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  #41 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 06-28-2011, 08:24 PM
Lysis Antarctica Lysis is offline
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Re: Gender neutral preschool in Sweden

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Originally Posted by Nox View Post
So if I screw up on the gender of some unknown person, its somehow offensive? Seriously, that's a common mistake. It is human to assume something so innocent and be wrong.
is that what I said? No, no it isn't. I said nothing of the sort, in fact. Again, it's amazing how well everybody seems to be missing my point.

Quote:
He and she are not gendered pronouns. They're sex pronouns. They are denoting if somebody or if someones possession is male or female. That's about it. You are finding hidden meanings in silly things, no wait, you are GIVING them meaning, and an incorrect one at that.
"he" and "she" are gender-specific pronouns. I am not giving them any meaning beyond what they already have. Their meaning is quite specific. Every single person must either be male or female and this detail is so important, more so even than any other detail about a person, that you have to know it in order to even refer to a person. That's what gender-specific pronouns mean.

Quote:
Wow, now who is using straw men?
certainly not I. When did I make up an argument as a deliberate misrepresentation of your argument and then refute it? All I did here was tell you what my argument was, which you are apparently against, and ask you what exactly you had against it.

Quote:
I'm all for equality and individualisim. Should women get a fair hearing after being raped? Damn straight. Should they get equal pay? Of course! Should a man and woman be allowed to dress how they want and do what they want without consequence? Yes and that is exactly what I support about this preschool. It has the right idea.

However, attacking pronouns and calling them "divisional" and saying they "enforce gender stereotypes" has no logical basis. Its silly, sapping away any and all effort to actually fight actual discrimination. It is making a mountain out of an imaginary mole hill.
I've given you the logical basis already. I never said that gender-specific pronouns were discriminatory. They are not inherently discriminatory, except in the way that they exclude a large number of people. Instead they are simply archaic, pretty much useless, at times unnecessarily confusing, often rather awkward to use, sometimes completely incorrect, and promote dividing the entire population of human beings into two distinct groups which they certainly do not and cannot fit into.

again I ask, would you have a problem if instead of basing pronouns on sex or gender our language chose instead to base pronouns on hair or eye or skin color? Or to preserve the imaginary dual nature we currently have, handedness? What purpose would such distinctions serve? Imagine the confusion and awkwardness they could lead to.

all I'm saying is that the pronouns our language currently uses are confusing, awkward, archaic, and useless and we could certainly do a lot better. Especially if we want to promote equality, uniqueness, and individualism of all people, since grouping them together based on irrelevant physical details of their body is inherently contradictory to this goal.

Quote:
If someone identifies themselves as a male or female, calling them what they want to be called is pretty respectful, no? If you want to be addressed as "Sir" or "Madam" I think it'd be nice to call you that, no? Because its how you want to be addressed.
what if I tell you I am neither male nor female? What will you do then?
Last Edited by Lysis; 06-28-2011 at 08:25 PM. Reason: Reply With Quote
  #42 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 06-28-2011, 08:25 PM
Nox Nox is a male United States Nox is offline
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Re: Gender neutral preschool in Sweden

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Originally Posted by Finbarr View Post
There's a lot of genders. Seems it'd be easier to just use one pronoun.
But then that would assume we are all one gender. When in reality, we as people give ourselves labels. Some do it to fit in, others because its easier to stand out, and some for statistical purposes. What you are suggesting is highly idealistic. If you want to fight injustice, there are better ways then trying to prove that pronouns are somehow doublespeak used to create division or that they even imply that they enforce stereotypes.

Seriously, the stereotype does not come from the gender one bases themselves on nor anything else. It comes down to the ignorant actions committed by one person and calling claim that their group made them do that. In other words, all it takes is one moron to screw things up for everyone. I can refuse to call myself a white male all day until the cows come home, but the government and society will always see me as one. If they want to incorrectly stereotype me as part of the oppression or of the ideal human being (depending on who sees it) its their problem, not mine.

EDIT: Terazi, sorry for calling it a strawman but again, I am trying to get your argument. I really am. And all I'm getting at is that you somehow think because we say he or she, it somehow is bad because it excludes people who don't identify themselves as either gender. I have no problem with that. If they want to be called "human" or "that person" or hell, even their name (which honestly, would be very specific) then its whatever.

