Sweden seems like a progressive country to the uninformed. It has parental leave policies for both genders. While mothers have always availed themselves of such leave, fathers seemed reluctant. So the parental leave laws have changed over time to encourage fathers to take time off of work after the birth of a baby. At present, two months of the 390 leave days allocated for parents must be used by the father or they are lost.
Consider contemporary family life in Sweden. In the past, new parents split 390 days of paid leave however they liked—monthly, weekly, daily, and even hourly. Women used far more of it than men. But today, new fathers no longer rush back to work, leaving the mother to raise little Sven all by herself. The reason for the change? Smart public policy.
In 1995, Sweden passed a simple but revolutionary law: couples would lose one month of leave unless the father was the one who took it. A second use-it-or-lose-it month was added in 2002, and now more than 80 percent of Swedish fathers take four months off for the birth of a new child, up from 4 percent a decade ago. And a full 41 percent of companies now formally encourage fathers to go on parental leave, up from only 2 percent in 1993. Simply put, men are expected to work less and father more.
By altering the roles of the Swedish father and the Swedish worker, Sweden’s paternity-leave legislation has, in turn, rewritten the rules for Swedish men (and, by extension, women). “Swedish dads of my generation and younger have been raised to feel competent at child-rearing,” writes Slate’s Nathan Hegedus, an American who experienced the system firsthand. “They simply expect to do it, just as their wives and partners expect it of them.” If a man refuses time at home with the kids, he faces questions from friends, family, and, yes, other guys. Policy changes produced personal changes—and then, slowly but surely, society changed as well.
On the surface, this sounds quite progressive. The United States lacks similar leave policies and American men often feel discouraged from taking time off from work for family matters. They fear they will be looked down upon, ridiculed, or passed over for promotions if they take more than a short time away from work for a new baby.
But the reality is that Sweden’s progressiveness is merely a veneer over a solid core of the same false feminist male-bashing that predominates in the Western world. Children in Sweden, you see, are treated as property of the mother. If the mother doesn’t want to share, she simply starts making false abuse allegations. No proof is required, obviously a mad mom’s word is more reliable than all the evidence in the world. She will be quickly and easily rewarded with sole custody, marginalizing the father to no more a few days per month with the children.
Many fathers quickly see even this small amount of contacted whittled down to just a few hours of supervised visitation, supervised because obviously fathers cannot be trusted with children if the mother says so. In Sweden, as in the United States, men are guilty upon accusation and must struggle to prove themselves innocent, a task which is effectively impossible in many cases. After all, if you are a man who was accused of some crime that nobody else saw and there is no evidence of it occurring or not occurring, how are you to prove that you didn’t do it when a mom says you did? You can’t, so her lies win.
If a father fights for equal child custody, Swedes will consider him a brute. If he is beaten senseless by false accusations from a malicious mom, his life in tatters, he will suffer in many ways including by very limited contact with his children. Then Swedes will consider him a deadbeat. Being a father in Sweden is a losing proposition, the only chance of success is at the whim of a woman. But if she changes her mind, for any reason — her affair, her drug abuse problem, etc. — the father is instantly a degenerate who should be banned from seeing the children without the watchful eyes of the state closely monitoring his every move.
This is no different, really, than the United States and many other nations in which men are not even second-class citizens in all matters involving families and children. Not only is this extremely unfair, it contributes to a wide range of social problems including gender conflict, parental alienation child abuse, and harming children’s educational attainment and mental health.
To their credit, many women understand these issues very well and fully support equal rights. Some of them are strident enough about it to actively support both the father’s rights movement and going to significant effort to ensure their own ex-partners stay involved in their children’s lives. Unfortunately, there are more than a few naysayers remaining. Some of them are quite intent on not only denying equal rights but going so far as to even any messages that advocate for changes they do not approve.
Amnesty International Shows Its Sexist Bias
A lot of children in Sweden are upset about deprivation of access to a loving parent, generally their fathers. Four Swedish high school students, Sara Sivesson, Jerry Wallén, Sandra Atas, and Oskar Krantz, set out to expose Sweden’s human rights crimes against children and fathers to the world. They produced a video which they submitted to Amnesty International for a human rights video contest. Their video explains what happens to so many Swedish fathers who long to spend time with their children but who are prevented from doing so by the typical false feminist tool of false accusations.
The right to be a father (final) (Swedish audio, English subtitles)
The video made it to the finalist stage. The students were of course very excited by this.
But then a woman’s violence organization in Uppsala reportedly demanded that Amnesty International remove the video from the competition and its website.
|Child Custody, Children, Civil Rights, Courts, Crime, Family, Government Abuse, Legal, Parental Alienation, Politics|