Elections for the European Union will be held this Sunday, May 25th, and polls are predicting that Soraya Post will become the first candidate from the Swedish “Feminist Initiative” party (Fi) to take a seat in the EU parliament.
Soraya Post of the Swedish Feminist Initiative, Image Courtesy of The Guardian
Fi’s feisty slogan, "Out with the racists, in with the feminists," makes the important point that feminism can be used as a platform for change in all forms of discrimination. The Guardian describes the Feminist Initiative campaign as focusing on “issues of abortion, equal pay and equality regardless of gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, disability and age. Its demands include commissioners devoted to gender equality, race and discrimination.” (Read more here!)
Post’s main political points, as described on thelocal.se include:
- Support of open borders - "everyone has a right to safety"
- Opposition to militarization and weapons exports
- Opposition to violence against women, trafficking, prostitution
- Support of gender equality as a political priority
The success of a feminist party in the European Union only serves to highlight the lack of support and understanding of feminism that exists here in the US. Along with the many U.S. politicians Woodley revealed her fundamentally flawed understanding of what feminism means when she stated in an interview with Time Magazine that she was not a feminist because "I think the idea of 'raise women to power, take the men away from the power' is never going to work out because you need balance." Feminism is not about creating matriarchy, people! It’s about ending the patriarchy that perpetuates discrimination in our society.
The success of a feminist party in the European Union only serves to highlight the lack of support and understanding of feminism that exists here in the US. Even today a website called http://www.womenagainstmen.com/ is devoted to exposing how "[f]eminists, government and society [are] trampling men's rights and their dignity into the ground- pitting women against men." Feminism is not about creating matriarchy, people! It's about ending the discrimination that dominates our patriarchal society.
An image posted on womenagainstmen.com depicting the 'inevitable end' towards which feminism is working.
The EU’s Feminist Initiative is a great step in this. America’s political system, on the other hand, is not faring quite so well. ipu.org recently published a list of countries in order of their female representation on a parliamentary/congressional level. The U.S. ties with San Marino with a ranking of 84! We were beaten out by Uganda, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Yep, you read that right. A country where the Taliban, a group that admittedly supports the “[w]hipping, beating and verbal abuse of women not clothed in accordance with Taliban rules,” has a greater proportion of female representatives in their parliament than we do in our congress.
How is it possible that a country like America, which prides itself on freedom and justice, cannot even represent its people? This is not acceptable, and we need to make a change.
Images courtesy of Thomas Johansson at http://www.dn.se/, http://www.theguardian.com/, and http://www.womenagainstmen.com/.