Asiaelzbieta just sent me an awesome story to something I know many of you have probably seen. I am going to write it up here anyway because I love it too.
There is a preschool in Stockholm who has instituted yet another interesting twist into gendered word and play with their preschoolers. Instead of referring to the children as “he” and “she” they refer to them as “friend.”
One 31 year old teacher at Egalia, Jenny Johnsson, said the following: “Society expects girls to be girlie, nice and pretty and boys to be manly, rough and outgoing, Egalia gives them a fantastic opportunity to be whoever they want to be.”
Here are some of the facts about Egalia:
- It is funded by taxpayers
- It opened only a year ago
- Children aged 1-6 are the attendees
- It is an example at the forefront of Sweden’s attempts to strive towards equality for both sexes starting in childhood and extending onward
In Egalia lego blocks and kitchen sets sit side by side and are open for both genders to play with. They do this to promote the idea that there are no mental barriers between cooking and building.
Annnd… wait for it… They foster an accepting environment for lesbians, gays and bisexuals! On their bookshelf proudly sits a book about two male giraffes who are childless and sad due to the fact, so they adopt a baby crocodile! In fact, it is said that most of the books on their shelf deal with homosexual couples, single parents or adopted children. No Cinderella on their bookshelf!
Of course their schools comes with protest from different groups. Some say its racist, other emasculating. I think its interesting and perhaps even a big step forward. What do you think?