I’m Feminine

A memory: Eric, one of the kids from mellanstadiet when I was ten or eleven. Him and another boy were taught a tap dancing routine by our gay counter-tenor music teacher Rune, performing it woodenly in the lecture hall for the entire school. They wore striped vests and straw hats, their faces expressing a mixture of concentration and a dawning realisation that perhaps they were making absolute fools of themselves. Steppens söner, “Sons of the Steppe/Tap Dance”. But us in the audience didn’t know enough to realise how naff it all was.

Anyway, Eric was a pretty boy with an elfin face, and so I wasn’t too offended once when he called after me, “Hey Rundkvist, you’re so fucking… feminine!”. I’m not sure he knew what it meant. I did, but I didn’t think it carried much clout as insults went. I knew I was neither more nor less girly than the other kids. And I certainly wasn’t a Son of the Steppe.


  1. #1 mugabe
    September 8, 2007

    If only he could see you now in all your balding glory.

  2. #2 Rakel
    September 8, 2007

    I’m not sure if I should be telling you this, but I guess you already know. In Finland, your surname spelled a bit differently (Runkvist, the pronounciation is effectively identical), means ‘wanker’ and is used a sort of pejorative term for gays too, so the boy might have had some finnish relatives.

    You see, we still have this stupid myth “All swedish guys are gays” and the surname is quite common, so…

    And all this makes me a quite a bit less proud of being finnish :/

  3. #3 Martin R
    September 9, 2007

    Mugabe: He’d probably just yell “Rundkvist, you’re so fucking hairy“.

    Rakel: Yeah, I had my share of wanker-themed insults as a kid. What does the -vist suffix mean in Finnish? The pun must only be comprehensible to Swedish-speaking Finns anyway, right?

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