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Women: Want A Better Life? Move to Sweden. Sweden Best Country To Be A Woman

March 26, 2010

The stats are in, and the US only ranks 17th in a listing of nations detailing the best places for women to live; Sweden ranks number one.  Women in the US:  did you think that America is the land of opportunity?  It seems we American women are living in the dark ages of gender equality when compared with Sweden.

The sexual perks alone make me think of moving to Sweden:  women aren’t blamed for dating more than one man at a time, and women get one year paid maternity leave, and so do men.  That one equation is enough to make me want to pack my suitcases.  It’s impossible for many American women to have the families they want when they take a direct pay hit for having children (just look at popular culture, or ask Barbara Walters for her “progressive” views on maternity leave to fully demonstrate the level of regression shown by America in its views on women’s sexuality and parenthood a.k.a maternity leave.  You could also ask some Harvard professors who refused to let a pregnant woman drop a class without penalty when she became ill, because “it was her choice to get pregnant…”) If the products of sexuality and a woman’s childbearing are supported in a society, then why not have more kids:

Even so, Sweden’s acceptance of women as the aggressors in relationships has its perks: Anna-Maria regularly dates three or four men at a time without social disapproval. And when it comes to sexual freedom, it’s hard to imagine a country with more relaxed rules. Sex and the City is shown on TV at the family hour of 6 p.m., and skinny-dipping in Stockholm’s city-center lakes is reportedly a popular summer activity. One-night stands are also common. “You can sleep with whomever — there’s no stigma against women who’ve had many sexual partners,” she says. Which is convenient, since Anna-Maria is having too much fun to settle down just yet. In time, she says, she hopes to meet a long-term partner and have a family. Though her requirements might seem unrealistic, Anna-Maria knows what she’s looking for: “I couldn’t give up my job, so I wouldn’t dream of marrying a man who wasn’t prepared to stay at home and look after the children on an equal basis with me.”

Although most Swedish women work, the country has one of the highest birth rates in Europe, thanks to generous laws on parental leave. “We’re lucky, because we can have our careers and our families,” says Anna Eriksson, 29, the head of production at a TV company. Anna and her partner, Henrik Persson, 33, live just outside Stockholm with their 16-month-old son and have another baby on the way. Swedish couples — women and men — get 13 months paid leave and another three months at a fixed rate. Of that, 60 days must be taken by the mother, another 60 by the father, and the rest can be divided however they choose. (New mothers in the U.S. who have worked one year receive 12 weeks unpaid leave.) “The system means there’s no financial hardship,” says Anna, “and your job is still waiting for you afterward.” (By law, employers must hold a new mother’s job for her for the duration of her maternity leave.)

For all of you who were outraged by my post detailing the reasons American women don’t want to get married and have kids, you might want to read about Sweden to find a workable solution to American women’s dilemmas.

Of course, life in Sweden may not always be idyllic, but most women appear to be pretty happy with their lot.  I like the quote about “chopping men to bits” at a political rally, which makes the women seem that much more human, not simply placed on a pedestal:

But for all the benefits, how sweet are Swedish women’s lives, really? A glaring inequality persists in the wage gap — women earn 83 percent of the average male salary. And Amnesty International recently criticized Sweden for not doing enough to tackle domestic violence and discrimination against ethnic minorities.

Some Swedish feminists have even more complaints. A new female-run political party, Feminist Initiative, was launched in 2005 on such platforms as abolishing marriage laws — thereby granting any two (or three, or four) people cohabiting the same rights as a husband and wife — and legally requiring fathers to take as much time off for child care as mothers. While the party was initially touted as “the way for women’s future,” its support plummeted after its convention several months ago, during which members sang a rowdy song about “chopping men to bits.”

So is Sweden the ultimate sisterhood heaven? The verdict, of course, depends on your point of view: Japanese women live longer, American women earn higher salaries, Greek women have lower rates of breast cancer, and according to one poll, Italian men are better kissers. Overall, though, Swedish women seem happy with their lot. “I’ve traveled to many countries,” says magazine editor Ebba. “But life in Sweden is truly special for women. There’s nowhere else I’d rather live.”

I don’t think all American women earn higher salaries, especially those in rural areas, because, on average, sill earn almost twenty percent less than men.  But still, the whole maternity leave and sex bit is pretty compelling, and well, the chopping men to bits just makes me laugh.

