Indeed, we are all aware that our dearest 21st Century is filled with gender equality problems. The perfect balance (is there such?) between both sexes in society hasn’t yet been achieved. Women and Men both suffer from constant discrimination, for multiple reasons, from domestic to even broader spheres of life.
But there are good news! Sweden has been given the title of the most gender-equal country of the world, by the World Economic Forum in 2010. And thus it is no surprise that they strive to become even better, and so breaking the conservative boundaries should be no problem in such a “politically correct” country.
The concept behind it is simple. Eliminate any form of gender discrimination from the earliest stage of a human being. So, children are now referred to as “hen”, a combined, genderless personal pronoun. Seems like the eradication of gender difference does not limit itself to the swedish language. A popular idea is that of a “genderless change room”, which many schools are starting to adopt. Its concept is auto-explanatory. A changing room that is not defined by gender boundaries.
Of course, at first, this sounds like la vie en rose, but there is always a con side to is, and fortunately, that is my job here.
What will become of this “hen” generation? These children will eventually reach puberty, and when they do, will they not be a bit confused? Pulling all the gender stereotypes away is not the world’s most terrible idea, however, generations have proved that stereotypes do not always define people. Examples are that we have male chefs (some of the world’s greatest), female truck drivers, the head of South African Police is a woman, and she didn’t grow up looking at adverts of girls with guns!
Hence, despite the stereotypes that seem to attach themselves to our gender, we have proved that it is possible to outgrow them.
So then again, what will happen to these children who grow without having their genders acknowledged? Does that mean they are free to “pick” a gender, when they feel like? Looking at the long-term consequences, it is quite a feasible possibility. First the gender neutral ads. Then the school adaptations, and soon the clothing brands advocating genderless clothes. Well, it is an idea. Shops stopped tagging “boy” and “girl” sections. Suddenly it is ok for a boy to wear a skirt and a girl to wear boxers. Not that is isn’t done now, not that it hasn’t been done before. The only difference is that now it will be acceptable, it will be “politically correct”.
Confused adolescents with identity vacuums who define themselves within the silhouettes of “politically correctness” is what I think this whole concept will produce.
I wonder what’s next… !