The gender-neutral term “hen” will be added to the official dictionary of the Swedish language, its editors announced. The pronoun is one of 13,000 new words added to the dictionary, which is updated every 10 years, and will be used in addition to “han” (he) and “hon” (she). The word intended to be used to avoid revealing a person’s gender, especially when the person is transgender or if the information is irrelevant or unknown to the speaker. The word was first introduced in the 1960s as an alternative to the ubiquitous “han” (he), but only really took hold when it was reintroduced in the 2000s by Sweden’s transgender community. Since then, it has been increasingly used in official language and lost some of its more “feminist-activist” connotations. Since Sweden is always ahead of the curve when it comes to gender equality, maybe it’s time to start thinking about a gender-neutral pronoun for the English language?
Read the full story at The Guardian.