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In Sweden, a Music Festival for Women Stresses Its ‘Safe Zone’

Category: Entertainment,Music

“We felt that it was in our interest and within our mandate to carry out an investigation to see if what they are doing is legal according to the Discrimination Act,” Mr. Lundstedt said in a phone interview. “When we do an investigation of this kind, we are not presuming that it is discrimination,” he added.

He said the investigation was continuing.

Addressing the complaints to the equality ombudsman and the men who feel discriminated against, Ms. Knyckare said on Saturday: “Not all men are rapists and almost all rapes are done by men. We can’t know who is a rapist. By having this festival, we don’t have to look over our shoulders.”

Women at the festival seemed to revel in the freedom of a newfound safe zone and to enjoy not having to worry about drinking too much or sending the wrong signal.

“This is not what society really looks like, but it’s fun to experience it for 12 hours,” said Louise Withalisson, a 24-year-old student who was waiting in front of a small vintage camper with colored lights that was offering to tell fortunes. She added, “I think it’s perfectly reasonable to have separatist spaces.”

Her friend Malin Marklund, a 26-year-old high school teacher, noted the “comfortable sound level,” “good feeling” and unusual sense of safety.

“I have experienced an unpleasant situation with a group of men once so as soon as I’m in a situation that reminds me of that I feel unsafe,” she said, smiling. “I haven’t felt unsafe here once, and I often do, walking around town.”

Matilda Hedelin, who said she was there to see the singer-songwriter Frida Hyvonen, chimed in. “I think a lot of women make room for men without thinking about it, stepping aside,” she said. “Here, no one does that.”


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