Sweden: Where the housewife is an outcast
At the recent Human Life International Conference in Toronto, a very striking Swedish woman, Mrs. Katarina Runske, spoke on daycare and socialism in her country, and also took part in the panel discussion on pornography. As president of the Family Campaign foundation in Sweden, she is concerned with the way in which the state is invading the family and taking away the parents` rights.
During the panel discussion she passed around a pink booklet on sex education prepared for Swedish children of kindergarten age. To call it explicit would be an understatement: not only did it picture and describe the genital areas of little boys and little girls, and adult men and women, but it depicted the act of intercourse. Small wonder, as Mrs. Runske declared, that Swedes are familiarised with pornography; it is thrown at them from a very early age – right in the schools.
She herself taught her children at home – and had to suffer financial penalties in consequence. But by 1991, this will no longer be possible; parents will have to send their children to school, to have them indoctrinated with the latest perversions of progressive education.
On the way back from Toronto, Mrs. Runske stopped in London, where she was interviewed by Mary Kenny for Daily Telegraph. The denigration of the housewife, she pointed out, began some time ago in Sweden, and was clearly expressed in a classic sociological treatise by a very influential economist, Gunnar Myrdal. Here is what he wrote: “It is still possible for the weakest… stupid, lazy and other lesser equipped individuals to remain within domestic work, both as housewives and servants. For the rest, prostitution is always available.”
Experts know best
Olaf Palme, the late Prime Minister of Sweden, proclaimed that the housewife was dead. Katarina Runske says that newspapers and magazines constantly proclaim that the housewife belongs in a museum or that the housewife is a traitor. It is the slander that wears you down, she said; you are constantly being asked, “Do you really think that you are as good as the experts who can take care of your children? “Is your kitchen table as good as the superbly equipped day centres?” “Who do you think you are to deny your children the amenities that the state can provide?”
Though the majority of Swedish women say that they would like to stay at home with their children, the pressures are such that 87 per cent of them go out to work. As Mrs. Runske points out, the results of interference with family life are clear: about 20 per cent of young people are seriously disturbed psychologically, drug and alcohol abuse are common, and a hundred children a year commit suicide. And as we know from other sources, in spite of – or perhaps because of – the early emphasis on contraceptive education, the abortion rate remains very high.
“The day care centre,” Mrs. Runske says, “is used as a political instrument against the woman in the home.” She herself is a woman in revolt against the iniquitous system; she spends much of her time travelling around the country and encouraging the small number of housewives who refuse to conform to the system. “If I didn’t love my country,” she says with determination, “I wouldn’t fight for it.”
Is the whole Western world drifting in the same direction? Katarina Runske offers a chilling warning.