PC preschool bans words 'him' and 'her'

Jodi - posted on 06/26/2011 ( 107 moms have responded )

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AT the Egalia preschool, staff avoid using words like "him" or "her" and address the 33 kids as "friends" rather than girls and boys.

From the colour and placement of toys to the choice of books, every detail has been carefully planned to make sure the children don't fall into gender stereotypes.

"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."

The taxpayer-funded preschool which opened last year in the liberal Sodermalm district of Stockholm for kids aged one to six is among the most radical examples of Sweden's efforts to engineer equality between the sexes from childhood onward.

Breaking down gender roles is a core mission in the national curriculum for preschools, underpinned by the theory that even in highly egalitarian-minded Sweden, society gives boys an unfair edge.

To even things out, many preschools have hired "gender pedagogues" to help staff identify language and behaviour that risk reinforcing stereotypes.

Some parents worry things have gone too far. An obsession with obliterating gender roles, they say, could make the children confused and ill-prepared to face the world outside kindergarten.

"Different gender roles aren't problematic as long as they are equally valued," says Tanja Bergkvist, a 37-year-old blogger and a leading voice against what she calls "gender madness" in Sweden.

Those bent on shattering gender roles "say there's a hierarchy where everything that boys do is given higher value, but I wonder who decides that it has higher value," she says. "Why is there higher value in playing with cars?"

At Egalia - the title connotes "equality" - 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.

Director Lotta Rajalin notes that Egalia places a special emphasis on fostering an environment tolerant of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. From a bookcase, she pulls out a story about two male giraffes who are sad to be childless - until they come across an abandoned crocodile egg.

Nearly all the children's books deal with homosexual couples, single parents or adopted children. There are no Snow White, Cinderella or other classic fairy tales seen as cementing stereotypes.

Rajalin, 52, 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."

Egalia's methods are controversial; some say they amount to mind control. Rajalin says the staff have received threats from racists apparently upset about the preschool's use of black dolls.

But she says that there's a long waiting list for admission to Egalia, and that only one couple has pulled a child out of the school.

Jukka Korpi, 44, says he and his wife chose Egalia "to give our children all the possibilities based on who they are and not on their gender."

Sweden has promoted women's rights for decades, and more recently was a pioneer among European countries in allowing gay and lesbian couples to legalise their partnerships and adopt children.

Gender studies permeate academic life in Sweden. Bergkvist noted on her blog that the state-funded Swedish Science Council had granted $US80,000 ($A76,175) for a postdoctoral fellowship aimed at analysing "the trumpet as a symbol of gender."

Jay Belsky, a child psychologist at the University of California, Davis, said he's not aware of any other school like Egalia, and he questioned whether it was the right way to go.

"The kind of things that boys like to do - run around and turn sticks into swords - will soon be disapproved of," he said. "So gender neutrality at its worst is emasculating maleness."

Egalia is unusual even for Sweden. Staff try to shed masculine and feminine references from their speech, including the pronouns him or her - "han" or "hon" in Swedish. Instead, they've have adopted the genderless "hen," a word that doesn't exist in Swedish but is used in some feminist and gay circles.

"We use the word "hen" for example when a doctor, police, electrician or plumber or such is coming to the kindergarten," Rajalin says. "We don't know if it's a he or a she so we just say 'Hen is coming around 2pm' Then the children can imagine both a man or a woman. This widens their view."

Egalia doesn't deny the biological differences between boys and girls - the dolls the children play with are anatomically correct.

What matters is that children understand that their biological differences "don't mean boys and girls have different interests and abilities," Rajalin says. "This is about democracy. About human equality."

http://www.news.com.au/world/pc-preschoo...

So do you think this is taking gender equality and political correctness to far? Do you think that banning use of the terms "him" and "her" is REALLY the way to address the issue? Can we not recognise gender equality without banning gender specific terms?

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Kellie - posted on 06/26/2011

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I think it's going too far and it's really starting to annoy me. We ARE different in EVERY WAY. I am a Woman why do I have to become genderless? Why do we all have to be the same? Should I go and get a Penis attached so I can truly be genderless? Should my Partner go and get Breasts, a Vagina and a Uterus so he can truly be genderless?



