Cultural dating practices dating initial contact
In international contexts, or when using foreign languages, particularly English, Finns have become accustomed to politically correct language in which traditional masculine terms are replaced with gender-neutral ones (e.g.
‘chairperson’); or the third person singular pronoun is offered in both forms (he/she) when they exist. Instead, the third person singular pronoun hän covers both genders.
Women are usually independent financially and may offer to pay their share of a restaurant bill, for instance.
A man may politely refuse such an offer, but it is equally polite to accept it.
There is a high degree of equality between the sexes in Finland, as can be seen in the relatively high number of women holding advanced positions in politics and other areas of society.The first female Finnish bishop in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland is Irja Askola. Chauvinistic or patronizing attitudes towards women are generally considered unacceptable, although such attitudes do persist in practice.Women do appreciate traditional courtesy, although ultimately they appraise men on the basis of their attitude towards equality.They are proud that Linus Torvalds, the inventor of Linux, is a Finn.Visitors should also be prepared to encounter the other side of the Finnish national character: Finns are chronically insecure about whether the wider world is aware of the achievements of this northern nation.