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12 Comments leave one →
  1. Sean Palmqvist permalink
    January 5, 2011 10:28 am

    I love them but sadly the swedes generally are not particualarily fond of Americans. They do not appreciate you speaking english either with them because it makes them feel VERY inferior (personally, I think thats a good thing) 😉

    I agree with everything that you have said here except for one thing and that is about the birthrate here in Sweden which is not high at all. In fact swedish people generally perfer not to have children before the age of 30. People here generally are focused on their careers and having children is a very non-economical engagement plan considering the lack of work possibilities and the discrimination of those who do have children or are pregnant who are working or are trying to find work. Its very difficult. DO NOT LET A POSSIBLE EMPLOYER KNOW IF YOU HAVE OR ARE HAVING PLANS TO HAVE CHILDREN or you most likely will not get the job. The population here is only around 9 million which makes it difficult for people to find jobs, especially a dream job of their perfered choice. I would not recommend people to migrate to Sweden except if you want to:

    1. Vacation
    2.Study
    3.Pension

    I have been back here in my own home country, Sweden now since 1996 and me and my whole famliy are not happy or pleased with how things work here, as are most people who migrate to Sweden eventually. Give it a couple of years and you will see what its like. You will be vomiting and trying your damndest to try and get the hell outta here. I am not saying this in a fit of an un-thought of statement. I have assessed, analyzed and weighd these things for many many years now and have come to these conclusions. I would like to make note that there are several books by authors who have lived here for many years and have written about the exact same things that I will be mentioning below in this…far too long comment 😉

    These are a few of the things that most foreigners who come to Sweden complain about as well as other returning swedes.

    1. Racism. To my profound and unquivacle, unexplainable, “can`t put into words amazement and dissapointment, Sweden IS the most racist country on the planet.
    People here including the caucasian swedes themselves go thru endless lengthes to try to “look swedish” . They will dye their hair lighter or blonder or even whiter and even purchase blue contact lenses to try to fit in society so as to not get the thick racist vibes looks and discriminating treatment
    2.Little or no possibility in finding work according to your hard earned education or desires.
    3. Racism
    4.MEGA CONCERVATIVISM. Have a hard time to expand their boundries. They do not have a single skyscraper. They have little or no large monuments like in France, Germany, US etc. (its even worse in Norway…believe me!)
    5.Racism
    6.Too mainstream. “Don`t rock the boat” or you WILL get the negative vibes.
    7.Racism
    8. Swedes have a unique sense of jealously. They are constantly trying to keep up to date with the latest fashion, mobilephones, cars etc. They are jealous of what other people have that they dont have or cannot afford.
    9.Racism
    10. Discrimination of work, education, where you live, type of friends you have. Swedish dialect, how much money you make etc. (note: the most racist geographical place in Sweden is Skåne. Do not attemp to live there if you are not at least blond or you WILL feel the racist vibes and looks for as long as you are there. I shit you not!
    11.Racism
    12. Sweden has the highest taxes in the world which is generally at 30-40% of your hard earned wages. The more money you make, the higher tax rate you will have to pay.
    13.Racism
    14. They have lots of ridiculous types of taxing here. Here you have to pay for everything. For instans its not like in most countries where if you dont pay the water or electrical bill they will start shutting it off. Here in Sweden you have to pay a monthly fee to live in your own bought house. The amount of that fee is around the same as if you were paying rent for a house or an apartment/flat. If you dont pay it, well than they take measures to make you pay, even if it means that you have to sell your home to be able to pay your debts. This is really how it works TODAY in Sweden. You are never really safe.
    15. Racism
    16. CONTROL! This country has a unpresidented…no, sickly, need to have total control of your every movement if possible. They know and want to know everything. Their are so many sly and subliminal ways for them to know about you. EVERYTHING is registered. Its next to impossible to try to scam the system here. For instans they have this ridiculous fee that you have to pay if you own a television. According to law you have to pay if you own a television or you will risk facing a court of law. DO NOT PURCHASE A TELEVISION OF ANY KIND WITH YOUR CREDIT/ATM/SWITCH CARD AT THE STORE. An automated message will be sent to the RADIOTJÄNSTEN ( http://www.radiotjanst.se/en/) authority and they will send you a bill. Like I mentioned earlier about owning a house. Its not enough to buy and own something, you have to keep paying something to be able to keep it too. Stupid huh? Same thing goes for any type of motor vehicle too. Even if you purchase tv channels thru a internet company…the Radio and TV company will be notified per obligation by law. EVEN IF YOUR TV IS IN YOUR BASEMENT or you are not currently using one at all. (rumors have it that they want a law to be passed so that we have to pay for owning a computer screen and laptap, since it is possible to watch t.v thru the internet….sick!!)

