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Thread: No 'him' or 'her'; preschool fights gender bias

  1. #51
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    Re: No 'him' or 'her'; preschool fights gender bias

    Quote Originally Posted by Dix View Post
    STOCKHOLM – 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 color 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 1 to 6 is among the most radical examples of Sweden's efforts to engineer equality between the sexes from childhood onward.


    1st - staff referring to all the kids as "friends" is not the relationship they're supposed to have.

    2nd - I'm surprised no one is questioning the basis for this. They quote a teacher saying that "society expects girls to be girlie, nice and pretty and boys to be manly, rough and outgoing" but is it really like that in 2011 Sweden? I have a hard time believing that. I thought Sweden was one of the more progressive countries out there and she's making it sound like Mayberry in the 1950's. So if it's NOT like that, then why the extreme reaction of removing all gender references toward the children? It's just - puzzling.
    She is describing the whole of western culture. Women are pressured to obsess about looks, hygiene and being sweet. Men are taught to be rough, outgoing and unemotional. That does not describe some bygone era. Those are modern gender roles.

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    Re: No 'him' or 'her'; preschool fights gender bias

    One thing I do find extremely annoying are the terms used in regards to children. "Friends" is just one . . . I've heard others. In my area a hugey popular one is "brother" and "sister" Bugs the crap out of me when my teacher calls my daughter "sister." She says "Hey, sister, what's up?" with her heavy thick southern draw. Can't we call children by their names these days or something?

    What's wrong with "kids" or "child" or their name?
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    It has happened before, but there is nothing to compare it to now.
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    Re: No 'him' or 'her'; preschool fights gender bias

    Quote Originally Posted by other View Post
    Next they'll start refering to each child as "it," shave all their heads and put them in identical gender-neutral pant-suits.
    They already have that, it's called prison.

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    Re: No 'him' or 'her'; preschool fights gender bias

    Quote Originally Posted by RStringfield View Post
    They are all examples of a parent filtering cultural influences.
    nevermind...


    It is arrogant because it is different? Whatever. It's just different.
    ...Once again, something I didn't say. If you look at the response this was posted to I explained why, and it's not "because it's different."


    Yeah, and kids will eventually see naked people and hear curse words. That does not mean you can't try to minimize the influence.
    ...Yeah, right. We have to get the word out and inform parents across the world about the dangerous influence of those gendered pronouns.


    Your entire argument is that it's different therefore it is somehow wrong. But you can't really explain why it is wrong.
    you are unable to understand my argument. I don't know how I can make it any clearer.

    What is so important about gender roles? What purpose do they serve modern man?
    So, are you the one who's wise enough to tell all of mankind that they are meaningless and should be stripped from human cultures?

    Even if they don't serve a purpose (if that's your view) that doesn't make them insidious. At most it makes them redundant. Thing is, however, that they exist in all human cultures in some form or another, and as far as anybody can tell (linguists, anthropologists, etc) they always have. Why the push all of a sudden to suppress, and why would it automatically be a good thing to artificially force the change by altering the use of a language with preschoolers, especially when they are simply going to be exposed to them in every other aspect of their society and everyday speech?

    If they were entirley pointless and redundant aspects of culture, wouldn't they be gone already? It's been thousands of years and they are still here.
    Last edited by other; 06-26-11 at 07:33 PM.

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    Re: No 'him' or 'her'; preschool fights gender bias

    Quote Originally Posted by RStringfield View Post
    She is describing the whole of western culture. Women are pressured to obsess about looks, hygiene and being sweet. Men are taught to be rough, outgoing and unemotional. That does not describe some bygone era. Those are modern gender roles.
    If you say so. That's down to individual families. Some are worse than others. This leads into the argument of whether it's the government's job to "correct" what is happening at home. In homes where families aren't teaching their sons to be "rough" wouldn't this be an overcorrection? My point was I would think that it's already the norm in Sweden that they don't follow traditional gender stereotypes so much that it's a problem, which is why this pre-school experiment is cropping up there in the first place. lol

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    Re: No 'him' or 'her'; preschool fights gender bias

    ...Once again, something I didn't say. If you look at the response this was posted to I explained why, and it's not "because it's different."
    You said....

    I also said it was arrogant because... well, can you give me a good reason why gendered pronouns should not be used to refer to children when everyone else uses them all the time, and all languages include ingrained gender distinctions?
    It is arrogant because they are not doing what everyone else is doing. Or IT'S DIFFERENT.

    Is this the whole of your debate strategy? Say something then claim you did not say it?

    ...Yeah, right. We have to get the word out and inform parents across the world about the dangerous influence of those gendered pronouns.
    Are you now arguing that gender roles do not exist or have no impact?


    you are unable to understand my argument. I don't know how I can make it any clearer.
    Maybe if your argument was a little more focused rather than all over the place and you weren't constantly backing away from previous assertions, that might help.

    So, are you the one who's wise enough to tell all of mankind that they are meaningless and should be stripped from human cultures?

    Even if they don't serve a purpose (if that's your view) that doesn't make them insidious. At most it makes them redundant. Thing is, however, that they exist in all human cultures in some form or another, and as far as anybody can tell (linguists, anthropologists, etc) they always have. Why the push all of a sudden to suppress, and why would it automatically be a good thing to artificially force the change by altering the use of a language with preschoolers, especially when they are simply going to be exposed to them in every other aspect of their society and everyday speech?
    No one is telling all of mankind to erase gender roles. This is about you having a fit because some people are doing it differently.

