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Why is Gender Neutrality so important
The concept of gender fluidity is being brought to the societal table increasingly. Attitudes are changing and transforming established social norms.
Obviously, this new conception of human gender can be a major challenge for today's parents. First, because there is indeed a generational shock and even the greatest benevolence can be confronted with incomprehension or fear of the unknown. Secondly, because there is no consensus on how to welcome and frame this new idea.
One thing is certain: inclusive education is beneficial when it is introduced into children's education from an early age.
What is Gender Neutrality?
Gender neutrality refers to the idea that designating a person’s gender should not necessarily be emphasized as being male or female, but rather treated as a neutral party. This can include using gender-neutral pronouns, bathrooms, job titles, etc. The goal is to create an environment that is inclusive of all gender and identities, and where individuals are not judged or discriminated based on their gender identities.
Why is Gender Neutrality So Important?
Gender neutrality is important for several reason
Creating more inclusivity
Gender-neutral language and practices promote inclusivity and make people feel more comfortable and accepted. It allows identities to participate fully in all aspects of society without feeling excluded or being targeted by stereotypes.
Combatting gender stereotypes
Traditional gender roles and stereotypes can limit people’s potential and contribute to gender inequality. Building a gender-neutral environment helps break down these stereotypes, therefore opening more opportunities for everyone.
Using gender-neutral language and practices shows respect for individuals’ gender identity and acknowledges the diversity of gender expressions.
Gender-neutral spaces and facilities, such as bathrooms and changing rooms, provide more access for individuals who may not identify as male or female, or who don’t feel comfortable in gender-specific spaces.
Providing legal protection
Gender-neutral policies and language can provide legal protection for individuals who face discrimination based on gender identity or gender expression.
Allowing diversity: Gender neutrality allows for increased diversity and representation, as individuals of all genders are accommodated, recognized and welcomed. It creates a space for people of all genders, making them feel valued, acknowledged and respected.
How Does Gender Neutrality Can Be Introduce with Toddler and Young Children
Introducing gender neutrality with toddlers and young children involves encouraging them to explore gender roles without limiting them to traditional gender stereotypes.
Provide gender-neutral toys
Encourage your child to play with toys that are typically associated with the opposite gender.
Offer a range of role models
Expose children to diverse sets of individuals across genders, cultures, and professions. This helps to teach them that anyone can take on any role and that there should be no restrictions based on gender.
Avoid gendering behaviors and promote individuality
Try to avoid phrases like « girls shouldn’t do… » or « boys are not supposed to… ». Instead, encourage children to express a full range of emotions and engage in all types of play without conforming to traditional roles.
Opt for gender-inclusive clothes
Make sure to give your children and inclusive and accepting environment and give them greater freedom of expression without feeling stigmatized. By reducing the pressure to conform to strict gender norms and providing a safe space, you will allow your child to explore their own individual personality and preferences.
What Are Some Concrete Actions That You Can Take On A Daily Basis to Be More Inclusive
By taking small actions, you can create a more inclusive and welcoming environment, demonstrating your commitment to respecting the rights and dignity of all individuals.
Use a gender-neutral language
Use gender-neutral pronouns like « they/them » instead of « he/him » or « she/her », and avoid assuming someone’s gender based on their appearance. If you are not sure of how to refer to a non-binary person: it is better that you ask that person how they want to be referred to.
Read up on topics related to inclusivity and diversity, such as gender identity, race, ethnicity, and culture. This will help you understand better experiences and perspectives that may differ from yours.
Listen and be open-minded
Listen to people when they speak and try to understand their point of view and where they come from. Be open-minded and respectful at all times, and avoid making assumptions or judgments.
Question any stereotype you come across. This can involve interrupting conversations that perpetuate gender, racial, or other biases, and respectfully offering a different perspective.
Advocate for inclusivity
Suggest gender-neutral policies or support the ones others suggest, and raise awareness about the importance of diversity and inclusivity. Though it may not have a direct impact on your life, it can make an immense difference in someone else’s.
Avoid making assumptions about someone’s personal life or experiences. If someone shares their identity or personal experience with you, respect that it is confidential, as their confidence was shared out of trust and should not be shared without their permission.
Coco Village's Mission
Designing gender-neutral toys and items is a way to encourage children's curiosity through play and according to their interests rather than their gender identity.
Coco Village believes that allowing children to fully explore their individuality is the necessary anchor for them to develop their full potential.
Gender neutrality is an essential aspect of nurturing a safe, inclusive and acdepting environment for all. Educating children about gender neutrality from a young age can cultivate open-mindedness and challenge traditional and outdated gender roles.
Encouraging open communication with children about their interests and choices can help break down barriers and promote a diverse, accepting and inclusive society.
In taking these steps, we can help future generations grow up in a world where everyone is free to express themselves regardless of gender, reducing societal pressure and promoting individuality.
Gender neutrality creates the needed space for the full expression of humanity, and as such, building it should be a top priority.
*Epicene writing was used in the writing of this text, because privileging one gender to lighten the reading is to weigh down the emotional load of non-binary people who must read it.
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