marshtide: (Default)
Hi everyone, I know I never write. I am pretty terrible at this whole journal thing just now apparently. But I just wanted to drop you some important links.

BASICALLY, that forced sterilisation law that I talked so much about all last year? Not going anywhere, apparently, despite the fact that basically everyone except for the Christian Democrats has said it needs to be gone. Because you know, we can't upset the Christian Democrats! We are apparently cool with continuing to sterilise people against their will before we will let them change their legal gender in order to not upset the Christian Democrats!

Here is a petition you can sign.

Here is info about a demonstration that will be taking place on wednesday (info in Swedish) and here is an english translation of that information.
marshtide: (Katherine Hepburn - Sylvia Scarlett)
”Kampen för rättvisa har också historiskt varit en stark drivkraft för rösträtt, mot apartheid, för jämställdhet, mot diskriminering och för rättsstat. För Moderaterna är rättviseperspektivet ständigt närvarande.”


Oh god, I have to go either cry or laugh until I cry now. Either way this merits tears.

Tr:

"The fight for justice has also from a historical perspective been a strong driving force for the right to vote, against apartheid, for equality against discrimination and for the constitutional state. For the Moderate party the perspective of justice is a constant presence."


OK, that's a horrible translation, but the original quote is also pretty horrible. *eyes it* I.. no really, that's just badly constructed. I refuse to take the time to do a nice translation of something so crap. Anyway, uh... guys? Remember how you voted against universal suffrage? And against sanctions when Sweden was considering its stance on apartheid? And against basically everything except lowered taxes, actually?

OH RIGHT, details like that are just the Social Democrats coming with silly, irrelevant questions about history! Like we should care about history! Haha!

(Whole article @ DN)
marshtide: (Katherine Hepburn - Sylvia Scarlett)
- Ulf Lundell var på Babel igår. HUR kan han vara så tråkig och samtidigt så provocerande? -_- Och nästa vecka blir det fler tråkgubbar - Franzen och Umberto Eco. Jösses. NÄSTA TORSDAG ÄR INSTÄLLD P.G.A. GUBBÖVERSKOTT.



- Kulturgrammatik börjar småirritera mig. Författaren ska vara så jävla förstående och förklara precis allt om kulturella skillnader men verkar ändå har visa... döda vinklar, så att säga... som han är helt omedveten om. Han skriver t.o.m. om en kvinna som på en av hans föreläsningar försökte påpeka en sådan. Han tyckte ju att hon var lite dum. Sorry to say, gubbe, men det ÄR möjligt att kvinnor kan ha lite bättre kol på könsdiskriminering än vad du gör.



- Nu vill jag sjunga dig milda sånger verka i alla fall vara en bättre bok än grabben i graven bredvid, MEN. Det känns ganska underredigerad. Jag vill ta en röd penna till det och kryssa ut typ minst ett stycke onödig beskrivning i varje kort kapitel, och det upprepar sig själv ganska mycket, och människor pratar på något jävla konstigt sätt som ibland känns helt orealistisk. Alltså... människor i böcker pratar inte som människor i verkligheten, och det är helt OK, men det ska vara en stiliserad avbildning som känns i alla fall trovärdigt, va, eller som funkar på något annat sätt som del av bokens stil. Ehh... ja, det som jag ville säga var att det är sällan ett bra tecken när man känner att man redigerar en bok som man läser.



- Alliansen jag hatar er. Ja jag vet, vilken överraskning. Men! liksom! Alliansen smygavskaffade mål om delad föräldraledighet. -__________________- Visst kan man bli trött på hela grejen med föräldraledighet som Enda Stora Jämställdhets Mål, men inte för att det är en dålig grej i sig - snarare för att fler saker behövs utöver detta, och för att jämställdhetsdebatten som det ser ut i riksdagen är så jävla hetero. (Fast det är tillsyntes inte längre någon pågående debatt överhuvudtaget.)

I alla fall. Man får inte bestämma hur folk ska leva sina liv, eftersom man är liberal, säger jämställdhetsministern. Det vill säga, man får inte FÖRUTOM NÄR MAN FÅR, alltså, när det är en grej som vi tycker om går det jättebra! :D Liksom, det är helt OK att bestämma hur transpersoner och invandrare ska leva, men man får inte ens ha åsikter om att det kanske vore bra om kvinnan i ett heteroförhållande inte förväntades ta hand om barnen ensam. Nej. Det vore att ingripa i folks liv och inskränka dem. MAN FÅR HA FRITT VAL! JA! MAN BEHÖVER VÄL INTE JOBBA MED FOLKS ÅSIKTER ELLER STIFTA LAGAR FÖR ATT NÅ ETT JÄMSTÄLLT SAMHÄLLE, DET KOMMER UTAN ATT MAN GÖR NÅGOT ALLS. DET ÄR TYP TROLLERI VET DU VÄL. :D

Alliansens liberal"feminism", what the hell.



- Ja förlåt mitt svenska är säkert helt obegripligt idag, jag känner mig fortfarande ganska förkyld och jättetrött och jag sitter här och skriva inlägg istället för att läsa Kulturgrammatik. Suck. XD
marshtide: (Mårran)
Oh god. A brand of sweets is changing its packaging because it had one of those blatantly offensive asian stereotype things going on. NOW A DEBATE PROGRAMME ON SVT IS HAVING A THING ABOUT IT. WHY. HOW IS THIS EVEN A THING. THEY HAVE ASKED THE SWEDISH PUBLIC WHAT THEY THINK. I DON'T WANT TO HEAR WHAT THE SWEDISH PUBLIC THINK BECAUSE I HAVE A HORRIBLE SUSPICION I KNOW AND IT WILL MAKE ME SCREAM. ALSO SINCE WHEN WAS DECIDING WHAT IS AND ISN'T RACIST A DEMOCRATIC PROCESS FOR THE MOSTLY WHITE POPULACE TO HAVE AT.

