Long­ing to be a sub­mis­sive housewife

The Week (US) - - 14 News - Jonna Sima


There are few clearer signs of the “con­ser­va­tive winds” blow­ing through Europe, said Jonna Sima, than the anti-fem­i­nist sen­ti­ments now be­ing ped­dled by young Swedish women. Greta Thur­f­jell, a 24-year-old jour­nal­ist, cre­ated a stir with a re­cent news­pa­per ar­ti­cle in which she pushed an un­apolo­get­i­cally tra­di­tional view of a woman’s role. She ex­plained how she wants noth­ing more than to be a sub­mis­sive housewife, de­voted to mak­ing her man happy. For Mil­len­nial women raised in a cul­ture of lib­er­al­ism and po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness, she says, con­ser­vatism’s for­bid­den sta­tus makes it new and ex­cit­ing. Fem­i­nists, Thur­f­jell adds, are “not cool.” Hav­ing walked into a well-paid, se­cure job

at a cul­ture mag­a­zine straight out of col­lege, she clearly has no idea how hard women had to strug­gle to achieve the free­doms she takes for granted. Thur­f­jell has bought into the ret­ro­gres­sive ide­ol­ogy ped­aled by Steve Bannon, U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s for­mer White House strate­gist, who has been trav­el­ing through Europe fir­ing up the far right and call­ing the women’s rights move­ment “the big­gest threat to the pa­tri­ar­chal so­cial or­der.” Right-wingers in Swe­den are now mo­bi­liz­ing against abor­tion rights and moan­ing that “fem­i­nism has gone too far.” Women like Thur­f­jell may get a thrill flirt­ing with these ideas, but they prob­a­bly wouldn’t like the long-term con­se­quences.

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