October 19, 2006

Brave New World

Sometimes, as an American living in Scandinavia, I feel right at home, and sometimes I don't. Like I just didn't know what to make of this article that appeared in the paper a few days ago.

Translation of article from 14 October 2006 Sydsvenskan, Southern Sweden Daily Newspaper

Girl's Party Not For Boys

It was not wrong to turn away a man who tried to enter a party for bi and homosexual women called Miss Gay 2006 that was held during the Pride Festival in Stockholm this past summer.

The man who was turned away felt that he had been the victim of sexual discrimination and reported the incident to the Swedish Equal Opportunity Ombudsman (Jämo), but he was not given any support. Claes Borgstrom of Jämo referred to Swedish law and an EU directive in a ruling that says that it is justified to create zones of peace for women as compensation for the negative effect of the gender power order and the sexualization of public space.

The decision was applauded by the Swedish National Organization for Sexual Equality (RFSL) who say that 'Jämo has understood the law and its implications.'


At October 19, 2006 11:23 PM , Anonymous Papa Twister said...

Sounds reasonable to me. I don't understand what you don't get about this article or why this is specifically Swedish. The thing I really don't understand is why a guy would want to go to a specifically lesbian party other than to cause trouble.

At October 20, 2006 7:33 AM , Blogger Matt_J said...

I've been trying to put my finger on it. Equal rights and opportunities is not the issue. Part of it is this vast bureaucracy that has rulings and opinions about things like who gets to enter the Miss Gay 2006 party. And can it really be true that all of the major problems of society have already been solved, so they are down to this level of detail...

At October 20, 2006 9:32 AM , Blogger Matt_J said...

Another part of it-- when I first read it, my feeling was that this person was legitimate, that perhaps he felt like a woman inside a man's body or whatever, not my business. Then I thought about it as you say, that he was looking for trouble. But his motives are immaterial-- he was denied entry because of his biological gender, and that's discrimination. Justice needs to cut both ways-- sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. If a woman who was looking for trouble had tried to enter the party, she would have been admitted. If the goal is to break down barriers in society and end discrimination, I have a problem with achieving that goal through discrimination.


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