Sweden’s conflictual relationship with issues of tolerance

December 23, 2013

(Simply) A nude painting named Juno, which was painted by baroque artist G E Schröder and has hung in the dining room of the Swedish Parliament for 30 years has been taken down for fear of offending the sensitivities of feminists and Muslim visitors, Swedish newspaper, The Local reported on Thursday.

Explaining the ban on the baroque breasts, a source from the parliament said: “You have to think of the foreign guests, especially those from Muslim countries.”
The deputy speaker of Sweden’s parliament, Susanne Eberstein, also a prominent Social Democrat, added:
“I think it is more a feminist issue. It’s tiresome (looking at) a bare-breasted woman when I sit at public dinners with foreign guests. I think it feels a little hard to sit there with men who look at us women.”

How to Survive as a Jew in Sweden

August 24, 2013
(h/t CIFWatch) On April 26 of this year, I was on a train with my five-year-old son Charlie. We were on our way to spend shabbat with friends in the city. You see, our town, significant in the history of Swedish Jewry, shut its synagogue in the late 90s. All that remains now is a plaque stating that there was once Jewish life here, while we are left with an hour-long train ride every weekend to attend services.
 My son was wearing his kippah as we got on the train. He loves his kippah. He is not yet old enough to know the dangers entailed in wearing it, for this is a fact from which I have tried to protect him. But April 26 would change all that.
There was a gentleman sitting in our reserved seat. An Arab, maybe fifty years old, listening to music. Apologizing for the inconvenience, I asked him politely for our seat. He got up, inspected my son, and then leaned over me, saying: You people always take what you want. You need to learn.
He then walked straight into my son, causing him to fall over, and took the seat behind us.
We sat. Hiding my trembling hands from my son’s sight, I picked up Shabbes for Kids and started to review the week’s Torah portion with him. We hadn’t progressed as far as a page before the man stood up and screamed:  Quiet! I don’t want to hear that! You take what you want and never think of others! Shut up!
He stamped his feet, grunting and glaring at my son. Fighting tears of rage, I assured Charlie that the man was just grumpy and tried to turned the episode into a game, one that required us to remain super quiet for as long as possible. I even managed to coax a conspiratorial smile out of him.
But even this failed to appease our tormentor, who spent the rest of the trip repeatedly kicking the back of my son’s seat. At one point I glanced around our compartment: there were four other people there, four adults witnessing a single mother and her five-year-old child being attacked by a grown man. They did nothing. I tried forcing them to meet my gaze; but they just turned away, put on their headphones, stared at their screens, ignored what was happening in front of them.
I did not summon the railway police. I did not scream back at the man. I know better. I know that the only way to survive as a Jew in my country is not to be seen as one. Not to be exposed but to shut up and fade into the woodwork. I’ve known this for quite some time. Unfortunately, my son knows it now, too.

#Feminism: Importing Islamic Nightmares — While Denying Them in #Norway

April 10, 2013


(Fjordman) A report prepared by groups in the various Nordic countries has proposed instituting a legal ban on anti-Feminist “hatred,” comparing this to “racism.” Representing the left-wing coalition government in Norway, Ahmad Ghanizadeh from the Socialist Left Party (SV), the State Secretary in the Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion, was positive towards the proposal, and promised that the government would look into it.

