The Pippi Longstocking essay and gay adoption in Sweden
Thanks to Jayme Lemke, it has fallen into my clutches; the previous summary reference was here. The essay by Henrik Berggren and Lars TrägÃ¥rdh, is interesting throughout. It has useful insights on Sweden, statism, how collectivism and individualism interact, what architecture reflects, and why many things are not always as they seem. Here is one good passage with a different slant than what I already covered:
While it is obviously true that gay marriage remains a highly controversial issue in the US, what is often over-looked is that adoption of children by gays is not prohibited but indeed rather common. In Sweden the opposite is true: gay marriage or partnership is today relatively uncontroversial (although an opposition of course exists there as well), where the adoption of children by single or couples gays remains a problematic issue.
One way of understanding this difference is to see that while in the US marriage is a highly public matter, and the family a sacred institution, children are by and large seen as a kind of private property, or something to which every adult individual has a right. In Sweden, on the other hand, the family is a private matter, while it is the child who is the public matter.
Can Swede readers attest to this? This short BBC bit seems to confirm. Gay adoption was legalized in Sweden in 2002, but in 2000 16 children were put up for adoption in Sweden. As in the Netherlands, it seems that Swedish gays are not always encouraged to adopt abroad, given that the source countries often object. There is now a Swedish film comedy about gay adoption.
You can find the essay in this unorthodox and stimulating book.