What seems to be all the rage these days? Burning money. That's right. In protest to the wage gap between men and women, Sweden's feminist group set fire to what amounted to $13,000 - a number which symbolizes the money women miss out on every minute. While Sweden is known internationally for its progressive moves towards gender equality and substantial family support (including paid maternity AND paternity leave) it still has a long way to go to support women in the workforce. According to the national statistics agency, women working in Sweden make 19% less than their fellow male co-workers. Not that the United States is any better. Women in the U.S make 77 cents to every dollar men make, that is, working the same job. And no paid paternity leave, not to mention most private health insurance companies won't provide for women when expecting, you know, because pregnancy is a pre-existing condition and all.
So, while it may seem crazy and hypocritical to burn money - it also makes way too much sense. It is that money in which women will never see in their paychecks. It is that money which represents the patriarchal hold over society which prevents women from fluently progressing throughout their careers.
But what also happened in this story is the insurgence of anti-woman commentators on the articles reporting this event - ranging from discussions on gender differences to sexual myths to blatant cultural stereotypes. So, like this act or not, women and feminists need to stand together in solidarity. What do you think? What other ways might have been effective?
The opinions expressed on the BUST blog are those of the authors themselves and do not necessarily reflect the position of BUST Magazine or its staff.