Earlier today, as part of their continued effort to create the ultimate progressive “utopia” the Swedish parliament passed a controversial new rape law. A law that in no unclear terms now declares all sex to be rape by default. What this means in a practical sense is that any time sexual activity is now initiated in Sweden, both parties must formally consent or risk being charged with rape under the revised Swedish legal code.
The law makes no exceptions for those in long-term committed relationships, even married ones. Meaning that all it would now take in Sweden to be locked away is for one’s partner to enter a police department and state they didn’t formally consent to sex with their spouse of 20 plus years the night before. News of the proposed law already had many in the country concerned this past week about the potential negative byproducts this law was likely to create. With some even joking that the Swedish couples of the future will end up with a formal documented record of their complete sexual history together.
Given that this is modern Sweden we are talking about, it’s of little surprise that today’s vote was hardly close. While almost every nation on earth would agree in principle that sex without consent is rape, few others have felt the need to codify this strictly into their formal legal system. That didn’t deter Sweden, however, as they boldly chose today to ignore what the rest of the civilized world clearly understands. That any good likely to come from such a move, would be overwhelmingly outweighed by the obvious negative consequences it would inherently create.
Such potential side effects to this law, however, were seemingly not on the minds of its advocates. This including the likes of Amnesty International’s Women’s Rights Researcher Anna Blus who stated the following. “Today’s vote marks a huge victory for women’s rights activists in Sweden who have been campaigning tirelessly for this change for more than a decade. By refusing to stay silent, these activists have led the charge to end sexual violence, and politicians voting today should be guided by their courage.”
You may have realized from the quote above that despite the fact the law itself makes no reference to gender, its feminist activists that have pushed for this change the hardest. While technically the new law could equally be applied to the detriment of both genders, it’s obvious from looking at the people who have campaigned for it that the change is meant to benefit women at the expense of men. Another confirmation of this interpretation comes from the media’s reaction to it’s passing. With mainstream press outlets calling it a “historic victory for #MeToo campaigners.” This begs the question, would a man attempting to claim rape because his consent was not documented formally be taken seriously even in the liberal bastion that is Sweden? After all, in America alone, 38% of rape victims are men, with the vast majority of these perpetrated by women.
Supporters of today’s vote have long since criticized what they call old-fashioned and outdated definitions of rape based on “physical force or threat and coercion.” Preferring instead a more open-ended view on rape that isn’t so strictly defined. What these advocates choose to ignore, is that as a species we have a mountain of historical evidence backing up the fact that laws without clear boundaries and definitions open up the door to all sorts of abuses. It also remains unclear if such a change will truly benefit anyone to begin with. For example, all of the actual documented high profile #MeToo inspired cases involved at least some level of force, threat, or coercion. Meaning that they were perfectly covered by the law without the type of radical change Sweden just opted to adopt.
None of these concerns, of course, were enough to stop Sweden’s highly progressive parliament from moving forward with this new law. Which means that now it’s just a matter of waiting to see the actual consequences of its passing. One major concern is just how this change will affect the already heavily declining birthrate among native Swedes. A problem so bad that Swedish leaders had just recently tried to tackle by offering paid sex breaks to local government employees in an effort to encourage procreation. It’s unlikely, however, that this new law which makes intercourse an even more formal and less sexy affair is going to lead to the creation of more babies.