A taxpayer-funded Swedish preschool will not allow teachers or students to refer to someone as “he” or “she,” only “friend” will do.
“Alexander Söderqvist, a teacher at the school, says he believes in helping the youngest members of society avoid gender-based stereotypes. ‘It’s fun to be part of something different,’ he says, adding that there is a waiting list for entry to the school.”
“Others note that Sweden has long been a leader in promoting gender equality (jämstalldhet). A study published last year by the World Economic Forum – ‘The Global Gender Gap Report 2010’ – ranked Sweden fourth worldwide (behind Iceland, Norway, and Finland)….”
“Jeanne Sager wrote recently on the parenting website CafeMom that ‘inside the walls of Egalia, gender doesn’t exist. But outside of Egalia, gender does exist. … I want my daughter to be equal to boys, but that doesn’t mean that she should ignore her femininity…’ ”
We talked a little bit about this with the J.Crew blog a few months ago about the ad showing a mom painting her little guy’s nails.
So where do you stand on the preschool: Is it enough just to encourage girls to play with trucks and boys to play with dolls or do you have to eliminate gender references as well?