Feminist Perspectives on ‘We are Sthlm’
It is interesting to see how the debate around recent mass molestations carried out by ‘refugees’ is playing out in feminist circles. There is some valuable feminist research that can contribute to our understanding of it, but in the meantime, a vulgarised establishment feminism which has interests other than preventing it also exists.
In recent years, the youth festival with the hip and not very Swedish name “We are Sthlm” has been characterized by large-scale assaults on young women. Apparently this has been known all along by politicians, policemen, and journalists, but since the perpetrators have usually been groups of young, male ‘refugees’, the public, including potential female visitors, has not been informed about it. Something that at least resembles a debate is now taking place in the Swedish media, both of the official and alternative or dissident kind. Viewed historically and metapolitically, this is a game-changer, but that is obvious.
An interesting aspect of this debate is how feminist circles are handling the situation. There is some valuable feminist research that can contribute to our understanding of this widespread abuse, but in the meantime, a vulgarised establishment feminism which has interests other than understanding, explaining, and preventing it also exists. We will take a look at both of these.
Valerie Hudson and the male surplus
What has been missing in this debate is that a normal balanced sex ratio is a very precious thing. It is a public good. And the state government has an absolute obligation to its citizens to attempt to preserve that normal balanced sex ratio.
A useful analysis, similar to the demographic perspective we recognize from Gunnar Heinsohn’s studies of the link between ‘youth bulges’ and conflicts, is offered by the feminist professor, Valerie Hudson. Hudson has conducted research into communities with a surplus of men, and the negative effects of this surplus. Hudson and Andrea den Boer, in their book Bare Branches, found that such societies become unstable, both internally and in terms of foreign policy. Young men without stable social ties tend, among other things, to commit many crimes against women. In countries like China and India, this group of young males with low social status, so-called ‘bare branches’, is increasing. This is a group of men men who will probably never be able to form a family.
In an interview with Russia Today, Professor Hudson explains that a similar situation has been artificially created in many European countries, since most immigrants are male. This means that women’s safety in public places will deteriorate. Hudson bases this conclusion partly on the culture of these males and partly on the male surplus in itself. This is obviously a valuable perspective.
Within the subculture of gangs, rape provides a rationale for solidarity and an interaction based on male bonding and masculine validation. Since a subculture of violence encourages violence and views it as socially acceptable, and because the members of the subculture regard their violence as socially useful, it is those individuals who do not engage in violence who are seen as morally questionable.
In recent weeks, Europe has become acquainted with the aggressive sexual game known in North Africa as taharush. However, there are communities with worse variants, including the South African phenomenon known as ‘jack rolling’. This is a phenomenon of public and collective rapes, where groups of armed criminals cordon off a street and rape the women who are there. The fact that these acts are committed so visibly and publicly adds to the status of the perpetrators.
In a valuable article, researchers Lloyd Vogelman and Sharon Lewis focus on this phenomenon, as well as on the South African ‘culture of violence’ more generally, as well as on the social construction of masculinity in parts of South Africa. It is noteworthy that Vogelman and Lewis explicitly use the term culture to describe it, but it is otherwise a fairly typical feminist study.
Swedish feminists as apologists
Hudson, Vogelman, and Lewis illustrate that a feminist perspective is not without value when trying to understand and prevent events such as have occurred in Cologne, Kalmar, Stockholm, and other cities. This involves both male surplus in itself, low social status, and the cultures where these men grew up. With these insights as a starting point, one can understand that continued mass immigration has a cost, perhaps most especially for women, but we can also find strategies to deal with the problems that already exist. However, if we follow the official Swedish feminist reactions to the events, one soon notices that they have another agenda. It’s all about damage control, and behind this, the image of a threatening enemy and the resulting formulation of a problem which they don’t want to risk evoking.