    To put Swedens general society and mentality in a nutshell. They are:

    Racist
    Jealous
    Overly taxed
    Have a unhealthy level of need for control.

    The unwritten Swedish LAW of order:

    SPEAK, THINK AND BEHAVE SWEDISH AND YOU`LL BE FINE, OTHERWISE…FUCK OFF!!

    MY BEST ADVICE TO ALL WHO READ THIS IS: If you want to get help and be shown a good amount of helpfullness….speak english. They immediately will be inferior and feel underdogged and will comply alot more easily to your questions and needs. If you speak swedish….they can easily blow you away and make things difficult.

    -END OF COMMENT

    • January 30, 2011 12:22 am

      Ah Come on, I’m a black woman living in Sweden and it’s not that bad as all. Heck I know racism better than some white person, I’m from South Africa.

      • JIm permalink
        December 1, 2011 11:07 pm

        Unless that white person is Jewish. They had it worse than other race. Funny thing is, you never hear the Jews complain. Instead of waisting their time bitching about the past, they put all their effort into making a better future for themselves. GOOD FOR THEM!!! ….and come to think of it: I have never met a poor Jew.

      • SpeakingtheTrth permalink
        January 7, 2012 6:18 am

        Sorry to burst your bubble Jim but the Germans did treat the Jewish people terrible, no doubt about that. However, the atrocities that America has done and is still doing, to the people of African heritage in American fails to comparison. Why aren’t you aware of the full atrocities done because America refuses to public the full extent of their terror. It’s estimated that over 15 million Africans died in the middle passage on their way to the Americas. The American government ok’d medical experimentation on slaves, and even today it continues. Although slavery ‘ended on the books’ the terror and torture continues.
        Its great that the Jews were paid reparations for the atrocities they endured and were given an equal footing to establish themselves but the freed descendants of slaves were not given that same opportunity.
        Each person has history, but for white Americans to dismiss the atrocities
        done, shows that America isn’t a country founded on Christian principals but on satanic rituals, masquerading as Christians.

      • SpeakingtheTrth permalink
        January 7, 2012 6:34 am

        Come to think of it Jim, since you think AA should ‘forget about the past and stop bitching about it’. Let me ask you, how many times should a woman brutality raped before she isn’t traumatized by it? Or how many times should an adult man brutality rape a child before they should stop ‘bitching’ about it? Or how many times should a woman miscarry a child before she stops bitching about it? How many times or how many white men has to brutality continue to rape a young child (male or female) and pass that child along to his adolescent son, as his rights of passage, before the child ‘stops bitching’ about it? Why is it a soldier can go to war for a year or two and suffer PTSD and get the sympathy of a nation; but a nation of people suffering daily terrorist attacks for over 430 years and people like you ASSume that haven’t been traumatized or are not suffering from PTSS.
        The mere callousness of your attitude towards the inhumane, un-GODly, superiority treatment of another human being shows your concern for those that only look like you.
        You have no interest in getting to know the real or true history of the people that are and have been suffering from, you just feel comfortable making statements based on the mis-information you’ve been given, so you can feel justified when you stereo type people that are different from you.
        Does your stereo typing extend to all Caucasian men being involved in child molestation, traveling to Asia to fulfill your fantasy and participating in the child sex trafficking? I’m just asking b/c I know it takes money to do that and you seem to imply you have it.

      • NoniJsMom permalink
        October 12, 2012 12:24 am

        @Nkosazanaswe Im really considering moving to Sweden. I’m a Black/AA woman and mom living in NYC. I would really appreciate.it if you would correspond with me via email. I would like to know more about the country.
        My email is noninaturebaby@gmail.com

  2. Patrik permalink
    July 15, 2011 3:18 pm

    1. Racism. To my profound and unquivacle, unexplainable, “can`t put into words amazement and dissapointment, Sweden IS the most racist country on the planet.

    Pure lies, Sweden is one of the last countries in Europe to get a racist party into the gouverment generally if you go out in most bigger cities racism is very unaccepted and in general very unaccepted by the comunity.
    As far as i can remember i´ve NEVER EVER heard a swede saying something racist to someone randomly.