Wow sorry that was a lot of caps.

But I have... feelings.

(Also in news on a completely different axis of fuckery one of the resource books we're using for both the written and spoken parts of the course & which mostly contains articles and vocabulary practice and things like that, contains an article about LGBT - ok, no, I'm being too generous, they were only talking about the L and the G - parents and their families. Because you know, equal adoption rights, ability to build a family in a variety of different ways, still limitations, it's a thing. The article was fine as far as it went, mostly an interview with a lesbian couple with small kids. But! It came with a debate question! Those are always so much fun. I love it when people debate my rights! Just LOVE it! Especially when the question is phrased like, IS SOCIETY READY FOR THESE KINDS OF FAMILIES? DO YOU THINK IT WILL BE BAD FOR THE CHILDREN? ....hey kristdemokraterna is it you sneaking around back there?

We didn't get around to the discussion in the lesson it was scheduled for, but I will be wearing my most homosexual t-shirts until further notice.)
marshtide: (Default)
Pride week has been great, and chaotic, and I got to hang out with more people than I have in ages. It is almost as though I have a social life, for serious! I think I've also doubled the muscle mass on my legs, albeit from a starting point of v. pathetic. Unni is leaving late-ish tomorrow, so we're doing a little more non pride related tourist stuff through the day. (Vasa museum, aka the failboat.)

Then I'll go home. And sleep. And maybe give you guys some photos.


Other developments: my counter for 'people who think I speak some slightly unplaceable Swedish dialect' continues to go up, and is joined by a smaller but quite convinced group who believe I am specifically a Finland swede. I choose to take this as a good sign. If a slightly odd one.


Goodnight!
marshtide: (Katherine Hepburn - Sylvia Scarlett)
Two leftover prompts:


1. [personal profile] eggcrack asked about my favourite people from Swedish history, and I have to admit that my understanding of Swedish history is still fairly surface. I do think that, for example, Queen Christina is completely fascinating - but I still haven't got around to reading up on her properly! And I don't even have so many more names.

On the other hand, we do have a great big book of Swedish queer history sitting on a shelf, as well as a number of feminist books which probably have some history in, so I should get working on my knowledge! I guess I'll try to remember to report back on my findings later.

(Actually, most of my understanding of Swedish history comes from Valborg's brother, who has a job related to this stuff, and it's slanted heavily towards "funny stories about kings." And from Valborg's parents, who mostly share information about more recent political history. Although this stuff can be really interesting, it hasn't really turned up any people who make me fantastically gleeful; though I'll admit that Olof Palme was really interesting, he also strikes me as more than slightly infuriating. For example.)


2. [personal profile] silveradept asked about intersection of identities (british, queer, feminist, nerd, in sweden). This is complicated because my identity is pretty unstable in some ways, but!

First: queer and feminist sit together comfortably for me. Although I've met feminists who try to make it into a problem, I haven't met them regularly, probably because I've been selective about spaces. The thing they don't always sit together well with is being a nerd, especially if I try to take myself out into mixed nerd spaces, instead of the internet ones I inhabit (which are generally either queer-dominated or female-dominated or both, and to some extent invested in equality).

Essentially it doesn't actually feel that safe to be visibly queer or to express feminist opinions in a lot of in-person nerd spaces I've found myself in.

I usually do both anyway, and then there's a fight and I go look for somewhere else to hang out, because man, life is too short. (I am, however, gratified to hear that one former group I went through this process with has apparently done some thinking after the event about things I said and the only unrepentant member has left in disgust.)

I've had huge problems finding a roleplaying group, for example, which isn't full of misogynistic bullshit or homophobia or both. I think I've only had one, actually. I don't think they don't exist, but I do feel like I have to look really hard, and if I wanted to put up a notice to try and find a group to play with right now I would probably do it in a queer space - not a general nerd one.


Second: Being British is actually an identity which I can use more easily now I'm in Sweden than I could when I was in Britain. It felt uncomfortable there, which has a lot to do with the way I was treated growing up - that is to say, I'm part Ukrainian, and it's often been used as a way to make me Not British Enough and therefore fair game for all kinds of bullshit. Children are bastards.

Extra context - growing up in the late 80s/90s with an eastern european surname in a tiny rural community where most other people had family roots in the local area going back a few hundred years. It was fantastic. There is also the thing where a surprising number of people have asked me in all seriousness which country I came from and complimented me on my English (even without having seen my surname, in some cases!). Being British is not really an identity that Britain likes to let me take for granted, but Sweden is quite happy to. Probably as a result of this I actually feel a bit more at home in Sweden, if only because I know where I stand; I have a definite identity as a British-born immigrant. People can hear from my accent that I'm probably British, and here I am. Ta-da.


Third: my queer feminist identity has actually undergone a good bit of development in Sweden too. I had read quite a lot of theory and fiction in the UK, and thought a lot about these issues, but somehow I've built up a much more systematic picture while I've been here. I've actually enjoyed reading feminist theory in Swedish even more than in English, which I do admit is more than a little perverse of me. I suspect it has something to do with the fact that moving to another country is the kind of change which, in some odd way, makes it easier to re-focus when it comes to other parts of one's life.

