The French government has banned the country’s educators from using gender-neutral language when teaching students, citing a fear of destroying the language and creating obstacles to people’s learning.
Jean-Michel Blanquer, France’s Minister of National Education, Youth, and Sports, released a circular on May 5, where he called the French language a “precious treasure” that should be shared with students with all its beauty and fluidity, but without instrumentalisation and quarrels.
The decree ordered “inclusive” writing be avoided and that the use of “midpoints,” which try to designate both male and female endings to words, be terminated. Blanquer said that the use of the midpoint mechanic will only create confusion for those trying to learn the French.
“This writing, which results in the fragmentation of words and agreements, constitutes an obstacle to reading and understanding the written word. The impossibility of verbally transcribing texts using this type of writing hampers reading aloud as well as pronunciation, and consequently learning, especially for the youngest,” states the circular.
The most politicized letter in France today is the letter “e” which is the French language’s feminine letter. For instance, the word “dirigeants” means “leaders” and is usually associated with men. Proponents of “inclusive” language add the letter “e” towards the end of the word preceded by a dot to create “dirigeant.es” to signal that leaders can be either male or female.
The mechanic is similar to the use of the letter “x” in English by some writers to transform words such as “women” and “Latino” from their traditional form to “womxn” or “Latinx.”
At a recent Senate debate, Nathalie Elimas, Deputy Education Minister, said woke writing challenges traditional usage norms of the French language, making it harder to learn while punishing students with learning difficulties.
“It dislocates words, breaks them into two…With the spread of inclusive writing, the English language — already quasi-hegemonic across the world — would certainly and perhaps forever defeat the French language,” she said.
French and English
In the United States, the leftist movement to modify language in a similar fashion received a big push in January when the Democrat-controlled House passed new rules on language for congressional committees during 2021-2022. The motion passed with a narrow partisan 217-206 margin.
The rules mandate committees should use words like “themself” instead of masculine “himself” or feminine “herself.” Instead of father and mother, the word “parent” will be used. Instead of son and daughter, the word “child” will be used. Instead of husband or wife, the word “spouse: shall be used.
In an interview with Fox’s Tucker Carlson, former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a Democrat, said eliminating gendered language does the “very opposite” of empowering women, “It’s the height of hypocrisy for people who claim to be the champions of rights for women to deny the very biological existence of women.”
At a press conference In April, CDC Director Rochelle Walensky personified the mutilation of the English language when she used the term “pregnant persons” and “pregnant people” to refer to pregnant women while discussing a study on vaccinations during pregnancy.
Recently, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) followed suit when she used the term “birthing people” in a tweet on expanding Medicaid coverage.
Writing for The Epoch Times, Roger Kimball, editor and publisher of The New Criterion, said that “the rejection of the word ‘mother’ is part and parcel of a much larger rejection—a rejection of human reality as traditionally conceived.”
In an interview with Baptist Press in 2016, Carol Swain, a retired professor of political science and law at Vanderbilt University, had warned that “pronoun etiquette” is a manifestation of an intolerant agenda.
Warning that political correctness, multiculturalism, and the redefinition of pronouns are a form of cultural Marxism, the professor warned these are serious attempts to destroy Western traditions and values.