No Him Or Her

The taxpayer-funded “Egalia” preschool in Stockholm has as its core mission the breaking down of gender roles, based on the premise that society gives boys an unfair edge. Unfortunately, the consequences of such a social engineering (brainwashing?) project have not been considered beyond the idealistic goal of obliterating gender roles. This could end up putting the children at a disadvantage when faced with the real world where gender differences actually do exist.

Tanja Bergkvist, a leading opponent against what she calls “gender madness”, puts it very succinctly: “Different gender roles aren’t problematic as long as they are equally valued”. It is hard to argue with that, but teaching proper values is not the school’s main objective. It is the replacing of values with idealistic and ideological notions that seems to be the goal.

Language, itself, is under attack at the school where words such as “him” and “her” are avoided. The word “hen” is being used when referring to someone coming to the school in order that the children can “widen their view” by “imagining” both a man or a woman. The damage to communication skills this may cause in the children is, of course, not addressed.

Egalia doesn’t deny the biological differences between boys and girls, but denying other differences carries the possibility of confusing the children. The thrust of the program seems to be towards empowering the girls, but it could end up emasculating maleness in the boys. Disapproving of some typical boys’ playful behavior in favor of more gender neutral activities could end up being a detriment to normal development in boys.

Equality for women in the workplace is being achieved. According to statistics from the United States Department of Labor for the year 2009, women accounted for 51% of all workers in the high-paying management, professional and related occupations and salaries are finally beginning to reach those of men. The message seems to have been heard and disparities are being erased across the board.

Trying to neutralize all differences between the sexes doesn’t bode well for women or men. It is a denial of nature, and everyone knows not to fool with Mother Nature. Or is it wrong to say “Mother” Nature?

David J. Hentosh

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