• Sweden's news in English

Swedish man to prove to Norway he's not female

20 Apr 2012, 08:28

Published: 20 Apr 2012 08:28 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

“Couldn’t they tell from the beard?” Pohjantähti said to daily Aftonbladet.

Pohjantähti, who is a baker, had travelled from southern Sweden where he lives with his wife and two children, to a small town south of Norwegian city Bergen, where he was going to work.

But in order to do that he needed a Norwegian personal ID number.

He read up on what to do on the internet and duly presented himself at the offices at the Norwegian social benefits agency Nav.

With him, he had his Swedish ID card and papers from the Swedish Tax Authority, verifying his identity.

However, the first question the female official asked him was whether he was a woman. Pohjantähti was perplexed.

“I looked like a bear when I got there, surely the beard must have given it away,” he told the paper.

But even his ID card, his driver’s licence and his tax papers weren’t enough to convince the woman that he was in fact male.

Neither did the fact that Pohjantähti is married and has fathered two children.

“I tried every way I could think of to prove that I am a man,” said Pohjantähti to the paper.

He can’t see what it was the official thought that he could win from “impersonating” a man.

There was nothing else that Pohjantähti could do but to return to Sweden to fetch his passport, the only proof of sex that the Norwegian officials were prepared to accept.

To top it all off, the hirsute Swede found out that he had applied at the wrong agency and should have approached the Norwegian Tax Authority in the first place, reports the paper.

Story continues below…

The Local/Rebecca Martin


Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

08:49 April 20, 2012 by rfmann
"I tried every way I could think of to prove that I am a man,"

Really? If that is true, then either he didn't think hard enough and missed the most obvious proof, or the article is leaving out the most (only?) interesting part of the story...
09:01 April 20, 2012 by JulieLou40
Yes, my thoughts exactly.

Plus I can't believe there is no photo on this "article"!
09:07 April 20, 2012 by budaboy
Next time he should just whip "it" out..
09:15 April 20, 2012 by jan.petras
So wait, he actually went back to Sweden to get his passport instead of pulling down his pants?
09:32 April 20, 2012 by gpafledthis
At last a point for the weegies-clearly sweedie male behavior denies the mere appearance !! Even in US we know that it's reindeer that "prance" not men !!Act like a duck-quack like a duck then people will think you a duck!! Otherwise-even norwegians-confused as they are- will call it as they see it!! Sweedies take this as a "wake up call" !!!!!
10:07 April 20, 2012 by Old Trafford
"I tried every way I could think of to prove that I am a man,"

...are you kidding me?

Why dont he just wack off his pants and show the lady 'his tool' rather than traveling that loooooong distance to get his passport
10:29 April 20, 2012 by JulieLou40
Finally.....they put a photo with the article. Sigh, slipshod at best.

Re the photo, I think it's fairly obviously a man!
10:37 April 20, 2012 by Da Goat
she must have been an ugly Norwegian other wise he could have offered her a demonstration!

Maybe she was just blind and not only Blonde!
11:03 April 20, 2012 by Snoopy!
I'm not convinced , I have seen some very scary looking woman ; )
11:32 April 20, 2012 by wolverine2k
Did he show his di*k to the female officer? Maybe she needed a taste of it... :P
11:59 April 20, 2012 by bobalong
I cannot believe the prat travelled to another country in the first place without his passport!

He deserved the hassle he got.

There is no love lost between the two countries anyway, so he should have known better.
12:04 April 20, 2012 by dizzy09
somehow i beleive the norwegian authorities, his documents could be fake.all he had to do was just show them his tool.
12:56 April 20, 2012 by karex
#11 One should be able to travel anywhere within Europe with just the ID card, if you are a European Union member. However, Norway isn't in the European Union right? On the other hand, hasn't it been possible to travel between Norway, Sweden and Denmark with your driver's license or other ID even before this? Quite strange.

I also agree with some comments: he could have chosen the most obvious proof. LOL
13:18 April 20, 2012 by OUIJA
Perhaps his most ovbious tool was not too obvious and ight have been falsified. One never knows. His wife might be a fake and his sons were actually hired to perform as his sons. Nevertheless, another funny story from The Local.The moral of this "story": Never travel to Norway without checking your tools.
15:18 April 20, 2012 by Tanskalainen
@gpfledthis You are obviously homophobic in the extreme. What exactly are you nervous about? Why don't you move to Georgia with the other redneck freaks?
15:33 April 20, 2012 by tompaq
And who said Norwegians are a little dimwitted....Hilarious, pencil pushing bureaucrat that lacks common sense.
16:39 April 20, 2012 by forwardtherapy
Another example of the ridiculousness of using male / female as a way of identifying individuals. In an era of supposed 'equality' why is it even necessary that tax offices, social security departments or employers know whether a person is female or male, a woman or a man? Having such an identifier on driver's licences, passports and ID cards only distinguishes you from 50% of the population anyway, it doesn't describe you in any unique way. The sooner this antiquated requirement is abandoned the better.
18:28 April 20, 2012 by tadchem
Norway is hiring female officials who can't tell the difference between a man and a woman?

