A Swedish Fairy Tale About Gay Giraffes

Jul. 14 2011 — 00:00
Jul. 14 2011 — 00:00

A kindergarten in Sweden has prohibited teachers to use words that would indicate a child’s gender. Since “he” and “she” can’t be used, children must be defined by the neutral gender. Completely making a mockery of both grammar and common sense, Sweden has taken political correctness to a new level of absurdity.

Almost from infancy, young Swedes begin to be educated in “tolerance toward homosexuals, lesbians, bisexuals and transsexuals.” Schools choose books based on this worldview. For example, Snow White and Thumbelina are banned because they are “full of traditional gender stereotypes.”

But other types of literature are available in abundance. For example, children are offered books about homosexual giraffes that hatch abandoned crocodile eggs so they can raise a shared newborn.

The word “it,” when applied to a human being with a gender, gives a person genderless characteristics. This politically correct vocabulary not only assumes that there is no difference between man and woman, but it also equates a person to a chair.

Sweden tries to maintain a semblance of fairness by claiming that parents have the right to remove their child from this particular kindergarten if they find the policies objectionable.

But this is deceiving. Even in prosperous Sweden, there are not enough kindergartens to meet demand. When faced with the decision to send their children to a “politically correct” kindergarten close to home or to go to one located on the other side of the city, parents have little other choice than to send their children to the politically correct institution.

What’s more, while overall government funding for education and culture is shrinking, funding continues to be allocated for projects that promote a neo-liberal ideology.

The zealous efforts of European and U.S. liberals to preach and inculcate political correctness at all costs has shifted from being something quirky — and, at times, even humorous — to becoming a dangerous political phenomenon,  particularly when it uses totalitarian methods to achieve its goals.

Liberal ideology loves to claim that it promotes tolerance. Of course, we do need to be tolerant of people that are different in their morals and sexual behavior.

But this tolerance must be mutual and neutral. Defending the rights of a minority should not infringe on the interests and rights of the majority.

Protecting a minority becomes dangerous when that protection means that the majority loses its rights. When special rights are allocated to a minority and when government finances are allocated specifically and exclusively to promote such a group, then these aren’t rights but special privileges.

The most dangerous result of radical political correctness is when any objection to it evokes charges of racism, homophobia and intolerance. In this way, the very concept and definition of racism become diluted and devaluated.

As a result, this plays right into the hands of the true extremists, neo-Nazis and racists. This is how political correctness gets turns on its head and comes back to stab the neo-liberals right in the back.

Boris Kagarlitsky is the director of the Institute of Globalization Studies.

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