Longing to be a submissive housewife
There are few clearer signs of the “conservative winds” blowing through Europe, said Jonna Sima, than the anti-feminist sentiments now being peddled by young Swedish women. Greta Thurfjell, a 24-year-old journalist, created a stir with a recent newspaper article in which she pushed an unapologetically traditional view of a woman’s role. She explained how she wants nothing more than to be a submissive housewife, devoted to making her man happy. For Millennial women raised in a culture of liberalism and political correctness, she says, conservatism’s forbidden status makes it new and exciting. Feminists, Thurfjell adds, are “not cool.” Having walked into a well-paid, secure job at a culture magazine straight out of college, she clearly has no idea how hard women had to struggle to achieve the freedoms she takes for granted. Thurfjell has bought into the retrogressive ideology pedaled by Steve Bannon, U.S. President Donald Trump’s former White House strategist, who has been traveling through Europe firing up the far right and calling the women’s rights movement “the biggest threat to the patriarchal social order.” Right-wingers in Sweden are now mobilizing against abortion rights and moaning that “feminism has gone too far.” Women like Thurfjell may get a thrill flirting with these ideas, but they probably wouldn’t like the long-term consequences.