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Him and Her are anathema in Sweden

The GLBT influence in Sweden is strong, very strong... oops, those words would also be seen to be problematic:

At the "Egalia" preschool, staff avoid using words like "him" or "her" and address the 33 kids as "friends" rather than girls and boys.

From the color and placement of toys to the choice of books, every detail has been carefully planned to make sure the children don't fall into gender stereotypes.

"Society expects girls to be girlie, nice and pretty and boys to be manly, rough and outgoing," says Jenny Johnsson, a 31-year-old teacher. "Egalia gives them a fantastic opportunity to be whoever they want to be."

The taxpayer-funded preschool which opened last year in the liberal Sodermalm district of Stockholm for kids aged 1 to 6 is among the most radical examples of Sweden's efforts to engineer equality between the sexes from childhood onward.

Breaking down gender roles is a core mission in the national curriculum for preschools, underpinned by the theory that even in highly egalitarian-minded Sweden, society gives boys an unfair edge.

To even things out, many preschools have hired "gender pedagogues" to help staff identify language and behavior that risk reinforcing stereotypes.

Some parents worry things have gone too far. An obsession with obliterating gender roles, they say, could make the children confused and ill-prepared to face the world outside kindergarten.

"Different gender roles aren't problematic as long as they are equally valued," says Tanja Bergkvist, a 37-year-old blogger and a leading voice against what she calls "gender madness" in Sweden.

Those bent on shattering gender roles "say there's a hierarchy where everything that boys do is given higher value, but I wonder who decides that it has higher value," she says. "Why is there higher value in playing with cars?"

At Egalia -- the title connotes "equality" -- boys and girls play together with a toy kitchen, waving plastic utensils and pretending to cook. One boy hides inside the toy stove, his head popping out through a hole.

Lego bricks and other building blocks are intentionally placed next to the kitchen, to make sure the children draw no mental barriers between cooking and construction.

Director Lotta Rajalin notes that Egalia places a special emphasis on fostering an environment tolerant of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. From a bookcase, she pulls out a story about two male giraffes who are sad to be childless -- until they come across an abandoned crocodile egg.

Nearly all the children's books deal with homosexual couples, single parents or adopted children. There are no "Snow White," ''Cinderella" or other classic fairy tales seen as cementing stereotypes.

My guess is that other kinds of fairy tales are now in vogue in Sweden.

Sweden, leading the way in societal decay.


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Comments (17)

Over the years, I've known ... (Below threshold)
cirby:

Over the years, I've known a few couples who tried the "gender neutral" style of parenting - and it always failed miserably. The girls would choose "female" games like playing house, and the boys always played "war."

The thing the parents never noticed? Their households, while ostensibly "gender neutral," were distinctly female oriented. All conflict was resolved by "how it makes me feel," and the order of the day was always passive, not active. One couple even had discussion on how to "passively resist" in case of a home invasion (because, the theory went, if the invaders could take everything without any resistance, they would leave in peace without hurting anyone).

Rick,Next they'll ... (Below threshold)
Brucepall:

Rick,

Next they'll want to rip out all the urinals in the boys bathroom. Oh wait, they've already done that... and replaced the sign on the bathroom door with a unisex symbol. All in the name of equality.

SF - Brucepall

Stories like this remind me... (Below threshold)
Eric:

Stories like this remind me of the prologue to Idiocracy.

Hiring gender pedagogues se... (Below threshold)
James H:

Hiring gender pedagogues seems to go over the top. Why not just make both "boy" and "girl" toys available to all the kids, then let them choose whatever they want to do and not judge 'em for it one way or the other?

But James then they would j... (Below threshold)
Ikkonoishi:

But James then they would just reinforce the stereotypes on their own. They must learn behave to behave properly. Meaning the way we want them to behave.

James H - I suspect the ide... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

James H - I suspect the idea is to not allow the kids to choose. They already know where that leads, and they want to go somewhere else. So using indoctrination is the answer to their problem.

cirby - There isn't much that is more passive that a home invader with two in the chest and one in the head.

A vicious plot by psycholog... (Below threshold)
Faith+1:

A vicious plot by psychologists to guarantee future patients.

So lets carry this even fur... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

So lets carry this even further in the sacred name of equality. The heart surgeon should get paid the same amount as the truck driver or the person who cleans the uni-sex bathrooms.

Hell, no wonder there's a 'drinking problem' in Sweden.

OH, just make and end run a... (Below threshold)
Don L :

OH, just make and end run around the law like Obama does.Think about the opportunity....


"Hey you, you XY chromosome over there!"

"Hey, fellow XY's, do you think that we should allow those double y's to vote?"

"Naw, they should be kept barefoot, preg...."

"Rick,Next they'll... (Below threshold)
Don L :

"Rick,

Next they'll want to rip out all the urinals in the boys bathroom. Oh wait, they've already done that... and replaced the sign on the bathroom door with a unisex symbol. All in the name of equality."

Sorry guys, 1953 Yokosuka Japan -Sailor's bar -sitting on the throne and a girl comes in and parks next to me -it's their custom.

Don L - "-Sailor's bar -sit... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

Don L - "-Sailor's bar -sitting on the throne and a girl comes in and parks next to me -it's their custom."

Not even an awkward moment, just talk about the first thing that comes up.

"Sweden, leading the way in... (Below threshold)
Sep14:

"Sweden, leading the way in societal decay."


NY, doing their best to keep up.

Speaking as a bachelor, I w... (Below threshold)
James H:

Speaking as a bachelor, I wish I had learned more about cleaning and cooking growing up. Then perhaps I would not spend a Saturday afternoon with a bucket and a mop, staring at a bottle of Pine-Sol and trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do with it.

Its on par with Liberals co... (Below threshold)
Ryan M.:

Its on par with Liberals complaining about "We shouldn't legislate morality" while working to redefine marriage, expand the availability of Abortions and redistribute wealth in the name of 'Social justice'. . . .

:Oh, we want to remove Gender stereotypes! . . .by pushing your own stereotype.

This is a great idea. In it... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

This is a great idea. In its spirit, I'm going to teach my golden retriever to avoid water at all costs, and under no circumstances to retrieve a tennis ball.

How and where he learned to conform to such antisocial breed stereotypes I'll never know.

"We shouldn't legislate ... (Below threshold)
Jay Guevara:

"We shouldn't legislate morality"

Yep.

Legislating diet, however, is A-OK.

Wow! Up comes yet another c... (Below threshold)
Patricia:

Wow! Up comes yet another crazy idea.

What happens when XX lusts after XY? Whoops, not PC, Guys - oops, there I go again. Just can't teach an old gal (sorry again!) new ideas....




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