No “Boys” or “Girls” At Swedish Preschool
Many of you read and responded to our previous blog post about a Canadian couple raising their child “genderless.” Yesterday another report brought the gender-neutral trend back into the media spotlight.
So you give toy trucks to boys and baby dolls to girls, right?
That’s what we typically buy for young children, often unconsciously aligning with the unspoken gender norms that form our world. It’s just second nature.
But inside the Swedish “Egalia” preschool, children play with toys and read books specifically designed to slash gender stereotypes. Even language, like the pronouns for “him” and “her” have been altered, with students addressing each other as “friends” instead of girls or boys.
It can be assumed you won’t find any Disney princesses in this establishment.
Some parents are thrilled at the prospect of having a child unaltered by what they believe are society’s biased beliefs. Others are unsupportive of the taxpayer-funded preschool, located in a liberal district of Stockholm.
But what’s wrong with boys who play with trucks and girls who play with dolls?
One article quotes a teacher explaining that girls are expected to be “nice and pretty” while boys are meant to be “manly, rough and outgoing.” The Egalia preschool is supposed to give children a chance to find their own sexuality, without the reinforcement of stereotypes. Some also commented that they have no problem with stereotypical behavior exhibited in children, as long as their actions are treated with equality.
But what do you think? Do you believe Egalia is setting children up for real-life or has this school gone too far?
Photo by Jim Franco