    I don't see the purpose in gender roles and believe they will disappear. I do believe they have become harmful. Women should be taught that they have value beyond beauty. They can be rough and outgoing too. Men should not be taught to suppress emotion or that they can't be nuturing and openly loving.

    I think gender roles also make heterosexual marriage more challenging in modern times. Used to be a guy just focused on getting a good job. That would get him a girl. The girl she focused on being prettty. Well that does not really make for a good marriage when a woman has no real financial dependence on a male provider anymore. We need to be able to relate to our spouses on a more intimate level and gender roles often get in the way of that.

    Wouldn't it be great if your wife actually liked watching football and you took a bath once in awhile? What is so great about gender roles?

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    Re: No 'him' or 'her'; preschool fights gender bias

    Quote Originally Posted by Dix View Post
    If you say so. That's down to individual families. Some are worse than others. This leads into the argument of whether it's the government's job to "correct" what is happening at home. In homes where families aren't teaching their sons to be "rough" wouldn't this be an overcorrection? My point was I would think that it's already the norm in Sweden that they don't follow traditional gender stereotypes so much that it's a problem, which is why this pre-school experiment is cropping up there in the first place. lol
    Because they don't pretend that gender roles don't still have a strong influence in western culture, like you do?

    If your argument is that gender roles don't exist anymore or are no longer important then what is the problem?

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    Re: No 'him' or 'her'; preschool fights gender bias

    Quote Originally Posted by RStringfield View Post
    You said....

    It is arrogant because they are not doing what everyone else is doing. Or IT'S DIFFERENT.

    Is this the whole of your debate strategy? Say something then claim you did not say it?
    The problem not being any difference, but that they are trying to effect the change artificially. It's not that they are trying to create a distinction, they already exist... it is a negation.


    Are you now arguing that gender roles do not exist or have no impact?
    No. I'm arguing that it is pointless and stupid to attampt to suppress gendered language around children.

    Maybe if your argument was a little more focused rather than all over the place and you weren't constantly backing away from previous assertions, that might help.
    I haven't changed my stance on the issue. You keep diverting and saying I am against change, altenative ways, and all that mess, despite the fact that I elucidated the opposite in some of my earliest posts.

    You aren't following what I'm saying if your response has nothing to do with what I'm posting.

    No one is telling all of mankind to erase gender roles. This is about you having a fit because some people are doing it differently.
    Here's a prime example of the above.

    I don't see the purpose in gender roles and believe they will disappear. I do believe they have become harmful. Women should be taught that they have value beyond beauty. They can be rough and outgoing too. Men should not be taught to suppress emotion or that they can't be nuturing and openly loving.
    So don't reinforce that if that's your opinion. I agree with you here, for the most part, but that doesn't sync up with the distorting of language to exclude all gender. Gender roles will exist regardless, as long as there are different sexes, although they don't have to remain static. They change naturally, they don't go away naturally. The story was about the suppression of gender, the merging into one, not the changing or altering of two separate roles.

    I think gender roles also make heterosexual marriage more challenging in modern times. Used to be a guy just focused on getting a good job. That would get him a girl. The girl she focused on being prettty. Well that does not really make for a good marriage when a woman has no real financial dependence on a male provider anymore. We need to be able to relate to our spouses on a more intimate level and gender roles often get in the way of that.
    see above

    Wouldn't it be great if your wife actually liked watching football and you took a bath once in awhile? What is so great about gender roles?
    I feel sorry for you, those aren't gender roles where I'm from... well, maybe the football one, but it has pretty much gone away already.
    Last edited by other; 06-26-11 at 08:21 PM.

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    Re: No 'him' or 'her'; preschool fights gender bias

    Quote Originally Posted by other View Post
    The problem not being any difference, but that they are trying to effect the change artificially. It's not that they are trying to create a distinction, they already exist... it is a negation.
    Artificial? What are you talking about dude? It is change. Just because you don't like it does not make it artificial.

    No. I'm arguing that it is pointless and stupid to attampt to suppress gendered language around children.
    Because???? It's different and you don't like it. That's about all you have offered.


    So don't reinforce that if that's your opinion. I agree with you here, for the most part, but that doesn't sync up with the distorting of language to exclude all gender. Gender roles will exist regardless, as long as there are different sexes, although they don't have to remain static. They change naturally, they don't go away naturally. The story was about the suppression of gender, the merging into one, not the changing or altering of two separate roles.
    But that is what these people are doing. They are trying to avoid reinforcing those gender roles. This is not just about language.

    Sorry, those aren't gender roles where I'm from.
    BS! Your profile says you live in Virginia. Describe gender roles in Virginia.

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    Re: No 'him' or 'her'; preschool fights gender bias

    Quote Originally Posted by RStringfield View Post
    Because they don't pretend that gender roles don't still have a strong influence in western culture, like you do?

    If your argument is that gender roles don't exist anymore or are no longer important then what is the problem?
    You keep trying to expand this past Sweden to make your point.

    My point is that this school is an extreme reaction to a "problem" that they haven't convincingly argued exists in modern-day Sweden. It's based on faulty logic. Here's more of the story:
    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 2 p.m.' Then the children can imagine both a man or a woman. This widens their view."

    The Associated Press: No 'him' or 'her'; preschool fights gender bias

    Is Sweden really so socially backward that their children can't already imagine a male OR female being a doctor? I don't believe that it is. I just don't buy the reasons that they're trying to peddle for why it's necessary to go this extreme route. It makes sense that a country as progressive as Sweden would try it - but the irony is that a country like Sweden is one of the countries that is least likely to NEED it, iow. That is the point I'm trying to make.

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