Men’s Network Launched in Sweden

December 15th, 2009 by Pelle Billing

For quite a while I’ve been thinking about starting a Men’s Rights organization in Sweden. The rationale for wanting to do this is quite straightforward: Sweden has at least 50 well established Women’s Rights organizations, but the only men’s organizations we have are a few small fathers’ rights groups. Since I believe that gender equality goes both ways, and that men’s and women’s issues are just as important, it’s been natural for me to want to correct the current imbalance.

What’s been stopping me, and a couple of other men’s rights activists in Sweden, is that we simply don’t have time to set up a new organization. Between writing, lecturing and having day jobs we already have our hands full. However, the other day I got an idea of how to break the deadlock. Why not start a men’s network on Facebook, as a simple way to have a central gathering place for people in Sweden who are interested in men’s rights.

Said and done, the Men’s Network (Mansnätverket) was launched yesterday, and we are already approaching 200 members. If you want to support the men’s rights movement in Sweden, then please consider joining the network. You don’t need to be Swedish to join, you simply need to believe that men’s rights deserve the same attention as women’s rights. To enable you to make an informed decision of whether to join, I’m translating our 15 point platform below:

  1. Gender equality – in other words equal rights, responsibilities and opportunities for men and women – is at the core of all work on gender issues.
  2. Men’s issues are important and need to get full recognition from society.
  3. Gender neutral legislation is a basic principle of ours. Currently, men are the only group who are discriminated in Swedish law.
  4. Men are traditionally viewed as expendable by society. Dangerous jobs are performed by men, the ones fighting in wars are men and men are expected to sacrifice themselves for women when danger arises. How is this compatible with the theory of male power?
  5. Men’s voices should be considered equally important to women’s voices in discussions about gender equality and gender roles.
  6. Homeless people. 75 percent are men.
  7. Suicides. 70 percent are committed by men.
  8. Education. Soon we will have a situation where only one third of university and college degrees are obtained by men, and in schools boys are falling behind. Why?
  9. Equally shared child allowance needs to be implemented as soon as possible (a monthly allowance is given by the state to all children in Sweden, currently the mother receives all of it). It is nothing but male discrimination to automatically give this allowance to the mother.
  10. Legally established paternity should automatically result in shared custody, even for parents who are not married. It’s a sign of gender inequality that the mother needs to approve shared custody even when paternity has been established.
  11. Fair custody battles. Mothers and fathers should be treated as equals in custody battles, both in legislation and in practise.
  12. Women’s violence towards men needs to be made visible. Women are violent just as often as men in intimate relationships. The consequences are not as serious as when men use violence, but all violence is equally wrong.
  13. Circumcision of boys under the age of 18 must be made illegal. Men’s are also entitled to full bodily integrity.
  14. Rule of law needs to be upheld in rape trials.
  15. Surrogate motherhood should be legal, along the same lines as insemination.

49 Responses to “Men’s Network Launched in Sweden”

  1. Harry Crouch Says:

    So how about establishing a chapter of the National Coalition For Men (NCFM). We’ve been active since 1977:

  2. Pelle Billing Says:

    Nice idea, Harry :) Though I think it makes more sense to build a self-sustaining men’s organization in Sweden that can then exchange best practises with organizations in other countries, such as th NCFM. I’m sure we could learn a lot from your experiences though, and avoid common pitfalls.

  3. David Scott Says:

    Thank you for this Article. Fathers’ right to be a meaningful part of their childrens’ lives, have been eroded to the point of non-existence. My research suggests that this is a phenomenon consistent throughout the industrialized nations. Children who are alienated from their fathers are more likely later in life to have emotional/behavioral problems, suffer from depression, drop out of school, fail in their jobs, and suffer from other social problems. I invite you to visit my site devoted to raising awareness on this growing problem:

  4. Henry Laasanen Says:

    In Finland men’s organisations have started this year – meybe we should think of some kind of co-operation?