And honestly, if someone doesn't want to go by either gender, then people can always speak up and ask what they want to be called. Is it really that hard to tell people what YOU want to be called rather than forcing your view/word upon the English language all because it'll somehow bring us together and eradicate discrimination? There are better ways to bring people together and this isn't one of them.
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Last Edited by Nox; 06-28-2011 at 08:32 PM. Reason: Reply With Quote
  #43 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 06-28-2011, 08:55 PM
Conde Conde is a male Guatemala Conde is offline
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Re: Gender neutral preschool in Sweden

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Originally Posted by Nox View Post
But then that would assume we are all one gender.
No. The point of the argument is that pronouns shouldn't be gender specific (just like they aren't race specific or hair color specific, or favorite twilight movie specific) to avoid confusion. Throw away any specifics of the pronoun because they are arbitrary. That doesn't mean there's just one gender, it just means this universal pronoun isn't concerned about gender. It's a very simple argument, really.

It's the way it should be, so I can't see how Egalia is doing anything wrong with "hen".
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  #44 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 06-28-2011, 09:43 PM
mattj mattj is offline
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Re: Gender neutral preschool in Sweden

I take offense to being called "it". I think we should remove non gender specific pronouns because they offend me, and millions of others.

this is not a trollpost

Seriously, if I were say working in a restaurant, and I overheard a mother telling her child, "Dear, could you get it's attention so we can get a refill." I would be terribly offended.
Last Edited by mattj; 06-28-2011 at 09:45 PM. Reason: Reply With Quote
  #45 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 06-28-2011, 09:47 PM
Finbarr Ireland Finbarr is offline
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Re: Gender neutral preschool in Sweden

Good thing most people who want gender-neutral pronouns use ones that aren't dehumanising, then.
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Old 06-28-2011, 09:56 PM
Kostya Kostya is a male United States Kostya is offline
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Re: Gender neutral preschool in Sweden

Wouldn't a simpler solution be to just invent a third set of pronouns that are used to refer to people that you don't know the gender of or don't fit into one of the other two distinctions? It would be like the neuter pronouns Russian has.
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:03 PM
mattj mattj is offline
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Re: Gender neutral preschool in Sweden

You mean like the "it" that we already have. Humans are either male (XY) or female (XX). Anything other than he or she is dehumanizing.
Quote:
STOCKHOLM – At the "Egalia" preschool...
...the liberal Sodermalm district of Stockholm ... the most radical examples of ...

...the theory that ...society gives boys an unfair edge.

... "gender pedagogues" ...

...An obsession with obliterating gender roles... make the children confused and ill-prepared to face the world outside kindergarten.

... "gender madness" in Sweden.

Those bent on shattering gender roles...

...Egalia places a special emphasis on fostering an environment tolerant of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. From a bookcase, she pulls out a story about two male giraffes who are sad to be childless — until they come across an abandoned crocodile egg.

...all the children's books deal with homosexual couples, single parents or adopted children. There are no "Snow White," "Cinderella" or other classic fairy tales seen as cementing stereotypes.

... we suggest two moms or three moms and so on...

Egalia's methods are controversial... they amount to mind control.
... one couple has pulled a child out of the school.

...a pioneer among European countries in allowing gay and lesbian couples to legalize their partnerships and adopt children.

... the state-funded Swedish Science Council had granted $80,000 for a postdoctoral fellowship aimed at analyzing "the trumpet as a symbol of gender."

Jay Belsky, a child psychologist ... questioned whether it was the right way to go.

... a word that doesn't exist in Swedish but is used in some feminist and gay circles.

... the dolls the children play with are anatomically correct.
All I read in the OP is a bunch of crazies wasting tax payer money to force their agenda on impressionable youth.
Last Edited by mattj; 06-28-2011 at 10:04 PM. Reason: Reply With Quote
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:07 PM
Kostya Kostya is a male United States Kostya is offline
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Re: Gender neutral preschool in Sweden

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Originally Posted by mattj View Post
You mean like the "it" that we already have. Humans are either male (XY) or female (XX). Anything other than he or she is dehumanizing.


