Preschools in Sweden are now trying to train children to be "gender neutral" by exposing them to a series of bizarre, gender-specific tasks they say help diminish natural gender-specific tendencies.
The New York Times glowingly reported on this new phenomenon, which Swedish educators say is effective at erasing "gender lines," and reinforcing the idea that there are no "traditional gender roles," only societal pressures that classify young children as either "boys" or "girls."
To "deconstruct" gender, and "counteract traditional gender roles and gender patterns," teachers in Sweden avoid using terms like "boys" and "girls," and instead say, simply, "friend," or use a nationally-approved "gender neutral" pronoun, "hen."
Teachers also force children to engage in opposite-gender "training events" that, were they performed in an American school, might prompt parents to file lawsuits. Boys are tasked with managing the play kitchens, while girls are taught to scream the word, "no," at the top of their lungs — a talent certain to be appreciated by parents when they pick up their daughters at the end of the day.
Boys are also forced to massage each other's feet, which teachers claim is a "female" activity. Girls are forced to walk barefoot in the snow to build up their (toxic) masculine tolerance.
Strangely enough, the gender-retraining hasn't gone well for Sweden's educators. It turns out that, when put into groups, children recognize similarities between themselves and other children of their same gender, and girls prefer to play with girls, and boys prefer to play with boys. When left to their own devices, boys also seem to roughhouse more, and girls will draw pictures of women in pretty dresses and makeup.
Parents in Sweden, unlike in the United States, don't have much say in what even teachers call "indoctrination"; students are "educated" in government-funded preschools for the first few years of their lives by edict. One teacher who spoke to the NYT, responded to parents' concerns simply by admitting that schools are indoctrinating children anyway, why not indoctrinate them in a "progressive" manner?
The worst part may be that teachers are now getting into the profession specifically to head off parents whose children appear gender normative. Several of the teachers who spoke to the NYT say they make it a point to single out children who express "girlie" or "boy-like" behaviors, and speak to parents about their "mistreatment." Some even said that they speak directly to their friends when their friends dress kids in gender-specific clothing.
Fortunately for American parents, the United States doesn't demand public schooling so early . . . yet.