My initial thought upon hearing this is that Leftism is now officially a religion, and that its proponents desire a “blasphemy statute” to ban any serious discussion of left-wing doctrines and their consequences as “hate speech.”
Writer and fellow online dissident Takuan Seiyo commented that not even George Orwell could have come up with anything that tops this scenario. Yes, there is a serious proposal afoot in Norway to ban “anti-Feminist hatred”. Yes, the ministry really has the Orwellian name of Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion. And yes, this State Secretary in Norway really is called Ahmad Ghanizadeh, originally from Iran.
In 2013, Norway’s Minister of Culture is Hadia Tajik, whose Muslim family came from Pakistan. One must assume that Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg of the Labour Party appointed her partly to remind the native population that they no longer have a culture, only “Multiculture,” but mainly in order to appeal to the Muslim and other Third World immigrant voters whose support his left-wing coalition depends upon in order to stay in power.
PM Stoltenberg in his prestigious New Year’s Speech for 2013 promised that his government would seek to ban “hateful utterances” on the Internet. The year before, Stoltenberg used his New Year’s Speech, always broadcasted on prime-time national TV and watched by a large proportion of his countrymen, to launch a frontal attack on alleged “totalitarian seducers” who use the Internet to spread unfounded “hatred.”
I was shortly afterwards contacted by the journalist Ragnhild Sleire Øyen from the state broadcaster NRK, the local equivalent of the BBC, who considered it obvious that the Prime Minister was referring to me personally. I’m sure many other citizens got the same message, and that may well have been intentional.
The PM didn’t mention any names explicitly, but then he didn’t have to, since so many others had done that dirty job for him. His right-hand man in Labour, Party Secretary Raymond Johansen, has singled me out for public attack by name several times, both before and after the Prime Minister gave this speech, as one of the individuals spreading irrational “hate” against Islam and therefore holding me partly responsible for the mental climate that allegedly created Anders Behring Breivik. I wasn’t the only name on that short list, but I usually topped it.
Norway is a small country, but I still find it unhealthy that a sitting political head of state uses his most prestigious annual speech addressing the nation to launch a thinly veiled attack on individual citizens who have done nothing criminal. An analogy for Americans would be if the President of the United States used his State of the Union speech to launch a thinly veiled attack on writers who use the Internet to publish ideas he dislikes, for instance the conservative author Michelle Malkin, or Glenn Reynolds with his major blog Instapundit. Even Obama hasn’t gone that far, at least not yet. The Social Democratic Prime Minister of Norway has.
Who gets to define “hate,” and do negative feelings always come out of nowhere? What if public anger, assuming it exists, actually has a cause that needs to be addressed? For example, being displaced in one’s own country by often hostile tribes? Should we simply ban any real discussions of this problem instead of dealing with the actual cause of public frustration? If so, what will be the long-term results of such a policy?
Elisabeth Skarsbø Moen is the debate editor and a regular columnist in VG, one of Norway’s two largest newspapers, and the largest one with a truly national readership. She writes in positive terms about Feminism, while at the same time championing the continued mass immigration of people from cultures that are extremely hostile to women. Like most other Western Feminists of her ilk, she sees no contradiction in this.
In October 2012, Skarsbø Moen wrote a deeply emotional column in VG entitled “Our children”, where she lamented that her society sometimes makes a distinction between “our” children and “other” children, that is, people born in other countries. She chastised her own country for not treating all children born anywhere on the entire planet as equally ours. The occasion concerned two young male Muslim asylum seekers from Afghanistan.
I don’t know these specific individuals, but it’s a fact that quite a few of the young asylum seekers who come to Europe from Afghanistan are actually young adults who lie about their age; so they are in fact neither children, nor are they “ours.” Skarsbø Moen thereby managed to tell two blatant falsehoods in just two words.