I think somewhat differently in Swedish than I do in English. I have different words and concepts. And I lack words for some things; that means I have to think around them. And that might be a good thing in this respect as well, in terms of examining concepts.




P.S. PRODUCTIVITY REPORT: I finished tidying the patio, which basically meant pulling up all the tiny trees that were trying to start growing between paving stones (other random dandelions etc. can stay, do I look like I care - but one has to draw the line somewhere, and that line is somewhere around "fucking lilac bushes everywhere"). I have cleaned a winter's worth of grime off the bench, table and windowsills out there. I have chucked a bunch of herb seeds (basil, thyme, dill, oregano, chives, parsley) all over everywhere that wasn't full of tulips, because we are basically really bad at flowers anyway and we eat herbs like you would not believe. And we went for a pretty long walk up to Val's parents on the other side of town; I was in the wheelchair for a lot of it, but I still feel kind of accomplished. (The wheelchair is basically perfect for my needs, because the moment I feel a bit like I'm starting to be in pain I can sit down, and then the pain calms down - if I have to first find a bench I'm generally in too much pain for sitting to really cut it by the time I get there and that's when I end up back in bed in a heap, whimpering.)
marshtide: (Lake)
We're pushing on towards summer now, which means light, though not necessarily warmth.

illustration )

It's getting harder to sleep because there's at least some light for so much of the night. By midsummer, midnight will basically look like the 10:30 photo above! I have conflicted feelings about this because on the one hand, loads of light, and really light nights can be beautiful. On the other hand, sleep is kind of nice...
marshtide: (Mårran)
First, a question!

Does anyone have any suggestions for some kind of way of hanging crutches from a wheelchair so that they stick up and no-one has to keep hold of them or worry about them, I don't know, launching a sneak attack on the wheels?

Context )



Next: [personal profile] pulchritude asked: Anything you want to say about things you find interesting about Swedish culture (particularly as a Brit), things you didn't expect, things that you find really different from ~Swedish stereotypes~ would be lovely :)


Which is one of those questions which is SO BIG that I kind of don't know where to start. But since I posted about my impressions as a new arrival last year, it's probably appropriate to take a shot at it! One Year On, etc.

So let's try...

Swedish stereotypes?

There are a whole bunch of stereotypes about Sweden, of which I probably only know a few, and they presumably vary wildly by context and country. Outside of Northern Europe I think a lot of the stereotypes are actually fairly pan-Nordic; inside Northern Europe it's really really confusing.

Re: the pan-Nordic thing, there seems to be a general confusion about which country up here is even which; various relatives find it basically impossible to remember if I've moved to Sweden, Norway or Finland, although they do know it's not Denmark. (I haven't the heart to bring up Åland.)

And sometimes Sweden also gets confused with Switzerland, which is just kind of bizarre. The first two letters of the name are the same. That's basically it.


Anyway, to get your Nordic stereotypes straight: Norway = fish, oil and a sickening fetish for finding new ways to throw themselves down mountains; Finland = alcohol and knives, plus is actually populated by elves; Denmark = really happy (possibly because they're drunk); and Sweden = stuck up their own arses. Way up there.

Unfortunately the last one on the list is, on a political level, probably completely fair. SWEDEN: the would-be guiding moral light of everyone ever. Naturally not hindered by the fact that arms manufacture is a mainstay of the national economy.

(Valborg also notes that according to Finnish stereotypes, Sweden is basically really gay. Or, as she puts it, "remarkably homosexual.")


Images of Sweden range from some kind of liberal utopia with rights for all to a degenerate and immoral socialist or possibly even seekritly communist hell-hole which will bring down civilisation as we know it. The former, in absolute fairness, has been fairly actively promoted as a national image. See: would-be guiding moral light. Let's take a look at that one. )


To get back to stereotypes, Swedes are said to be, variously: repressed, sex maniacs, extremely shy, stuck up, very informal, obsessed with rules, horrible drunks (especially on holiday, especially in Denmark), suicidal, tall blonde blue-eyed beautiful elves, godless, and possibly ruled by a feminist hive mind. But also crazy rapists. And speakers of an impossible language.

Re language: Swedish is not a difficult language to learn if you are an English speaker. They're fairly closely related and also have a bunch of common influences. If you've heard that it's impossibly difficult you may be confusing it with Finnish, which I assume is not actually impossible either but is probably at least trickier than Swedish, as it's not a member of the language group to which both Swedish and English belong.


Re sex: it probably is easier to talk about sex in Sweden than in the UK, for example. That does not mean that people are actually having more of it. It just means that the UK is more conservative.

Similarly, how much more rape actually goes on in Sweden than in the rest of the world is something I think is pretty questionable, since you can't really get a comparative measure of the percentage of victims who report their rape across different countries. I'M JUST SAYING. I am all angry goddamn feminist over a lot of aspects of the treatment of rape victims in this country. But I'm also sceptical of the idea that this is some kind of specific Swedish or Nordic problem.


Re alcohol: OK, OK, Northern Europe has, collectively speaking, something of a booze problem. And alcohol is more expensive/restricted here than in Denmark. Fill in the blanks. ("Norwegians go to Denmark to get drunk too!" Valborg protests. "Danes just like them more. Because they're so... Norwegian...")