What happened to encouraging differences? What happened to accepting ourselves for who we are and what we are? Gender is a fact of life, unless one is born with both Genitalia then I'm sorry but You have a Gender.



Gender itself isn't the issue, it's the expectations society places on you because of your gender that is the issue. Becoming Genderless and denying who we are isn't going to change that. Facts are Girls/Boys Men/Women think differently to each other.



Why can't a little boy be a little boy? Why can't a little girl be a little girl?



I don't fucking get it.



Edited to Add:



I know, lets all become robots and mass produce one with both. No Gender Issues or any other issues.

Jayce - posted on 06/26/2011

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"Different gender roles aren't problematic as long as they are equally valued," says Tanja Bergkvist..." That sums up my feelings exactly.

I think it's taking it too far. So instead of he and she/him and her, we have a lot of 'its' running. I was always taught that refering to someone as 'it' was rude.

Caitlin - posted on 06/27/2011

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I think it's absolutely ridiculous. Removing him/her wont change these kids, they will hear it everywhere else, or if not, they will be introduced to this concept later when they go to regular school, kind of like math, and assume it's something you learn with age.

I call bullshit to all these people claiming that they can make things more "gender neutral" by arranging toys differently. Gender roles exist in our society, get bloody well used to them! I am a mom of 3, I am also a licensed Carpenter (99.5% male dominated trade in my area - women tend to stick to interior finishing when they are int he trade around here. Bugger that, I like the frame work!). This wasn't thanks to some progressive schools (went to regular public schools) or some wonderfully accepting parents (my mother spent my education fund on a car when she found out what I was going to be studying - she didn't approve, my dad thinks it's cool though, he asks for help sometimes with projects) and it certainly didn't come becau8se I was lovingly welcomed with open arms into the school. They didn't say no, but it came with very specific warnings about the challenges that I would face in the workplace, and even from the other students.

What we need to do is teach kids that they should do what they love. I love building things, fixing things and such, so I did what I wanted no matter how many times I was discrimnated against or fired for no reason, or given the hardest jobs just so they could laugh at me (one of my favorites was carry these 25 sheets of 4x8x1" treated plywood to the fourth floor - when they had a lift for that reason). Who cares who wants to be what? The fact is that we have to acknowledge the fact that 99% of constrcution workers are men for a reason - get over it - bugger those stupid "affirmative action" hiring plans because they help nobody in the long run (because then the other workers dislike you more because that is "preferential treatment") and embrace what our true strengths are... GAH! Pisses me off to hear this crap allt he time..

Lissa - posted on 06/27/2011

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I've just come back from a clothes shopping trip with my family so I thought I would share this. There were a number of tops in the boys section with pink on them. My daughter advised her Dad not to buy a pink shirt. I asked her if she thought pink was for girls. She said no Daddy just doesn't suit pink so I said he should try the red one instead. I tried to encourage my daughter to buy something that wasn't pink but you know what she loves pink. It has nothing to do with being brought up that way, as long as she has been able to say yes, no and like it she has expressed a preference for pink clothes. My youngest son also loves pink, he likes to buy pink cuddly toys and colour things pink. I want them to embrace who they are and that means my husband gets to wear the awful grey with gold writing "FAME" type t-shirt :$, my daughter gets to wear her pink and glittery clothes and my son gets to wear his alien under pants because he likes the pink and green aliens.

I am Human,Female,Scottish,British,Italian,Mother,Sister, Daughter, Aunt,Wife, Friend, Sister-in-Law, Daughter-in-Law and mostly just me. I like and embrace each and every one of these roles.

Of course we are all human but we are also all different. Taking out he/she would be like me being told I'm not Scottish and Italian but I have to be British.

This next part...I hope I don't offend anyone.............. If you are for instance Jewish and you are coming to dinner at my home, should I just ignore your difference from me and feed you shellfish of course not. I should recognise a difference and respect it!

