Can Gender Equality Go Too Far?

The Christian Science Monitor published an article, specific to Sweden, but offers some valid ideas to think about. For example, should we use gender neutral identities with children?

The article is obviously biased towards theologic doctrines, but we can agree that we have two genders and there will always be a separation between the two and understanding those differences while promoting equality is the key to advancing socially.

Boys will never have babies and I do not see “gender neutral” bathrooms in public places among other examples, so there is always going to be male and female identification markers. Again, I believe teachings of gender equality rather than the use of gender neutral terms will help people express altered identities later in life should one express the desire to do so.

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4 Responses to Can Gender Equality Go Too Far?

  1. itserikap says:

    I love that you adressed this. Having taken SO many women studies classes and now this class, we hear a lot of “gender equality” but I think its important to point out that this equality is saught in society. We are looking for women to be able to earn the same opportunities and rights as men but the truth is their ARE some indisputable, permanent differenced between men and women (such as the having babies example)

    • Would you agree that similarities between the sexes outweigh the differences? Aside from the ability to bare children and biological make up (stating the obvious); what differences are there other than socially constructed differences? I mean, society has taught us to like certain colors, to dress certain ways, and even to behave in gender specific ways.
      Equality has to go all the way. It is not just about pay. It is very convenient for men to argue men and women’s differences since they have the upper hand in every single way. I say this knowing that you are aware of this fact since you have taken the many Women’s Studies classes you mentioned.

  2. jrcavileer says:

    I read a similar article in the past talking about male maternity leave which exists probably within this debate. If anything, I think Sweden is offering a great example of how policy effects the public’s perception, and how the public’s perception effects the creation of these policies. For instance, what happens to the the society when genders become neutral? Or what kind of policies arise from gendered society? Do they become intolerant to difference?

    But is creating a gender neutral society an extreme, or is it the logical conclusion to a purely equal society? From this article, it would seem Sweden is forcing this, but their policy making system is by far different than ours. And they have circumvented some of the major issues other European countries are facing (like population decline) by enacting equality based policies.

    For instance, women are the ones who give birth, and other than that, the differences are only physical. Sweden has made it so rearing the child is shared between the male and the female with mandatory maternity leave for both the father and the mother. I believe that this has a lot of implications for both Sweden as a society and the psyche of the individuals who are ‘forced’ to take care of their children. I would say it’s a positive thing, but as for neutering genders completely.. I’m unsure..

  3. As the author of this post writes, the issue may be conflating gender-equal with gender-neutral, one that is embodied by a change in the way the Sweedish language constructs pronouns.

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