    Go to Iran and then let´s talk about racism or maybe the famous KKK that is running around on your streets in the US

    14. They have lots of ridiculous types of taxing here.

    The taxes generates other stuff for instance free healthcare and a welfare system that used to be (if it´s still not) the best one in the world you rarely see people living on the street, prostitution or some crackhead that is desperatly trying to find something, cause most drug addicts still have a home so they stay there not to get caught or they´re just scarred there is a reason why you have all this in big numbers and we don´t

    8. Swedes have a unique sense of jealously. They are constantly trying to keep up to date with the latest fashion, mobilephones, cars etc. They are jealous of what other people have that they dont have or cannot afford.

    True story

    10. Discrimination of work, education, where you live, type of friends you have. Swedish dialect, how much money you make etc

    True. Only that there is this kind of spirit in the air if i say something negative about someone random on town alot of times it´s just a joke and the people get that is a joke too instead of raising their hand or just starts yelling every single curse there is in the world.

    SPEAK, THINK AND BEHAVE SWEDISH AND YOU`LL BE FINE, OTHERWISE…FUCK OFF!!

    True and false. from 1990-2000 alot of things have happened there is actually a law that says that when you graduate from school every summer you´re no longer allowed to go to church cause they want the muslims to be a part of the “party” too and not just go home straight away cause of religous belives and there is also a law that says that you´re not allowed to sing the national anthem cause somehow the foreigns got the song to being racist cause it´s about being proud of your own nation and to be proud about being swedish , then i ask myself what the heck is all the other nations around the worlds national anthems about?

    the true part is that swedes wants the foreigns to addept after us not us after them we´re around 8 million 100% swedes and 1.2-1.3 foreigns what makes most sense? you get those 1.3 million to addept to swedish rules standars etc IN Sweden or the other 8?

    The racism that excist stays in peoples own minds mostly and siting next to a muslim woman on the bus happens rarely.

    The racist card is used frequently and i know for a fact that most swedes that doesn´t have a foreign friend would like one to talk to them about how it is from where they´re from.

    Swedish traditions and culture doesn´t excist anymore we got more foreign food > culture >music >tv shows then swedish

    Stuff i hate about Sweden are

    1 overall we´re pussies we gotta stand up for ourselves more then we do.

    2 If you randomly starts to talk to a person maybe at the bus or at the busstation or wherever we are 8/10 people might answer your question but they wont hold a conversation with you instead they´ll think you should stfu and do whatever you should do by yourself.

    3 We always compare ourselves to other countries just cause saying America had something succesful saying fast food? then we also need to have that and we compare stuff in bigger numbers that we can´t even really match just cause they have it, then we need it i both like and dislike this

    Sorry for the misspelling gramars etc and i´d also like to ask where in Sweden you lived:D

  3. sofia permalink
    November 3, 2011 8:01 pm

    haha u can’t say that it’s much racism in sweden! Then how come we let so many people come into our country and get to stay there? Be thankful and stop complaining.

    • brokeharvardgrad permalink*
      November 4, 2011 6:41 pm

      Who should stop complaining?

  4. bel_hatsitsu permalink
    November 26, 2011 9:58 pm

    I could write a book about the overt racism I experienced in Sweden when I lived there and continue to experience while dealing with the courts, polis and social services. I look like I am from the Middle East was and am treated like crap by people in positions of authority. Palmqvuist has some very insightful points and hit the nail on the head in many instances. Sweden allows immigrants into the country so the rest of the world will hold them in high regard but the Swedes don’t like them one bit. They think that all immigrants are sapping off the social services.

    I was told more than once to go back to the desert and that I would not be sold books for Swedish language because I was a foreigner.

    I never expected to be treated this way when I moved to Sweden and I was paying over 25,000SEK a month in taxes.

  5. Ahmad A UMAR permalink
    November 28, 2011 5:07 am

    some countries are still rulling their peoples in an indirect way like feudalist?

  6. Marlene permalink
    April 10, 2013 2:18 am

    Workplace bullying and mobbing are becoming increasingly prevalent all over the world. Sweden was one of the first countries to make an effort to address this problem.

    Can a Swedish citizen please provide commentary as to the effectiveness of its Ordinance on Victimization at Work (the law against mobbing people at work)? Is the Ordinance enforced or ignored?

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