Moira von Wright whose report Gender and Text discusses the possibility of developing text books for schoolchildren as to make them more friendly to how girls perceive knowledge in a specific context. Now, misreading this report (which is not a scientific paper, folks, it is a politically issued report with scientific methods and discussions) as Bergkvist does when she thinks that von Wright presents a slanted way of looking at the entire field of Physics is exactly why things are going in a circle.
Although the report has some flaws the discussion of trying to create a book with a radically different way of thinking about physics in an early age is a nobel cause. I, for one, do not think men should be overrepresented in the field of physics and maths per se, although I am also aware of research confirming difference in male and female brains and developmental stages. But people like Bergkvist that have already made it to the mathematics department at Stockholm University does not think anyone else should have any problems with that achievement, and so the rational thinking that guides her life should not be pampered with, even if that makes schools and other institutions more prone to speak to boys in general. But what gender-haters must realize is that there is a difference between teaching and presenting ideas (of, say physics) and actually pursuing them. Gender theory has only one agenda – to unpack and decipher the power struggle that is immanent between the sexes, or between societal roles of gender, that are always constructed, regardless if it is based in biology, norms or tradition. Sign my up for that anytime.
Natalia K in Expressen