Merry - posted on 06/27/2011

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We try and try to make everyone equal but it never works, we are different. Why not just embrace it and instill in our kids that differences are a good thing?

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Jodi - posted on 04/03/2012

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I think we can minimalize the standard gender roles (i.e. daddy brings home the bacon working at a construction site while mommy takes care of the babies while washing the dishes) without eliminating a child's identity to their gender. My oldest daughter,3, loves trucks, dirt, bugs and getting messy. But she also really loves to play princess. She hates dolls and kitchen sets. My twins, well, they're only 1 and both girls, but one LOVES clothes, and one loves baby dolls. They both love dirt though. I think we can teach children, through open mindedness, that it's just as normal for a girl to work construction as it is for a boy to be a stay at home dad, and do this while still teaching them to be proud of being a girl or a boy. Emotionally and mentally, and obviously physically, girls and boys are vastly different, this doesn't mean they have to fall into stereotypical roles, it just means boys and girls are different...but equal. Can't we teach that?

Sylvia - posted on 04/02/2012

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I think avoiding gendered pronouns is a bit much -- in fact, quite a bit of what the article describes is a bit much -- but I'm all for not pushing trucks and sports on little boys and princess dolls on little girls. The gendering of kids' toys drives me NUTS. (Seriously, Disney Princess MegaBloks? Barbie Lego kids? WTF?).



At my DD's daycare the teachers never said "boys and girls", they always said "kids" or "friends". (As in, "We don't bite friends!" :P)



A point of concern I see is: did they remove gender-ed bathrooms? Most children are not ready for that!



Seriously? These are little kids, yes? I've been to quite a few preschools and daycares, and almost all of them had unisex washrooms, and none of the kids cared that there was maybe another kid of the opposite sex in there with them. The desire for single-sex washrooms seems IME to kick in around age 5 or 6.



Some little girls are really "girly" without much encouragement in that direction, and some little boys are really "boyish" without much encouragement that way. But a lot of kids would be somewhere in between, in terms of interests and favourite colours and favourite toys and life aspirations, if they weren't constantly bombarded practically from birth with message about "girls do this" and "boys do that". I think it's interesting to see what kids do with themselves when they're not getting those messages so much.

Marlena - posted on 04/02/2012

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Let me just say I was in the military. I can just imagine the look on a command sargent major's face if I called him anything but Sir. And if the drill sargent's heard me do it, it would be a court martial of the highest degree. And oh yeah, did I mention I am a woman? My little boy loves wearing my uniform just as much as his sister's purple unicorn house shoes. My daughter, she is princess through and through, but don't think for one second she won't dress up like a knight ready to slay the dragon that is our cat. I am proud to call them my little boy and my little girl. I may have given up a lot of my freedom to defend the right those people have to think the way they do, but that does not mean I have to agree with them in any way.

[deleted account]

If they want to do that at school so be it they can't stop it from happening at home....And I know at my house with my husband who is a correction officer and retired army so with our boys he really treats them like boys and our girls well they are really babied

Christina - posted on 06/30/2011

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My boys are boys, and my girls are girls. I think it is a little absurd actually. There is nothing wrong with my little girls being girls and my boys being boys. At our home, our children play with whatever they want. Daddy will even sit down and play with the girls Disney Princess toys. I've put fingernail polish on my boys toes until they hit the age of five. But even as I type this, I hear my daughters playing house and my boys blasting each other into oblivion with their imaginary guns! There is NOTHING wrong with being different. I love being a woman and love being girlie when I have a chance. And I love my husband being masculine.

Dorota - posted on 06/30/2011

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I think it's ridiculous! What the hell is wrong with gender roles??? It's just pushing everything to the extreme.... and I love this quote "What matters is that children understand that their biological differences "don't mean boys and girls have different interests and abilities," Rajalin says. "This is about democracy. About human equality." "
Since when don't boys and girls have different abilities? I thought it was proven that they do develop differently and at different times, even certain skills like grasping small objects I thought girls did that earlier.... but what do I know?
IMO let children be children not science experiments.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/30/2011

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That is awesome information Donna, thanks for sharing your experience with non gender words.

