Iceland: The dark underbelly of sexual equality

Iceland has long enjoyed a reputation as a paragon of sexual equality. For the past 11 years, it has led the World Economic Forum’s Gender Gap Index, and its women benefit from high levels of education and equality in the workplace.

But this masks some “insidious problems in Icelandic society”, say Sigrún Sif Jóelsdóttir and Grant Wyeth. In what has been labelled the “Nordic paradox”, women in Iceland and other Nordic countries have gained “significant structural equality” yet still face disproportionate violence against them. For instance, while globally 38% of murders of women are committed by a male partner, the figure in Iceland stands at 50%.

Sexual assault is also common: one in four Iceland women have been raped or sexually assaulted in their lives – compared to one in ten in Europe as a whole. One theory to explain this so-called paradox is that perpetrators of violence are protected by justice systems that tolerate and excuse their behaviour. Another is that increased gender equality “fuels male resentment” which is channelled into violence. But whatever the explanation, it has to change. If the world is to continue celebrating the country as a “global exemplar”, Iceland must confront its failure to end violence against women – and fast.   (The Week,  25 July 2020,  and Foreign Policy, Washington)

My comment:  This is really weird.  Why should men get violent because their partners are  earning more than them and asserting their equality? Personally, I think gender equality is one of the best things in modern life.  It means the whole onus of income and living standards is not on the shoulders of the man.  One can relax a bit, do something for oneself, while scrupulously helping around the house( of course!), maintaining peace and amity. Grow up, guys!  Be thankful you are not permanently stressed having to do more than your share!

Epicureanism, among other things, stands for gender equality and unwavering respect for one’s spouse or partner.  No ifs or buts.

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