French Government Blasts Gender-Inclusive Writing as “Harmful” to Their Language, Calls on Teachers to Abandon It
The French government has called on public school teachers to abandon the use of “gender-inclusive writing,” citing the French Academy’s opinion that it’s “harmful to the practice and intelligibility of the French language.”
Jean-Michel Blanquer, the French Minister of National Education, published a missive on the matter in his ministry’s official bulletin. He writes that the “complexity and instability” of gender-inclusive writing acts as an obstacle to the acquisition of both spoken and written French, especially for students with learning disabilities.
“The impossibility of orally transcribing texts that use this type of writing hinders reading aloud, pronunciation, and therefore learning, especially for the youngest,” Blanquer says. “Contrary to what the word ‘inclusive’ might suggest, such writing constitutes an obstacle in accessing the language for children with certain handicaps or learning disabilities.”
National Catholic Register explains the monstrosities of “gender-inclusive” French as follows:
The supporters of [gender-inclusive French] recommend mentioning both the feminine and the masculine in a sentence when the percipients are both men and women. Thus, “all of you” (tous) becomes in French “toutes et (and) tous.” “Those” (ceux) becomes “celles (feminine) et ceux (masculine).”
In the same way, ‘inclusive writing’ promotes the feminization of words related to roles and professions that are, most of the time, all masculine (ambassadeur/ambassadrice, rapporteur/rapporteuse, sapeur-pompier/sapeuse-pompière), as well as the use of neutral words or the systematic mention of the feminine through middle dots that split words. For example, according to such a rule, “chers lecteurs” (dear readers) must become “cher·e·s lecteur·rice·s”; “les auteurs” (the writers) will become “les auteur·e·s”; and “les clients” (the clients) becomes “les client·e·s”.
The battle over the adoption of “inclusive language” is not a new one for the French. It has been waged on both sides for years and, as National Catholic Register reports, “goes beyond the educational field as well as the traditional political debates, since progressive leaders themselves remain divided on this topic.”
Gender-inclusive language may be easier to pull off in English, but grammatical gender in languages like French and Spanish is fundamental, making Woke linguistics overly complex. Good to see the French government fight these ideologically motivated changes to their belle langue.