[deleted account]

I'd also like to add, in centers they go so far as to they to avoid using gender specific words that some actually reprimand the worker for using such a word. AND many workers tend to use words I'd prefer they didn't, like "baby". For example, Wyatt's group leader sees him come in one morning and says, "Hello Wyatt! How are you, baby?" Many of the ladies there use "baby" a lot and it drives me insane! It's like when a waitress (gender specificity pun intended) calls me "honey". Aaaarrrggghhhh!

Of course they also don't use "Good boy!" for positive reinforcement, but rather something like "good job!" which is okay... But rather than letting them use a gender specific word that actually describes the kid ("good boy!") you get something that sounds somewhat condescending to me ("good job, baby!").

I say let them use the common gender specific words as usual and let the parents do their job of educating about tolerance and equality and gender roles on their own.

[deleted account]

You know, I don't actually see anything new or groundbreaking here. Nothing.

In Australia (or at least in Queensland), daycare centers are not supposed to use gender specific words (boy, girl, him, her), or at least they are supposed to try and minimize their usage. They also use the word "friends" when referring to another child. For example, "Wyatt, we don't hit our friends." childcare centers also have all toys available to all children, but are grouped in less gender specific ways. There is "home corner" that has the kitchen stuff and any dolls, beds, prams, etc; "imagination corner" or "dress ups corner" which contains costumes and the like; and "story corner" usually with pillows on the floor and heaps of books on the shelves.

What I've seen in the centers my boys have attended, even the kindergarten Seth is in which follows the same guidelines, kids will play with what they want to play with, regardless of if they are boys or girls. And they will most likely play with the things they have had most exposure to by, guess who, their PARENTS. Seth loves, and I mean LOVES, to cook. He wants a vacuum for Christmas... And this big ass nerf gun. He also loves excavators, but has very little time for drawing. We've always called him a boy and referred to him as "him", and he plays with whatever he likes. The only aberration is the gun thing. I honestly don't know where that came from. One day he grabbed a part from his baseball t and a hammer, held them together and announced it was his gun. Ok.

So I think it's not a new idea they have here. They may be taking it to another level than we already have here, and I already disagree with the elimination of gender specific words. It's up to the parents to teach about equality and be open and up front with their kids so that if any issues arise, the kids can feel comfortable going to the parents about their gender issues. Gender isn't going to go away and is a part of life in a huge world. Ignoring it doesn't solve any problems, but simply creates more.

I believe if we teach our children to be more tolerant of DIFFERENCES we would do much more toward eliminating equality issues of all kinds.

Teresa - posted on 06/29/2011

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People are devalued by not letting them be who they are born to be. For crying out loud, let the children decide. I am so over this kind of "PC CRAP". It's just over the top.

[deleted account]

I don't agree with that at all. By gender they are either boys or girls. That doesn't mean that a girl can only play with dolls and only the boys can play sports. But no matter how you word it they are still boys and girls.

[deleted account]

I can't see how it is anything but censorship of language to suit an ideology and that's almost never a good thing. I mean, we're not talking about direct insults or racial slurs. It smacks of not appreciating differences, not embracing the differences, just ignoring them.

[deleted account]

LMAO Really? This is so stupid. I have 4 girls. GIRLS I will treat them like girls and the people they interact with will treat them as such as well. period. Can't stand to say he or she? Don't worry I can and will. :)

Stifler's - posted on 06/28/2011

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I just don't see how refusing to let kids call girls her and boys him will widen their view of anything.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/28/2011

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JL, sorry, but your argument is a bit weak. I am not sure I have seen yet any pro to eliminating he/she/him/her. I am gonna take a pole with everyone that I meet, friend, family, stranger, and ask them if they are bothered by these acknowledging terms, and if they get a gender biased taste in their mouth when they are uttered. I wish I thought of this before going to the grocery store.

I am also going to ask my sister to ask all of her transgender/transvestite/transexual friends the same question. This is going to be interesting.

