Looking up the Swedish child Pop, I came upon this which sums up a lot of my observations on the matter, only much more so:
In 2007, a young woman named Cordelia wrote about her unisex childhood in Sweden. She noted that at adolescence it was no longer possible to pretend that the sexes were the same, as the behaviour of the boys and girls started to vary dramatically. Then, as a young woman, she rejected the whole unisex indoctrination that had been pushed on her at school and within her family:
It started becoming increasingly clear to me as if man and woman are two pieces of a puzzle that fit together because they are essentially differently shaped … That their physique and psyche complemented rather than duplicated each other. The idea that they are identical pieces seemed to me as a tremendous misconception and I was terribly irritated at having been fed an incorrect version of things all through my childhood. What I had been told simply wasn’t true. All my recent experiences showed that men and women were different and that men could no less be like women than women could be like men.
Since I wouldn’t want a man who behaves and looks like a woman, it makes sense that a man wouldn’t want a woman who behaves and looks like a man! True?
Why this ridiculous pretense that we are the same, when we very obviously are not? If I had been brought up more as a girl/woman instead of a gender-neutral being, I would have been stronger and more confident as a woman today! As it is, I had to discover the hard way that I was not the same as a man in a multitude of ways …
I have no idea how the unisex ideal affected the boys around me. They too were brought up in a ‘unisex’ way.
I can tell you this though: In Sweden it is not common for men to help women with bags on public transport. Also, men expect women to regard sex in the same way as they do (i.e. casual unless expicitly stated otherwise …)
Until quite recently, every time I noticed a difference between me and men I kept thinking; this is wrong … I ought to be like the men … I felt like I was letting other women down unless I constantly strived towards the male ‘ideal’ that was set for Swedish women … But let me tell you, it’s hard work hiding your true nature and pretending to be something you are not!
Discovering that being feminine is not a ‘crime’ (in fact, it can be a positive thing) was a big revelation for me. I don’t actually want to be like a man!
I wish Northern European society would stop denying women the opportunity to be female! What good does it really bring? Who benefits?