It also must be mentioned that these “children” usually bring with them an Islamic culture that is often violent and usually extremely hostile to women’s liberties. Yet this self-appointed Feminist does not seem to care much about that, or worry about the future consequences of allowing such a culture gain a foothold in her own country. Skarsbø Moen’s column was pure emotional pornography about how cruel and evil we are for not allowing potentially violent and generally hostile Muslims into our countries.
Neighboring Sweden has in little more than three decades metamorphosed from a safe country into being flooded by street crime and having one of the world’s highest recorded rape rates. Young blond girls in Stockholm suburbs are getting used to being called “whores” on a daily basis, and sometimes dye their hair in an attempt to avoid sexual harassment in the streets of what once was their own country.
Coincidentally, this transformation all took place at the same time as the largest wave of mass immigration in recorded history, much of it from brutal and repressive male-dominated cultures. Yet most of the left-wing or Marxist Feminist activists and journalists in Scandinavia strenuously deny that there is any connection between these two phenomena, and will aggressively attack as “racists” those who dare to suggest that the mass immigration they support has caused any of this.
In December 2011 a Swedish mother-of-two was subjected to a brutal gang-rape by perhaps a dozen young male asylum seekers from Afghanistan in a refugee camp in Mariannelund, Sweden — although only seven of them were convicted for this gruesome crime. Swedish newspapers such as Aftonbladet systematically conceal the ethnic identity of the perpetrators in cases involving immigrants, though, and only show photos featuring white criminals.
Reports stated that “The rape was oral, anal and vaginal sometimes with three rapists inside her at the same time while everybody was cheering and clapping. The gruesome rape marathon lasted for 7 hours. 11 suspects may have been involved, taking turns while drinking and getting high on drugs. The asylum seekers were cheering and clapping their hands during the rape marathon while calling the victim ‘whore’ and ‘slut’.”
The Swedish victim went into shock and has naturally become heavily traumatized. She is now subject to panic attacks and lives in a psychiatric clinic. She is also bound to a wheelchair due to the damage to her abdomen. The main perpetrator – Rafi Bahaduri, 25 – had already committed four other rapes in Sweden that we know of.
Despite this, Elina Gustafsson, a local member of the Swedish Social Democratic Youth League (SSU) who defines herself as a “proud Feminist,” thought it would be “racist” to expel these convicted Muslim criminals.
I’m reminded of another left-wing politician from Sweden. The Marxist Feminist Gudrun Schyman, then the leader of the “reformed” Communist party, in a speech in 2002 suggested that Swedish men are just like the Taliban. Fredrik Virtanen, a male columnist for the national newspaper Aftonbladet, immediately agreed with her that yes, Western men are just like the brutal Taliban regime and other Muslims from Afghanistan.
The young woman from Mariannelund, Sweden who just had her life ruined might disagree with this claim. Even native-born psychopaths rarely behave in this manner, yet such a treatment of women is unfortunately not rare in the most repressive parts of the Islamic world, whose primitive tribal cultures Western authorities insist on mass-importing to our cities.
Gang rapes and certain other types of violent crime were exceedingly rare in the Nordic countries a few decades ago, but are currently in the process of becoming routine. In Trondheim, Norway, on the 28th of May 2011, a young girl named Eva Helgetun took her own life. She was just 14 years old, and had been gang-raped by immigrants a few weeks before. Too many others share her fate.
In the 1960s when the so-called Second Wave of Feminism began, often with strong Marxist inspirations, Western women were relatively safe compared to women in other parts of the world. Half a century later, Western women have never had more Feminism, yet they and their children have also never been less safe.
Perhaps pointing out this fact constitutes “hate” in the eyes of some people, but that doesn’t make it any less true.
The problems caused by Third World mass immigration will not go away if we ban people from speaking truthfully about them. How hard can it be for members of the ruling elites to grasp this simple fact?


