The gender-neutral discussion in Sweden has been going strong for some time now ( so it comes as no real surprise that Swedish toy catalogues from toy giants such as BR and Toys R Us should show girls playing with what are traditionally viewed as boy toys and vice versa.

Not if you’re a Swede, anyway. But abroad these images have stirred some controversy.


“More surrealistic news from occupied Sweden,” writes the signature John in Dublin on the British newspaper Daily Mail’s website. “The most insanely socialist, vigilant, caring and paranoid society in the world has reached bottom.” And signature Harry agrees: “To show a boy playing with dolls and doll houses is just unacceptable.” Readers of The Guardian’s website agree also: “You leftist types, not only do you rob your children of their childhoods, you try to steal their gender identity also? This is beneath contempt,” writes Phil in England. And it’s not just English and Irish readers that are upset; on the American NY Daily News, someone with the signature Blockhead writes: “Hard to believe these are the descendants of Vikings.”
On the Russian English-language website, one reader calls the idea “crazy” while at the Canadian newspaper Toronto Sun, someone calls the initiative “indoctrination.”
But the gender-neutral idea has also met approval. “As a mother of two young girls, of whom one is particularly interested in airplanes, trains and cars, I think it’s quite refreshing to see something like this. It’s completely normal for boys to play with dolls, and it’s great role play for what happens later in life when they become fathers,” writes Elle Jay at Daily Mail.

(A bit strange all of it but no, we don't have an opinion on the matter one way or another, maybe that it really shouldn't be an issue... /Ed.)