STOCKHOLM, JUne 27, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) - In accordance with a national school curriculum that seeks to fight the “stereotyping” of gender roles, a preschool in the Sodermalm district of Stockholm has incorporated a gender-free pedagogy that eliminates any reference to gender completely.
Staff at the “Egalia” preschool avoid using words like “him” or “her” and instead address the 30 or so boys and girls, aged 1 to 6 years, as “friends.”
“Society expects girls to be girlie, nice and pretty, and boys to be manly, rough and outgoing,” Jenny Johnsson, a 31-year-old teacher at the taxpayer-funded school told the Daily Mail. “Egalia gives them a fantastic opportunity to be whoever they want to be.”
Director Lotta Rajalin told AP that the school has hired a “gender pedagogue” to help staff remove masculine and feminine references in language and behavior, going so far as to make sure that lego blocks and other building toys are kept next to kitchen and cooking toys to avoid any gender roles being given preference.
The Swedish pronouns “han” and “hon” (him and her), for instance, have been replaced in the school by the genderless “hen,” a made-up word that doesn’t exist in Swedish but is used extensively by feminists and homosexuals.
“We use the word ‘Hen’ for example when a doctor, police, electrician or plumber or such is coming to the kindergarten,” Rajalin said. “We don’t know if it’s a he or a she so we just say ‘Hen is coming around 2 p.m.’ Then the children can imagine both a man or a woman. This widens their view.”
There are also no traditional children’s books such as Snow White, Cinderella or the classic fairy tales, Rajalin said. The shelves instead have books that deal with homosexual couples, single parents, adopted children, and treatises on “new ways to play.”
“A concrete example could be when they’re playing house and the role of the mom already is taken and they start to squabble,” Rajalin said. “Then we suggest two moms or three moms and so on.”
Not all Swedish parents, however, support their country’s agenda of eliminating gender roles.
“Different gender roles aren’t problematic as long as they are equally valued,” Tanja Bergkvist told AP, denouncing what she called “gender madness” in Sweden.
Bergkvist observed that those promoting equality between the sexes by breaking down 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. Why is there higher value in playing with cars?”
Bergkvist, who is a vocal critic of the state’s promotion of a genderless structure in schools and an academia focused on gender studies, noted on her blog as an example of the “gender madness” in the country that the state-funded Swedish Science Council had granted $80,000 for a postdoctoral fellowship for research into “the trumpet as a symbol of gender.”