    There is “Men’s equality in Finland”

    “Green party’s men’s movement”

    You should check Pasi Malmi’s dissertation (2009) “Discrimination Against Men
    Appearance and Causes in the Context of a Modern Welfare State”

    In the year 2007 was published book
    “Men without equality”

    2008 was published my book “Women’s sexual power”

  5. Pelle Billing Says:

    It’s quite possible that the struggle for fathers’ rights will be the factor that changes the whole discussion around gender issues. Every man who goes through what you have done recognizes the need to change the system, and once a critical mass is reached, things will start to change.

  6. Jay R Says:

    Well done, Pelle!

    The tide will turn. The more feminists resist, the more their loathesome agenda of hate and female chauvinism will be dragged into the sunlight to die. Feminists have done for women what the Nazis did for Germans.

    As usual, if TRUE gender equality is to be achieved, MEN will have to do it. Women have had their chance — and have failed miserably. (Perhaps explaining why so many women are miserable, despite their “liberation.”)

  7. Pelle Billing Says:

    Thank you for the links! I’ve sent an email to the first organization you list, to create a connection between Finland and Sweden.

  8. Chris Marshall Says:

    The more feminists resist, the more their loathesome agenda of hate and female chauvinism will be dragged into the sunlight to die.

    I like the term female chauvinism that you just used. That captures exactly the attitude I want to target.

    I don’t think ‘feminist’ really captures it though. While feminism is shot through with misandry, so are lots of other pervasive belief systems (traditionalists are no better, and have a far longer record of misandry).

    Again, I think the failures of feminism are significant as a symptom, and not as a cause of the oppression of men.

    The face of misandry is that of a male (or female) family court judge, or a male police officer leading a man away in hand-cuffs, accused of domestic violence with no proof of any kind, much more so than the face of an activist feminist.

    I also think feminists deserve some credit for setting the stage for MRAs. They had to come first. The liberation of women had an economic payoff so great (increasing the workforce by a factor of 2) that the nations that embraced it were destined to take power and resources away from those that didn’t.

    The liberation of men has no immediate positive economic payoff. It’s a much trickier and scary proposition for society to sit still for (“if we take the safety of men seriously, and we can’t easily send them off to die for us, then who will guarantee our safety?”, is the unconscious thought underlying much of the fierce resistance to men’s rights.).

    As usual, if TRUE gender equality is to be achieved, MEN will have to do it. Women have had their chance — and have failed miserably.

    I don’t think men can do it on their own. I think women are playing a significant role in the men’s movement, and will continue to do so.

    Just to pick one, the nurse Mayilyn Milos, who started NOCIRC (a movement among nurses to refuse to assist doctors in circumcising infant boys).

    There’s a good chance she thinks of herself as a feminist, although I wouldn’t know for sure.

    People like her are the backbone of the men’s rights movement and have been around for a long time.

  9. Jay R Says:

    Chris Marshall,

    I agree that women can, and should, play a role in the men’s movement. Men will have to be the leaders, however. If men can assume this leadership role (which women crave, no matter what they say), women will follow and provide support.

  10. Charles Copeland Says:

    Thank you for this article, good luck to the guys in Sweden. I would join their group too if I understood Swedish. It is very interresting and heartening to note that in the past year or so many such groups have been established internationally. More heartening is each having almost identical agendas without their being any collaboration. This speaks to the fact that these issues are similar everywhere and men are responding equally, a critical mass has been reached and nothing will stop it now. There are plenty of women who support these ideas and initially they should be encouraged as it they who get most media face time.

  11. Pelle Billing Says:

    Thanks for the note Charles. I agree with your observations.

  12. Jim Says:

    Pelle, how are men’s groups in Sweeden reesponding to stuff like this:

    I found this reference in this article, which also has some good commentary. (The comments section gets a little strange.):

  13. Pelle Billing Says:

    We don’t really have any formal men’s groups who can respond. However, bloggers like myself (my Swedish blog is increasingly well read) point out the absurdity of cheering for domestic violence.

    It’s also true that masculinity has been given a bad rep in Sweden, although not more so than among postmodern or New Age settings in the US and elsewhere. I believe that men standing up for men’s rights in Sweden will also be the first step toward reclaiming healthy masculine values.

    What’s often forgotten though when reporting about Sweden, even by Swedish reporters, is that there is a strong conventional streak in Swedes – so we are not nearly as progressive in many areas as the rest of the world (and indeed, ourselves) wants to believe.