Also, I was kind of surprised when I came to Sweden how un-blonde people are, since a lot of other people have commented specifically on it following visits. I mean, there are blonde people. But at no point did I find myself walking around going, wow, everyone sure is blonde here! It's possibly more noticeable if you come from a place where very few people are blonde, I guess, but from the UK to here? Not that big a leap.


Right, that's long enough already. I'm going to stop now! If I try to tackle the rest of the question right now then everyone will fall asleep. Got any other Swedish stereotypes that you've heard around?

bang

May. 13th, 2011 09:40 am
marshtide: (Katherine Hepburn - Sylvia Scarlett)
Current fascination: Barbro Alving, also known as Bang. Journalist, feminist, pacifist, badass butch dyke. Yes, they named that magazine I keep talking about after her. She was just that awesome I guess.



One day when I have read ALL about her I'll come back and inflict the full details on you.
marshtide: (Oscar - a-ha!)
FOR THE RECORD: Super video-heavy post.

So the topic for today is Swedish music, which I'm afraid is one I'm spectacularly unqualified to talk about in many ways.

Branch asked, basically, what the Swedish music scene is like right now.

I do at least listen to P3, which is the younger-people national radio station, because it has shows like Tankesmedjan (that one which Liv Strömquist is often on), and am by proxy exposed to current music, but to be honest, it mostly doesn't stick. One does notice, basically, that:

1. almost everyone sings in English, presumably in the hope of making some kind of international breakthrough. If they do not sing in English, they are Kent, who gave up on such hopes about 10 years ago. (No, OK, there are others who sing in Swedish right now. But not that many who're showing up on the radio!)

2. there are lots of girls singing very hesitantly/softly. I do wish the ladies in mainstream music would just go for it a bit more often, you know? Prettiness is all well and good, but damn. It seems to be the only option!

3. Unless you're Robyn I guess. Who has a robot fetish. Your mileage on this may vary, but I am kind of endeared by the robots, even though I am pretty sure all my music cred will be taken away the second I admit to liking anything about Robyn. (Here is the thing: I do not care about my music cred. I think I acquired it completely by accident anyway.)



[Video embed: Robyn singing Robotboy, no actual video image, just music & stills]

So, you know, so much for my pop culture awareness.


Also: although I spent my childhood playing instruments and was pretty good at some of them I'm really not that musically inclined, which means that I can listen to music without the same kind of analytical approach I often have to reading - which is lovely, I can just listen. It does mean, though, that I tend to file things as "like this" or "don't like this" without much deeper thought about technical skill etc. This will make detailed thoughts tricky; I'll mostly be presenting artists quite briefly and then giving out some music links.

But! I do listen to quite a bit of Swedish music. Let's start by just pulling a list from my profile, and I'll work from there!



Ane Brun

Oops - Ane Brun is actually Norwegian, not Swedish, but she lives in Stockholm )


Anna Ternheim

Read more... )


Broder Daniel

Valborg describes Broder Daniel as "the best worst band ever". Read more... )

P.S. In association with posting about Broder Daniel I feel the need to point out that Fucking Åmål is a brilliant film. About growing up in a tiny shitty town and already feeling trapped and then you are also a lesbian! AND IT'S NOT ONE OF THOSE TRAGEDIES WHERE EVERYONE DIES! It's brilliant. Sometimes uncomfortable, since, you know, teenagers, but it left me pretty :D :D :D.


Ebba Grön

Oh look! The first band on the list to actually sing in Swedish!

Read more... )


Frida Hyvönen

I actually have posted about Frida Hyvönen before. But. Read more... )


Kent

Right, well, Kent I've posted a lot about before. Read more... )


Maud Lindström

Maud Lindström is, well. Let's take her own words. "Sweden's only official love-critical bisexual feminist singer, writer and poet!"

You can already tell why I love her, right? )


Nationalteatern

Read more... )


The Knife

Read more... )


This post is basically really long now already, damn.

OK, I'll just leave you with a couple more.


The Ark, since they're so iconic among Swedish bands and one of the few current ones that's really well-known overseas. Although they did recently announce that they're quitting this year. And then they released a single.

The single is called "Breaking Up With God".

This strikes me as very representative behaviour.

Breaking up with god )


Jakob Hellman only released one album, at the end of the 80s, but has been influential for Swedish pop. Kent are fans; you can catch a lot of references back to him in their songs.

Vackert väder )

Which traces of can be found in a bunch of different early Kent songs! (Kent love referencing stuff, for the record. I think it's a hobby.)


Monica Zetterlund - jazz icon!

Some other time )

Fidget were a 90s indie band I think? I don't listen to them all that much generally but I have this one song which I love:

Stop Losing )


Håkan Hellström

Read more... )


Make of all this what you will! That's a range of music, though nowhere near definitive, from several different genres and decades. (I will note that I'm pretty sure that Swedish music cannot actually be this overwhelmingly white, since Sweden isn't this overwhelmingly white, damn it, but... *headscratch*)

& if anyone wants to rec me more Swedish musicians that I really should be listening to, then please! Go for it!
marshtide: (Default)
First a health update: been to the doctor's today and they've got the results from my scan, which show that I definitely have a slipped disc. I'm being referred to a spine specialist in Stockholm and have been given another heap of the ridiculously strong painkillers. I'm also written off work sick for another month, which basically means I'm not going back, I suspect, as there's only a week or so more than that left on my contract. Am I glad I applied for university? Yes. Yes I am. (By the way, what is reasonable to request for help in making my entrance exam more bearable? I have trouble sitting for long periods, basically. Any ideas?)
 
Now back to some of the questions I've been asked for 3W4D!
 

