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.


"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)
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.)

To Read

May. 8th, 2010 10:52 am
marshtide: (Default)
Quick note: I don't lock any content on this journal right now so though I'm subscribing to people a lot more than I'm granting access I'm not actually hiding anything away! I'm also subscribing to whoever looks interesting right now. I'm a terrible commenter, I must warn, but if I post something you'd like to say something about you're welcome to.

That's all! Also that this has been a super-chaotic week because J has been off school sick and Val & I have had bursts of not-so-amazing health too, so I haven't been able to put together so many long posts. Yesterday was my birthday and today is a big family gathering. I'm beginning to accept that there's really no such thing as Regular Service to be resumed around here and one just has to take what one can get! Have some more quick points in passing:

1. While I'm generally going on about Scandinavian writers: a name I need to remember for when I'm a bit more fluent in Swedish is Birgitta Stenberg. As far as I know she's written quite a bit about lesbian and/or bisexual characters, and some of her work is autobiographical, which sounds pretty great to me since what I've been told of her life seems really interesting. There's also a film I will watch perhaps later this year, titled Apelsinmannen, which is adapted from a book in turn based on her experiences in the 50s. I've been unable to find any evidence that a single thing of hers has been translated into English, unfortunately; I think she's maybe not that big even here.

2. this and this. They could be interesting. The first is on order with the library & it looks like the other might be obtainable too. I'll keep you posted. (Why yes! we in this household are probably singlehandedly responsible for all interlibrary loans of books about Gender And Queer Stuff to this kommun.) Some day I'll post again about things I've actually read instead of things I would like to read.

3. If you'd like to know what I'm reading now, actually, it's a book called När Sverige var som störst. It is a history book. For children. It begins, of course, with the then future king of Sweden (parse that) skiing off to Norway because no-one wanted to help him become king. Then they had to skii after him to get him back because they changed their minds. "One of the more embarrassing episodes of Swedish history," says Val, although I will personally always think of the building and launch of the (not-so-)good ship Vasa as one of the most embarrassing episodes, myself. (But we haven't got that far through history yet. We're still busy turning Lutheran.)

4. I do not have time to tell you about the Vasa at the moment, because we're about to go and eat gluten-free cake and cook lunch for the rest of the family, but maybe I will tonight. It's embarrassing, so of course there is a museum in Stockholm entirely dedicated to it, possibly in case anyone gets any ideas about this country having some kind of dignity. Similarly, the thing where the first king of kinda-modern Sweden almost ran away to Norway is thoroughly commemorated, in this case with a huge cross-country skii race along the route he took. This is the Vasa race. (Er, the king-to-be in question was called Gustav Vasa, in case you're wondering about this similarity of naming across Embarrassing Swedish Episodes.)


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