Monday, November 26, 2012

Can a gender-neutral pronoun eliminate the concept of gender?

That's what Sweden has proposed. Sweden is the most gender-equal country in the world, according to the World Economic Fund. Boosting the highest proportion of woman working in the world. In the country's quest to become even more gender-neutral, Sweden has introduced a new genderless pronoun "hen". Instead of referring to people as he (han) or she (hon) people can use the term "hen".

Will this word catch on or will it just lead to more confusion? I guess time will tell. I suppose that the use of the world can help alleviate gender biases when referring to people. For people that have preconceived notions of the sexes, like "women are not as smart as men", perhaps using a genderless word to identify people in texts or dialogue will help prevent people from dismissing certain people simply because of their gender.

This article is almost 8 months old, so I do not know the current status of this issue or if the word has been fully implemented into the Swedish vernacular.

You can read the article here:

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