Branch asked: Do you think the Third Wave of feminism is making a new start, or covering a lot of ground that's already been covered? - and I do have Thoughts on this, but I am not actually that eloquent, so I've been fighting with it for a while.

And then yesterday my 20th anniversary edition of Bang arrived in our mailbox, and when I sat down to read it one of the first things I found was an article about feminist magazines over the last 150-odd years, written by Ulrika Knutson. And it basically covered a bunch of the stuff I'd been thinking about.
 
Here are some rough thoughts. I can't seem to get this very refined, so this isn't so much a proper essay as... well yeah. A list of things that have occurred to me. I think I'm feeling intimidated by all the feminist theory books in this room. They're staring at me.
 
 
1. I think feminism & women's rights movements have always perceived themselves as to some extent doing both (and been perceived from the outside as largely doing the latter). In other words, there is generally some kind of battle for people to make into their own, but there's often a feeling that one gets stuck in a lot of the same old bullshit about attitudes etc. anyway.
 
 
2. My perception of the situation in Sweden is that the basic laws are now mostly in place. So it can feel even more like fastening in the same old bullshit. I'm mostly involved in and following feminism in this country right now; I imagine that it's at least somewhat different in the US, for example, because the legal situation is not the same, but that there are probably similarities.
 
That isn't to say that there are no problems whatsoever with Sweden's laws (perish the thought), but that the changes required are possibly not as sweeping as the ones that have already been achieved. At least when it comes to gender equality.
 
I am not writing off the possible need for sweeping changes more generally.
 
 
3. I also think that it's very easy to elevate previous generations and say that this one is completely pathetic and all about people being self-indulgent and squabbling over scraps; or to say that the previous generations were actually pretty terrible and that we're so much more enlightened now. Both of these attitudes make me want to beat things. Just a little bit. Basically: seriously, cut that crap out. It's always more complicated! I do think that actually the weaknesses of this wave of feminism/feminisms are pretty much the same as always: a tendency to try and mainstream at the cost of diversity, to disown people who don't fit the image and to patronise people in lower social positions than the median for whatever reason. To try and speak for women as a group, forgetting that they are not all like oneself. On the other hand, these are certainly not problems which are limited to feminism.

On the third hand, that doesn't mean we shouldn't give them a good kicking when we spot them.
 
 
4. Also, feminisms, plural: this stuff really varies by specific spaces. A lot of feminist spaces are not queer-friendly, still, and a lot of them are transphobic, still. They can actually be those things and still be feminist spaces, but they're obviously not the ones I would seek out; I'm very glad that for example Hallongrottan is wildly positive about queerness, genderqueerness and trans, & that it doesn't seem difficult to find a space where I can be as queer as I damn well want within Swedish feminism. Don't think any space is problem-free though - if you're not seeing oppression that means it's pointed at someone else.

I have trouble accurately judging whether the amount of queer feminist space available to me is big progress since I've only been around for one wave; I suspect, however, that queer feminist groups of some kind or another have probably been around a lot longer than I've actually heard about, but perhaps without advertising themselves specifically as such...
 
Ditto this for other subsets of feminism but with even less awareness because I haven't had to go look for them just to feel comfortable.
 
 
5. There is a respect in which everyone is always making a new start (while also covering old ground) and that's the other side, that doesn't have to do with laws but with attitudes. Here is a quote for you by Ulrika Knutson, from the article I mentioned above:


Många sätter likhetstecken mellan lagstiftning och feministsikt framsteg. Men attityder, förhållningssätt och subjektiva upplevelser styrs inte bara av lagar. Lagarna är tröga, medan kvinnomedvetande, feministiskt insikt, genusuppenbarelse, genusbefrielse - kalla det vad ni vill - är färskvara, och ingenting som kommer automatiskt. Det är en existentiell dimension, en existensiell aspekt. Kanske finns här en förklaring till varför kvinnotidskriften ser ut att fastna i äktenskapstrasslet, dammtusseländet och sextrösket. Det är inte säkert att det fastnar, kanske ägnar det sig bara åt livsnödvändig repetition?

...

Vi som lever i det tjugoförsta århundradet måste utförska och diskutera allt detta i vår tid, oavsett hur Fogelstadkvinnor gjorde på trettiotalet.


Translation:

Many equate legislation with steps forward in feminsim. But attitudes, approaches and subjective experiences are not only controlled by laws. The laws are inert, while women's awareness, feminist insight, gender revelations and gender liberation - whatever you want to call it - are perishable, and not something that comes about automatically. This is an existential dimension, an existential aspect. Perhaps this is the reason why feminist magazines seem to get stuck in the tangle of marriage, the realm of dust-balls and the mire of sex. It's not certain that they do get stuck; possibly they just devote themesleves to essential repetition?

...

Those of us who live in the 21st century have to investigate and discuss all of this in our time, regardless of what the Fogelstad women* did in the 30s.
 
* Group of Swedish feminists who ran a weekly magazine, started a school for women, etc. 
 
& I definitely buy into the idea of essential repetition, which was basically my thought when I was originally trying to figure out what I was going to say; that it's a lot of the same ground being covered, over and over, but that it happens like that because that's probably the only way to get anywhere with social attitudes. 

I posted a bit about a thing that happened across the Swedish part of the internet last year where women shared their experiences of uncomfortable situations where they didn't know how to set sexual boundaries or had boundaries ignored without really being able to formulate what was going on; sharing experiences of the effects of an oppressive culture has definitely been a part of previous waves. Of this I have read! (It's tragic that the only examples I'm mangaging to come up with here are Swedish when I actually grew up in the UK and have only been able to speak Swedish for a year, right? But that's been a year of extremely enthusiastic self-education.)

