Sweden Swedish Politics



Fortunately it still causes a brouhaha

They (radical societal engineer masterminds) won’t be satisfied until they’ve snipped the scrotum of every Swedish male, thereby reducing its people to depending upon a sperm bank filled with donors from the developing world.

Here in Finland, the Finnish language already has a gender-free version of the word, it uses the Swedish word ”han” (hän in Finnish) for both sexes, there is no ”he” or ”she” when referring to a third party. I seriously doubt that it was a result of radical policies, but from some notion of practicality that eludes me.

NOTE: Still, there’s always that momentary confusion about which sex someone is referring to, unless a name is mentioned. I always thought it peculiar, and still do.

Gender-neutral pronoun debate rocks Sweden

Published: 8 Oct 12 09:18 CET |

Sweden’s tradition of gender equality has famously put more mums in the workplace while rising numbers of dads stay at home. Now advocates have a new frontier: they’re pushing for a gender-neutral pronoun, “hen”, to be added to “han” (he) and “hon” (she).

“There’s almost nothing left to do in the field of gender equality, so people are suggesting increasingly strange ideas,” said independent journalist Elise Claesson, partly amused and partly irritated by the debate.

The word “hen” was coined in the 1960s when the ubiquitous use of “han” (he) became politically incorrect. It was about “simplifying the language” and avoiding the clumsy “han/hon” (s/he) construction, said linguist Karin Milles.

But the word never really took off.

It resurfaced around 2000, when the country’s small transgender community latched onto it.

Then the publication this year of a children’s book reignited the debate over the pronoun.

“Kivi och Monsterhund” (Kivi and the Monster Dog) uses “hen” exclusively, dispensing altogether with “han” and “hon”.

Author Jesper Lundqvist said he wanted his book to address children in general, not little boys or little girls.

“Hen” is not meant to replace “he” and “she”, supporters argue. Instead, it allows speakers to refer to a person without having to mention the gender if they don’t know it, if the person is transgender, or if the information is considered irrelevant.

Swedish society “needs a third sex, a third position,” Susanna Karlsson of the Language Council of Sweden told AFP.

More here.

2 Responses

  1. I understand where you are coming from, KGS.

    I like Jukka Karjalainen’s song “Han”. I have (up to now) assumed that the reference is to the singer’s girl friend. But I suppose it could be the boyfriend.

    The Finnish word is ambiguous – at least I have always found it so. And I struggle to understand how it would be thought that gender is irrelevant – in any context.

    One has to wonder whether the introduction of a new word “hen” is just another attempt at social engineering designed to mitigate sex distinction and to foster the notion that sex is irrelevant in a modern society.

    1. I hear you Raymond, it was always a peculiarity for me. totally unnecessary, but try to tell a Finn that a word is necessary…its a moot subject here.

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