#Sweden’s moral decline

January 29, 2013

(Gatestone Institute) Just as Raoul Wallenberg remains as an example of courage, Sweden’s Mayor of Malmo, Ilmar Reepalu, a Social Democrat who has held the office for 17 years, does not.
Last October, around 300 people assembled in Raoul Wallenberg Square in Malmo, to join in solidarity the few Jews of Malmo, now numbering about 600, whose community center had just suffered an explosion, and whose cemetery had just been desecrated by antisemitic graffiti. At the same time as this demonstration, on the other side of Malmo, a celebration was taking place to commemorate the birth of Raoul Wallenberg, who, in Hungary in1944, saved thousands of Jews, from being sent to their death in the concentration camps of Nazi Germany. From July 9, 1944 until his arrest by the Soviet army on January 17, 1945 at the age of 32, Wallenberg issued “protective passports” to thousands of Jews and rented 32 buildings, which he declared diplomatic facilities. He used diplomacy, bribery and blackmail to provide Jews with immunity from arrest. He persuaded General Schmidthuber, the Commander of the German Army in Hungary, to cancel Adolf Eichmann’s plan to attack the Jewish ghetto and slaughter the 70,000 Jews there. About 120,000 Jews survived in Hungary alone as a result of Wallenberg’s efforts.
The courage of Wallenberg is disappointingly absent in Sweden today. Once a moral superpower, Sweden cannot now claim to be seen as even an open or tolerant place. Instead, it has become a haven for antisemitic behavior, as well as anti-Israel activity, by both Muslim activists and various political groups. Members of the Swedish parliament have attended supposedly “anti-Israel” rallies, which quickly descended into occasions for competitive antisemitic rhetoric.
Jews are being “harassed and physically attacked,” by “people from the Middle East,” according to Malmo resident, Fredrik Sieradzik, in an interview with the Austrian paper, Die Presse. “Malmo,” he said, “is a place to move away from.”
Sweden is now a country where orthodox Jews are afraid to wear a skullcap, and where the largest tabloid paper, Aftonbladet, libelously claimed, in an August 2009 article, that Israeli soldiers were taking the organs of dead Palestinians. When the city of Malmo in 2009 hosted a tennis match between Sweden and Israel, no spectators were allowed for “reasons of security.”
The individual most conspicuous in the denial of this reality is the mayor of Malmo, Ilmar Reepalu,. This reality consists of attacks on Jews in a city where the Jewish population has been reduced from 2,000 to about 600; where Molotov cocktails are thrown at Jewish funeral chapels, and antisemitic graffiti is scrawled throughout the town. The mayor nevertheless denies the increase in antisemitism there. When he does allude to the subject, he argues that the violence comes from right wing extremists, not from Muslims who now make up a considerable part of his Malmo population.
Reepalu asserts that “We accept neither Zionism nor antisemitism. They are extremes that put themselves above other groups, and believe they have a lower value.” Of the small Malmo Jewish community, he says: “I would wish for the Jewish community to denounce Israeli violations against the civilian population of Gaza. Instead, it decides to hold a demonstration [in reality a pro-peace rally] which could send the wrong signals.” Reepalu speaks of Israeli “genocide” in Gaza.
Reepalu, as is common with people in other countries in Europe in their fails to consider that government, laws and human rights partly exists to protect the minority from the majority. He blames the local Jews’ use of free speech and freedom of assembly for attacks on them: If only the Jews would stop speaking and gathering peacefully, the distorted logic goes, no one would be attacking them. Historically, the opposite is true: even when Jews remained quiet, and spent years in hiding, as many often did, the only acceptable form of behavior, apparently, was not to exist.
After years of unremitting antisemitic activity in Malmo, many Jews have either left or are thinking of leaving, largely for Stockholm, England or Israel. Reepalu’s comment was : “There have not been any attacks on Jewish people, and if Jews want to move to Israel that is not a matter for Malmo.” From time to time the mayor has claimed that his views were misrepresented, but the full recordings, published on the website of the paper Skanska Dagbladet, make clear that they were not.
One can only hope that the memory of Raoul Wallenberg, the exemplification of Sweden’s height as a moral superpower, may lead some of those exercising power in Sweden to deal with the forces of accelerating bigotry at their doorstep, and their own bigotry inside.


Religion of Rape: Sweden vs. Syria

January 14, 2013

(Carl)Syrian refugees arriving in Jordan and Lebanon are telling stories of gang rapes, according to the New York-based International Rescue Committee.

The New York-based International Rescue Committee (IRC) said Syrian refugees interviewed in Lebanon and Jordan gave sexual violence as a primary reason for their flight, saying that gang rapes often occur in front of family members.

“After decades of working in war and disaster zones, the IRC knows that women and girls suffer physical and sexual violence in every conflict. Syria is no exception,” the IRC said in a 23-page report entitled “Syria: a regional crisis”.

“Many women and girls relayed accounts of being attacked in public or in their homes, primarily by armed men,” it added, without identifying those responsible.
The IRC said it was also told of attacks in which women and girls were kidnapped, raped, tortured and killed.

“For survivors who manage to flee, there is a shortage of medical and counseling services to help them recover in the communities where they have settled and even there, challenges continue. Many women and girls face unsafe conditions in refugee camps as well as elevated levels of domestic violence.”

