Thursday, November 16, 2006


Bringing back the thought about the corperate wives since there is an ongoing debate (and has been for a while) back home about selling and buying….women. (Partly based on a book by Petra Östergren that just got released.) Or maybe I should just call it a debate about selling and buying sex, why and why not it should be illegal? Obviously the debate and arguments are done in Swedish but I can not leave it without a word.

So, here a link in Swedish by Katrine Kielos that points out some things that I ususally see as the heart of the problem. (Note, yes it is Expressen but their opinion pages and editorial section are generally interesting.) Maybe it will be a little more understandable when saying that P. Östergren has been influenced by Gayle Rubin and her article "Thinking sex: Notes for a radical theory of the politics of sexuality" . It pretty much sums up her standpoint on the issue and in the other corner, this time, one would find the researcher Jenny Westerstrand (phd student in law).

And I guess the sentences that summarise the article and the idea behind it is these: (and oh by jolly gosh I know my translations will suck. Hey, I’m just trying here.)

That the man, in order to be a man, has to buy a female body with a transaction in some kind of currency (social security, four gin and tonics, 12 long stemmed roses) is a rule, not an exception.
(Att mannen för att vara man måste köpa en kvinnokropp mot betalning i någon valuta (social trygghet, en fyra gin och tonic, tolv långskaftade rosor) är regel, inte undantag.)

A higher value as an object only gives more/bigger freedom to choose customers.
(Ett högre värde som objekt ger bara större frihet att välja kunder)

And maybe I am portraying myself as a radical feminist, maybe I am not. The only thing I do know is that this points to one of the main things I find difficult here in the States, accepting people giving me coffee, food or drinks… since my upbringing always keeps me thinking “what does he want in return?”. (Thanks grandmother for telling me never to accept gifts from men that are worth more than a certain amount… it really messes with your head.) When I know that most of the times it is just a normal thing to do... but still, is it normal because men usually make more money? (Since when I try and buy back it is ...well, let's just say that it isn't that easy. And it is, almost always, a thing about it.)

And yes, maybe I am just a cynical woman who has trouble believing in men being good for the sake of it? But hey, it isn’t that uncommon with ulterior motives, but perhaps they can not be found everywhere?


Anonymous said...

If it is complicated to buy something back for the person, then only accept such gestures from another woman for the time being.
Or make a deal along the lines of, "Thanks for the coffee! But I will only accept it if you let me get one for you next time." (Yeah, I know 'next time' doesn't come up often, but if you do make a legitimate effort to purchase a round, it should go over sooner or later.)
You've got a good, thoughtful blog, yourself! I hope you're wearing a lab coat more regularly now, though... (that's happened to me, too, once, and it doesn't save the shoes).

chall said...

Yes I guess the 'next time' is better. I end up feeling rude saying no all the time when people offer so... I just want to emphesaise that I don't expect to get things from them... Ah well, I'l try and make it right next time.

hmm... lab coat still hanging on my chair to be honset. Next time though, when I work with blood and all I will probably shield my cloethes.