Grandmother Power

Peter Fraterdeus (
Mon, 24 May 1993 15:44:41 -0700 (PDT)

* Office Memo 3:10 PM
S U B J E C T Grandmother Power
Extracted from the Chicago Tribune 5/17/93
Old news to us, eh?


Female values could rescue world, Swedish sociologist suggests...

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Ten-thousand years of male domination have brought the
human race to the brink of ruin and it may not survive unless it quickly adopts
more female values, says Swedish sociologist Per Gahrton.
Gahrton, founder of Sweden's Green Party, identifies what he calls the seven
deadly sins of male-dominated society-capitalism, colonialism, communism,
militarism, urbanism and perverted uses of biology and technology.
"It is the lone-wolf, bachelor spirit which has led to this evil," Gahrton said
in an interview. "I reasoned that the opposite pole to this in human terms is
the grandmother.
"Grandmothers must take power now, if the planet is to be saved from
self-destruction," he says in "Let Grandmothers Rule the 2,000s-a Book About
Our Future."
According to Gahrton's theory, it was the restless, buccaneering spirit of
angry young men that drove communities to clash with their neighbors, seize
land from indigenous peoples and develop ever more terrifying weapons.
Sociological studies and the experience of his own land-owning family in Skane,
Sweden, persuaded Gahrton that after thousands of years of misguided
patriarchy, the human race needed a few centuries of women in power.
"I checked the theory against what I knew personally, and realized it was my
maternal grandmother, not my grandfather, who took care of everything and kept
the family together," he said.
In his 282-page analysis, Gahrton says abuse of the environment and the effects
of trade, technological progress and migration will eventually lead to global
overpopulation and a fight for survival.
Even in Scandinavia, where women combine childrearing and career in a way
envied by the rest of the world, Gahrton says women have little real power.
"They are only one percent of the power elite in Sweden. In business, where the
real facts are created, women are hardly represented at all on the boards of
companies," he said.
Gahrton's Green Party caused a stir by winning 20 seats in the Riksdag
(parliament) in the 1988 general election, only to fall below the 4 percent
threshold for parliamentary representation three years later.
At their party congress this month, the Greens will vote on a resolution that
women should hold at least 50 percent of the leadership posts.
Gahrton's book, which has received favorable views in the Swedish press, taps a
vein of skepticism among Scandinavian women about their future in the European
Community (EC).
Opinion polls in Finland, Norway and Sweden show that women are more concerned
than men about the dangers of nuclear power and ecological problems.


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