All I read in the OP is a bunch of crazies wasting tax payer money to force their agenda on impressionable youth.
Yes but what if people don't want to be called those? I know it's annoying and I wish it wasn't that way but we should try to respect their feelings.

Question is what would this third pronoun set be? It should be similar to the others but still different to make a distinction.

Okay I might not agree with this but that's a little harsh.
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  #49 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 06-28-2011, 10:08 PM
Finbarr Ireland Finbarr is offline
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Re: Gender neutral preschool in Sweden

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Originally Posted by Kostya View Post
Wouldn't a simpler solution be to just invent a third set of pronouns that are used to refer to people that you don't know the gender of or don't fit into one of the other two distinctions? It would be like the neuter pronouns Russian has.
That's probably the most realistic solution, at least right now. I don't see a problem with an environment that uses neutral pronouns to refer to everybody, though. Personally, I think that should be the end goal. Besides, if you're going to refer to somebody by a neutral pronoun before you know their identity, you may as well continue to use a neutral pronoun afterwards.
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  #50 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 06-28-2011, 10:08 PM
Conde Conde is a male Guatemala Conde is offline
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Re: Gender neutral preschool in Sweden

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Originally Posted by mattj View Post
You mean like the "it" that we already have. Humans are either male (XY) or female (XX). Anything other than he or she is dehumanizing.
Asexual humans are as human as sexual humans. There are also other configurations for the sexual chromosome besides that, and gender isn't set by DNA.

Quote:
All I read in the OP is a bunch of crazies wasting tax payer money to force their agenda on impressionable youth.
Please, can you elaborate. You don't think we should strive for a sexism-free society?
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  #51 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 06-28-2011, 10:10 PM
mattj mattj is offline
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Re: Gender neutral preschool in Sweden

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Originally Posted by Kostya View Post
Yes but what if people don't want to be called those?
See, that's the problem. We're not talking about people who want to be called something else. We're talking about impressionable youth who are being raised in a fairytale world that doesn't exist outside of that building. How is this good for kids?

there is no such thing as an asexual human every human has chromosomes
and yes, if you're talking about XXY or something like hermaphrodites (the extreme rarity), sure, but if you're talking about obvious XXs or XYs, no
Last Edited by mattj; 06-28-2011 at 10:13 PM. Reason: Reply With Quote
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Old 06-28-2011, 10:12 PM
Kostya Kostya is a male United States Kostya is offline
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Re: Gender neutral preschool in Sweden

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Originally Posted by Finbarr View Post
That's probably the most realistic solution, at least right now. I don't see a problem with an environment that uses neutral pronouns to refer to everybody, though. Personally, I think that should be the end goal. Besides, if you're going to refer to somebody by a neutral pronoun before you know their identity, you may as well continue to use a neutral pronoun afterwards.
I think neutral pronouns only is overdoing it a little. Maybe in a century or two but I can't see many people in the world(myself included) really getting on board with that.

As for the continued usage I think it should be up to the person you're referring to. If they want to be called something else then they should tell you and that's the end of it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattj View Post
See, that's the problem. We're not talking about people who want to be called something else. We're talking about impressionable youth who are being raised in a fairytale world that doesn't exist outside of that building. How is this good for kids?

there is no such thing as an asexual human every human has chromosomes
I admit this isn't the best idea and it could cause problems later in life but we have to start somewhere. Perhaps if this idea catches on all schools could do this and then the problem would gradually erase itself. Also I think their parents would tell them that thing's are different in the real world so it's not like they'll be unprepared.

Yes but some humans have different chromosomal configurations.

edit: Okay but again. What if someone doesn't feel like they fit in one of the two sexes? Even if biologically they do I think we should try to respect their wishes in some way.
Last Edited by Kostya; 06-28-2011 at 10:15 PM. Reason: Reply With Quote
  #53 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 06-28-2011, 10:20 PM
mattj mattj is offline
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Re: Gender neutral preschool in Sweden

If someone feels like they're a dolphin trapped in a human body should we really humor them? Or better yet put 80,000$ of taxpayer money to study whether the Oboe is a sign of human/dolphin repression? Or hire an "expert" to tell teachers that they're being specist? Am I seriously the only one who sees all of this as being insane?
Last Edited by mattj; 06-28-2011 at 10:22 PM. Reason: Reply With Quote
  #54 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 06-28-2011, 10:26 PM
Finbarr Ireland Finbarr is offline
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Re: Gender neutral preschool in Sweden

