Monday, April 02, 2012

In Sweden Spiderman pushes a pram

The Swedes take liberalism so seriously, that toy catalogues there now show a boy Spiderman pushing a pram.

Swedish Spiderman happily carries a pink purse whilst pushing a pink pram

The justification? It's exactly what you would expect from those following liberal ideas:

Kaj Wiberg is the CEO of the company behind the catalogue, "Leklust", and claims that it is time to move forward from old-fashioned gender restrictions.

"Gender roles are an outdated thing," he told Metro newspaper.

Carl Emanuelsson, spokesman for Sweden's Feminist Initiative, welcomes the concept.

"It's great that this company has tried to show that people don't need to be stuck in gender roles," he told The Local.

"Examples such as these show other ways that we can break free from the roles that are forced on us, the roles that we are limited by."

In the catalogue, on a predominantly pink page full of dolls and prams, a child dressed as spiderman can be seen pushing a pink pram.

On another page, a blonde-haired girl with rolled up sleeves is pedalling what appears to be a racing vehicle.

Elsewhere, the catalogue features another boy standing in front of a toy stove, apparently cooking a make-believe meal.

"The problem with toy stores and their catalogues is that they're selling a concept; an idea about boys and girls and what kind of qualities and interests they should have," Lady Dahmer told The Local.

"It's about money because as long as they can fool us into believing boys and girls are fundamentally different, they can keep selling us twice as much."

That is the kind of thing you'd say if you were indoctrinated in a liberal ideology. Liberals believe that the overriding good is individual autonomy, a personal freedom to be a self-determining individual.

But our sex is not something that we get to self-determine, it is predetermined. Therefore, it is held to be a negative limitation on the individual, one from which the individual must be liberated. And so liberals talk about masculinity and femininity in negative, limiting terms as a fetter, or a prison, or a straitjacket.

And look at how Kaj Windberg justifies his pram-pushing Spiderman. He talks about gender being a "restriction" that people are "stuck in" and "limited by" and that they need to "break free" from. He treats sex distinctions as a negative restriction on the individual.

If you didn't start out from liberal first principles, you wouldn't think this way. You would recognise the importance of your sex to your self-identity and you would look on the fulfilment of your masculinity or femininity as something meaningful - as an expression of being that connects you as an individual to something larger than yourself.

But let's say you do accept the liberal first principles and you reject your own sex as something that is predetermined. In order to believe that you can be "liberated" from a predetermined masculinity or femininity, you will have to think of sex distinctions as being entirely socially constructed - as having no basis in nature.

That's why Lady Dahmer believes that it is the toy catalogues which are creating the sex distinctions; they are creating a "concept" in order to make money and "fooling" people into believing that boys and girls are different.

She believes that boys and girls are fundamentally the same and that capitalism is creating the concept of sex distinctions in order to be able to sell twice as much stuff.

That might not sound credible to those who understand the biological basis for sex distinctions, nor to those who understand the existence of sex distinctions across place and time, but it fits within a liberal ideology and so is accepted by those who support that ideology.

And one positive benefit of having Spiderman carry pink handbags and push prams? It might help cheer up Alex the Swede.


  1. Liberalism is not a great ideology. Liberals are not great thinkers. Their narrow way of thinking does not allow them to take social responsibilities. They are selfish. They are thinking that they can change every thing without regarding any convention, after eating and drinking. This is one of their stupid mania. They want to make a generation of transsexuals. And they want to create more LGBT people. They want to combine their stupid mindset and madness with the technology and generalize their mentally retarded movements.

  2. Young boys looove playing with prams. Not because it is associated with femininity, helps them break out of "pre-conceived arbitrary gender-roles" or any fanciful liberal notions like that - it's just because they can run around and smash them into things. But I'm talking about ~1 year olds....and they sure don't carry pink handbags with them.

  3. Lady Dahmer said,

    "It's about money because as long as they can fool us into believing boys and girls are fundamentally different, they can keep selling us twice as much."

    I don't understand her point. Whether the company sells a boy and a girl each a stove; or it sells the stove to the girl and a go-kart to the boy, it has still sold the same number of items. One gendered toy per kid or one non-gendered toy per kid is still one toy per kid. Does she think neutered kids will be happy playing with half as many toys? Is she serious?

    You can imagine how popular she'd be at the average daycare. "Hey kids, now that we're a gender-neutral facility, you don't need need all these extra "boys'" toys and "girls'" toys. We now have half as many gender-neutral toys for everyone! Hurray!"

    Cue: Thirty kids crying simultaneously.

  4. Bartholomew wrote...

    "I don't understand her point. Whether the company sells a boy and a girl each a stove; or it sells the stove to the girl and a go-kart to the boy, it has still sold the same number of items."

    That's because you've bought into the whole wicked capitalist consumerist ethos. If toy companies sell half as many toys that's a valuable step towards the destruction of capitalism. And don't tell me little Swedish boys and girls want toys to play with - they just think they do because they've been brainwashed by the whole wicked capitalist consumerist ethos blah blah blah.

