Gender-neutral pronouns and language change

I may be a little late to the party but that didn’t stop me from getting excited yesterday when I discovered that the Swedish have proposed a third pronoun. Sweden is considered by many to be the most gender-equal country and a feminist’s oasis but they didn’t stop there. “Hen” is the new gender-neutral pronoun for a person (or object) that does not want to specify  their gender identity as male or female. It has been added to the National Encyclopedia though it may take a while to catch on in everyday usage.

This excites me because it says so much about the world we live in, current gender identity issues and the way that Sweden is dealing with it. Only within the past year or so was I made fully aware of just how wide a range of gender identities there are thank you internet and this feels like a step in the right direction. A huge amount of people struggle with gender issues that, I’m ashamed to say, I wasn’t aware of and Sweden is doing their part to help them with this little gift of language.

From the very lax research I did, I discovered that Sweden is not the only place that has attempted this venture. English has attempted it once or twice itself with “zhe” and “thon”. Brighton, England, tried to even the playing field by suggesting replacing all the titles like “Miss” and “Mr” with “Mx”, or “Mixter” in full. I understand what you where trying to do England, and I’m proud of you for it, but they’re just no fun and possibly even a little difficult to say. Try again soon, ok? Maybe ask the children to come up with one? They seem to be more open-minded and creative than adults as a whole. And on behalf of people everywhere, thank you Sweden for being awesome and taking this great step forward for us all.

All the people
Colourful, like the cool flags the genders have

Source of the majority of my information: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/11/swedish-gender-neutral-pronoun-hen-national-encyclopedia_n_3063293.html

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