Friday, February 1, 2013

She Is Somebody!

When we last left young Blær Bjarkardóttir, the 15-year-old girl was suing her government for the right to be known by the first name her parents had given her. In Iceland, where she lives, there is a list of approved names which one can name one's children, and since Blær is a girl and Icelandic's gendered language considers the word blær a masculine noun, she was listed as "Stulka" on all government documents. Stúlka is the Icelandic word translated into English as "girl," which means her passport and listing in the Icelandic National Registry (think "census") was "Girl Bjarkardóttir."

Well, she won her case in Reykjavik District Court and can now legally be herself. This means the Reykjavik District Court did the absolute minimum on the list of right things to do. The best thing, of course, would be to throw out the idea that a government has the power to limit your identity in such a way -- but baby steps, I guess.

Blær didn't win a complete victory. She had sued the government for 500,000 Icelandic krona for damages, but the court didn't award her anything. This is not as big a letdown as it sounds; the story at the link says that 500,000 krona is about $3,950.

Iceland may have some bigger problems.

(H/T Dustbury) 

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