Kate CP - posted on 06/28/2011

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I think it's stupid. I agree with this: "Different gender roles aren't problematic as long as they are equally valued." I don't care if my son plays with dresses and dolls (NOT Barbie, however, but that's just me) or if my daughter runs around in the dirt and plays with trucks. They are both equally important play types that ALL kids should engage in.

Jaime - posted on 06/28/2011

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I'm not even remotely suggesting that these words are harmful...in fact I don't think I said that at all. What I am saying is that it might bridge the gap a bit more when it comes to specific gender roles, where people can still identify as they would like, but aren't limited to a specific category as a result. I don't care if you go grocery shopping, hunt deer, shovel shit or work at a beauty salon and it doesn't matter to me what YOU refer to YOURSELF as....what does matter is that not everyone is going to identify and I really don't see the harm in moving toward a more gender- neutral society. The school is replacing the gender-specific words with 'friend', but like I already said they could also say 'person' or call them by name as well. I read one of Emerson's books and he talked about how we've become so accustomed to labels. Teacher, doctor, nurse, mother, plumber, etc. But when you get to the root of it, we are all simply people doing... He is a person that teaches, she is a person that farms...instead we have Teacher and Farmer. We are obsessed with labels as a way to identify with our outer environment, but a lot of times the labels that are created fit a specific ideal and it doesn't realistically encompass a majority of the population. Thus making a strong case for more gender neutrality.

[deleted account]

None of us ever said they cause harm or need to be eliminated. At least I didn't. I just don't think what they're doing in this classroom is AS extreme as everyone is making it out to be. It's not harming them either way and I think it's interesting. I never said calling a little boy "him" is damaging. But, by the same token, neither is eliminating the word "him" and replacing it with his name, or "friend" etc.

[deleted account]

"Removing the gender-specific words isn't going to harm anyone and it won't confuse people as to the specific sex that they are"

yet you have yet to show that they cause harm and therefore must be eliminated. I do think it's harmful to remove them because the clear message is that it is wrong to identify yourself as a boy or a girl. Let's say that we have a girl who already has issues with traditioanl gender roles. Now she is told that no, she can't even identify herself as female because that's wrong. So we have a double whammy against her femininity.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/28/2011

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OOps, I mentioned grocery store, how very taboo of me in a gender debate. Yup, I go grocery shopping. Yup, so does my husband....no one refers to HIM as "miss" when he is there with the kids.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/28/2011

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Just because we say he/she/his/hers etc does not immediately mean they need to act a certain way in society. I am called miss at the grocery store. I sure would prefer that over "hey you".

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/28/2011

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@JL "Removing the gender-specific words isn't going to harm anyone and it won't confuse people as to the specific sex that they are."

And, it doesn't harm anyone to refer to them as he/she/him/her/sir/ma'am......now does it? And yes, the line is blurred between gender roles for the many years women have fought for equallity. Just because we want some sort of equality, does not mean we don't want to be referred to as a women, girl, she...what have you. Also, you have never given me an example of a better use of words. Not really at least.

√v^√v^√♥ - posted on 06/28/2011

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Just wanted to say, Jodi, this was a really good posting to discuss :)

Jaime - posted on 06/28/2011

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My thoughts are that classic gender roles are two extremes of a continuum, like any other societally-manifested ideal. Classic gender roles aren't exclusively practiced in many cases. There are some women that gravitate toward female roles and there are some men that gravitate toward male roles...or what is typically thought to be the behaviour within the male vs. female gender categories. But it's very clear that men and women don't typically fall straight into one or the other...they blur the lines quite easily and quite frequently. I have an uncle that is a nurse and my aunt and cousin are both pipe fitters...absolutely the opposite to what the traditional gender roles would 'allow' for. Which brings me to my original point that breaking down the specifics of gender roles does not negate the difference between the sexes, it merely sheds a brighter light on the grey area of the continuum that houses a greater percentage of the world population. Removing the gender-specific words isn't going to harm anyone and it won't confuse people as to the specific sex that they are. A vagina is still a vagina and a penis is still a penis, and testicles and ovaries and tubes and the whole bit...that's not going to disappear simply because there is cohesion in the great gender gap. I do think it's a long way off, but I also think it's possible that people can exist quite easily without identifying themselves according to one, specific gender.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/28/2011

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I agree Caitlin. I will say that construction is probably easier for men because physcially men are naturally stronger *gasp* I know, terribly sexist of me huh? Men have much more brute strength than women. I worked out all the time, I wrestled large dogs restraining them solo, I could carry 100lbs dead weight by myself and carry it for a distance....my husband who does nothing and has noodle arms (I mean I had BULGING biceps) is still naturally stronger than me.

