Women’s and men’s rights in Denmark

Listen to this lovely, massively gynocentric fluff (read: propaganda) piece that pretends to egalitarianism and notice a pattern that you will hear over and over and over.

I have watched approximately 30 to 60 seconds of this video; this is moment-by-moment commentary. I predict that this video will adhere to this pattern:

Step 1: Women are equal to men under law in all measurable ways
Step 2: But not really.
Step 3: Men need to work more, give more away, women are good and victims, men are bad and are perpetrators and they need to get their act together.

“Men and women have the same rights in law–but we need a female Prime Minister.”

Why? If men and women share equal rights in Denmark, and so far only males have held the office of Prime Minister, is that not an indication that the sex of the one who holds office neither hampers or promotes the enactment of rights in law for either sex?

“At the majority of workplaces, you’ll find both women and men, so it’s important that you accept that men and women are equal. This is true in schools, universities, basically, everywhere in society.”

Haven’t we already established that men and women have the same rights in law?

“Women work everywhere in professions traditionally reserved for men. Having a female superior, or boss is also quite common. Labour market legislation forbids discriminating between women and men in the workplace. This also applies to pregnant women. Pregnant women have the same rights as everyone else, they cannot be fired because they are pregnant or because they are on maternity leave.”

Reserved for men? The term “reserved” makes working in a factory seem like a preferential choice. I’d like to know at what rate Danish women choose these jobs over safe, clean, indoor jobs with flexible schedules and positive interactions versus jobs that require intense physical work, dealing with garbage or animal excrement, or the danger of falling from a roof or of having it collapse on you, or of operating heavy machinery that could kill you or another at a simple misstep.

Question: will a pregnant firefighter rescue me from a burning building? If she can, good for her, but it seems evident to me that this video isn’t big on thinking down the chain of logic.

“But they [women] also have right to equal pay for equal work.”

Nice sound-bite. Is she being paid $10 an hour for doing the exact same job of moving boxes, where she spends 60 minutes moving 30 10kilo boxes while he moves 45 25 kilo boxes? Does “equal pay for equal work” mean equal pay for equal production, or for equal effort? If the former, biology dictates that she will probably be paid less, if the former, chances are the the man will be underpaid for his contribution. That is the distinction between equality of opportunity and equality of results.

Step 2: “I don’t think that equality is lived out to the full extent that the word implies. We all know that most managing directors are men.”

Could this be a by-product of the fact that women who take pregnancy leave often don’t return, and so a company’s investment in the worker pays off better if they choose men who will sacrifice time away from their family for the company?

“There is equality in marriage. For example, both men and women can have money and have their own bank account, but when you are married, you are normally obliged to take care of each other financially. When you get married, you maintain your individual rights as a person and member of the community. This means that men and women decide for themselves”.

At this point the camera shows a variety of women engaged in a variety of activities they may do, clubs, politics, etc. The camera then shifts to a man “This means that your spouse cannot prevent you from doing these things.” As I had predicted, Step 3 is being introduced.

“Your spouse is also not allowed to prevent you from getting an education, a job or telling you what clothes you can wear. [Narrator winks at Muslims]

“And as a woman you also decide whether you want children or not.”

And as a man? Do I have that choice?

“If you have a child, both the mother and father are entitled to maternity or paternity leave”

–which will be paid for by the employer, and which of the two is likely to forgo that leave?

“Both the man and woman must consent to marriage. It is prohibited for families to prevent a man and a woman from marrying each other. And as is in so many other countries around the world, it is also illegal to force people into a marriage [The narrator has gone from winking to demonstrating evidence of a facial tick. Here’s looking at you, Muslims!]

“It is also prohibited from marrying more than one person. Consequently, you may have only one spouse at a time. [Is the narrator ticking, or having a seizure?]

Tangent: Isn’t it odd the that state will enforce the number of spouses that an individual can have?

“Beating your spouse or your children is forbidden, and can result in imprisonment. If a woman is beaten by her husband or her boyfriend, she can receive free counselling and free room and board at a shelter for abused women like the window behind me.”

The camera then displays windows with extremely prominent Feminist Fist symbol.

Feminist symbol: Men and women's rights in Denmark

“Men are strictly forbidden at shelters”.

And there we have it: Step 3: My prediction was accurate.

Are there shelters for men? What of women who beat men? What government-sponsored safety net do the men have? Are men offered room and board? Are men offered free counselling?

And who pays for these shelter? Donations? Government? Shelters in my opinion, while they may occasionally offer genuine value to women (but rarely men) are little more than income collection centres for political ideologues who have no real skills or prefer not to do real work. Let us see a proportional amount of shelters for men and their children, or have sex-neutral shelters.

Scene: The camera focuses on a Bride and Groom pair of mannequins.

“Getting divorced is not uncommon”, says the narrator, as someone removes the male mannequin and the camera focuses on the Bride mannequin. “Men and women can apply for divorce with or without the consent of their spouse”–why not simply say “without”? And why is it that divorce is portrayed as a unilateral act of removing the man from the family–because women, of course, are the family!

Continued patter goes on describing how the state “helps” men and women resolve their “differences” in cases of money and child custody. Typical fare.

“Boys and girls, men and women are very different, but it is important to accept that they have equal rights everywhere in society, at the workplace, in school and in the family”

But not under law, if you’re a man.

“When I started to get to know Danes better” enthuses a woman, “I thought I was in paradise! Men are much more involved in daily household chores compared to Columbia where women do all the work at home”.

I imagine that the time she spends fixing the roof, the car, working the yard, mowing the lawn (and paying for it) must take a lot of her time, and thus her deep relief.

“[Women] take care of domestic tasks while the men go to work. Here, besides going to work, the men make meals and clean and things like that! I thought this was quite fantastic. It’s a very different experience for me. In the beginning it was a little difficult to understand that things were done in this way, but I thought that it was great, I thought that being here was paradise for women!”

The clip closes on women wearing a hijab purchasing some niceties and a girl-child’s smile.

This is the same old gossa that washes over us on a daily basis. So many presuppositions and obfuscations, so much pretension and spin, yet so little genuine attention to equality. How can one actually achieve “equality” if one focuses exclusively on women’s disadvantage, and not on her advantages, and if one focuses exclusively on his perceived advantages and ignore his disadvantages? “Equality”, it seems, would look at the positives and negatives associated with the individuals of both sex, in a fair and impartial light. Anything else is building a house on half of a shaky foundation.

Concluding comment: Denmark, according to this video, operates (as do most Western countries) by political feminist rules. This video is the typical glitter facade to obfuscate the facts in practice.

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