Sweden Moves Towards Gender Neutrality [Support Thread]

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 NEXT
 

I would like to thank OhJohnNo for bringing this up to my attention. You deserve all the credit.

I have selected an array of websites that tell the same story from different angles, and focusing on different issues. You may peruse these at your leisure:

From Slate. From Care2. From The Economist.

The highlights reel, for those without the time or inclination to read the full articles:

    * Sweden has incorporated a pronoun ("hen"), which is intended to be gender-neutral (as opposed to "han" and "hon", which are the feminine and masculine pronouns).
    * Sweden does not intend to eliminate masculine and feminine pronouns from use, but to incorporate the gender-neutral pronouns as an alternative when gender is irrelevant (as is in almost every facet of life).
    * Other advances towards gender neutrality include a reformation of pedagogy, the education system, children toys and children books.

This is a cause for celebration for those of us who seek the systematic destruction and deconstruction of gender in society, and these news fill my heart with much-needed hope and joy. It is my sincerest hope that this ushers a new wave of change and progress in the world.

Since I know how these types of threads go and I don't want to see it locked because people can't tolerate divergent opinions, I have one thing to politely request of everyone:

If you vehemently disagree with gender deconstructivism and its goals and you cannot phrase your disagreement politely, neutrally or within the board rules, please hit the back button or close the tab. You are completely free to start your own thread on the matter to bemoan these terrible news.

This thread is intended by me as a positive take on the matter. It is not intended to condemn or derogate these practices, but to show my support. This is a positive thread. Please keep counter opinions or disagreements in polite and measured tones. Thank you.

I find the whole thing rather silly. Not to part about them wanting gender neutrality (that's completely fine), but the fact that they actually had to come up with a new word and incorporate it into their language in order to have a pronoun that's gender unspecific. I mean, couldn't they just re-appropriate some other word from their language and give it a secondary definition, kind of like "one" in English.

Also, "hen" seems a rather poor choice for a gender neutral word. If they were looking for a word that resembled "han" and "hon" then why not "hin" or "hun"?

Anyway, good luck to them I guess if they are trying to make their country entirely gender neutral. I've always been a fan of the fact that Sweden has really great gender equality (especially that they give both the mother and the father of a new born baby government mandated "maternity leave").

Dirty Hipsters:
I find the whole thing rather silly. Not to part about them wanting gender neutrality (that's completely fine), but the fact that they actually had to come up with a new word and incorporate it into their language in order to have a pronoun that's gender unspecific. I mean, couldn't they just re-appropriate some other word from their language and give it a secondary definition, kind of like "one" in English.

The "one" solution is really crappy, though, as it makes sentences sound very clunky. We need a real gender-neutral, singular pronoun.

ultrachicken:

Dirty Hipsters:
I find the whole thing rather silly. Not to part about them wanting gender neutrality (that's completely fine), but the fact that they actually had to come up with a new word and incorporate it into their language in order to have a pronoun that's gender unspecific. I mean, couldn't they just re-appropriate some other word from their language and give it a secondary definition, kind of like "one" in English.

The "one" solution is really crappy, though, as it makes sentences sound very clunky. We need a real gender-neutral, singular pronoun.

Only one who is not used to using the word "one" as a pronoun would find it to be clunky. Although I could see how it could be awkward if one had to use it multiple times in the same paragraph in place of all the pronouns, though I feel like any word would feel clunky in that context, and would look like an overuse of pronouns. I think that most people who find the pronoun "one" to be distasteful are people who grew up without having to use it for school work, so they just aren't used to it.

Then again, this probably isn't the thread to debate the merits of English grammatical structure, which can be unnecessarily convoluted in general.

Dirty Hipsters:
I find the whole thing rather silly. Not to part about them wanting gender neutrality (that's completely fine), but the fact that they actually had to come up with a new word and incorporate it into their language in order to have a pronoun that's gender unspecific. I mean, couldn't they just re-appropriate some other word from their language and give it a secondary definition, kind of like "one" in English.

The usage of the word "hen" actually dates back a number of years. It was simply rescued from the disuse pile and reincorporated into the language. Instead of making up an entirely new word, they used one that already served that purpose.

Dirty Hipsters:
I've always been a fan of the fact that Sweden has really great gender equality (especially that they give both the mother and the father of a new born baby government mandated "maternity leave").

This is indeed the purpose. The theorycraft behind this gender neutrality movement is to make a concrete, definitive change towards gender equality. As they correctly deduced, such change must begin with the way we gender-segregate children, and in the language we use every day.

The psychology and sociology behind these changes is pretty solidly researched.

Hmmm...watch this space. The idea is good, but we shall have to wait and see if it's implemented well and successfully.

