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France Bans ‘Gender Neutral’ Language in Schools, Citing Threat to Reading and Writing


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“The resource called ‘inclusive language’, which notably uses the midpoint to simultaneously reveal the feminine and masculine forms of a word used in masculine when it is used in a generic sense, shall be prohibited.” This was stated by the French government this Thursday, through the Official State Gazette.

Already in May, the Minister of National Education, Youth and Sports, Jean-Michel Blanquer indicated that the language should not be damaged. “The French language must not be shredded or damaged,” he said.

‘Gender neutral’ language is an obstacle, the government says

Similarly, the Bulletin detailed that gender neutral language constitutes an obstacle to reading and writing comprehension. Likewise, Blanquer addresses the rectors of the academy, the directors of the central administration and staff of the Ministry of National Education.

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However, he stresses that the promotion and use of the feminization of certain terms, especially positions, may exist “while respecting grammatical rules”.

The French Academy of Language clearly positioned itself against gender neutral language in October 2017 by considering it an aberration. In November of the same year, the then Prime Minister, Édouard Philippe, ordered to ban it in official texts and minutes.