Today I was perusing the news and I found this article about a preschool in Sweden called Egalia.

"Egalia."  That sounds like a far away land in a fairy tale where everyone gets along doesn't it?  NO!  Fairy tales are not allowed in Egalia.  They have derogatory gender roles and fairy tales are NEVER to be mentioned in Egalia.  Instead, there are books about two male giraffes who are partners, but they're sad because they don't have a child and then they adopt a crocodile egg.  Egalia is a magical place where all the children will grow up without gender bias because they're not allowed to use the words "him" (han) or "her" (hon).  Instead they've made up their own word:  "hen" (it???).  That way when a visitor comes the children can imagine a male or a female coming by. Or a hermaphrodite, I suppose.

I'm truly exhausted reading about all the hoops one must jump through to keep this school genderless.  Kitchens are placed next to Legos, books are all about two mothers or two fathers or single parents or adoption.  When you look at the pictures with this article it appears they even make the kids dress genderless.  Looks like my dress-wearing princess and my light saber-wielding Jedi would NOT fit in here.

I bet Storm's parents are ready to sign him up.  This sounds like some stupid school they'd want to send their kid to.  I wonder if the admissions form for Egalia has a place to check "other" or "not disclosed" for sex of the student.  If they don't, they'd better get on that!  That would be a bit embarrassing when Storm's parents choose to enroll hen.

What is Sweden thinking?  Why do they think this school is a good idea?  What kind of future adults will they have?  We all know, genderless basically means pussy-whipped.  What Sweden is doing is raising a bunch of boys who lack balls - or from the looks of the picture, a bunch of clowns (Am I the only one who is reminded of clowns??  Who else dresses like that?).  They're also raising a bunch of girls who will have crew cuts and wear overalls every day and dig wells for a living while the boys clean house.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm trying very hard to raise my kids to be respectful of all people and other lifestyles, but honestly.  This is a bit much.  Sweden is going to screw these kids up.  They can't just take words out of their vocabulary and think that will make the kids all the same.  They're not the same.  Girls and boys are different.  You can teach them to respect and understand one another, but you can't just turn them all into androgynous little people and think it won't have lasting repercussions.  It's lucky Sweden has socialized medicine because the therapy bills are going to be high.

On one hand, I understand what Egalia is trying to do.  I tried to raise my kids pretty gender neutral.  We had lots of different toys to expose them to.  My son had a play kitchen and a baby doll, my daughter learned to sword fight and say "Arrgh" before she could walk.  I never put my son in any clothes with sport teams on them and my daughter's room was red and black - NO PINK!  These choices weren't about gender neutrality, they were personal.  I don't like sporty baby wear and I hated pink at the time.

That being said, my kids still grew up to be all boy and all girl.  I think it's better to embrace each individual child's interests rather than trying to force them all into gender neutral boxes.

My boy is the boy who chewed his sandwich into a gun when he was about 18 months old.  His first word was "ball" and he could swing a bat and make contact with a pitch when he was 2.  He became obsessed with pirates when he was 3 and carried that obsession for the next two and a half years.  He swashbuckles, builds fantastical vehicles out of Legos, obsesses over Star Wars and draws picture books filled with monsters.  He is also one of the kindest and warmest kids (boy or girl!) you'll ever meet.  He has an enormous heart and he's a gentle soul who tries very hard not to hurt anyone's feelings.  He is a wonderful big brother and is always loving to his little sister.

My girl is a princess who refuses to wear jeans or shorts, because they're not "cute."  She prefers skorts or dresses and today asked me if I could buy her heels (I declined).  She begs me to let her wear lip gloss and carry a purse.  Her first word was "hair bow".  And because she loved to wear them so much I started a small side business where I made her bows and sold the extras to people who would stop me in Target to ask me where I got them.  Her second word was "pink" and she is rarely seen without something pink on her body (sometimes it's just her bows so I can get her out the door).  She's girly and loves to dress up and she loves stuffed animals.  But this girl is tough and strong willed.  When she plays with her dolls, she is not their Mommy, she is their Big Sister and she prefers to let her brother babysit her dolls because she's "too busy at work" to watch them.  She is sassy, opinionated and loud.  Some might call her bossy.  (We do.)  We must work with her daily on showing compassion and helping her understand that "pretty" is the way she behaves, not the way she looks.  She nods and says, "I know, I know.  Now hand over the lip gloss."

These two kids would be kicked out of Egalia and I would be thrilled.


CBertolino said...

The ultimate sexists! They're saying it's not okay to be a girl or a boy. Instead they want these poor kids to be "its". Being male or female is a huge part of who we are and I just don't understand why we can't celebrate this instead of hiding behind it. Being an "it" is confusing. These poor babies are going to effed!

Staziaface said...

I agree. I think that by not giving them the choice to pick whatever they want they are doing the SAME thing as forcing strict gender roles on them. NEUTRAL IS STILL A GENDER ROLE!!! boys and girls ARE different! I agree that we should not look down upon boys who like sex and the city or girls who want to be a soldier. But I think we should also teach girls to OWN being a know things like, I dont have much upper body strength but my legs can kick your ass! Embrace the differences and be who you ARE!

Anonymous said...

Oh my, what a bad idea indeed! This kind of thing has been tried before, with zero success. We are who we are, individuals, some more feminine than others, and that doesn't necessarily have anything to do with gender, either (though it usually does).

Yeah, really bad idea!

ButteryMuffyn said...

Sounds like this could be totally where I live (Seattle, home of the passive aggressive fleece monster). All the males here are so forced into being surrounded by "Strong female role models" they are all turning out gay or totally emasculated beyond belief!! Whatever happened to being allowed to develop by yourself??

ShelliiBellii said...

they make ugly furniture too!

Kate said...

We raise our kids ... stereotype neutral? For lack of a better word. My son took dance lessons for years {this girls in his class were vicious to him. Dummies. Whom do they think is going to lift them when they're 16 and want to dance duos if they scare the boys off when they're all 4?} He also LOVES Harry Potter and Star Wars. He likes to cook and do the dishes {SCORE!} and he likes to make mud {we live in NM; we don't GET mud naturally, so it must be created} and track it into my living room. He's comfortable with himself.
My daughter is 12 months, but has a favourite doll AND truck. We're o.k. with that. I also despise the colour pink.

Anonymous said...

As jaguwar said, this type of thing has been done before, and the results were not just unsuccessful, but tragic. smh

Noam said...

This is great. I don't understand your criticism. It's not true that boys and girls are different -- each and every one of us are different! In this school, if boys choose to play with swords and girls with ponies, that's fine. If they choose the opposite, that's fine too. It's about letting each person be themselves, without imposing certain rolls upon them.

What's wrong with a sensitive boy or a tough girl? We should embrace all types of people.

This is not about imposing neutrality upon the kids; it's about not imposing anything, letting them be natural. If boys are inherently different than girls, let that happen naturally. Why force it?

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