Okay, putting aside the issue of gender identity for the moment, you actually acknowledged in one of your posts that some people's biological sex is somewhere between male and female. Why the hell shouldn't we accommodate them? Just because intersexed individuals are in the minority?
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Old 06-29-2011, 06:32 AM
mattj mattj is offline
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Re: Gender neutral preschool in Sweden

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Originally Posted by Finbarr View Post
Okay, putting aside the issue of gender identity for the moment, you actually acknowledged in one of your posts that some people's biological sex is somewhere between male and female. Why the hell shouldn't we accommodate them? Just because intersexed individuals are in the minority?
Because the OP isn't talking about creating a new word (like "it" or "they" or "them" somehow isn't good enough) to accommodate XXYs. The OP is talking about creating new gender neutral words and abolishing old gender specific words and teaching our impressionable youth that the terms male and female aren't important, when outside of that particular classroom, they are. This has nothing to do with the vast minority of people who actually aren't male or female (like, not just in their mind, but their actual chromosomes are neither XX or XY), this is about some crackpots wasting taxpayer money to shove their warped agenda down the throats of impressionable children, because they know the majority of adults won't accept it.

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Originally Posted by AzraelBlack View Post
If there are potentially a myriad of different sexes, why would we taxonomise each, label it, and place it as different? If we do does that mean we now need to make a separate change room, and toilet for each sex and gender imaginable?

But there aren't 3 genders, there are countless genders, and countless different combinations of sex.
XX
XY
XXY

1, 2, 3

Where is this "countless, myriad of sexes" you're talking about? Is this the "invent fictitious sexes" this thread?
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  #56 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 06-29-2011, 07:31 AM
Finbarr Ireland Finbarr is offline
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Re: Gender neutral preschool in Sweden

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Originally Posted by mattj View Post
Because the OP isn't talking about creating a new word (like "it" or "they" or "them" somehow isn't good enough) to accommodate XXYs. The OP is talking about creating new gender neutral words and abolishing old gender specific words and teaching our impressionable youth that the terms male and female aren't important, when outside of that particular classroom, they are.
Sorry, when you make statements like how anything other than he or she is dehumanising it's hard not to see your views as being that extreme.

Quote:
This has nothing to do with the vast minority of people who actually aren't male or female (like, not just in their mind, but their actual chromosomes are neither XX or XY), this is about some crackpots wasting taxpayer money to shove their warped agenda down the throats of impressionable children, because they know the majority of adults won't accept it.
You know, the school isn't just about the pronouns, right? And how is treating people like individuals, rather than as members of two opposite groups, a warped agenda? Trying to break down stereotypes is a pretty good idea. And the vast majority of adults don't accept lots of people. The vast majority of adults can grow the hell up.
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Old 06-29-2011, 08:26 AM
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Re: Gender neutral preschool in Sweden

As an avid reader and writer, I am opposed to the idea of doing away with gender-based pronouns; it would make future fanfiction so much more difficult to write when referring to characters. *shot* XD

Ahem, in all seriousness...

I honestly feel a bit wary about this. While I'm all for legal gender equality, and I do hope that all humans - regardless of gender, sex, or race - will be able to share the same prospects without discrimination, I do feel that this is yet another extreme measure in what has reputedly been a wave of political correctness gone mad in Sweden. Putting aside the fact that there are sexes beyond straight male and female (which, honestly, I have no idea how the topic managed to worm into this discussion at all), I do agree with Mattj, even if I don't share his way of putting forth the point: There are fundamental differences between male and female, much moreso than race or hair color, and the usage of neutral pronouns seem to be taking the issue to the extreme. These fundamental differences factor into different aspects of society beyond mere gender discrimination, such as the right to privacy; I don't consider it sexual discrimination with a woman prefers female sales clerk at a clothing store to help her into a dress, nor do I consider it sexual discrimination when a male feels weirdly uncomfortable when a female janitor is cleaning the men's washroom when he is responding to nature.

