School bans "him" and "her". Everyone now an "it"..
You're all equal here: Swedish school bans 'him' and 'her' in bid to stop children falling into gender stereotypes
A pre-school in Sweden has decided to stop calling children 'him' or 'her' in a bid to avoid gender stereotypes.
The Egalia preschool, in the Sodermalm district of Stockholm, has made the decision as part of the country efforts to engineer equality between the sexes from childhood.
As well as the decision to stop using the words, the taxpayer-funded school also carefully plans the colour and placement of toys and the choice of books to assure they do not fall into stereotypes.
The school opened last year and is on a mission to break down gender roles - a core mission in the national curriculum for Swedish pre-schools.
The option to implement the rules is underpinned by a theory that society gives boys an unfair edge.
'Society expects girls to be girlie, nice and pretty and boys to be manly, rough and outgoing,' says Jenny Johnsson, a 31-year-old teacher.
'Egalia gives them a fantastic opportunity to be whoever they want to be.'
At the school, boys and girls play together with a toy kitchen, waving plastic utensils and pretending to cook. One boy hides inside the toy stove, his head popping out through a hole.
Lego bricks and other building blocks are intentionally placed next to the kitchen, to make sure the children draw no mental barriers between cooking and construction.
Meanwhile, nearly all the children's books deal with homosexual couples, single parents or adopted children. There are no 'Snow White,' 'Cinderella' or other fairy tales.
Director Lotta Rajalin notes that Egalia places a special emphasis on fostering an environment tolerant of ***, *******, bisexual and transgender people.
Rajalin says the staff also try to help the children discover new ideas when they 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,' she says. 'Then we suggest two moms or three moms and so on.'
by StregaJune 30, 2011 at 8:41 AM
Oy.. What will they think of next?
by 4kidz916June 30, 2011 at 9:56 AM
I hate to think of any child being referred to as "it".
by Jess1231June 30, 2011 at 10:00 AMwow seriouslly
Okay, I dont see how they will abandon using the words him and her in sentences or he and she for that matter.
Playing house? Thats been going on for years!!!!! Boys and Girls!
No fairy tales? Wheres the harm in reading boys and girls about Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs or Alice in Wonderland?
They are not as unique as they think they are being except for the ban of fairy tales and gender titles.
by KamsOneJune 30, 2011 at 12:42 PM
That's just weird. I don't think I'd want to be called an "it"!
June 30, 2011 at 12:43 PMRidiculous. Boys and girls ARE different! Should they be forced into cookie cutter traditional strict gender roles? No! And by that I mean don’t freak out if a boy plays with a doll or a girl loves cars. But to try to make people genderless is ridiculous.
July 1, 2011 at 9:43 AM
I think this is ridiculous. You can't ban "him" and "her" because no matter what they're still a "him" and "her". I would much rather refer to someone as "him" or "her" instead of an "it". How insulting and demeaning. I don't believe in gender stereotypes. Girls are girls and boys are boys. End of story. There is nothing wrong with boys playing with girls toys or vise versa, the only one that makes it a stereotype are those whom raise their children that way. It's all in how you raise them. My daughter plays with cars and dinosaurs as well as her dolls and dress up. That is ok with me. If I had a boy and he wanted to play with his sisters dolls...that would be ok with me. I think people need to get the hell over this crap. I will not refer to my child as an "it". She is a SHE. She's a GIRL. Nothing is changing that.
by PassionbyLeaJuly 1, 2011 at 10:11 AM
Isweettigeress, I could not have said it better myself. My girls are girls and nothing will change that. Do I care if they play with cars and dinosaurs. Heck NO!!! I would find it demeaning if they call all people "it". Thats like calling a person a dog or something.