 
6. Also - in the same article it's noted that the discussion of women's rights was perceived as being rather tired and same-old in the 1850s, when Sweden's first covertly feminist magazine appeared. So, uh, I wouldn't really worry on that account! Keep at it! Same old? Sure, but maybe sooner or later it'll grind them down. :D
 
 
7. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure there possible new angles on all this that we're missing. I await them with interest.
marshtide: (Rei)
After this weekend I'm going to get back to working on the main current project, which is to say, a talk that Valborg & I are going to be giving at B.L.Y.G. on queerness & 70s shojo, and also on getting up content on our shared blog, which is meant to be functioning as our public face linked in to any talks etc we might want to do, but which is tragically empty right now. (I'm completely identifiable in RL from the contents of this journal - seriously, there are not very many British immigrants to Sweden who are living in a lesbian partnership with someone called Valborg - but it's not meant to be a formal or focused space, so that's where the blog comes in.)

I'd have been charging at it this week but since Valborg has been loaded with a pile of birthday organising I figured she could use a period of grace. I think we have most of the info we need now to do a great talk and some fun posts anyway, so it's mostly structure, images, etc. now. (I've gleefully read ALL THE SHOJO HISTORY that exists in English, both good and dubious, and I won't get to use most of it in this case, so I'll probably turn a chunk of it into a post somewhere - blog or here or both.)

My function in this creative partnership is to be all serious and obsessively academic and Valborg's job is to thwap me lovingly over the head, remind me that it's meant to be fun, and add sparkles. I fear this will be a running joke. *g*



OTHER WILD SUMMER PLANS: Stockholm Pride is mostly free this year. I'd been planning to save birthday money and buy tickets, but I guess I don't have to now! In light of this information, anyone who thinks that hanging out with us in Stockholm in the first week of August and going to some incredibly gay talks, tours and misc. events sounds like their idea of a good time should plan accordingly. If I'm still not healthy by August we're hiring a fucking wheelchair, SO. We will be there. (There will definitely be things happening in English too, if this is relevant information.)



OTHER CURRENT EVENTS: I have an entrance test for Stockholm University's Swedish course in a couple of weeks, which is to see if my current level is good enough and which of their two courses (one which is prepatory for the other; the higher level one qualifies one to study at Swedish universities in Swedish). I'm getting a lift there and I also need to think about if there's anything I can ask them to provide for me to make the test easier, since really not well & doubt I'll be recovered by then.

If I'm accepted to the course I'll be studying in Autumn; if at all possible I'll be doing this with or without funding from CSN. The only completely unavoidable cost is a bus card, and I can probably get help with that from someone or other in the family.

After that I need to think about taking Högskoleprovet (a test which gives a grade you can use to apply for university), since if I can get a good score on that that'll put me in a bigger intake pool for normal university courses than a foreign grade would there are assigned numbers of places for students at universities: quite a lot of places for people with college scores, quite a lot for people who've taken the test, and not that many for people from overseas with a foreign college/university grade. Obviously that's not a relevant concern for the course I'm applying for now, since it's only for people from overseas.

I also have all these crazy dreams about being able to volunteer with Hallongrottan and similar if I study in Stockholm, but as Valborg points out, yes, I should do those things, but I should also remember not to break myself.

I'm pretty good at breaking myself, basically. But hey! I'm trying to learn better.



ETA OF JOY: I've just got my first birthday present, from Valborg: a year's subscription to the fabulous Swedish feminist magazine Bang! My face looks like this: :D
marshtide: (Lake)
DSC02154

Way better than last year. Nervous children sang slightly off-key, a nervous local politician gave a speech about spring, and no children tried to throw themselves in the fire, although one did make a fast run for a precipice (it was caught). All this is quite in accordance with tradition.

Maybe next year I'll be able to stay a bit longer as well - it was too tough on my body to hang around long. But I got to see them light the fire!

(Spring is here, spring is here!)
marshtide: (Default)
I don't spend a lot of time in Stockholm, but it pretty much is the place we have to go for anything not stocked in our home town, and very little is stocked here at all.

So here's... I don't know what, really. Kind of a guide for if you ever happen to find yourself lost in stockholm and need a cup of tea, mostly a look at my mental map of the city.


Tea

Sibyllans, Sibyllegatan 35. Nearest metro: Östermalmstorg.

Sibyllans is a tea & coffee shop - definitely stockholm's best one. They're way too old-fashioned for a a website, having only discovered how to take card payments late last year, but as I understand it they're open from 10 am on weekdays and saturdays. I understand they're great for coffee too, but I don't actually drink enough coffee to justify any special sort, so I've only tried their teas. We go there every month or so and buy tea by the kilo, loose-leaf. Yes, we have a problem.

My favourite blends are sir william, which is a blend of ALL the kinds of tea and tastes mildly smokey but not overwhelmingly so; royal earl grey; and their green & white tea blend, from which basically all of the best aspects of both green and white tea come through. I have a packet of really delicious genmai cha from them that I'm rationing out, too, and when autumn rolls around I'll be grabbing a big pack of their autumn blend (they do seasonal tea blends! this is both great and kind of frustrating; last year I got a tiny packet of the autumn tea to try, feeling rather sceptical, because it has fruit in it and I'm not much of a fruit tea person unless it's citrus. But it was great, and by the time I got back to Stockholm they'd already rolled over to winter teas).

here is someone else's picture of their shop.


