Friday, May 18, 2012

Sweden pushes forward with Gender Neutrality

Sweden is proudly living up to its dubious title of “the most gender-equal country “ in the world. In a new gender neutrality initiative being proposed, lobbyists are proposing that a new gender-neutral pronoun be adopted for boys and girls. Instead of “he” (han in Swedish) and “she” (hon), a new neutral pronoun “hen” (Swedish) is being proposed to apply to either boys or girls. According to, the idea is in tandem with the determination of the Swedish society not to “tolerate any distinction between sexes” and its commitment to “entirely [eradicate] traditional gender roles and stereotypes at even the most mundane levels”.

This proposal is already being implemented in a number of children's books, with other new gender-neutral words being evolved. The Christian Post further reports that the Swedish Bowling Association is planning on merging male and female bowling tournaments so that competitions are more gender-neutral; and a clothing company has removed the “boys” and “girls” sections from its store in order to promote the concept of genderless children.

Thankfully, there are still sane voices in Sweden, warning against these fruitless exercises. Famous author Jan Guillou considers the introduction of the pronoun "hen" as "silly because it doesn't change anything." She referred to gender-neutral lobbyists as "feminist activists who want to destroy our language."

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