Iceland’s Gender Bending Experiment

European Politics, Feminism, Media, Rundown

Many in Australia are alarmed about the gender-bending madness that is promoted in our media, by our politicians and taught in our education system. We have the Safe Schools Program teaching LGBTQI ideology to children, and in the state of Victoria it also has the Respectful Relationship program which aims deter children adhering to gender stereotypes in the name of stopping domestic violence.

Our media regularly reports on the alleged gender wage gap, how there are not enough female CEOs and that all men are responsible for other men’s criminal acts. Feminists are given a free platform in the media to spout their misandrist positions. There is also a push to have Australia legislate affirmative consent laws which means if men do not gain an explicit yes from a female partner they can be charged with rape.

Where did all these policy proposals and views come from? One place is the Nordic island of Iceland, a region of the world which prides itself on its commitment to women’s rights. SBS Dateline last night aired the second part of its Defending Gender series with its reporter Janice Petersen visiting Iceland which is called the Best Place to be a Woman.

Last week Dateline traveled to the United States to meet the fraternal organisation the Proud Boys whose aim is to reclaim masculinity and stand up for men’s rights.

Iceland is ranked first in the World Economic Forum’s Gender Equality Index with Australia ranked 35th. Petersen begins by spending time with a men’s choir singing in one of the nation’s frozen lakes an ancient Viking song. She asks them as men how do they feel about women being equal (ie. do they feel threatened)? They respond by saying stronger women help build stronger men.

Peterson then goes home with one member of the choir Hrannar to their family farm where it is explained he was raised with a stay at home dad while his mother worked away from the farm to support the family.

Iceland’s feminist revolution it is explained began in 1975 with a women’s strike and Peterson speaks to one of the leaders of that strike Sigrudur Duna. Iceland also had the first elected female President and the first LGBT head of government. Duna speaks about how the strike and Iceland’s female political leaders helped build modern Iceland. She jokes on the evening of the strike you could smell burnt meat as the men couldn’t cook.

While everyone supports women’s rights to choose the vocation they wish as we’ve already mentioned the path to gender equality has resulted in some disturbing side effects. Peterson visits a gender neutral kindergarten which now 10% of parents in Iceland send their children too. What takes place here under the direction of principal Margaret is radical gender social re-engineering i in a quest to quash gender stereotypes.

Girls and boys are separated for parts of the day so they participate in activities traditionally undertaken by the opposite gender. Boys have their finger nails painted and learn to express their emotions while girls are taught woodwork and how to get dirty.

Some would argue that forcing boys and girls do not these no traditional activities is actually worse of their well being than permitting gender stereotypes to take hold as countless psychological studies of children’s behaviour have shown that boys gravitate towards blue and trucks and girls gravitate towards pink and dolls. The story of a girl who was forcibly raised gender neutral is truly chilling.

Peterson then goes home with one of the dads Brian who is a stay at home dad as well and in Iceland fathers can have up to three months paternity leave at 80% of their wage paid for by the government. He claims he is not worried about his son learning feminine habits because he does masculine things at home.

Peterson then travels with Brian’s wife Ninja at her work where her male boss is happy with a new law which makes the alleged practice of paying women less than men for the same work illegal. Iceland has calculated their gender wage gap at 5% and have a target to eliminate it completely by 2022.

But Iceland’s feminist utopia is still not perfect as it has one of the highest domestic violence rates in Europe per capita. This is refereed to as the Nordic Paradox. Sigrudur Duna believes this could be due to men feeling threatened by having to cede much of their power to women and lash out at women when unable to cope (or it could be just the stereotype that many self-proclaimed male feminists turn out to be sexual predators).

To counter this domestic violence epidemic Iceland also has sex education programs for teenagers where they are taught they must gain an affirmative yes before engaging in sexual relations. One of the educational videos uses the analogy that you wouldn’t force feed someone tea even if you thought they wanted it.

The overall tone of the report from Janice Petersen is that gender equality is achievable, though she does concede that is easier in a place like Iceland due its small population of 348,580 and the fact it is culturally homogeneous (ie western). But as we have experienced in Australia the efforts to achieve gender equality have actually divided the sexes, and worst of all have involved social experiments in our educational system on our children.

If Iceland wants to continue its gender bending experiment that’s a matter for the Icelandic people. Certainly the last thing Australia needs is to give the feminist movement even more authority and legitimacy and engage in more social re-engineering programs.