It’s interesting that they won’t say whether it’s Assad’s goons of the Islamist rebels who are behind this. I would bet on both.
Just imagine what they would do to Jews if God forbid they were given the chance.

….but if you think it is just vagina that the Muslims are after… in Sweden… (Reports of male rape are on the rise in Sweden, new figures show, yet sexual violence experts believe the figures represent only the tip of the iceberg as many men are too ashamed to report the assaults.)

Figures from the National Crime Prevention Council (Brottsförebyggande rådet, Brå) show that 132 men reported being raped in 2012, compared with 94 reports filed in 2010 and more than three times as many as the 41 reports filed in 2007.
“We know from research that the rapists are usually heterosexual men; for the offenders the act is not about sexuality but about power,” social work lecturer Hans Knutagård told the Metro newspaper. He added that male rape victims can sometimes feel that they’ve been “turned into a homosexual”. Hot lines and sexual health organizations testify to a growing number of men who contact them for help and support following an assault. Yet, many do not go further and report the crime to the police. “No, they’re too ashamed,” Jane Eriksson, chair of the anti-sexual violence NGO Hopp in Katrineholm, told the newspaper.The Crime Prevention council estimates that only 23 percent of all rapes are reported to the police, and even fewer make it to trial. In the first half of 2012, only six of 61 reported rapes against men resulted in criminal indictments. In 2011, the clearance rate for rapes against men was 10 percent, the same clearance rate as rapes against women. The Local/at Follow The Local on Twitter (news@thelocal.se)

…how much do you want to bet that this kind of ass attack is going down in Syria? Ain’t nothing odd about Sweden… they just like to report this kind of thing because they think they are superior to the Muslims. That is why they are so liberal to the brown folks down south and their culture.
don’t make it into a woman’s issue. guys are getting bull queered, but they say that is Heterosexual’s on a power trip… yeah. As if gays don’t like a little power.


Swedish Teen Girls Riot Over Call for ‘Sluts’ on Instagram

December 18, 2012

Sweden: model liberal democracy, or teen social-media slut-riot hell? Today in Gothenburg, dozens of Swedish teens barricaded a high school, throwing bottles and attacking passers-by, over an anonymous Instagram account that had “asked for tips on sluts in Gothenburg.”

What the media refuses to tell you: Sweden is full of rioting sluts.


h/t lolkatz

Sluts!


You Can Give a Boy a Doll, but You Can’t Make Him Play With It – Christina Hoff Sommers

December 7, 2012

The logistical and ethical problems with trying to make toys gender-neutral
sommers_toy_post.jpg

Top-Toy

Is it discriminatory and degrading for toy catalogs to show girls playing with tea sets and boys with Nerf guns? A Swedish regulatory group says yes. The Reklamombudsmannen (RO) has reprimanded Top-Toy, a licensee of Toys”R”Us and one of the largest toy companies in Northern Europe, for its “outdated” advertisements and has pressured it to mend its “narrow-minded” ways. After receiving “training and guidance” from RO equity experts, Top-Toy introduced gender neutrality in its 2012 Christmas catalogue. The catalog shows little boys playing with a Barbie Dream House and girls with guns and gory action figures. As its marketing director explains, “For several years, we have found that the gender debate has grown so strong in the Swedish market that we have had to adjust.”
Swedes can be remarkably thorough in their pursuit of gender parity. A few years ago, a feminist political party proposed a law requiring men to sit while urinating—less messy and more equal. In 2004, the leader of the Sweden’s Left Party Feminist Council, Gudrun Schyman,proposed a “man tax”—a special tariff to be levied on men to pay for all the violence and mayhem wrought by their sex. In April 2012, following the celebration of International Women’s Day, the Swedes formally introduced the genderless pronoun “hen” to be used in place of he and she (han and hon).