Cafés

Vete-katten, Kungsgatan 55. Nearest metro: Hötorget or T-centralen.

Vete-katten is a famous stockholm café, deeply eccentric, and also excellent for people with allergies (like me!). They have a slightly incomprehensible system for fetching orders, involving placing your order at one counter and receiving parts of it immediately and then being sent around to various other hatches where twelve year old boys in impeccable uniforms will provide you with the rest. I don't know either. BUT what I do know is that they had delicious food and proper tea, and that you can hide yourself away in all sorts of little corners there.

I had the best gluten-free sandwich I've ever eaten there, and they had a really wide range of cakes and pastries available for me to pick from. The list got a bit overwhelming, since I'm pretty used to being offered one or two things that're suitable for me in any given place.

You can also buy things from their shop next door to take with you.


Eat out

Lao Wai, Luntmakargatan 74. Nearest metro: Rådmansgatan

Lao Wai serves vegan chinese food, and a lot of their menu is also gluten-free. Authenticity I cannot speak for, but delicious it certainly is. Also known as the restaurant that made me like tofu. It's one of the few places where Val & I can comfortably find a whole list of dishes we can both eat. Tiny and kind of chaotic, but in a good way.

Teas also highly recommended.

If you want to just grab a really quick lunch, you can go there and take whatever the day's lunch dish is with a drink for 80kr, which is a good price for any lunch in Stockholm. I've eaten disgusting lunches that cost more, and I don't think I've eaten any that cost less!


Etnografiska museet, Djurgårdsbrunnsvägen 34. You'll be needing a bus timetable for this one.

OK, so it's actually a museum, and the restaurant does tend to be full of noise and chaos and people fighting for seats. But they also offer delicious food from around the world, often vegetarian or vegan, often gluten free (in fact, on the day we went there, the only non gluten-free dish on offer was the spaghetti, aka concession to children's unwillingness to eat things they don't know about).

Actually, as a general record, I have yet to have a bad experience with stockholm museum restaurants. And allergy help in Sweden? Seriously, they will help you.

I suspect some places struggle more with the concept of vegetarianism than with the concept of allergies.

(The museum itself is one of the less fail-ful ethnographic museums I've been to generally, by the way.)


Get reading material

Serieteket, Kulturhuset. Nearest metro: T-centralen.

Stockholm's comics library! For all your comic and manga needs! I don't think I need to say much more, but how cool is it that this exists? Books in English & Swedish.


SF-bokhandeln, Västerlånggatan 48. Nearest metro: Gamla Stan.

The science fiction bookshop. Loads of manga! Loads! And loads of books! There's tons in English here, so this place was extra amazing for me when I first moved to Sweden and couldn't speak the language, but it's basically one of those nerd heaven places. Also hosts cosplay events and so on from time to time.


Hallongrottan, Bergsundsgatan 25. Nearest metro: Hornstull.

Feminist bookshop with a lot of awesome aspects, from the amount of focus on queerness to the fact that there is a specific rather modest bookshelf for "straight white feminists" to the many really cool discussion evenings, talks and events they host on all imaginable topics. If I lived in Stockholm I'd be there all the time. Lovely and works hard on being inclusive. Also sell some clothes, random accessories, binders, second hand lesbian pulp fiction...


Museums

Vasa museum, Galärvarvsvägen 14. Tram or bus from T-centralen.

This is basically Stockholm's best museum, or at least the most unique; other people have wrecked boats, but few are as big, as well-preserved, or sunk in such an idiotic way as the Vasa. Pride, as we say, of the Swedish navy. Terror of the Baltic. Extremely poorly designed.

There's some really good information about the ship and its building as well as the preservation work being done on it, but above all, it is a really big ship. One walks in there and goes, wow, that is a really big ship. And for that alone it's kind of worth it.

No, really.

It's just that big.



Assorted shopping

DesignTorget, various locations.

The joy & danger of this shop is that you're never sure what kind of stuff you're going to find. They get a lot of new things in all the time and a lot of it is mad or useless but sometimes it just has the perfect thing. Or something that's mad in the right way.


Shock, Drottninggatan 81A. Nearest metro: Rådmansgatan.

Fairly generic goth/metal/alternative shop, but my main source of shocking hair colours!


Hötorgshallen, Hötorget. Nearest metro: Hötorget or T-centralen.

Mostly because they have this one stall there that sells every kind of dried fruit that you could possibly imagine, including ones without extra sugar added, and they all taste like fruit. The dried melon is particularly fascinating, for some reason...


♣ (Seasonally) Hötorget, as above.

The actual square outside the covered market has stalls selling fruit and veg all year around, but the highlight of these places is basically the mountains of mushrooms you can buy there in the autumn. So many chanterells in one place! Nom.


Oh, and if you want booze, you're going to have to go to Systembolaget, the national booze company. While there is one here in town which can order in things from bigger shops, there are some really big ones in Stockholm, like the one behind NK. For when you need that special kind of gin today, not next week.

I'm not going to judge you. I would never.
marshtide: (Default)
I'm starting my job properly tomorrow - I've been working since the middle of last week but at home, Organising All The Things. Commuting time, basically.

Although I did travel to Uppsala a couple of times last week. )

I do have a brand new phone which I can check my mail & go online a certain amount with, so maybe I won't vanish completely. But!
marshtide: (Mist)
January 11th. Morning. Yeah, we've had a sudden burst of +/-1 weather. Oh the ice.

