Yay for Sweden!

Two heartwarming stories to come out of Sweden recently, that make us want to buy some crisply-designed, light wooden furniture and eat some Kalles Kaviar.

  • The Swedish Academy announced that they will be adding the gender-neutral pronoun, hen, to their official dictionary in April. Coined in the 1960s, hen was later revived by Sweden’s transgender community as an alternative to han (‘he’) and hon (‘she’).
  • And Swedish photographer Johan Bävman has created a beautiful series on men during their paternity leave. In Sweden, parents are given a total of 480 days of leave which they can choose how to split between them; however, if men do not take at least 60 days, those days are lost. Says one father in the series,

I think it’s important to share the responsibility of staying at home with your children, even if you lose out financially. We have less money because I stay at home, but at the same time I will have more time to bond with my daughter and that is what is most important for our future together.

Thanks, Sweden – keep on showing the rest of us the way, please!

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© Johan Bävman

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