Toilet issues – are you joking?

I thought it was a joke when the husband told me about it. I thought he was exaggerating and making it up. A quick google search later and I was just stunned. No joke, it’s real.

Around here, public toilets are generally unisex. (At least it we’re talking actual enclosed bathrooms where you have the entire little room to yourself, and not just the sort where you cram twenty toilets into the same room, separated by flimsy half-walls.) So if you are at say, the university campus and you need to tinkle, you don’t need to pick a toilet adhering to your gender, you just go. A toilet’s a toilet, there’s no difference.

For some reason though, a new and special toilet was opened yesterday at one part of the Uppsala University. This special toilet is made for those identifying as neither man nor woman, but rather as trans. It contains such things as makeup, nailpolish, feminine hygiene products and razors, and I was told there was a nice big full body mirror as well. They held a grand opening yesterday, brought in a performance artist with wings attached to his back, and had metal tits with spikes for nipples.

Of course the intention is good, it’s likely an attempt at bringing hbtq issues to light and acknowledging trans people’s rights. But… come on, this is not just silly, it’s counter productive.

Transgender people are just people. How in the world would they benefit from being portrayed as different to the point where they need separate bathrooms in a building where all other bathrooms are unisex? Separate bathrooms with nailpolish and razors? Do they somehow think that if you are transgender you have a special need to paint your toenails and use a public toilet for personal grooming?

Now, I am laughing. If I was transgender though, I would probably be furious. This is not good. The transgender population is not helped by being portrayed as having special bathroom needs in the form of makeup and extra luxurious mirrors. We’re talking regular people needing to tinkle, not drag queens preparing to go on stage. Regular people. Please stop with the silliness and just remember that.

The winged performance artist with spiky metal tits

 

Surrogacy in Sweden, a frustrated comment

nudepregsketch

News just in, Sweden will not allow surrogacy as an option for childless couples. The reasoning is that there is always a slight risk of the surrogacy not being entirely voluntary, and the woman’s right to decide over her own body should be absolute, no woman should risk being pressured into carrying another couple’s child. Even if monetary compensation is forbidden, if there is thorough investigation of the involved parties motives, and if there is a demand for close personal relationship between parents and surrogate (such as if the surrogate mother is a family member), they say that we can never be certain of it being entirely voluntarily done, and thus is shall be forbidden.

 

I don’t often post comments on current news here in the blog, but this I just have to say.

ARE YOU NUTS? IN ORDER TO SAFEGUARD THE WOMAN’S RIGHT TO DECIDE WHAT HAPPENS TO HER BODY, YOU TAKE AWAY HER RIGHT TO DECIDE WHAT HAPPENS TO HER BODY?

 

 

Link to news article, in Swedish!

 

 

Honouring the dead

This blog post is a bit late, it should really have come already at the start of November, but for reasons it has taken far too long to finish. Never mind, what better way to utilize your coffee break at work than to do a final read-through of a blog draft and finally push the “publish” button?

It is about the day us Swedes refer to as Alla Helgons Dag, often confused and combined with Halloween. Or rather, it is about what this day means to me.

***

Through childhood and the teenage years the tradition in our family was as it is for many Swedish families. On Alla helgons dag us relatives got together for a calm and pleasant meal or fika (typical Swedish concept, look it up!), and once the day had grown dark we wandered together to the cemetery. There we located the graves of relatives who were no longer with us, we lit candles and spent a few minutes contemplating those who had gone before.

It was beautiful and solemn. Sometimes a little spooky, but mostly just peaceful.

That was then, before I had any idea of where my own path lie, before my spiritual needs had surfaced and the point of such traditions seemed to only be about giving relatives a reason to meet up.

And now? Alla helgons is one of my favourite days of the year, in all its simplicity and depth.

It is a day, and night, that anchors us in the flow of time. For a moment we lift our heads out of the blurred passing of days to see how we are links in a far longer chain. We honour those who went before us, become aware of the people who were just as us – living, breathing, real. They are us and we are them, separate but always connected.