  14. Jim Says:


    Amanda Hess weighs in. God bless her. She is a feminist who is trying to be serious. Look at the comments too for some sense of the confusion around this kind of incident.

  15. Pelle Billing Says:

    Yes, for the most part an excellent article. Except the end:

    “but domestic violence is one male-dominated field where inviting more female participation does not help promote gender equality.”

    Domestic violence is not really male-dominated, though it has more serious consequences when men use violence.

  16. Jim Says:

    “Domestic violence is not really male-dominated, though it has more serious consequences when men use violence.”

    Only in countries where guns are hard to get. And not when women have greater access to state power in the form of sexist DV intervention laws, such as is the case almost universally in the US. How often do wives use marital rape laws to get husbands removed from the home, or “predominant aggressor” laws where police simply arrest the man rahter than try to ascertain who started the fight, and how often do wives who’ve killed their husbands attempt to use the DV excuse as a defense after he’s dead and no one is there to contradict it?

    What is the situation in Sweden?

    “there is a strong conventional streak in Swedes ” Yes. It manifests as strongly commonsensical. That can look radically progressive elsewhere in the world.

    It may also have to do with the lack of any kind of utopian, Puritanical streak in the history and culture. That saves the society from a lot of extremism. Her ein the US we have had utopian extremists from the very beginning – intrusive, communitarian and quite totalitarian at times. I’m talking about Massachussetts, as one example, but there have been hundreds more. At least one good thing came out of it – the Virginia cavalier/plantation owners were so wary of the Massachussetts Puritans’ propensities that they wrote very strong personal rights law into the first ten ameedments of the Constitution. That’s where those came from.

  17. Pelle Billing Says:

    “What is the situation in Sweden?”

    No guns, but we certainly have a DV industry, and the only suspects are men.

  18. Jim Says:

    The men can come to America. WOOF! You can keep the women.

  19. Pelle Billing Says:

    LOL Jim

  20. Nathan Trent Says:

    We need a Men’s Network in Australia as well!

    Further to the comment regarding men falling behind in education and earning only one third of the degrees in the near future, the link below explains how secondary school education systems have been set up to make them male unfriendly. Some of this set up was done intentionally and some not. I find it amusing that the OECD rates Finland’s education system as the best in Europe, when the gap between men getting degrees and women is one of the highest in the world! It is fairlly typical for us expendable males, that nobody cares about our education! Just an opinion: the best way to avoid a lot of the problems of discrimination against males is to refuse to marry and refuse to have children. Refusing to marry works even better if you have a degree!

  21. christopher Says:

    In Poland we have started two years ago a fathers organization porozumienie rawskie,
    to pass a preference for physical joint custody in case of separation.
    We have a big problem here with getting equal human rights to our kids after separation or divorce.
    97% kids live with mothers, and we get every other weekend only, we are very lucky if some of us get one day in a week extra usually it is wends day, but most of us don’t even get this.
    in family courts we have 83% women judges and 87% so called psycho experts in RODK working close with family courts.
    God save polish fathers and their kids if it came to divorce we have no rights here.
    It is probably the Poland is probably is the worst country talking about equal rights to kids in Europe.
    Finally we got our government to work on the new law with the preference for physical joint custody hopefully something will change.
    Wish us good luck.

  22. Pelle Billing Says:

    I wish you the best of luck, Christopher!

    It sounds like you have a lot of work to do, but it’s encouraging that you have started an organization and are working towards political change.

    Again, best of luck.

  23. masculinist Says:

    Too reactionary, like most mainstream MRAism.

    Merely responding to feminism, pleading politely for “fairness” from the oppressors, rather than forging our own, independent discourse.

    This Swedish men’s group seems to be a variant of 1970s Feminist “Remoulding Men Into Gynocentric/Feminist Society” men’s groups. Except they’ve taken a few complaints from the MRA world and interweaved them into the mix.

    The true path to progress for men against feminist/matriarchal oppression is not a reactionary, pleading one. Rather it is radical dissection and rejection of feminism/matriarchy, and identification of women as a group as a problem. Indeed, as the essential prime mover in feminist subjugation of men.