    Actually if I'd written that in Sweden I'd probably be arrested for suggesting that there's such a thing as boys and girls! Clearly I need to be sent to a re-education camp. It's all my parents' fault for not forcing me to play with prams.

  5. This isn't sex/gender expansion because there is no such thing as sex/gender 'expansion'. These actions are literally sex/gender reversal and the creation of androgyny.

  6. Women are attracted to masculine men (this is scientifically proven),

    therefore projects like this are designed to turn Swedish men into cuckolds.

    Once Swedish men realise this, there will be a massive, massive, massive, "backlash".

  7. Chris wrote,
    "Women are attracted to masculine men (this is scientifically proven),

    therefore projects like this are designed to turn Swedish men into cuckolds.

    Once Swedish men realise this, there will be a massive, massive, massive, "backlash"."

    Your prediction assumes that these Swedish boys will still develop enough masculinity with which to lash back.

    Masculinity is an achievement, won through resilience and plenty of encouragement from other men and the larger community.

    If the feminists are successful, there will be no encouragement toward manhood for Swedish boys. Unless Swedish boys are extraordinarily self-reliant and driven, it's more likely they just won't develop into men at all. Without an internal sense of manhood to guide it, their sexuality will likely become perverted in some way, leaving their women not just vulnerable to foreign men, but running straight toward them.

    At that point, Folkshem Sverige is ready for the wrecking ball.

    The loss of any nation is regrettable. The loss of one so beautiful as the Swedes is worth fighting to prevent.

  8. Anthony wrote,

    "Young boys looove playing with prams...because they can run around and smash them into things..."

    Haha, well done.

  9. Here is what will happen thanks to the wonders of contraception. "Strong" women and effimate males will eradicate themselves out of the gene pool while following environmentalism and feminism. If you look at fertility statistics only religious patriarchal families are having above replacement fertility rates. That is not to say that there will be no "strong" women or effimate males in the future. It is just that they will be rarer.

  10. Environmentalists say things like "we have to save the planet for the children", what children? You don't have any. Similar concerns about the correct way to raise children, what to expose them to etc all are ultimately meaningless if you don't adopt a culture focused on families and child rearing.

  11. thats pretty twisted.... even by liberal standards. I think most people won't buy this kind of extemism.

  12. How do you know the kid in the spiderman outfit is a boy?

  13. I think you are making an interesting argument for the maintenance of difference here: in terms of sex and gender. But, you conflate the two. Agreed, sex is biological and natural. Many of us are born male or female. However, we have a narrow idea of what this means. We learn that being born into a biological sex (ie male or female) means that all males are the same, and all females are the same. Actually, two 'anatomically correct' males will have differences in chromosomal make-up as well as hormonal levels. Already there is great, and unrecognised, diversity in biological sex. This is not even mentioning the exclusion of intersexed identities, which are biological and natural too, from this kind of diversity.

    The next thing you do in your argument is conflate this with gender performance. It is not that sex is understood as a social construction, but it is our choices that relate to how we perform our sex (identify as either male or female in non-biological ways) that is socio-culturally constructed. This is where masculinity and femininity come in. They are related to, but not that same thing as biological sex. Is a feminine man less 'male' than a masculine man? Are only masculine men 'real' men?

    You have to separate these two, because without doing so you reproduce major misconceptions about what sex and gender are.

    1. Navan, it is true that there are differences within men as a group and women as a group. We can all observe this, even without the science. But at the same time, there is a larger masculine principle or essence or energy (whatever you like to call it) as well as a feminine one. And it is certainly my experience that it is part of the well-being of a man to have a strong connection to this masculine principle.

      By the way, I don't think it's right to use the term "performing" masculinity or femininity as if it is something pretended or external to who we are. Instead, it is an attempt to get at what is most truthful about ourselves.

  14. Are you all so narrow minded as to truly believe that drinking beer and vaccuming aren't social constructions? It is impossible for people to naturally go into their role because society has determined the roles, and they vary by culture. You have to learn these things for your culture and then do what you've been indoctrinated to do because that's what you were taught as soon as you were born into a blue or pink room and called pretty or strong. If you happen to not like the constant monster truck or pony shows your being fed, which you probably would, kids tend to like whatever they're introduced to early, then you continue doing those things anyway because there are people who tell you you're a freak if you happen to like pink as a boy or buzzed hair as a girl. There is no nature in gender roles so it's inconceivable that people would naturally gravitate one way or the other, we tell them to because it's what we know and what we'll accept.

    1. Dustin, sorry, you've overstated your case. Yes, a society does influence understandings of gender. But that doesn't mean that "there is no nature in gender roles". I don't know if you've ever been a parent, but it's noticeable how early boys and girls manifest typical behaviours. It would be strange, too, if the significant differences in male and female brains and hormones were not reflected in typical patterns of behaviour in men and women.