Monday, September 24, 2001

There's this old Norwegian fairytale about a woman who refused to agree with her husband. She kept telling him over and over how stupid he was, and she did the same, face to face with all authorities, the teacher, the sheriff, the priest. At the end her husband got so tired with this, he killed her and threw her in the river. When he regretted his act, confessed and wanted her to have a christian funeral, they couldn't find the body. Why? She had refused to be taken down-stream, and they finally found her upstream!

From this story comes a saying in Norwegian: to be the woman against the stream. It's said lovingly, proudly and flatteringly: denoting a spirit which cannot be broken, an individual who stands up for and takes the consequences of his or her beliefs. This story names a woman who could have been "kjerringa mot strømmen": Conscientious Objector In the House, by Ruth Conniff

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