Egalia in Stockholm has banned the use of gender specific pronouns and promotes the use of a gender neural pronoun instead. Children are referred to as ‘friends’ rather than as boys and girls. Lots of interesting stuff going on here.
Of course there are detractors:
Egalia’s methods are controversial; some say they amount to mind control. Ms Rajalin says the staff have received threats from racists upset about the preschool’s use of black dolls. But she says there’s a long waiting list for admission.
Jay Belsky, a child psychologist at the University of California, Davis, questioned whether it was the right way to go.
”The kind of things that boys like to do – run around and turn sticks into swords – will soon be disapproved of,” he said. ”So gender neutrality at its worst is emasculating maleness.” [This is quite the strawargument. I don’t think anyone is suggesting that this type of play be stopped just that all children be encouraged to do it]
There is some fail in the comments of course. Some context first:
Egalia is unusual, even for Sweden. Staff try to shed masculine and feminine references from their speech, including the pronouns him or her – ”han” or ”hon” in Swedish. Instead, they’ve adopted the genderless neologism ‘hen’, used in some feminist and gay circles.
”We use the word ‘hen’ when a doctor, police, electrician or plumber or such is coming to the kindergarten,” Ms Rajalin says. ”We just say, ‘Hen is coming around 2pm.’ Then children can imagine both a man or a woman. This widens their view.”
My favourite one is this:
OMG! Some adults really do need a kick up the arse! Why can’t adults just let kids be kids! Stop tip toe around how adults should think how kids behave! Let’s face the facts a girl is a girl and a boy is a boy! And if the plumber comes at 2pm then stop lying to the children and say the Plumber is coming at 2pm. A plumber is not a hen! A hen lays eggs in a chicken coup. To say lie about the fact is only teaching children dishonesty, and how to tell lies! Adults should learn to grow up, as children would never know who to trust!
Let kids be kids | sydney – June 28, 2011, 11:44AM
Closely followed by this one: [some context: at my children’s daycare they use toilets which are in a room between two day activity rooms, have only short half doors and a glass door leading to the outside and no partitions between the toilets. So the kids can see each other on the toilet (as can the carers, which is why it is designed like that). No one seems to care.
how are these kids gonna go to the toilet?
JXXX | sydney – June 28, 2011, 12:28PM