Caitlin - posted on 06/28/2011

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Just because gender roles exist in our society doesn't mean we have to follow them, that's my whole point. As opposed to saying "Anyone can be a constructionw orker - no matter what their sex/gender" how about saying "Usually men are constrction workers because it's a very hard job, but if you work hard enough you can be one too". That's my whole point. If a little girl wants to be a construction worker, she'll undoubtably notice that it's mostly men that do it, and women tend to gravitate towards the lighter indoor work. Doesn't matter what toys they played with in preschool - kids are going to NOTICE what happens in society beyond the tiny little world we create for them in their preschool. It's stupid to assume that what they do in preschool will relate to who they become later in life. I liked turning the burners on the hot stove and "cooking" stuffed animals for dinner. I've never boiled a cat in real life. I'm no psycho, I just thought it was funny. This is one of those examples of adults reading WAY too far into things. If we teach kids to accept who they are and be individuals, that's all they should need. And who cares if they gravitate towards classic gender roles? I certainly don't...

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/28/2011

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There is absolutely nothing wrong with identifying the difference between male and female. Give me one instance that it is truly TRULY wrong to identify. Hell, even a hermaphrodite would identify with one sex over another. Seriously people, we are NOT the same sex. That would be like saying cats and dogs are the same thing strictly because they are the predominant domestic pets. Not only are they not the same species, but they to come as a male and female. Every animal on earth comes with a sex. We identify with that. We would not reproduce without that. It is a very special thing that should not be swept under the carpet to meet someones agenda.



Edited to add- if we are not able to use he she her him women man....how the fuck are we suppose to identify the sex of someone? Or talk about it? This once again is becoming very big brother to me. Soon enough, we won't need sex at all to have kids. God forbid men...oops I mean the one with the external sex organ, gets up all in arms about not being able to give birth...that it is a "sexist" act.

[deleted account]

We can argue semantics of gender vs sex which I think it trying to get away from the point. There are gender roles that simply aren't going to go away. Specifically only women can be moms. That's because so far, only we can give birth. When men can begin to give birth, I'll be more than happy to give them the title of mother. They may act in the position of mom if they are a male gay couple or a single father, or any other combo you can come up with (which are all totally fine with me) but so far only girls got the stuff to do it. Denying the words, 'him', 'her', 'boy', 'girl', 'woman', 'man' to suit your own predjuices(sp) is wrong.

[deleted account]

Which JL, they can do without censoring language to suit their ideology. There is nothing wrong with the words him or her. They identify gender of a human being. They only become wrong when a person IMNHO has serious mental issues.

Stifler's - posted on 06/28/2011

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I don't really think they exist anymore. My husband pushes prams, vacuums floors, hangs out washing, cooks bacon and eggs, gets up to the babies. I drive, know things about cars and car parts, have held a job before, I'm the one who wants sex despite people having the idea that "all men want sex and women don't". I don't think they really exist anymore, people will do whatever to survive now this is not the 50s where women don't work or vote and stay home and cook adn clean and the man is always the breadwinner who would never dream of looking after kids. Men now wear pink and purple without being labeled effeminate or gay by most of society (there are outdated views out there but not the majority). Therefore I don't think this is necessary at all. Kids play with whatever they like, we all know that.

Amber - posted on 06/27/2011

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" Gender roles exist in our society, get bloody well used to them!"