Darken12:

Dirty Hipsters:
I find the whole thing rather silly. Not to part about them wanting gender neutrality (that's completely fine), but the fact that they actually had to come up with a new word and incorporate it into their language in order to have a pronoun that's gender unspecific. I mean, couldn't they just re-appropriate some other word from their language and give it a secondary definition, kind of like "one" in English.

The usage of the word "hen" actually dates back a number of years. It was simply rescued from the disuse pile and reincorporated into the language. Instead of making up an entirely new word, they used one that already served that purpose.

From what I read in the Slate article it seems like it was never a real word, it was just a theoretical word made up in the 1960s as an example of something that could be used as a gender neutral pronoun. It doesn't seem like it was a disused word, rather it was a word that had never been incorporated into the language. You could still have the spirit of an official gender neutral pronoun by choosing another word.

Dirty Hipsters:
From what I read in the Slate article it seems like it was never a real word, it was just a theoretical word made up in the 1960s as an example of something that could be used as a gender neutral pronoun. It doesn't seem like it was a disused word, rather it was a word that had never been incorporated into the language. You could still have the spirit of an official gender neutral pronoun by choosing another word.

Correct, but words get made up all the time. There's a reason we have a word for that, even (neologism).

Just like scientific, medical and technological progress demands an actualisation of language, I fail to see why social progress should be any different. We have to accept the limitations of the language and create new words when the need arises.

Darken12:

Dirty Hipsters:
From what I read in the Slate article it seems like it was never a real word, it was just a theoretical word made up in the 1960s as an example of something that could be used as a gender neutral pronoun. It doesn't seem like it was a disused word, rather it was a word that had never been incorporated into the language. You could still have the spirit of an official gender neutral pronoun by choosing another word.

Correct, but words get made up all the time. There's a reason we have a word for that, even (neologism).

Just like scientific, medical and technological progress demands an actualisation of language, I fail to see why social progress should be any different. We have to accept the limitations of the language and create new words when the need arises.

I understand that, I just don't like the word itself. It's not a great word, and if they're making up words anyway they could have easily made up something better, or just re-purposed another word by giving it an extra meaning.

So what? This is a positive thread only? No place for criticision or opinion? Thus no discussion? Really ? Well that makes this thread pretty ...boring . I was looking for flame wars , but peoples opinion would be nice. Anyways, i think this is silly but since this is a "positive" thread i'll just leave it at that . If i had something positive to say it would be i applaud them on having the courage and will to support change .

Dirty Hipsters:
I understand that, I just don't like the word itself. It's not a great word, and if they're making up words anyway they could have easily made up something better, or just re-purposed another word by giving it an extra meaning.

That's perfectly understandable.

krazykidd:
So what? This is a positive thread only? No place for criticision or opinion? Thus no discussion? Really ? Well that makes this thread pretty ...boring . I was looking for flame wars , but peoples opinion would be nice. Anyways, i think this is silly but since this is a "positive" thread i'll just leave it at that . If i had something positive to say it would be i applaud them on having the courage and will to support change .

That is exactly what I want to avoid. I know how feminism/gender threads end up (closed due to flame wars), and I have no desire to see that happening here.

I have no intention of censoring anyone or restricting free speech, so if people want to rail against this, I have absolutely no problem whatsoever with them creating a thread of their own.

Thank you for staying positive, I genuinely appreciate it.

I don't know how I feel about this. I mean what's wrong with just Gender equality? It just sounds like they're changing everything just for the benefit of transgendered people, who make up a tiny percent of the population.

I also think it's ridiculous one school took away the toy cars because the boys preferred them. Letting the kids choose is fine, but taking away their choice because it's 'normal' is fucking stupid.

Also, this is hilarious:

image

Thanks for the credit, though I personally got the link from the RelicNews Forums in the first place. Anyway, yeah, I think this is a great idea from multiple perspectives - people who identify as gender-neutral now have a pronoun they can use, children are not as railroaded down the traditional gender paths from the early age and it makes writing a lot easier (if you're writing a biography of an RPG character who could be of any gender the player wants, for example, or want to hide the gender of a character from your readers).

I will say, though... we should probably allow discussion in this thread. I know, Escapist gender threads have a habit of descending into flamewars, but I doubt the thread will go anywhere if it stays like this. Plus, we'll probably end up with a host of passive-aggressive replies from people against it.

'I do not have gender as you know, and as such 'he' and 'her' are inaccurate descriptors. Hence I shall be reffered to as 'shklim' or 'shkler'.'

Genocidicles:
I don't know how I feel about this. I mean what's wrong with just Gender equality? It just sounds like they're changing everything just for the benefit of transgendered people, who make up a tiny percent of the population.

Actually, the main rationale comes from feminism, not transgender activists. The theory behind this is that gender constructs are inherently oppressive and harmful, and true gender equality cannot be reached until we deconstruct the meaning of gender in society at large.