Egalia, a new state-sponsored pre-school in Stockholm, is dedicated to the total obliteration of the male and female distinction. There are no boys and girls at Egalia—just “friends” and “buddies.” Classic fairy tales like Cinderella and Snow White have been replaced by tales of two male giraffes who parent abandoned crocodile eggs. The Swedish Green Party would like Egalia to be the norm: It has suggested placing gender watchdogs in all of the nation’s preschools. “Egalia gives [children] a fantastic opportunity to be whoever they want to be,” says one excited teacher. (It is probably necessary to add that this is not an Orwellian satire or a right-wing fantasy: This school actually exists.)
The problem with Egalia and gender-neutral toy catalogs is that boys and girls, on average, do not have identical interests, propensities, or needs. Twenty years ago, Hasbro, a major American toy manufacturing company, tested a playhouse it hoped to market to both boys and girls. It soon emerged that girls and boys did not interact with the structure in the same way. The girls dressed the dolls, kissed them, and played house. The boys catapulted the toy baby carriage from the roof. A Hasbro manager came up with a novel explanation: “Boys and girls are different.”
They are different, and nothing short of radical and sustained behavior modification could significantly change their elemental play preferences. Children, with few exceptions, are powerfully drawn to sex-stereotyped play. David Geary, a developmental psychologist at the University of Missouri, told me in an email this week, “One of the largest and most persistent differences between the sexes are children’s play preferences.” The female preference for nurturing play and the male propensity for rough-and-tumble hold cross-culturally and even cross-species (with a few exceptions—female spotted hyenas seem to be at least as aggressive as males). Among our close relatives such as vervet and rhesus monkeys, researchers have found that females play with dolls far more than their brothers, who prefer balls and toy cars. It seems unlikely that the monkeys were indoctrinated by stereotypes in a Top-Toy catalog. Something else is going on.
Biology appears to play a role. Several animal studies have shown that hormonal manipulation can reverse sex-typed behavior. When researchers exposed female rhesus monkeys to male hormones prenatally, these females later displayed male-like levels of rough-and-tumble play. Similar results are found in human beings. Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is a genetic condition that results when the female fetus is subjected to unusually large quantities of male hormones—adrenal androgens. Girls with CAH tend to prefer trucks, cars, and construction sets over dolls and play tea sets. As psychologist Doreen Kimura reported in Scientific American, “These findings suggest that these preferences were actually altered in some way by the early hormonal environment.” They also cast doubt on the view that gender-specific play is primarily shaped by socialization.
Professor Geary does not have much hope for the new gender-blind toy catalogue: “The catalog will almost certainly disappear in a few years, once parents who buy from it realize their kids don’t want these toys.” Most little girls don’t want to play with dump trucks, as almost any parent can attest. Including me: When my granddaughter Eliza was given a toy train, she placed it in a baby carriage and covered it with a blanket so it could get some sleep.
Androgyny advocates like our Swedish friends have heard such stories many times, and they have an answer. They acknowledge that sex differences have at least some foundation in biology, but they insist that culture can intensify or diminish their power and effect. Even if Eliza is prompted by nature to interact with a train in a stereotypical female way, that is no reason for her parents not to energetically correct her. Hunter College psychologist Virginia Valian, a strong proponent of Swedish-style re-genderization, wrote in the book Why So Slow? The Advancement of Women, “We do not accept biology as destiny … We vaccinate, we inoculate, we medicate… I propose we adopt the same attitude toward biological sex differences.”
Valian is absolutely right that we do not have to accept biology as destiny. But the analogy is ludicrous: We vaccinate, inoculate, and medicate children against disease. Is being a gender-typical little boy or girl a pathology in need of a cure? Failure to protect children from small pox, diphtheria, or measles places them in harm’s way. I don’t believe there is any such harm in allowing male/female differences to flourish in early childhood. As one Swedish mother, Tanja Bergkvist, told the Associated Press, “Different gender roles aren’t problematic as long as they are equally valued.” Gender neutrality is not a necessary condition for equality. Men and women can be different—but equal. And for most human beings, the differences are a vital source for meaning and happiness. Since when is uniformity a democratic ideal?
Few would deny that parents and teachers should expose children to a wide range of toys and play activities. But what the Swedes are now doing in some of their classrooms goes far beyond encouraging children to experiment with different toys and play styles—they are requiring it. And toy companies who resist the gender neutrality mandate face official censure. Is this kind of social engineering worth it? Is it even ethical?
To succeed, the Swedish parents, teachers and authorities are going to have to police—incessantly—boys’ powerful attraction to large-group rough-and-tumble play and girls’ affinity for intimate theatrical play. As Geary says, “You can change some of these behaviors with reinforcement and monitoring, but they bounce back once this stops.” But this constant monitoring can also undermine children’s healthy development.
Anthony Pellegrini, a professor of early childhood education at the University of Minnesota, defines the kind of rough-and-tumble play that boys favor as a behavior that includes “laughing, running, smiling, jumping, open-hand beating, wrestling, play fighting, chasing and fleeing.” This kind of play is often mistakenly regarded as aggression, but according to Pellegrini, it is the very opposite. In cases of schoolyard aggression, the participants are unhappy, they part as enemies, and there are often tears and injuries. Rough-and-tumble play brings boys together, makes them happy, and is a critical party of their social development.
Researchers Mary Ellin Logue (University of Maine) and Hattie Harvey (University of Denver ) agree, and they have documented the benefits of boys’ “bad guy” superhero action narratives. Teachers tend not to like such play, say Logue and Harvey, but it improves boys’ conversation, creative writing skills, and moral imagination. Swedish boys, like American boys, are languishing far behind girls in school. In a 2009 study Logue and Harvey ask an important question the Swedes should consider: “If boys, due to their choices of dramatic play themes, are discouraged from dramatic play, how will this affect their early language and literacy development and their engagement in school?”
What about the girls? Nearly 30 years ago, Vivian Gussin Paley, a beloved kindergarten teacher at the Chicago Laboratory Schools and winner of a MacArthur “genius” award, published a classic book on children’s play entitled Boys & Girls: Superheroes in the Doll Corner. Paley wondered if girls are missing out by not partaking in boys’ superhero play, but her observations of the “doll corner” allayed her doubts. Girls, she learned, are interested in their own kind of domination. Boys’ imaginative play involves a lot of conflict and imaginary violence; girls’ play, on the other hand, seems to be much gentler and more peaceful. But as Paley looked more carefully, she noticed that the girls’ fantasies were just as exciting and intense as the boys—though different. There were full of conflict, pesky characters and imaginary power struggles. “Mothers and princesses are as powerful as any superheroes the boys can devise.” Paley appreciated the benefits of gendered play for both sexes, and she had no illusions about the prospects for its elimination: “Kindergarten is a triumph of sexual self-stereotyping. No amount of adult subterfuge or propaganda deflects the five-year-old’s passion for segregation by sex.”
But subterfuge and propaganda appear to be the order of the day in Sweden. In their efforts to free children from the constraints of gender, the Swedish reformers are imposing their own set of inviolate rules, standards, and taboos. Here is how Slate author Nathalie Rothchild describes a gender-neutral classroom:

