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Monday, September 19, 2005

Feminist Party Feud 

This is quite interesting:

A controversial new feminist party that advocates "queer" rights and marriages involving two or more people is threatening to implode in a mess of bitter catfighting just a week after it announced its intention to contest next year's government elections in Sweden.

Last week, two founders of Feministiskt Initiativ (Feminist Initiative), the country's first feminist party, walked out after a series of angry clashes over its political direction... [One of them] said she felt "conned" by the way the party had moved away from its initial promise of being a broad church, and accused the leadership of being much worse than the patriarchal organisations it seeks to overthrow...

...According to a survey conducted by The Gothenburg Post and polling organisation Sifo before the row, at least 10% of the Swedish electorate said they would consider voting for the radical new party at the election. But the popularity of Feminist Initiative - which is anti-monarchy, in favour of a six-hour working day and considered outlawing words like "male" and "female" at one of its controversially closed, academic-style meetings - is being undermined by accusations that members who do not share a specific, radical attitude towards gender issues are being intimidated. [One of the women who resigned] claimed Rosenberg, 47, who has also been criticised for her haughty attitude to the Church, had said that Feminist Initiative could not tolerate "any bloody old-wives politics"...

Launched in April, Feminist Initiative have been patronised by some as the "radical feminist Spice Girls", while others have been likened them to a women's coffee club. One paper last week accused them of damaging gender relations, while elsewhere they have been branded them "a matriarchal dictatorship"... But Expressen journalist Britta Svensson said Feminist Initiative raised important issues that the male-dominated parties don't dare to touch, such as why women dominate those pensioned-off early by their employers. "Part of the media reporting of FI doesn't look like media analysis," she said, "but witchhunting."

Always hard to know how accurate reporting is of this sort of thing, as this article says, but I hope the Feminist Initiative does resolve these issues, as it would be interesting to see how such a movement fares at election time...

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