    “Gender equality”

    “Gender equality” is a feminist goal. “Gender equality” is Gynocentrism, Feminism, Matriarchy, Oppression of Men. That’s how feminist women who control the public discourse define “gender equality” and you will not change it.

    Feminist man-hating gynocentric women decide the definitions that people internalize. When you say “gender equality” you automatically invoke gynocentrism in people’s heads because that’s the way feminist have set it up.

    So, the lot of men cannot be improved by invoking such ideological/propagandistic terminology.

    Besides all that, there is not and can never be “equality” between men and women. The possibility of it is the fudge that feminist women use to create matriarchy and subjugate men.

    Ordo ab chao. Order out of chaos.

    Out of the chaotic, nonsenical idea of “equality between the sexes” (a false proposition which feminist women are perfectly aware of), the gynocentric social order is formed.

  24. masculinist Says:

    “The face of misandry is that of a male (or female) family court judge, or a male police officer leading a man away in hand-cuffs, accused of domestic violence with no proof of any kind, much more so than the face of an activist feminist.”

    Yeah but who set up all those systems? Man-hating gynocentric feminist women.

    The people you refer to are essentially acting “under orders” of a gynocentric system that women set up.

  25. masculinist Says:

    “In Poland we have started two years ago a fathers organization porozumienie rawskie,
    to pass a preference for physical joint custody in case of separation.
    We have a big problem here with getting equal human rights to our kids after separation or divorce.
    97% kids live with mothers, and we get every other weekend only, we are very lucky if some of us get one day in a week extra usually it is wends day, but most of us don’t even get this.
    in family courts we have 83% women judges and 87% so called psycho experts in RODK working close with family courts.”

    The solution to that is not to complain and beg for “fairness” from feminist oppressors who don’t (and can’t) recognise your interests.

    The solution is to identify feminism as the essential problem, and to go on to disassemble the feminist system.

    If you don’t do both of those, you’re “father’s rights” discourse goes nowhere.

  26. masculinist Says:

    “I agree that women can, and should, play a role in the men’s movement.”

    No they don’t. It’s against women’s natural interests to be anti-feminist/pro-masculinist. That’s why, in actual fact, so few [practically none] are.

    Because of this, masculinism should (must) be a male-only space.

    I’m not arguing anything different here than the feminists; who in the early days excluded men because Sisterhood Is Powerful, because you could only really build up a feminist ideology out of female-only groups. You could only really identify, conceptualize and work on the issues in female-only groups.

    What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, no?

    Even today, there is much exclusion of and hestitancy towards men. In feminist spaces, where men are not outright banned, they are only accepted if they are brainwashed and 100% on board with feminism. A skeptic of feminism will be banned from a feminist space.

    All of this is entirely natural: it is merely self-interest. A group (women) standing up for their self-interests, to the detriment of other groups where it comes into conflict, formulating strategies towards that end.

    I however argue that men should agitate for their self-interests too. Why shouldn’t they?

  27. masculinist Says:

    “In the year 2007 was published book
    “Men without equality”

    Note again: women, via feminism, define equality, on their terms. To their benefit, and their benefit alone.

    Women can argue that men DO have equality, that this gynocentric society IS equality, because they define the terminology.

    And no, we can’t take that “right to define equality” from them, because feminist women control the law, the media, the political discourse. We don’t. Therefore their definition triumphs.

    Ditch the equality nonsense, it’s an impossible goal anyway. Men and women aren’t equal; never were, never will be. Feminist women understand this better than anyone else.

  28. JonathanM Says:

    I am very pleased to see the Men’s Movement is taking off in Sweden. It seems that your country would benefit substancially from gender equalitarians, such as your selves, and soon Men’s Rights Movements across the world will be communicating together on how best to defeat the sexist policies set against us by the feminist propaganda machine.

    You mentioned that there are fifty different Women’s Organizations in Sweden, and I believe that you should try to use that fact to your advantage in two ways.
    1. Point out to people how grossly under-represented men are in their representation in your country by comparison to how many feminist orgs there are. 2. Use their your solidarity against their numerous different command structures. Your unity of command is your greatest strength;
    their diversity of separate organizations is their greatest weakness.

