What kind of "support" does this refer to? Physical, financial, emotional? Or is the meaning as ambiguous as it is in English?
Could mannen be the subject of this sentence as well? (Thus does the word order dictate that kvinnen is the subject?)
Yes, "kvinnen" is the subject here, and this sentence as it is cannot have "mannen" as a subject. :)
Is it just me, or does the normal speed pronunciation sound like "trinnen" rather than "kvinnen" ? I hasten to add it is very clear on the slower speed
Why on earth do nearly all sentences put feminine words in their masculine-looking alternatives? I know one CAN say kvinnen, musen, boken,... but how are learners supposed to know that these words are feminine? why not write kvinna, musa, boka,... (which makes the language richer in my opinion) and say one can sometimes write them as masculine?... It makes me cringe.
We've opted to follow the NTB style. 80 percent of the published writing you are likely to see in Bokmål is in that style or a style similar to it. Using the -a suffix in every place possible, is not normal in print. Besides, for learners it is easier to stick to two forms in most cases, and just use the -a in the exceptional cases where the "-en" sounds unnatural to most Norwegian (those not from Bergen).
Centuries of tradition. Bokmål emerged from Danish which has lost the feminine form altogether (as is the case in the Bergen dialect). It has been changed over time to better reflect spoken Norwegian in many of its forms, including adding the "-a" as one allowed form. A lot of what is printed is written by people from the upper classes in the urban areas who traditionally spoke "dannet dagligtale" which was essentially Danish pronounced in a Norwegian way. Dannet dagligtale is gone, but the sociolects that replaced it still tend to mainly use "-en".
Some sentences seem to reproduce stereotypes about women and men. "the man drives; the woman supports the man" etc.