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April 1, 2015 ( — The editors behind the Swedish language’s official dictionary will add the gender-neutral pronoun “hen” to the lexicon, on top of the male pronoun “han” and the female “hon,” starting in April.

The genderless “hen” was coined by LGBTQ activists and eventually found acceptance in the education system as a way to remove male and female references in the language and behavior of children.

In 2011 a preschool in the Sodermalm district of Stockholm incorporated a gender-free pedagogy that eliminated any reference to gender completely, in order to comply with a national school curriculum that censured the “stereotyping” of gender roles.

Staff at the “Egalia” preschool avoid using the words “him” or “her,” giving preference to “hen,” and address the 30 or so boys and girls, aged 1 to 6 years, as “friends.”

School director Lotta Rajalin told AP at the time that she had hired a “gender pedagogue” to help staff avoid masculine and feminine references in the classroom, going so far as to make sure that Lego blocks and other building toys are kept next to kitchen and cooking toys to avoid any gender roles being given preference.

“We use the word ‘hen’ for example when a doctor, police, electrician or plumber or such is coming to the kindergarten,” Rajalin said. “We don’t know if it’s a he or a she so we just say ‘Hen is coming around 2 p.m.’ Then the children can imagine both a man or a woman. This widens their view.”

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There are also no traditional children’s books such as Snow White, Cinderella, or the classic fairy tales, Rajalin said. The shelves instead have books that deal with homosexual couples, single parents, adopted children, and treatises on “new ways to play.”

Blogger and critic of her country's agenda of eliminating gender roles, Tanja Bergkvist, called the social engineering of a genderless structure in schools, and an academia focused on gender studies, “gender madness.”

Bergkvist observed that those promoting equality between the sexes by breaking down gender roles “say there’s a hierarchy where everything that boys do is given higher value, but I wonder who decides that it has higher value. Why is there higher value in playing with cars?”

Bergkvist noted on her blog, as an example of the “gender madness” in Sweden, that the state-funded Swedish Science Council had granted $80,000 for a postdoctoral fellowship for research into “the trumpet as a symbol of gender.”

The Swedish Academy, which also selects the recipient of the Nobel Prize in Literature, will have the new edition of the official dictionary of the Swedish language available in mid-April.


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