OhJohnNo:
I will say, though... we should probably allow discussion in this thread. I know, Escapist gender threads have a habit of descending into flamewars, but I doubt the thread will go anywhere if it stays like this. Plus, we'll probably end up with a host of passive-aggressive replies from people against it.

Neutral discussion is fine, my request was aimed at excessive anti-feminism that would get this thread locked. I'd rather deal with passive-aggressiveness (to which I can reply with politeness) than lengthy flamewars that force moderator lockdown. If the thread gets closed, the people who wish to silence this kind of social progress win. So not only they get to say their piece, they also get to shut down the discussion in the first place. Which is something I have no interest in seeing or facilitating.

Will the government creating a word actually lead to it being used? If history shows us one thing it's that encouraging/discouraging words doesn't seem to have much effect in the long-run - we'd just have to hope that it catches on & is memorable.

As for English, we already have gender neutral pronouns, although they're rarely used. It can also get a bit confusing when you state 'they' instead of 'he' or 'she' as it implies you're talking about more than one person...

While I think adding a neutral pronoun is good for practical reasons I don't really see how this is a feminist issue.

Now what I do find rather distasteful are some of the actions taken towards toys, removing cars just because male children would gender-code them is pushing the line.

I think the English language needs a gender neutral pronoun, too. Less embarrassing when addressing someone over the phone whose voice you can't identify, or when speaking to someone that's androgynous, or whatever.

Esotera:

As for English, we already have gender neutral pronouns, although they're rarely used. It can also get a bit confusing when you state 'they' instead of 'he' or 'she' as it implies you're talking about more than one person...

'It' and 'They' are way too clunky to be used as singular pronouns, I think. Plus offensive. I don't think most people would take kindly to be referred to as an 'It'.

This is some pretty good news. Hopefully they implement it well and not manage to create massive backlash through stupidity.
But then again this is government and we all know that even the best governments run by the smartest people still somehow act very stupidly fairly often.

I'll be keeping my eye on this news to see how well it progresses. Thanks Darken :D

I've always liked Sweden, they just seem so chilled (badumtish) this seems like a good idea in theory, just have to wait and see I guess.

Darken12:

If you vehemently disagree with gender deconstructivism and its goals, please hit the back button or close the tab. You are completely free to start your own thread on the matter to bemoan these terrible news.

This thread is intended as a positive take on the matter. It is not intended to condemn or derogate these practices, but to show our support. This is a positive thread. If you oppose these practices, please create your own thread for that. Thank you.

In other words, no dissenting opinions allowed. How interesting.

TacticalAssassin1:

Darken12:

If you vehemently disagree with gender deconstructivism and its goals, please hit the back button or close the tab. You are completely free to start your own thread on the matter to bemoan these terrible news.

This thread is intended as a positive take on the matter. It is not intended to condemn or derogate these practices, but to show our support. This is a positive thread. If you oppose these practices, please create your own thread for that. Thank you.

In other words, no dissenting opinions allowed. How interesting.

My first thought as well.

Is this allowed? If I were to offer a dissenting opinion (which I would) would I fall victim to moderation, simply because the owner of the thread wants it to be a place were everyone pats everyone else on the back? If not then the original post needs moderation to facilitate discussion, rather than just self-congratulation.

Swede here, and I don't approve of something as silly as "Hen". Equality and deconstructivism isn't the same thing. We should strive for equality of rights, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't make distinctions between the two. Men and women aren't the same, and that's a bloody good thing.

ultrachicken:

Dirty Hipsters:
I find the whole thing rather silly. Not to part about them wanting gender neutrality (that's completely fine), but the fact that they actually had to come up with a new word and incorporate it into their language in order to have a pronoun that's gender unspecific. I mean, couldn't they just re-appropriate some other word from their language and give it a secondary definition, kind of like "one" in English.

The "one" solution is really crappy, though, as it makes sentences sound very clunky. We need a real gender-neutral, singular pronoun.

Personally speaking I've never had that problem, I've always found "one" really comfortable to use.

I always find it funny when people try to start a conversation or discussion about something and try to only limit it so that people who agree of disagree are encouraged to speak. In all honesty I don't the it is something that you can or should reasonably expect to happen.

And here I was thinking that discussion sort of inherently invited all opinions on the matter. Maybe we should have a subforum for people who don't want other people to disagree with them.

Personally, in English we have 'they' and 'it' and 'one'. If in Sweden they actually don't have anything like that, well, it is something a language should have, just in case. I am more worried about the restructuring of education and children's toys. I don't know the specifics, but the only thing they should be doing is making everything more accessible. There is no problem with trends in the preferences of children to do one thing or another correlating to their gender if they can choose whatever they want. Getting rid of or altering things that appeal to one gender or another specifically is not breaking down gender barriers, it is forcing fake equality. There is nothing wrong with making a toy that girls will like to play with if they can choose any other product, and there is nothing wrong with offering a subject that boys will tend to take if they can take any other available subject. Since this is Sweden, there is at least a decent chance that they will make changes for the better rather than forcing equality where it doesn't present itself naturally.

