I keep getting told that it is misogyny, patriarchal privilege and sexism that is keeping women from being equal to men in our society. Men obviously are the problem holding women back after all. If only… something something…
Until quite recently, Sweden had many of the same problems with gender equality that we have in the United States; men and women were confined to traditional roles when it came to working and raising kids. Although the country offered more than a year of parental leave, mothers were traditionally the only ones who stayed home with the baby. Women made less money than men, and the 6 percent of fathers who did take time off were derided with a Swedish term that means “velvet dads” and stigmatized at work for being unmanly.
See… sexist menz causing the problems.
And then they did something truly sexist and evil. They increased.. yes increased… the privileges of the menz.
the Swedish government created financial incentives for men to take paternity leave.
But then instead of more feminism… they got more equality.
Soon it became the norm for dads to take off a month, two months, even longer. Men got a taste of what it was like to be the primary parent. They became more confident in their role at home, assuming those responsibilities traditionally left to the moms, such as clipping the children’s fingernails. Dads started craving more time with their kids. Today, eight in ten fathers in Sweden now take a third of the total thirteen months of leave.
Instead of namecalling and blaming, they looked at their target audience, decided to give them something they valued, and even men responded positively.
But… I’m sure this would never work here in Canada, because patriarchy.