DSC01501


Read more... )
marshtide: (Default)
[personal profile] brigid posted about Christmas traditions. Obviously, this year mine are in flux.

In my childhood we had:

Rules! Very Important Rules about what colour candles you could have! )

And since then I've either been home for a simplified version of the above or family have come to me and we've done pretty much business as usual, but less formal.

And now I'm in Sweden! I'm keeping hold of the mince pies, but that's about my only concession to Britishness this year. It will be presents and insane amounts of food on the 24th, and complete collapse on the 25th. Different food, etc. (More fish. Don't even pretend you're surprised.)

We've also got different advent decorations:

SA401049
Advent candles. That's moss in the base with little mushroom decorations attached into it. You can have things other than mushrooms - Val's parents also have little birds - but that's what we've got!

(Yes, that is a glass statue of a raised fist of solidarity in the background. It's a candle holder. ...what are you looking at me like that for.)

SA401048

Advent star. A lot more people in the houses around us have the flatter-looking sort of star you can see in most of these pictures. Pretty sure this is a German tradition, but what about christmas as celebrated here isn't?

SA401056

Well, maybe this. Yule goat! There is a story to how goats are involved but I gather it is Definitely Not Pagan No Not At All Nothing To See Here.

That's all we've got up for decorations here. The tree and all that will go up at Val's parent's as we'll be there for christmas anyway and the cat would only do something terrible to a tree if we had one.


P.S. How many limbs does this cat have? And how on earth does it arrange them like this? And can that really be as comfortable as his face seems to indicate he thinks it is?

SA401040
marshtide: (Mårran)
The view from our bedroom window:

SA401027

Winter )

Cat )

I probably do have things to report but I'm feeling faintly manic and I can't quite remember what they were. I'm doing a lot of cleaning, a fair amount of reading, and struggling my way through job applications in Swedish.

I have the next round of exams for my language courses on tuesday. Did I mention that?
marshtide: (Default)
1. It is -7 degrees outside, and it is laundry day, and I have no proper clothes left. I have just stolen a small pile of Val's, as I refuse to leave the house with less than five tops on right now. -7 will seem a lot less terrifying later in winter, but it's November, damn it. We also seem to have completely lost the path outside our flat in the night. The more it snows (tiddly-pom), etc. In short: winter is here and it is not fucking around.

2. P3 kultur, aka Nördorama, is a pretty fantastic radio program. I've been downloading old episodes through itunes to listen to while I walk to school, and hearing conversations on such fascinating and varied topics as spiderman's girlfriends and the alarming mortality rate of female characters in comics, fascism-fetishism in electronica, gay cowboys, and "muminmugg vänstern" (the mumin-mug left)! Basically it's a culture programme which takes an extremely broad view of what constitutes culture and discusses all of it with a blend of the sort of serious analysis usually reserved for Proper Art and nerd humour. You guys, it is like it was made for me.

3. Got my hands on the first volume of Andromeda stories. O, I want more!

4. Current reading:

Simone och jag by Åsa Moberg
Flickan och skulden by Katarina Wennstam (but slowly, because it is a book about rape culture, basically, and oh god, how depressing. it's not things that I didn't know but it's laid out very clearly and gives an incredibly sharp picture of how fucked up the whole thing is. This book is focused on the victims of rape; she's written another book focused on rapists. Which I'm sure will be even more depressing, but I'll probably learn more from it, so I think I should read it.)
Pappan och havet by Tove Jansson

...so you guys, I think I maybe need something to read in Swedish which is not quite so depressing.

5. I've been getting good feedback on my writing in Swedish from school lately. I still have a relatively limited pool of the language to play in, but here are my primary mistakes:

a) I sometimes mix up infinitive and present tense when writing, because it's often a difference of one letter. But I don't do it consistently and I do know which is which; if I'm not concentrating it just sort of wanders around in a random way.
b) I sometimes muck up word order slightly in sub-clauses, i.e. "inte" ends up in a strange place or something.

Which is, you know... not so catastrophic!

The other thing about Swedish is that it seems to have freed up something in my brain that was stuck fast, and suddenly if I have a writing task I can just do it. And it'll be in quite simple language but it'll read fairly naturally and my thoughs will be there on paper. I've lost that ability in English because I overthink it.

We'll see what happens when I get better at writing in Swedish, but I think it will always be a kind of different experience to writing in English (and possibly more enjoyable).

6. A week ago I gave a short talk about my experience of swedish lit in school. Now everyone wants book recs. Evil laughter goes here?

Next week I'm giving a talk about Greta Garbo, apparently, as we all got given someone famous from Sweden to talk about over the next month. Greta Garbo I can totally live with! ♥ (and on the same day someone else is talking about Queen Christina, so that should be a delightfully queer afternoon.)
marshtide: (Mist)
As previously reported, it snowed in October. About half a week later the world still looked like this:

Snow )

This photo was not taken when I was out cycling. I am slightly too fond of my own neck.

Coming home from school, about a week ago:

Do you remember when there was light in the evenings? Well. )

Out on my bike today, with the snow having left:

2nd November )

& now it's, you know, November. So I'm planning on reading Sent i november and feeling vaguely melancholy, mostly.

And I guess making the Christmas things that'll benefit from sitting around in a cupboard for a couple of months. (I'm making mincemeat and then mince pies, as the single British contribution to Christmas. I've never actually made mincemeat before, so we'll see how that goes.)

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