Sunrider84:
Swede here, and I don't approve of something as silly as "Hen". Equality and deconstructivism isn't the same thing. We should strive for equality of rights, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't make distinctions between the two. Men and women aren't the same, and that's a bloody good thing.

This was kind of my first thought (apart from me now being a swede).
Equality and stuff is good, but making things completely neutral always seemed a little odd to me.

MeChaNiZ3D:
I am more worried about the restructuring of education and children's toys. I don't know the specifics, but the only thing they should be doing is making everything more accessible. There is no problem with trends in the preferences of children to do one thing or another correlating to their gender if they can choose whatever they want. Getting rid of or altering things that appeal to one gender or another specifically is not breaking down gender barriers, it is forcing fake equality.

I do agree with this, yes. It seems that the Swedish education system is taking the whole idea too far, which could tarnish the entire movement.

The idea of breaking down the gender barriers is that (for example) girls should be allowed to do boy things without being looked on as odd, not that girls should only be allowed to do boy things.

I do find it utterly hilarious that this columnist mentioned in the first article uses 'hen' everywhere, supposedly in support of gender-neutrality (meaning no differences between the genders), then rages about the male ego instead of the human ego...

Equally hilarious is the removal of children's toys and playtime because, without any exterior influence, it causes boys and girls to behave differently.

No judgement about the word 'hen', I personally couldn't care less. But the things surrounding it are just hilariously stupid.

It will probably inhibit discussion, there's only so much you can say on the positive side of things when you don't have any dissenting opinions to work with but to those saying it's stupid to have a 'positive only' thread, I'm really not seeing it.

If I made the Mass Effect appreciation thread and said, "please if you want to moan about the ending or anything else there are plenty of other threads for that, just talk about what you loved about the game here." What would be wrong with that? Sometimes you just don't want the thread getting hijacked and then locked.

ANYWAY... I don't have much to add about the topic other than it makes me pretty happy and I wish something like that would be done here in Britain.

I think this is kinda cool. It always bugs me when I'm writing or reading, because in English the closest term we have for being gender neutral is "they", which is technically plural, although a lot of people use it as a neutral term. We have "one" as well, but frankly, it's too posh for widespread usage.

Its a step in the right direction. Breaking down how genders are constructed is the easiest way of creating equality. In a way it is similar to the Marxist view on race (Race being a construction, not a reality). This fits in with my own view on race relations and the end of racism.

Equal societies are what this world should strive for. Things like this give me a little bit more hope for humanity in general. I fucking love Sweden, I think I should just give up, learn Swedish and move. I am sick of the morally bankrupt little rock I live on.

Gender neutral words and toys!? Wha-... why?

When did it happen that being called 'he' or 'she' is suddenly not done?

Looks like worldpeace can only be achieved by forcing everyone to be the same. No distinction, no flavor, just a saltless grey society.

Vault Citizen:

Personally speaking I've never had that problem, I've always found "one" really comfortable to use.

I don't know where you're from, but using 'one' with some accents is significantly more jarring than others. It's more out of whack the further north you go. In Yorkshire for instance, although it's not right out of place, it's more natural to do that thing we do where we just drop entire words. We can go hours without actually using a single pronoun, people 'not from round here' can get very confused and/or terrified.

It's cool they're making 'hen' an official word, we can add that to my list of Swedish words to fit into everyday conversations alongside 'zlatan'.

themyrmidon:

Is this allowed? If I were to offer a dissenting opinion (which I would) would I fall victim to moderation, simply because the owner of the thread wants it to be a place were everyone pats everyone else on the back? If not then the original post needs moderation to facilitate discussion, rather than just self-congratulation.

No you wouldn't, providing you didn't break any of the actual forum rules in doing so. However, like when offering any alternative opinion you need to be careful of phrasing. From the Moderation FAQ

I want to post a controversial opinion, what should I do to avoid mod wrath?
Our cardinal rule is that it is more about how you say something, not what you say. Always make sure to explain your reasoning and to be respectful of other users, no matter their opinion. We do not usually punish people for someone else being offended; we punish them for being purposely offensive.

Casual Shinji:
Gender neutral words and toys!? Wha-... why?

When did it happen that being called 'he' or 'she' is suddenly not done?

Looks like worldpeace can only be achieved by forcing everyone to be the same. No distinction, no flavor, just a saltless grey society.

We must force an Equilibrium.

Then we can use math to shoot each other.

Good on Sweden for introducing a gender neutral word? I'll pass though, prefer to be called male.

 Pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 NEXT

Reply to Thread

This thread is locked