Friday, November 16, 2012

Cutting Edge Culture: Swedes eliminating sex specific pronouns

Every once in a while, I feel a Thoughtcrime coming on. I try to resist it, but it never seems to work. One of the incorrect thoughts that accost me from time to time is thinking that males and females are different. It us just one more piece of evidence that my re-education is still not complete.

It is at times like these that I appreciate reading stories like this one, in the New York Times, about Sweden, where some people are trying to eliminate male and female pronouns. All in the interest, of course, of dealing with the Thoughtcrimes that we are all tempted to commit about, um, our "friends":
STOCKHOLM — At an ocher-color preschool along a lane in Stockholm’s Old Town, the teachers avoid the pronouns “him” and “her,” instead calling their 115 toddlers simply “friends.” Masculine and feminine references are taboo, often replaced by the pronoun “hen,” an artificial and genderless word that most Swedes avoid but is popular in some gay and feminist circles. 
In the little library, with its throw pillows where children sit to be read to, there are few classic fairy tales, like “Cinderella” or “Snow White,” with their heavy male and female stereotypes, but there are many stories that deal with single parents, adopted children or same-sex couples.
Girls are not urged to play with toy kitchens, and wooden or Lego blocks are not considered toys for boys. And when boys hurt themselves, teachers are taught to give them every bit as much comforting as they would girls. Everyone gets to play with dolls; most are anatomically correct, and some are also black.
Yes, it is unfortunate that we must forsake stories like Snow White and the ... Seven Longitudinally Challenged Persons. And one does wonder who Cinderella is now supposed to dance with at the ball. Perhaps we can add a black transvestite drag queen to the story to spice things up a bit.
It is stories like this that hold out for me the hope that someday I too can successfully deny the manifold biological and psychological evidence and not be internally conflicted about it.

I am a little concerned, however, about the "anatomically correct" dolls they are using in these schools. Doesn't this underscore differences between the sexes? In fact, weren't the old Barbies and Kens, which were gender neutral, more "anatomically correct" than anatomically correct dolls? Isn't it the old gender neutral dolls we saw when we were young that provide us with the very image of how people really are? Isn't this one of the psychological props we resort to when these politically incorrect thoughts come upon us?

In fact, isn't the whole "biological" thing kind of dangerous to our political health? I mean, if you think about it, biology itself is one of the most culturally dangerous things we have to deal with, since it is always underscoring gender stereotypes, like things being male and female.

Sweden might want to think about eliminating biology entirely.

I suspect the Swedes will realize their mistake here eventually. The problem is that you will have all those dolls out there who will have to have their anatomy "corrected." I'm having visions of male dolls having their "anatomically correct" genitals lopped off. Maybe they could open up centers where children could take their dolls in to have this done. I mean, as long as they don't circumcise them or anything drastic like that.

I love Sweden.


Anonymous said...

As the great Swedish philosophers, ABBA, once said....Waterloo So how could I ever refuse, I feel like I win when I lose. Maybe it's not just the weather in considering the Swedish suicide rates. No wonder Malmo's Muslims are refusing to assimilate?

Anonymous said...

Want to meet a real Swedish Lutheran? Welcome to Minnesoooo-ta.

Anonymous said...

I do know that Sweden's suicide rate is only slightly higher than ours, but we're so low bred, after all, and Americans argue about whether the state cradle is always so comforting as opposed to smothering. Plus, we have personal guns and a lot of Swedish immigrants. OK No more suicide talk.

Hank said...

In oder to have anatomically correct dolls, we would need some notion of "correctness," which is no longer tolerable. The better solution, I think, is simply to sell gender-neutral dolls with "genitalia sold separately." Mix and match as you choose.

Martin Cothran said...


I like it.

Anonymous said...

I hated it when the Swedish Chef was cut from Sesame Street just because he objected to Bert and Ernie's relationship.

ZPenn said...

Gender neutral personal pronouns? You hear about something new every day I guess.

Old Rebel said...

All enlightened people know that sex is just a social construct that masks our inner equality.

So is race. And species.

In fact, we're all really globs of indistinguishable being.

Jesus H. Christ, aka your Savior. said...
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