Hanna Fahl is a Swedish journalist. When reading her commentary on these events, in which she assumes that gender and not ethnicity is the common denominator, one notes that she is not actually wrong, but that she misses or ignores something essential. Indeed, there are also Swedish men who behave badly; some are even rapists and murderers, as Fahl notes. But the difference between the culture of these men and the cultures that give rise to taharush and jack rolling is clear to most people. It seems that Fahl is able to distinguish between a deviant and someone who upholds society’s norms. However, a clue which allows us to see that there is something unique about these incidents is that deviants otherwise rarely commit their acts in public and in groups. Still, she writes that this is a case of something that is in ‘exactly the same pattern’. This is so startling that it cannot be explained by a lack of comprehension, but is rather the result of a particular agenda and tendency.
Among Sweden’s political parties, we have the so-called Feminist Initiative. Two of its spokesmen, Gudrun Schyman and Linnéa Bruno, have also written about ‘We Are Sthlm’, or rather the reactions to it. In their article, just as is the case with Fahls, the goal seems to be relativisation. They refer to a study of EU countries where Sweden ranks highly in terms of perceived sexual harassment. What the less attentive reader easily misses is that most of the men who behaved badly in Stockholm are not from any EU country, and yet they affect the Swedish statistics anyway. Schyman and Bruno do not appear to be cognitively impaired, so why does their analysis differ so significantly from those of Hudson or Lewis? There are likewise several leading feminists who come from an immigrant background in Sweden who have been warning against so-called ‘honor culture’ and the rise of Islamism in the ghettos for years. Their analyses ought to be quite interesting when talking about ‘We Are Sthlm’, and yet they have not been invited to participate in the mainstream media’s coverage. One wonders why.
To understand this, we need to return to the history of establishment feminism and its social function. Although there is talk of ‘patriarchy’, the real enemy is understood to be the European male (the general concept of patriarchy is utilised more so that they can link European men and culture to patriarchal extremes which can only be found in faraway countries today, a form of ‘guilt by association’). Establishment feminism is a middle-class phenomenon, which means that it is acting to subdue middle-class women’s primary competitor for material resources and symbolic representation; that is, the European male.
It follows that ‘gender cooperation’ for these feminists is about as desirable as ‘class collaboration’ is for a Marxist-Leninist. If the events in Cologne, Stockholm, and so on are interpreted in the ‘wrong’ way, many Swedish women will perceive cooperation with, and protection by, Swedish men as preferable to more separatist and radical forms of feminist struggle and war between the sexes. It is therefore important for them to relativise and generalise. Immigrant men did not do this; men did.
There is likely a psychological aspect linked to this. Many prominent feminists hold a grudge against Swedish men in general, and do not want to admit that they are preferable for Swedish women when compared to other groups (Nietzsche’s famous ressentiment). This is also linked to the interests of establishment feminism. Its legitimacy primarily rests on a widely-accepted perception of men’s collective guilt. Today, this ressentiment permeates our culture.
Establishment feminism is also part of a ‘rainbow coalition’ along with others such as LGBT groups and, increasingly, those which represent ethnic minorities. The solidarity in this coalition is largely based on the understanding of a common enemy, the European straight male. This understanding is threatened by looking too deeply into what happened in Cologne or Stockholm.
The Catch-22 of establishment feminism
Fahl’s and Schyman’s articles illustrate the Catch-22 of establishment feminism. It has a subaltern, subordinate role in the aforementioned coalition (or Gramscian historical bloc). Their articles will not be seen as being relevant by many women; the discrepancy between reality and ideology is too great. The lack of any solutions to the very real problem that ‘We Are Sthlm’ illustrates is also clear, and behind this, the lack of any will to find such solutions. The image of an enemy that feminists like Schyman offer is obsolete, and probably always was.
Schyman and her colleagues are a subaltern party in a coalition that, for purely demographic reasons, is now no longer historically sustainable. Many women have greater problems in daily life than ‘angry White men’. The society that is beginning to emerge is increasingly threatening, while it simultaneously cannot be criticized without breaking with some of the common assumptions of establishment feminism. It will be interesting to see how individual feminists deal with this situation. Some of them have already clearly broken the rules governing what may be said and what subjects you are allowed to talk about. Their number will grow in the future and a critical mass will soon be reached. We are living in interesting times.