This raises doubts about the intelligence of the next generation of Norwegians - if there is one...
19:52 April 20, 2012 by surkova
Apart from the obvious male characteristics, it's a common knowledge that the third figure of the Swedish personal number (it's tail) indicates whether the person in question is male or female. Surely, Norwegians know about that.
11:46 April 21, 2012 by Room for Rent
Dont Worry.. You went to Norway... and met a Nowegian..
19:45 April 21, 2012 by sleezypornorangutang
Rokkenroll ja munat pöytään!
13:59 April 22, 2012 by rise
Not once being in Norway I have seen such a bearded woman. But maybe they are more common in Norway than I really thought...
18:42 April 22, 2012 by philster61
Guess Norwegians have trouble distinguishing male apart from female with non Norwegians too. Some of the manliest women I have met are Norwegian.. Right down to the snus.....
22:41 April 22, 2012 by Just_Kidding
The lady just wanted to see his tool. Too bad that he disappointed her and came back to Sweden to pick up his passport.

By the way, how come the Norwegian officer didn't tell him that he is in the wrong place?
10:37 April 23, 2012 by John.Smith
Spanish women have beards too...
09:36 April 24, 2012 by netty
Thanks LOCAL and all participants - I got so BIG portion of Endorphins today! I laughed as mad! The comments are even more funny then the article itself!
07:32 June 6, 2012 by Praestantia
Wow. Just wow.
06:27 June 9, 2012 by cmbsweden
Just proves that good help is hard to find everywhere.
12:30 March 19, 2013 by janeway
bobalong: If you had been properly informed, you should have known that you don't need a passport to travel to any Nordic country, provided you're a citizen in any of them. Has been like that since the 1950's. But, as I believe you haven't bothered to read up on how things are done here in the progressive countries, I'm not really surprised.
Today's headlines
Swedish photographer shot near Mosul
Hansen was being operated on in the Iraqi city of Erbil on Sunday. Photo: Nora Lorek/ TT

Paul Hansen, a photographer working for Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, has sustained light injuries after being hit by what appears to be a sniper while covering the battle for the Isis-held city of Mosul in Iraq.

Trollhättan remembers school attack victims
'It was an attack on all of Sweden,' Education Minister Gustav Fridolin said. Photo: Thomas Johansson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday turned out for a torchlight procession in the small town of Trollhättan in southwestern Sweden to honour the victims of last year’s deadly school attack there.

Sweden wants emission-free cars in EU by 2030
Photo: Jessica Gow/ TT

Sweden's environment minister on Saturday urged the European Union to ban petrol and diesel-powered vehicles from 2030.

Hundreds protest Swedish asylum laws
Around 1,000 people protested in Stockholm. Photo: Fredrik Persson/ TT

Hundreds of people on Saturday demonstrated in Stockholm and in many other parts of the country to protest Sweden’s tough new laws on asylum-seekers.

Dylan removes Nobel-mention from website
The American musician has more or less responded to the news with silence. Photo: Per Wahlberg

American singer-song writer Bob Dylan has removed any mention of him being named one of this year’s Nobel Prize laureates on his official website.

Refugee crisis
Asylum requests in Sweden down by 70 percent
Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johansson. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

Sweden received 70 percent fewer requests for asylum in the period between January and September 2016 than it did during the same time last year, the country’s justice and migration minister Morgan Johansson has revealed.

The unique story of Stockholm's floating libraries
The Stockholm archipelago book boat. Photo: Roger Hill.

Writer Roger Hill details his journeys on the boats that carry books over Stockholm's waterways and to its most remote places.

Refugee crisis
Second Stockholm asylum centre fire in a week
The new incident follows a similar fire in Fagersjö last week (pictured). Photo: Johan Nilsson/TT

Police suspect arson in the blaze, as well as a similar incident which occurred last Sunday.

More misery for Ericsson as losses pile up
Ericsson interim CEO Jan Frykhammar presenting its third quarter results. Photo: Claudio Bresciani/TT

The bad news just keeps coming from the Swedish telecoms giant.

Facebook 'sorry' for removing Swedish cancer video
A computer displaying Facebook's landing page. Photo: Christine Olsson/TT

The social media giant had censored a video explaining how women should check for suspicious lumps in their breasts.

Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
Here's where it could snow in central Sweden this weekend
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
7 reasons you should join Sweden's 'a-kassa'
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
Sponsored Article
'There was no future for me in Turkey'
People-watching: October 12th
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
Missing rune stone turns up in Sweden
Nobel Prize 2016: Chemistry
jobs available