You know us right?
One of the most safety concious nations in the world!
We’re the ones that brought you cheap, minimalistic self-assembly IKEA furniture, and Volvo cars – the victorious automobile in almost any two-car collision.
Maybe you also knew that a racist party gets 5% support in our government, and that our official foreign policy is to be neutral when surrounding countries is at war, while still providing weapons and weapons factories to faraway countries trying to beat each other up.
I’m willing to bet you didn’t know that Sweden’s high suicide rate is a myth, we actually rate #30. According to a publication made in 2008, approximately 24 out of 100.000 Swedes kill themselves every year, which may sound like a lot – but that is only 1 more than, for instance, USA (a country that always loves to push Swedens suicide rate in our faces). Lithuania tops the list, by the way, with approximately 71suicides per 100.000 of it’s population.
We’re also in the top five when it comes to low infant mortality.
We’re very sexually liberated (that does not mean we’re all horny beasts that have sex with anyone anywhere – sorry, that’s also a myth!), and your sexual preference, whatever it may be, is for the most part welcome here, and if not welcome then at least tolerated.
-There are of course exceptions in the shape of judgmental, narrowminded individuals, but aren’t there always?
Something you probably didn’t know though, is that we’re insane!
Yeah, that’s right! We’re a strange little country, always tip-toeing around on the brink of madness, especially when it comes to the – in Sweden – very sensitive subject of gender equality.
And why not, you say! It should certainly make perfect sense to not want to discriminate anyone because of their gender! And how right you are!
But how about this for a cookie to chew on: Kristina Henkell, a consultant on gender equality in the school- and preschool environment, was recently interviewed on national television basically saying that we should make our language more gender equal, pointing to the fact that there already exists what she feels are gender equal words. She brought out examples like “syskon” (sibling) instead of “bror/syster” (brother/sister) and “barn” (child/children) instead of “son/dotter” (son/daughter). She is, of course, completely ignoring the fact that “syskon” and “barn” never actually replaces “bror/syster” and “son/dotter”, the six different words are used…well, equally!
But this, she says – plowing on through her fantasy world of complete gender neutrality – means that we should now take the inevitable step and replace “han/hon” (he/she) with the newly invented gender neutral “hen” (-). This because, she says, children should not be pushed towards being male or female, they do not have the need for a gender based indentity and therefore should not be handed an identity simply by being referred to as a brother/sister, a son/daughter, a boy/girl or even a he/she…
This is, as any sane person would testify to, complete and utter madness!
It is……and I’m going to swear now…
It is so fucking insane that it actually becomes hard to debate it. Where do you start? I mean really? How would you shoot down something that by any and all logic thinking should not EVER be able to fly?
I can’t, so I’m not even going to try. It makes me rage just thinking about it!
But how about this, lets say we temporarily replace the words “he” and “she” with something else, more so called neutral. How about, just for now, we say “it”? And then choose the above mentioned gender neutral words, that Kristina feel could replace the gender specific ones. Lets say we do all this, pick a simple sentence and then play
How would Kristina Henkell say it?
“The boy called his brother, and asked if he knew where his daughter was.”
“It called it’s sibling and asked if it knew where it’s child was.”
For the Swedes in the house, that would be:
“Pojken ringde till sin bror och frågade ifall han visste var hans dotter var.”
“Hen ringde till sitt syskon och frågade ifall hen visste var hens barn var.”