While feminists push for adding names like Khaled, Doris and Laila into the phonetic alphabet to promote “inclusion,” the military suggests this step would endanger communication as the phonetic alphabet must “sit in the backbone.”
The official Swedish spelling alphabet used by the military and the police, is not sufficiently “equal” or “diverse” and must be enhanced with female and Arabic names, the Frederika Bremer Association and the Equalisters NGO demanded in an opinion piece published in Sweden’s leading daily Dagens Nyheter.
The spelling alphabet, also known as the radio alphabet and the telephone alphabet, is a set of words used to denote certain letters to avoid misunderstanding in oral communication. The Swedish spelling alphabet originated in 1891 and consists of traditional Swedish names like Adam, Bertil, Erik, Sigurd, Tore and Yngve.
The feminist groups want to replace the men’s names in the alphabet to become more “inclusive” and better reflect Sweden’s increasingly multicultural society. According to the feminists, there is “no excuse” for having names representing Swedish men exclusively.
“Including more than just men with traditional Swedish names is important to visualize the diversity of society. We need to be able to speak with a language that is everybody’s. The government needs to be open and inclusive,” they wrote.
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