Sweden has been recognized as the most gender-equal country in the world. But even there the race to eliminate gender distinction has accelerated to a new level. There are numerous schools applying the theory that if the school eliminates any reference to gender, the students will not fall prey to the traditional stereo-typing. Boys will not have to be rough and aggressive; girls will not be pressured to be nice and pretty. They will have the freedom to be whoever they want to be.

In order to encourage this view of reality, a new word has been invented. The new Swedish word is 'hen'. It is a pronoun to replace both 'he' (han in Swedish) and 'she' (hon).

The Christian Post reports,
The decision came shortly after the publication of Sweden's first-ever gender-neutral children's book, Kivi och Monsterhund (Kivi and Monsterdog). It tells the story of Kivi, a child who wants a dog for "hen's" birthday. Jesper Lundqvist, the author, also introduces several gender-neutral words in the book. Read more...

So, for example, if a doctor or a plumber or a secretary is coming to visit a classroom in one of these cutting-edge schools, the kids will have no idea whether it will be a he or a she. They will simply be told that "Hen is coming at 2.00 pm" - and they will be free to imagine and anticipate their visitor as a man or a woman. And, as is seen in a picture in a Swedish toy catolog that promotes the same ideology, a boy in a Spiderman costume will be uninhibited pushing a pink pram during playtime.

Of course, not all are happy with this ideological program. Many still believe "Boys will be boys". Basic 'Birds and Bees' studies indicate a distinction between boys and girls. And Christians point to the Bible as well as to Biology. "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them" (Genesis 1:27). In time there will doubtless be a new translation that ends the verse "hen and hen he created hens", but it will not do justice to the fact that the plural "them" does not simply refer to two people but to two distinct kinds of people.

However, disturbed as we may be by these trends and agendas, our purpose here is not to defend the male-female distinction. Rather, it is to say that these new schools in reality only make explicit what we have implicitly practiced even in our most conservative Christian schools for a long time. Most of our Christian schools are gender-neutral and we never even noticed.

Take a look inside any average Grade 2 classroom. Is it a boy's class or a girl's class? It is a hen's class. Are the boys taught in ways that are suited to a unique masculine identity, or are girls learning in a specifically feminine way? No! - they are taught like hens. As in the feminist leanings of the Swedish pursuit of gender-neutrality, the middle way seems to suggest that weeding out aggressive maleness is the greater priority, so the atmosphere of the classroom is geared more to valuing being "nice and quiet". The hen way seems more like her-hens than him-hens.

So, whether we like the theory of gender-neutrality or not, our practice has been promoting it for years. The way we do school generally does not encourage the maxim "Boys will be boys". In the more radical schools, the message of spiderman (spiderhen?) pushing a pink pram seems to say "Boys will be girls". But even in more conservative schools, we are at least still brainwashing our young men to believe that "Boys will not be boys".