    Good luck.

  29. Pelle Billing Says:

    Thanks Jonathan.

  30. Nathan Trent Says:

    Boys are doing worse in school education than girls in many countries in the world. The reason is because educational curiculums have been set up address girl’s strengths. This is leading to more girls attending college than boys and men being pushed out of the professions. The website below shows what is occuring in Australia, but the principles are also applicable to other countries. I am also doing another web page titled “How to set up a school education system to ensure that on average, one sex does better than the other” I will send you a link once complete.

  31. Pelle Billing Says:

    Thanks for your comment and the link, Nathan.

  32. John Martin Says:

    Im from the once democratic country of australia.Democracy ended 3 or 4 decades ago the day an elected government decided they could democraticly legislate the legal right of innocent till proven guilty for 50% of the population to ledgislated guilty until they proved they where innocent.The only accepted proof not required to b ledgislated guilty with a statute of limitation for that proof.Since that day 2 political made up of the same profession have democraticly voted amoungst them selves to cancel every legal right of that 50% by communist methods(employees)or ledgislation.Why didnt the media report any of this democratic communism?Democratic/communism,that bestows this communist honour on them.This profession is the hitler of our time.Wake up human race before its to late or is it????

  33. AlexNY Says:

    The problem with “masculism” — it is an ambiguous word. It could mean one of two things:

    1) Accept the biological differences between men and women, and work towards an equitable but not equal relationship between men and women. This practical solution would focus on equality before the law, elimination of gross imbalances in government protections, and issues such as fathers rights and health/retirement fairness.

    2) Assume that the incredible power of culture is sufficient to overcome the influence of biology, and work towards a society where cultural influences counter-balance biology. This is “ideological” and involves a serious transformation of our culture.

    In principle, feminists are against (1) but support (2).
    In practice, feminists are against (2) but support (1).

    Personally, I hate the middle of the road, and I would prefer to use the power of culture to overcome our biological heritage and have a society of truly equal individuals. However, logically I have to admit that both options are viable … and both options are preferable to the ambiguous state we are in today.

    What kind of network is envisioned in Sweden? What do they want?

    I would hate to see the men’s movement evolve into a “have my cake and eat it too” movement like feminism. It is morally repugnant, and it embraces perpetual conflict over solving problems.

  34. Pelle Billing Says:

    “What kind of network is envisioned in Sweden? What do they want?”

    At the moment we’re building a website, and we have a functional beta-site. So we should be launching pretty soon.

    The first step is simply to raise awareness around men’s issues, while emphasizing that women’s issues are important too.

  35. johnson musisi Says:

    Thanks to helping men to get power. And me am supporting men to get the freedom all the country.

  36. Giorgio Says:

    nah…without womens support masculism doesent go anywhere. Sorry to tell you that.
    The only reason feminism arosed, after all was only thanks to the support of men. Strangely they dont aknowledge it.

  37. Nathan Says:

    Hi, I am in Australia.

    I noticed that Sweden has one of the lowest marriage rates and highest divorce rates in the world. It has been stated that most of the marriages are among the racial minorities and most of the divorces among the native caucasian (white)Swedish. Is this statement correct and is this the inevitable result of the level of discrimination against men seen in Sweden? Also do you have a high proportion of single mothers and many men that live with a woman for a few years and then move on to the next? Also Sweden has a large negative population growth and most of the new and recent born are among the racial minorities.

  38. Pelle Billing Says:

    Hi Nathan,

    I don’t know the details of the marriage rates in Sweden, nor do I know if there are any ethnic differences. But we have a lot of single households, at the very least, that I do know.

    However, what you say about a large negative population growth is incorrect. Many countries in Europe have a negative population growth, but Sweden is not one of them. For example, in Italy each woman gives birth to 1.3 children but in Sweden it’s 2.11 – which means that we sustain our population, even without immigration (whereas Italy’s population is shrinking fast, unless they have lots of immigrants). The Swedish situation is likely because of the generous maternity leave we have, and also because the immigrant subgroups have lots of kids. But Swedish women have lots of kids too, so it’s not only related to immigration.