One Swedish school got rid of its toy cars because boys “gender-coded” them and ascribed the cars higher status than other toys. Another preschool removed “free playtime” from its schedule because, as a pedagogue at the school put it, when children play freely ‘stereotypical gender patterns are born and cemented. In free play there is hierarchy, exclusion, and the seed to bullying.’ And so every detail of children’s interactions gets micromanaged by concerned adults, who end up problematizing minute aspects of children’s lives, from how they form friendships to what games they play and what songs they sing.

The Swedes are treating gender-conforming children the way we once treated gender-variant children. Formerly called “tomboy girls” and “sissy boys” in the medical literature, these kids are persistently attracted to the toys of the opposite sex. They will often remain fixated on the “wrong” toys despite relentless, often cruel pressure from parents, doctors, and peers. Their total immersion in sex-stereotyped culture—a non-stop Toys”R”Us indoctrination—seems to have little effect on their passion for the toys of the opposite sex. There was a time when a boy who displayed a persistent aversion to trucks and rough play and a fixation on frilly dolls or princess paraphernalia would have been considered a candidate for behavior modification therapy. Today, most experts encourage tolerance, understanding, and acceptance: just leave him alone and let him play as he wants. The Swedes should extend the same tolerant understanding to the gender identity and preferences of the vast majority of children.