Wednesday, May 09, 2012

A country tries to banish gender

I'm seeing more things I've written about at this site hit the mainstream media. For example, at the quite lefty American website Slate there is an article on Sweden's efforts to make gender not matter (the subheading of the article is "A country tries to banish gender").

The Swedish project is an earnest attempt to fulfil the logic of liberal politics. If you believe that autonomy is the highest good, then you will believe that individuals should be self-determining, which then leads to the belief that predetermined qualities should be made not to matter. And our sex is a predetermined quality.

So the Swedes are implementing the same philosophy as other Western countries, only more radically. The starting point of making gender not matter was the idea of equal opportunity. But in a society with equal opportunity men and women will still choose different roles and commitments. Our sex will still matter. So the logic of the liberal principle is to push beyond equal opportunity.

And so the author of the Slate article observes:
for many Swedes, gender equality is not enough. Many are pushing for the Nordic nation to be not simply gender-equal but gender-neutral. The idea is that the government and society should tolerate no distinctions at all between the sexes. This means on the narrow level that society should show sensitivity to people who don't identify themselves as either male or female, including allowing any type of couple to marry. But that’s the least radical part of the project. What many gender-neutral activists are after is a society that entirely erases traditional gender roles and stereotypes at even the most mundane levels.

What follows is a list of examples of the Swedes showing intolerance toward sex distinctions. I've catalogued many of them myself, but here are some of the ones I missed:
  • A Swedish children's clothes company has removed the boys and girls sections in its stores
  • One Swedish preschool abolished free play because of concerns that when children play freely "stereotypical gender patterns are born and cemented."
  • The Swedish Green Party wants to place "gender pedagogues" in every preschool to act as watchdogs on gender
  •  In some Swedish preschools it is forbidden to use the terms boys and girls.
  • In one Swedish children's book the words for mum and dad were replaced as being too gendered

There are many more examples given in the Slate article. What's interesting is that the article takes the attitude that the Swedes are being intolerant and intrusive in pushing their gender policy so far - that they have ended up micromanaging people's lives. That's a good observation, but it doesn't go far enough as a criticism. The liberal Swedes no doubt believe that they are acting justly for a good cause in doing so - and if you accept the underlying liberal premises then they would be right.

So what's needed is a better concept of the ultimate goods that a society aims for. Autonomy cannot be the sole, overriding good - if it is thought to be so, then the end point will be the kind of micromanaging of preschoolers - of play, of language, of thought - that the Swedes are pushing toward (with countries like Australia not far behind).


  1. I've lived in Sweden and many of my friends are Swedes. I don't see any evidence that the average Swede takes much notice of this stuff.

    Little boys and girls should be allowed to express themselves as they wish. Few will want to express themselves outside our now wide ranging gender roles. If they want to let them be. But allow little girls to be little girls and boys to be boys. A state that interferes with the desires of children in this way is perverse. Creepy rather than progressive.

    Let me add that the Swedes are much less likely to tart up and sexualise their girls in contrast to the English speaking countries. For that and many great virtues they have my respect.

  2. Anon,

    I'm not surprised to hear that the average Swede isn't on board with the policy.

    But the problem is that the Swedish Parliament has endorsed the policy and Swedish public institutions are expected to implement it.

    In Sweden the declared government policy is that sex distinctions are socially constructed for the purposes of oppressing women.

    So your idea that little boys and girls should be allowed to express themselves as they wish, whilst most likely supported by most parents, is unlikely to be viewed sympathetically by academics and public officials.

    The state ideology in Sweden is not tolerant of the idea of natural sex distinctions.

  3. It all moot really.
    Malmo Sweden has a 25 % Muslim population and the majority of the under-18 population is Muslim as it is in numerous cities in Europe. And as Muslims produce 5 times as many children as Swedes the end is nigh.
    And believe it or not, Sweden, Norway,Denmark and Holland actually permit foreigners to participate in local elections and even more staggering is the Swedes have even considered permitting foreign citizens participation in national elections..
    You can't get much more PC than that, but what it will get you is Sharia Law in the very near future, so Swedes will not have to worry about their kids and gender, and it will be easy to recognise the girls because they will all be wearing black burqas.

