Welcome to post-gender Europe

Some of you have likely experienced a sense of dismay over the rather inexplicable drive to wipe out gender roles and definitions in the United States of late, and we’ve covered more than a few examples here. But on the odd chance that it makes you feel any better, I would submit a report on the current state of affairs in Europe where they are simply leaving us in the dust. Sure, it’s probably not going to be all that shocking, particularly given the nature of some of these socialist leaning paradise destinations, but if nothing else it only goes to show that things could always be worse. Let’s start the tour! (From the WaPo. And I’ll probably add a bit of emphasis to move things along.)

In Berlin, for instance, fresh rules for billboard ads in a district of the liberal German capital read like a new constitution for a land without gender identity. Girls in pink “with dolls” are basically out, as are boys in blue playing “with technical toys.” In ads showing both adult women and men, females cannot be depicted as “hysterical,” “stupid” or “naive” alongside men presented as “technically skilled,” “strong” or “business savvy.”

Adult women — featured alone or otherwise — must not be shown “occupied in the household with pleasure.” And in one stipulation pounced upon by critics, the equal-opportunity board of Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg — home to Checkpoint Charlie and remnants of the Berlin Wall — no longer wants to see images of women “smiling for no reason.”

Heavens to Betsy! We can’t have pictures of women smiling… for no reason. I’m hoping that “occupied in the household with pleasure” is just a really poor translation from the German. (Insert your own joke here.) Oh, and while we’re breaking from the article, they did tip me off to something else I’d missed. Apparently Miley Cyrus told a magazine this week that she is neither male nor female. She did so while posing naked. With, er… a pig. That’s not a euphemism. An actual sus scrofa domesticus. No, I’m not making that one up.

But back to our story.

Niko Schilling, a 27-year-old sports organizer at the University of Passau in Bavaria, for instance, said he was shocked when he received a call several weeks ago from his school’s equal­opportunity coordinator. She forbade him to hold a series of contests on campus, including a competition involving a Bavarian tradition, called fensterln, in which men in lederhosen race up ladders to be the first to kiss a woman on a balcony.

“I thought it was an April Fools’ Day joke when she called me five days before the event and told me it was offending university guidelines,” he said. “Gender mainstreaming is going too far in some respects.”

I can’t imagine what they would say about Sadie Hawkins Day. But then there’s this… we have yet another gender neutral pronoun! (At least in Sweden.)

Sweden this year added the gender-neutral pronoun “hen” to official dictionaries. The word caught on several years ago when Egalia, a preschool in Stockholm, began using it as a substitute for “boys” or “girls” to avoid referencing gender roles in children.

Don’t try escaping all this by hopping in your car and going for drive, by the way.

Traffic lights in Germany have long flashed images of green- or red-lit men — some wearing cute hats — to tell pedestrians when to walk or stop at intersections. But gradually that is changing, with cities like Bremen and Cologne among those that have replaced many of the male figures with those of women.

Last month in Vienna, city officials went further, replacing traffic-sign figures of solitary men with heterosexual and same-sex couples.

While it’s never easy dealing with issues of aging and facing your own mortality, some days I’m rather glad that I’m on the downhill stretch of life instead of just starting out in my twenties. The odds are fairly good that I won’t be around to see these folks pretty much wreck the entire global culture. At the risk of continuing my trek toward an award for being The Most Unpopular Old White Dude on the Internet, allow me to make one observation. Men and women are different. We’re very different in some critical and, frankly, fantastic ways. Gender differences are not imaginary. If women were all the same as men I’d have jumped off a bridge decades ago. I know men. Heck… I am one. I certainly wouldn’t want to marry me, nor any of my guy friends. Thank God women sometimes put up with us, though.

The point is that the genders are each unique in their own ways. Recognizing that is not a thought crime. It’s not a crime of any sort. It’s an acknowledgement of objective reality. And when you push your government to recognize made up ideals in the name of political correctness, you are destroying the culture. Good luck with that mess when you succeed and the lid comes off all of this. As I said, I only hope I’m not around to see it.

Enjoy your Saturday evening. Quotes of the Day will be up next for your open thread enjoyment.