Why? Why should be get used to something that we don't agree with? You certainly didn't just get used to it. You forged ahead and did what you wanted to, regardless of the gender role, right? That's not getting used to it, you took it head on and did what you wanted anyway. (Kudos to you btw)

Also, you are born with *sex* you are not born with *gender*. Gender is assigned by culture. That would be why different societies have different expectations of males and females.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/27/2011

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"Oh, well ok then.....because you said so! :P"



Not really sure if that was suppose to bve a dig, I was trying to clear up any confusion of what I have been trying to say.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/27/2011

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I am very aware and supportive of all walks of life...I wish I was more educated on different cultures, religions, and regions of the world. But, we are all born with a certain sex. I see no harm in identifying that. It does not mean automatically if you have a penis, you are restricted to certain toys and you cannot wear purple. I feel this blurs the line in a confusing manor for children....during an already confusing time in there lives.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/27/2011

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We are not discussing simple stereotypical behaviors at this point. They are looking to not even call a girl a girl and a boy a boy. Not using him, her, she, he..where does this stop? I am all for not stereotyping, I think this is very risky and potentially dangerous how far it sounds like it is going. Plus this conversation has evolved further than the original OP. And yes Dana, in the long run, it would be denying the sex of someone...or more accurately,....ignoring that there is a difference period.

[deleted account]

Ugh. No one is denying anyone a penis or vagina people. They just don't want to shove the stereotypical behaviours down these kids throats.

I think some of you are taking things way too far and assuming way too much about what they're doing.

Joanna - posted on 06/27/2011

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Just making sure we are aware that SEX ad GENDER are different. Sex is genetalia. Gender (taken from a dictionary) is "the behavioral, cultural, or psychological traits typically associated with one sex."



They aren't denying girls their vaginas and boys their penises. They are letting children decide who they want to be, what they want to do, etc etc. If nature is so right, then the girls will naturally gravitate towards dolls and boys to cars, right? Because it's who they are? I have a feeling in this classroom, you'll see a different story... children playing everything together. And that's the way it should be. None of this "girls toys" and "boys toys" crap. They're toys, anyone can play with them.



I agree that we should all love and accept ourselves for who we are, but why are we so obsessed with these terms? I have a vagina, I love to cook and watch my children, but I also love football, cars, and fishing. Some call me a woman, because I have tits, but I'm Joanna, that's all there is to it.



Also, anytime anyone tells me what a cute little baby boy I have (her name is Eva), I say thank you... no need to correct them, a cute baby is a cute baby :P



Edited to fix my their/there mistake, it was driving me batty.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/27/2011

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Jl, gender reassignment would be necessary no matter if they were called the opposite sex of what they feel period. Not referring to them as he/she isn't going to eleviate the confusion. Don't you see that? Infact, when they realize WHY they feel so differently than other people do, and start dressing aporopriately for how they truly feel, it would and could actually VALIDATE that they look like the sex they feel they are. I really think gender roles in this specific case are helpful for transitioning.

Jaime - posted on 06/27/2011

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Marina, my point was to say that this world is not full of exclusively male and exclusively female, and that there ARE a lot of people born transgendered. So by the current societal gender norms, we have male and we have female. There is no margin or continuum and what I'm saying is that there should be. I'm aware that the school isn't focusing on transgendered individuals, but what if one of the students at that school IS transgendered and grows up to feel trapped into a specific gender category based on their outward, physical genitalia? And what if they want to identify as opposite to that? Ultimately what has to happen is gender reassignment just for them to feel some semblance of normalcy. What I'm saying is that if there wasn't such a push for 'male' vs. 'female' genders, perhaps it would allow for a broader inclusion of a larger percentage of the world population. I'm talking on a macro scale, not so much this one, tiny, school/community. This might be happening in one place at the moment, but it does suggest greater implications from a sociological standpoint.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/27/2011

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In turn, this may actually make kids even more curious about genetalia, sex, sexuality even younger. Denial breeds curiosity....it is in our nature

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/27/2011

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JL, DON'T kid yourself. This new step the school is taking has nothing to do with transexuals/transgenders. It would be a hell of a lot more controversial, and plastered everywhere if it was. I have known so many transvestites, transgenders, and it is obvious when they want to be a he or she. Kids born with the opposite sex than what they feel they are, are not going to not have confusion because they are not called he or she. Also, this is not as common as hetero, or homosexual. I think you are confusing the lines here. This whole idea is making whatever sex these kids are born irrelevent. I feel this is denying and attempting to elimimate sexuality, and genetalia as a whole.