  4. The Mahometans have more children because their religion, false though it is, follows the Natural Law much more closely than the neo-paganism which is practised by most modern Europeans. They haven't become sufficiently "enlightened" & "progressive" as to regard children as a sort of hideous disease to be avoided at all costs. If the European races wish to again prosper, then they must be converted, return to the Holy Faith of their ancestors & do collective penance for their manifest wickedness. No more infanticide, no more contraception, no more sodomite parades & all the rest of the vile stinking rot. The Mahometans are to modern Europeans what Attila was to the decadent Romans. If the European peoples are converted they will receive Our Lord's assistance in expelling those Mahometans that refuse to become Catholics. If they remain obdurate, then God's justice will make use of the Mahometans, among others to crush their pride like a cockroach is crushed by a hammer.

  5. "The Mahometans are to modern Europeans what Attila was to the decadent Romans."


    "I am the Flail of God. If you had not committed great sins, God would not have sent a punishment like me upon you."

    Genghis Khan to the Khwarazmians, but I think Attila said something similar to the Romans.

  6. A country tries to banish itself, more like.

  7. While the average Swede may not take notice, a decade or two down the road they will. As today's kids are being manipulated and brainwashed, as adults those viewpoints will take root and the older generations will be left wondering what happened. Nip it now and do it quickly or face the lunacy when it's too late. You've been warned.

  8. It's merely the logical "next step" in Leftist social engineering.

    Kman made the point for me though: It's all moot really.

    The masculine culture of the Muslims (well, misogynistic, xenophobic religion) will simply overrun the effeminate Swedes.

    The Vikings must be rolling over in their graves.

    - Abaddon

  9. As today's kids are being manipulated and brainwashed, as adults those viewpoints will take root and the older generations will be left wondering what happened.

    That's a good point. I've noticed something similar with the younger teachers I work with. 20 years ago it was the radically leftist teachers who took an anti-white stance. Now it's become part of the culture - even the non-political teachers tend to push it now because it's what they've been brought up with.

  10. "leftist teachers who took an anti-white stance."

    Also anti western, and oh for those halcyon days of Anti- American protests.

  11. Now that the Swedish women have been turned into men. And the men have been turned into Women the Swedes have to import third world. I believe they now have the 2nd highest rate of rape in the world? There are reports of Swedish women dying their hair dark to avoid being targeted for rapes from foreigners. Seeing as the Swedes won't have children and the non-Whites will they should get used to it.

  12. "I don't see any evidence that the average Swede takes much notice of this stuff."

    The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.


  13. No, this is very much a state, media, elite thing. The ordinary swedes dont really care about this nonsense. Many are mebarrased. Nevertheless - its taught in the eduaction system, som it has an impact on childrende. (I lived many yars in Sweden too.)

    *S Copenhagen

  14. Anonymous. Can't I just tell you are a middle aged bloke who's intelligent wife has decided to leave him to it. Catholicism has much in common with Islam it seems. Both prohibit contraception even when the woman's life depend on it, for two reasons - 1. Many children increase the strength of its cause (to make the entire world submit to its cause) and 2. to prevent women from being able to leave their violent and abusive husbands because they have no other recourse to support for them and their numerous children. Yes, frivolous abortion is wrong and that is why contraception should continue to be used freely. The Catholic Church will not even allow a 14-year-old girl who has become pregnant through rape to abort the child; if a woman is ill and will die if the pregnancy continues abortion is also denied and further contraception, if the woman survives, will also be withheld putting the woman's life further at risk with subsequent pregnancies. If African men were not so fond of the pope and his dictates then the AIDS problem would not be so out of hand in Africa. Catholicsm, like Islam and patriarchy, is an evil that needs to be weeded out of civilised society. If you are a typical example of what a man is in then long live liberalism and lesbianism!