I like certain measures where stereotypically male Lego toys are placed beside stereotypically female kitchen toys to erode barriers between the two; there is much to be gained from that, and it isn't attempting to bury the issue or gender identity, but trying to change a core mentality about how such activities can be interlinked. Better yet, this is something a developed, equal society can accept. But the entire issue with pronouns feels very superficial to me, a meaningless measure made out of political correctness that the world is still decades away from responding to. I cannot help but feel troubled that we cannot accept that equality is inherently deserved by both genders, and have to resort to unifying gender roles to force an equality upon us. It doesn't feel like it's tackling the root of the issue at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattj View Post
All I read in the OP is a bunch of crazies wasting tax payer money to force their agenda on impressionable youth.
It is an organization attempting to instill beliefs they believe are admirable and correct into the next generation. It's no different from a church attempting to instill religious beliefs into the young, or parents trying to instill atheistic values into their children. Given that most children are raised in one social context or another, it is impossible not to force nothing onto "impressionable youths". And, to be honest, I find the passive-aggressiveness in some of your posts to be mildly unsettling.
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  #58 (permalink)   [ ]
Old 06-29-2011, 08:37 AM
Bobby Kotick Bobby Kotick is a male Bobby Kotick is offline
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Re: Gender neutral preschool in Sweden

Ho, thank you OP: it seems I needed a laugh today.

---------- Post added at 08:32 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:29 AM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattj View Post
Am I seriously the only one who sees all of this as being insane?
Thankfully not.

---------- Post added at 08:37 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:32 AM ----------

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Originally Posted by AzraelBlack
we could merely do away with the segregation altogether.
Not one of your more intelligent moments. Language is segregation: segregation of ideas. If we didn't segregate, we wouldn't be able to express.
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Old 06-29-2011, 09:21 AM
Feline Witch United Kingdom Feline Witch is offline
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Re: Gender neutral preschool in Sweden

I think this school is taking things too far. I am all for not forcing children into sterotypes, and children should be allowed to choose whether they want to play with trucks or dolls or both, but gender is a major part of identity. It reminds me of the couple that are raising their child to be gender neutral, and avoid referring to the child as "him" or "her" so the child can choose their own gender. I think coming out as transgender is already hard enough. How are you supposed to know you were born in the wrong body if you don't know which one is the right one?

Just let the girls play with trucks and go in the sandpit if they want, and let the boys play with dolls houses and ovens, and be done with it. Referring to the children as "it" is just going to confuse them. (I know it sounds harsher in english, because we don't have a polite gender neutral phrase.)
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Old 06-29-2011, 10:21 AM
Finbarr Ireland Finbarr is offline
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Re: Gender neutral preschool in Sweden

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Originally Posted by AzraelBlack View Post
But in terms of the bigger picture, I'd like to see a school where there are unisex toilets and change rooms, integrated physical education classes and a strong focus on making LGBT lifestyles, orientations and genders seem normal, by not ignoring them.
Just to throw in an anecdote here, I was in Dublin Zoo a few weeks ago with some friends. They include all of the bathroom facilities (toilets, sinks, etc) all together in individual stalls, to maximise privacy I guess. They also felt the need to have to segregate them into male and female facilities. They probably just didn't make that final mental leap to think outside the box, but Jesus, it felt like they were going out of their way to exclude trans* folk.

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Originally Posted by Feline Witch View Post
I think this school is taking things too far. I am all for not forcing children into sterotypes, and children should be allowed to choose whether they want to play with trucks or dolls or both, but gender is a major part of identity. It reminds me of the couple that are raising their child to be gender neutral, and avoid referring to the child as "him" or "her" so the child can choose their own gender. I think coming out as transgender is already hard enough. How are you supposed to know you were born in the wrong body if you don't know which one is the right one?
Pretty sure that isn't how body dysmorphia works. Also, there's a difference between the terms transgender and transsexual. Not all transgendered people suffer from dysmorphia. Some are fine with the bodies they're in.

And I really don't see how trying to deemphasise gender in language would make things harder. If society would get over the idea that you can tell somebody's gender identity by looking at them, things would be a lot easier for transgendered people.
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Last Edited by Finbarr; 06-29-2011 at 10:29 AM. Reason: Reply With Quote
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