  39. John Rozzo Says:

    Our organization (Milk México, AC) is creating a national (Mexico) source/resource for topics like this. Although our focus is principally on sexual & reproductive health, the issues of gender, feminism, masculinities, family, relationships, nutrition and healthcare are all relevant.

    I look forward to further discussions on your blog, and invite you to check out one of our important initiatives: SISMO (International Men’s Health Week-Mexico) that would be of interest to your readers. The website is and I invite you & others to participate this year.

  40. Pelle Billing Says:

    Hi John,

    Good to hear about your work! And best of luck with your conference.

    Welcome back to the blog.

  41. John Rozzo Says:

    Thanks for your encouragement. Hopefully we’ll have some way to share info, resources, reports, news and collaborations in the future.

  42. fabrizzo Says:

    we should have a stronger human rights group and do away with all women rights groups.The very name of their existence spells bias.I dont know how anyone can consider their cause honourable.True if they extend their reach to all in need rather than just women,but people tend to be selfish and do only what’s in their scope,which has been made narrow by the name they place themselves under

  43. Pelle Billing Says:


    I agree that the name feminism can never mean a movement for true gender parity. The name will always mean that it is one-sided.

  44. Greg Canning Says:

    Good Job – greetings from Australia and good luck ! You have lots of scum to clean out of your country!

  45. James Williams Says:

    There is a movement in the UK called Lawful Rebellion. It’s not a gender based movement, but works on the principle that people should be tried under Common Law and not oppressive Administrative Law. Sweden’s lurch towards feminist totalitarianism may have a chance of being halted if enough people can engage in a lawful rebellion against oppressive laws. It will mean non-cooperation with state institutions and developing a resistance movement rather than a protest one. It will not be easy or pleasant because you are facing a psychotic hatred and the disparity in funding is enormous. They hold all the aces of power and control and that is against you succeeding, so it will take great courage and thought to plan how to go about it.

  46. farfished9 Says:

    Good for you, man! Bravo!!! =)

    I’m an American woman living in Sweden with a Swedish man. I’ve been shocked (yes, shocked!) and appalled (yes appalled! hehe) at what I perceive to be the imbalance of the so called gender equality here.

    I consider myself a feminist and this means human rights and equality. What’s the deal with thinking taking rights away from men and ‘giving’ them to women has anything to do with either? It’s sick…

    You’re doing us all a favor! Keep up the good work, men!!

  47. Pelle Billing Says:


    Thank you for your comment! It’s good to hear about your experience of Swedish gender politics.

  48. farfished9 Says:

    You’re welcome…

    I greatly hesitate to lable myself as a feminist, at all, because 1–I don’t dig lables…and 2–I overwhelmingly disagree with not only many current concepts and aspects of the feminism movement–but question and distrust the entire construct of the 1970-ish womens’ rights movement (in America). Oh…and 3–I’m totally scared of radical feminists…they’re such bullies…vicious, man…

    But why should ‘they’ be allowed to take away my right to think and decide for myself? Is the forced indoctrination of ‘men bad…women good’ upon my generation (Y) not enough? Next they’ll be wanting my lunch money, too! =P

    I think that individuals and society as a whole have greatly suffered as a result of this imbalance. I think it’s awful how men are vilified for simply thinking critically, asking questions, voicing concerns, and basically asking to be taken into consideration and to be taken seriously. It seems to me that many people out there are so threatened by even the very idea of men simply advocating for their own gender specific rights–that they immediately and rabidly try to suppress this. It is immediately perceived and propagated as an attack on womens’ rights. More than that–it’s down-right criminalized. That’s bull…

    That’s frightening and disturbing. This is not just an attack on the male gender and its right to fair consideration/treatment and reverence…this is an attack on all of us, as a people. We must continue to speak out and act. MEN ARE IMPORTANT!

    Again–good for you…and THANKS! =)

    That’s my ranting bit, haha…

  49. Pelle Billing Says:


    I’d say you have a good grasp of what is going on in Sweden. And I must say that it feels very good to have my own experience confirmed by someone who’s a woman, and who’s not Swedish.

    Thanks for ranting ;)