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Why I Want to be Swedish

Lemondrop.com is reporting that Swedish-based consumer advocacy group Reklamombudsmannen (love the name...) made a claim against Toys 'R' Us for featuring "outdated gender roles" in their 2008 Christmas catalog.

It's baller that somebody did something about the ridiculously gender segregated toys in that store (and in many toy stores). But that's not even the best part.

Apparently, this claim originated from a Stockholm sixth-grade class's school project. As Lemondrop reports:

The class examined the toy catalog, which showed boys playing in "action-filled environments" as superheroes, while girls are shown "sitting or standing in passive poses" dressed up in princess costumes. The kids felt that the scenes reinforced a subjective idea of normal play, and filed a complaint against Toys 'R' Us for gender discrimination.

They argued that gender discrimination is potentially unhealthy (damn skippy) as it could make kids feel self-conscious if they wanted to play with a toy outside of their designated gender role, in addition to the last effects of this mindset. As one student, Moa Averin, said herself: "guys want to be princesses sometimes."

So, you mean to say, there exists a country that has government-funded universal health care, is one of the top 10 countries on the Human Development Index, and also promotes education about GENDER ROLES IN SCHOOL? Oh, it is love.

Sweden has basically got it going on, and this report completely affirms that. I want to be best friends with every kid involved in that report and give the teacher who (possibly) initiated it a great big hug.

GO SWEDEN!



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Julie Zeilinger
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