Jaime - posted on 06/27/2011

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Well I had a response typed out and deleted it just now. I remember watching a documentary about reverse gender roles and now I can't find it and I really can't remember the specifics of it enough to include it in my comment.

Lacye - posted on 06/27/2011

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I haven't read the other posts but I'm going to go ahead and give my 2 cents.

There is a reason why there are men and women. If you don't believe in God or any kind of religion, in the old days, the man was the provider. He went out and hunted food because the woman was made smaller and weaker. Women were the caretakers. They stayed with the children and cooked the food. It goes hand in hand.

Now I don't have a problem with gays or lesbians, I don't have a problem with little boys playing with what is called "girl toys" or a girl playing with "boy toys". But I don't really like taking away the essence of what is at our core. Boys are boys, girls are girls. No matter how much you want to try to hide that, it is still there. Women have breasts and vaginas. Men have balls and penises. We can be equal but we will never be the same.

Jaime - posted on 06/27/2011

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It has nothing to do with teaching kids to reject their gender. It has to do with giving them a chance to figure out what gender they are without being bombarded with pre-determined gender ideals (clothes, toys, mannerisms). Transgendered individuals that have the opposite genitalia to what they identify with (biologically female, but physiologically male or vice versa). Having two very specific gender types doesn't allow for some individuals to identify with their gender. A transgendered person can call themselves female if they have a penis, but society would see that differently and that's the point I'm trying to make. There is nothing wrong with women wanting to stay home, take care of kids and cook meals, just as there's nothing wrong with men that want to go to work, sweat buckets and bring home a decent paycheck to feed the family...but you cannot deny where these very specific gender types derived from. In recent years we've proven beyond measure that it is less likely that a large percentage of the population falls under one extreme or the other of a continuum (think homosexual vs. heterosexual), so it's not far-fetched to think that in terms of gender, there is likely only a small percentage of the population that identifies strictly with 'male' gender or 'female' gender. I think that's the whole theory behind this school's move toward gender equality. They're not asking kids to deny being either female or male, they are trying to give kids a chance to figure out where they fit on the continuum and decreasing the amount of exposure they have to the societally-manifested gender norms.

Tammy - posted on 06/27/2011

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What is the world coming too!!?? And I thought my daughter's school was extreme for banning anything containing nut products from the school grounds!

Kellie - posted on 06/27/2011

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Yep agreed, I LOVE being a Stay at home Mum and cooking, looking after my little family (I could live without cleaning though). But I am well aware another woman would reject the role I do, same goes for a Man/Men.

I think rejecting our gender to the point of being genderless and so we are 'all the same' sends a huge message that you can't be who you are at your most basic physiological core. It says (to me) that we once again must reject ourselves and not be happy with who we are at our most basic level.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 06/27/2011

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Right Kelly, and you know what? Some women really like to dive right into the gender roles, stay at home mom, food on the table, doing everything that is considered the "women" role, and some men are the same way. Some families work great like this, and others chose another way to live. I do not see anything wrong with embracing gender roles IF you want it that way. If you don't, then figure out what works for your home.

We as a society have placed these roles, yes I am all for womens lib, but not to the extent of pretending I am not a women. That is NOT to say people who do not want to be their assigned gender at birth are wrong to change their sex, or to live life as the opposite sex. I just want to make that very clear.

Kellie - posted on 06/27/2011

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I agree Marina and I think this is why it pissed me off SO much yesterday

Sure reject Gender Roles but does that mean we have to reject our Gender? We are different in every way biologically, even those wanting to change genders have to have major surgery and hormone replacement therapy to change, why? because we are DIFFERENT! WOW who'd have thunk it?

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