Amongst the more revealing articles are:
Femininity and womanhood today? In this article the Viking princess notes that she is effectively living the lifestyle of a man. This is what Swedish feminism aims at: it identifies autonomy as the key good in life and the male role as the autonomous one. Therefore, it insists that men and women are similar in nature and that women should pursue the "superior" male role in equal numbers to men.
If the Swedish feminists were right, then the Viking princess should be happy with her autonomous lot. But she's not. She feels as if she's lost something central to her own self, namely her femininity. She writes:
I can do most things that a man can do; I am independent, competent and earn a high salary. All this might make me think: What do I need a man for?
Yet, what do I crave more than anything? To be a real, old-fashioned woman. To have a man who cares for me and to have a home to manage (as opposed to managing stupid IT projects.)
I get very little satisfaction from my ‘high-powered’ job. Why is this?
I think it is because what I am doing is against nature!
Everything I wanted to prove to myself and others about my competence or career, I have already proven. And to be honest, I wasn’t that fussed to start with. I just needed the money and happened to like IT.
But now I need to prove that I can be a real woman! I don’t even know where to start! I spent most of my life trying to emulate men and male behaviour!
I am sick of being so independent, of often being cleverer than men who fancy me (which is a turn-off). I am sick of wearing the trousers, metaphorically and in practice.
Another problem is that the more time I spend emulating male behaviour at work, the less feminine (and more masculine) I become. I have learnt military leadership techniques for goodness sake! I can push my guys as if I was a drill sergeant… And every time I do, it kills of another bit of my female soul.…
All my feminine qualities are undesirable at work. Being caring, giggly, pretty, emotional etc, are all negative things to a greater or lesser extent. In my reviews at work I have had negative feedback involving all of these qualities, believe it or not.
What all this suggests is that for women like the Viking princess independence through careerism is not the most important good in life. What she finds more important is to fulfil deeper aspects of her own given nature; it is most significant to her to reconnect to her feminine soul, something she feels she can't accomplish adequately whilst living a masculine lifestyle.
Growing up a unisex girl. This article describes the experience of growing up in a country in which gender difference was suppressed rather than celebrated. Even at nursery school feminist gender politics was drilled into the young children:
There was constant talk even in nursery school about how traditional split of work between the genders must stop. There certainly was no question of having pretty dolls for girls to play with; we all played with nice but very gender-neutral toys. I suppose there was a slight bias towards the kinds of toys you’d traditionally give to a boy actually.
It's interesting to note here a contradiction in modernist politics. Autonomy, in the sense of being unimpeded in selecting who we are or what we do, is the ruling principle. The Swedish government follows this ideal of autonomy. The end result, though, is a greater state intrusiveness into what people would normally choose to do or be compared to more traditional societies. Autonomy theory doesn't result in people being left alone to make their own way, as most people if left alone would choose things considered illegitimate under the terms of autonomy theory (most people would follow their natural instincts and adopt a pattern of gender behaviour; they would also choose to sacrifice some part of their autonomy in order to fulfil other aims, such as marriage and parenthood).
Our Viking princess accepted the unisex ideology until she became old enough to choose to read some classic girl's books:
Gradually I started to notice that the heroines of these books generally put a big emphasis on being girls and on taking pride in that. It was something I had never done. I started having a feeling I was somehow missing out on the experience of being a girl.
When going abroad to Southern Europe, I noticed that little girls there usually wore skirts and frequently even pretty dresses. I and my friends very rarely did. In fact I very rarely wore traditionally girly clothes at all. My parents told me that the Southern Europeans wore such clothes because they were old-fashioned, religious and couldn’t afford much clothes anyway. They made all these things sound very bad, which I as a child of course latched on to.
I also dreamed of wearing pink, or perhaps yellow clothes. But looking at photos, it would appear I was mainly in brown corduroy or navy cotton! ... I remember fantasizing about being asked to be a bridesmaid so I could wear a frilly dress and carry a bouquet of pretty cut flowers!
I was aware though that I was not supposed to want such things.
At puberty it was even more difficult to accept the unisex view:
When I started getting breasts and boys started changing their voices I felt somehow cheated.. There wasn’t supposed to be any difference between boys and girls! But we all started changing to be more and more different. The boys were getting violent, always fighting each other. They seemed to enjoy watching and teasing us girls while we started becoming interested in fashion, make-up and pop music.
Eventually, the Viking princess rejected unisexism in principle:
It started becoming increasingly clear to me as if man and woman are two pieces of a puzzle that fit together because they are essentially differently shaped… That their physique and psyche complemented rather than duplicated each other. The idea that they are identical pieces seemed to me as a tremendous misconception and I was terribly irritated at having been fed an incorrect version of things all through my childhood. What I had been told simply wasn’t true. All my recent experiences showed that men and women were different and that men could no less be like women than women could be like men.
Since I wouldn’t want a man who behaves and looks like a woman, it makes sense that a man wouldn’t want a woman who behaves and looks like a man! True?
Why this ridiculous pretense that we are the same, when we very obviously are not? If I had been brought up more as a girl/woman instead of a gender-neutral being, I would have been stronger and more confident as a woman today! As it is, I had to discover the hard way that I was not the same as a man in a multitude of ways. I spent many years at work, trying to emulate an ‘alpha’ male in my behaviour…
I have no idea how the unisex ideal affected the boys around me. They too were brought up in a ‘unisex’ way.
I can tell you this though: In Sweden it is not common for men to help women with bags on public transport. Also, men expect women to regard sex in the same way as they do (i.e. casual unless expicitly stated otherwise…) They normally do not pay on dates, walk women home or pull out the chair for you etc.. Imagine my surprise when these things happened in England. I felt like a princess!
Until quite recently, every time I noticed a difference between me and men I kept thinking; this is wrong… I ought to be like the men… I felt like I was letting other women down unless I constantly strived towards the male ‘ideal’ that was set for Swedish women. I forced myself to carry heavy things (hurt my back badly when I moved!) to take work extremely seriously (with the result that I got very stressed out) and to never be scared or cry. These were girly, i.e. bad things. But let me tell you, it’s hard work hiding your true nature and pretending to be something you are not! (I still do it all the time, at work .)
Discovering that being feminine is not a ‘crime’ (in fact, it can be a positive thing) was a big revelation for me. I don’t actually want to be like a man!
I wish Northern European society would stop denying women the opportunity to be female! What good does it really bring? Who benefits?
This is nothing less than a feminine rebellion against liberal modernism and the Viking princess carries it through with a certain skill and style.