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Macron panics woke gender-inclusive writing will destroy French language

today31/10/2023

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Emmanuel Macron has told France to reject gender-inclusive writing in a bid to save the French language.

The French president urged his country not to “give in to the spirit of the times” as the long-standing debate between Right-leaning language purists, the Left and feminists rages on.


Speaking at the opening of a new language centre in the town of Villers-Cotterêts, Macron said: “In French, the masculine is neutral. We don’t need to add points in the middle of words or hyphens to make it readable.”

In order to “protect” the French language, the Senate discussed banning gender-inclusive writing last night.

In order to ‘protect’ the French language, the Senate will discuss banning gender-inclusive writing on Monday evening

CHRISTIAN HARTMANN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

The new proposals include banning gender-inclusive writing in administrative documents such as job contracts, job adverts, internal company regulations and all legal documents.

There would also be a ban on inclusive writing in the national education code.

All French nouns are either masculine or feminine and the written endings of nouns, adjectives and verbs must reflect the gender of the object or person in question.

However, when a noun involves both men and women, the default spelling is in the masculine.

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Macron said: “We must allow the language to live, to be inspired by others, to steal words from the other end of the world…

“And to continue to be reinvented, but all while keeping the fundamentals, the basics of grammar, the strength of its syntax and to not give in to the spirit of the times.”

His words were welcomed with a round of applause from a crowd which included historians, philosophers, linguists and French writers.

Feminist groups have been challenging the government for decades to make the French language more gender-neutral.

Gender neutral toilet

All French nouns are either masculine or feminine and the written endings of nouns, adjectives and verbs must reflect the gender of the object or person in question

PA

Other left-wing critics have dubbed the bill retrograde and an attempt by the conservatives to marginalise women.

Some argue that changing the language could cause difficulties for people who are illiterate or dyslexic.

The bill has a strong chance of being accepted in the Senate as the Republicans hold a majority in the upper house.



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