Hon och han och nu 'hen' - it wouldn't work in English, not hen of course. Maybe ha or why not wi..
These days it's possible to surf the web in a gender-neutral way. A hot debate over “hon” (she) and “han” (he) and the gender neutral “hen” has been going on in Sweden for quite some time, and has divided the country into two parties: those who want “hen” to become part of the Swedish language, and those who strongly oppose the word. And now comes the launch of Henerator.se, a website plugin that substitutes “hon” and “han” with “hen” on Swedish homepages. Behind the idea are Marcus Sjögren and Philip Westman, two communicators who don’t take any sides in the debate.
“We have no special gender or feminist background, but rather saw the chance as outsiders to add something to the debate. You can see it as irony or something that highlights the issue and gives the debate an extra oomph,” says Sjögren to DN.se. He explains that the idea came up when his Twitter account became crowded with people who either celebrated or made fun of “hen” and he realized there were two distinct sides in the debate. “I thought it was an interesting thing to do,” he says.
How did they create Henerator? “We searched among our friends and came in contact with a nice guy in Torsby, who wanted to help. It was quick, just two evenings from the idea itself to having the webpage up and running.” At first only friends and acquaintances saw the site, with different reactions. “We’ve noticed that there are people who advocate the word ‘hen’ and like our site, but that there are also those who don’t like the word, but still like Henarator and think it’s a fun thing. And then there are those who don’t like either the word or the site. It’s a variety.”
Feel like testing? Go to HENerator.se
And, while on the subject of genders, remember the Egalia Preschool in Stockholm? Gender-free preschool takes on stereotypes