Here is an interesting article called – “No More Gender: A Look into Sweden’s Social Experiment.” It’s tough to believe what we read these days. How could Swedish schools really be doing this? It boggles my mind. It’s one thing to deny there should be any social differences between men and women, but biologically we are obviously different. It seems that biological bodily difference is important enough to keep the terms, “he”, “she”, “him”, and “her.”
They mention clothing colors in the article. That doesn’t bother me at all. In fact, it might be nice to work against that color dichotomy a little bit in our culture.
But I agree with this – “What’s at stake in this discussion? Human flourishing. We don’t flourish when we suppress or ignore gender distinctives. Such an existence creates a flatter, duller society. Instead, we flourish when we embrace our maleness or femaleness as God’s gift to us – intended for our joy and His glory. The differences between men and women aren’t obstacles to overcome; they’re glorious and beautiful.”
Obviously there is widespread disagreement as to how much difference there is in males and females as far as personalities, temperaments, and interests. But you have to be blind to not see that our bodies our different. At the very least we should wear different clothing to flatter our bodies in different appropriate ways that fit our distinctive bodies. This in itself makes the world a more interesting beautiful place. But it seems as if these Swedish schools don’t even want to acknowledge that there are girls and boys who are different biologically.
This issue seems to me similar to being “color blind” concerning race. Being “color blind” is stupid and unhelpful. If we pretend we are all the same, then we won’t stop and listen to the stories of those who have had hurtful experiences and prejudice because of their race. And if we pretend we are all the same, we won’t take time to notice and even speak out about the beautiful differences among races, whether superficial things like – “I love your hair, I can’t do mine like that“, to the more meaningful, “I love the deep community and love for family I often see existing among people of your ethnic group.”
I’ve taken part in a lot of anti-racism trainings and workshops and it is clear that “color blindness” is not the goal. So why do feminists in Sweden think that “gender blindness” is the goal? Won’t that just take away from women being able to share their stories, uniquely female stories, from the female perspective? Won’t that take away from women being praised and affirmed in their unique gifts and skills as women?
Last, I really like this statement, reminding us not to get too caught up on secondary arguments in the face of anti-Christian relativistic liberals like those in Sweden and around the world with whom we have vast fundamental disagreements.
Egalitarian Christians in the West generally affirm uniqueness of male and female and a distinctiveness in their roles. They disagree with complementarians as to how this distinctiveness plays out in church leadership and (sometimes) home life. Still, in looking at the Swedish experiment, I believe complementarians and egalitarians should be able to lock arms and say, We believe gender is a gift of God. We believe God made us male and female and not gender-neutral “humans,” and that equality does not erase gender distinctives.