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Hilda Maria Käkikoski
(31 January 1864 - 14 November 1912) Finland

Hilda Kakikoski

Writer and member of parliament

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Born Hilda Sjöström, she spent her tomboysh childhood in the countryside, but at the age of 14 she decided to move on her own to Helsinki, the capital of Finland, in order to attend a girls' school. There she cut her hair short and changed her Swedish surname to the Finnish Käkikoski. She continued her studies and became a teacher of history and the Finnish language at the coeducational school in Helsinki.

During these years, she fell in love with some of her fellow students and colleagues, who where, like herself, active members in the Finnish Women's Association. A vegetarian, and an eager gymnast and cyclist, her unconventional and self-assertive behviour and mannish clothing intrigued her students.

While working as a teacher, Käkikoski lived for six years with a dear friend, the widowed Fanny Pajula, and the latter's son. After their separation in 1895, she wrote an unsent letter, where she speculated on "the secret motive which the world cannot see" behind women's relationships.

Käkikoski received, as a conservative representative, the highest number of votes in her district when in 1906 she was among the first 19 women to be elected for the new parliament of 200 seats.She had moved in with Hildi Ennola, a married friend, for whom she had feelings which she considered unsuitable.

Having had an unfulfilled and painful affair with another colleague, Käikikoski fell for a deaconess, Hanna Masalin, and was approached by politically active Helmi Kivalo. All these relationships continued until Käikikski death. Käkikoski is buried in Karjalohja, close to the grave of Hildi Ennola.

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Source: excerpts from: Aldrich R. & Wotherspoon G., Who's Who in Gay and Lesbian History, from Antiquity to WWII, Routledge, London, 2001

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