In practical terms, what has changed since I was a child? Surprisingly little. Me, my husband and my mother met, had a good meal and looked a bit at old photographs. Then as darkness fell we ventured into the old cemetery in the middle of town, made our way on paths lit by flaming lanterns and candles, joined the hundreds of people who were also out on the same mission, trickling through the burial grounds. We lit candles and placed flowers, talked about the dead, talked to the dead. It was beautiful, as always.

Once we got home me and the husband continued on our own, simple time of relaxation, family time. Before night was over we ventured out into the dark to honour the ancestors, not only those we still remember by name, those whose graves we still find, but also all the others. By word and intent connecting with them across the flow of time.

This is what this holy day means to me. A day to honour those who came before us. A day to connect with those we can no longer touch. A day to anchor us in the greater existence.

Whoever said it was about death?

It’s about existence.

An angry comment on current events

Excuse me?

You are a political party with aspirations of leading this country of ours, and you go out to systematically spread false information about Sweden abroad, with the purpose of giving us a bad reputation? I’m sorry but are you nuts?

Original article in Swedish (DN)

SD are currently handing out flyers to refugees down in Greece and elsewhere in Europe. Flyers that say:

“No money. No jobs.No homes

You may have heard positive things about our country and the Swedish people. That we are friendly, generous and hardworking. This might be true, but our society is falling apart.

Our wealth is gone. We have to borrow money to provide education and basic healthcare for our citizens. Due to decades of mass immigration our previously safe country is not safe anymore. Not only do we have a very high number of shootings and gang related violence, where grenade attacks in public spaces are no longer surprising, but Sweden now also demonstrates the second highest number of rape reports in the entire world.

Sweden is temporarily helping those who flee war and terror, but we can currently only offer tents and camp beds. And you will eventually be sent back home.

Sweden is a modern Western country. Here, women and men are equal. Forced marriages and polygamy will never be accepted. Halal slaughter, wearing niqab or burqa in public places, will be forbidden in our country. “

The flyer is signed by the Sweden Democrats, SD-women and “The People of Sweden”.

I am almost at a loss for words. My goal with this blog has never been political or social commentary but after reading about this I just have to comment.

Spreading negative propaganda about the country you claim to represent is first of all just stupid.

Specifically spreading false information is just bullshit. That there are a few small areas where there are a lot of shootings and there even have been grenade attacks is NOT the same as those things being commonplace in Sweden. Making it sound like due to “mass immigration” we now have soooo many cases of rape in Sweden, that we’re at second worst place in the world? Excuse me? Our legal definition of what constitutes “rape”, which has been changed to include situations that elsewhere would not be counted as such, has nothing to do with that, you think? Alongside a greater tendency of actually reporting rape than in many, many countries – where rape is unfortunately rather commonplace? Because if you go about saying that sexual assault is commonplace in Sweden compared to the rest of the world, well you are either just incredibly ignorant, or you are just lying. Or both, probably.

Let’s see, what else. We can currently only offer tents and camp beds to refugees? Well that is just false and you know it. Granted, those who are so busy trying to burn down refugee housing are clearly trying their best at ruining what housing possibilities are out there… But while tents as temporary housing is sadly put up as a last resort it is just that – a last resort that still hasn’t been necessary to use. Which you know as well most likely so yeah, that’s just a lie.

“And you will eventually be sent back home.” Another lie. Some refugees are granted the right to stay, others not. Which you as well know, so there we go again with the lying. Unless you know something the rest of us doesn’t, some secret decision that refugees and immigrants will all be sent back to where they came from?

The last part is interesting. Not only do you blatantly assume that equality between men and women is something refugees will want to avoid, alongside forced marriages, you also claim that polygamy will never be accepted (why the hell should the state decide if people are allowed to be poly or not, by the way?), and that wearing of niqab and burqa in public places will be forbidden. Again, do you have some secret information that the rest of us don’t? Are you sure this is not just your wishful thinking?

In the end, this propaganda flyer tells us far more about you, than it does about the current refugee crisis, or about Sweden. What is the real message here? That SD thinks that spreading false public information is an acceptable way of achieving their goals.

Think about that. Now tell me if you think this is a trustworthy party.

Is today’s refugee crisis a problem? Of course it is. Wouldn’t be a “crisis” otherwise. But… what the hell?

Feeding people false information is not an acceptable way of acquiring your political goals!