April 15, 2021

Choose generic names and other tips: this is the feminist guide of the language of the Aragonese Government | Society

Choose generic names and other tips: this is the feminist guide of the language of the Aragonese Government | Society


"The bulk of the recommendations does not differ in anything that has already been published in hundreds and hundreds of guides circulating in different administrations, it is the least original part because those same instructions are repeated with greater or lesser fortune for some time". José Luis Aliaga says it, the author of those same recommendations included in the manual Inclusive language with a gender perspective which has promoted and sent internally to its officials the Government of Aragon. The "plus" of this document of good practices is another: theory to nourish and sustain the speech in favor of a use of the language that promotes equality between men and women.

What almost all the guides usually include is, almost always, a "very small" part of the linguistic types that generate discrimination: "They are those easy to inventory and consult" and for which there are equally easy solutions that Aliaga, professor of Department of General and Hispanic Linguistics of the University of Zaragoza, It divides between those occasions in which sex is not reported and those that do. In the first, the use of epicenter nouns is recommended -using a person instead of a man or a woman-, collective nouns – students rather than students – or abstracts of charge, title or organism -address to avoid having to use a director or director-. In the second, the split is the solution that is most used -funcionarias and officials-, but there are others such as explanatory appositions -referent reference to women and men [“se contratará personal de limpieza, tanto hombres como mujeres”]- or the use of bars, especially in forms -D./Dña.-.

Although there is a consensus that language generates reality, the issue of inclusive language continues to be resisted by certain professionals in this field.
Although there is a consensus that language generates reality, the issue of inclusive language continues to be resisted by certain professionals in this field.

Beyond the advice, Aliaga explains that the foundation is precisely what these documents tend to suffer, "and is an essential part" because "in the universe of communication the range of linguistic resources to generate meanings is very broad. Therefore, it is equally large to discriminate"As soon as the introduction begins, the expert comes out"at the pace of the negative judgments about inclusive language They consider it a verbal practice full of grammatical errors and mistakes. "He assures that it is" radically false in the vast majority of cases and, of course, it is completely false in the most widespread dissemination proposals. "

According to the professor, "there is unanimity within the linguistic profession about the discrimination that the use of language can produce, whether it is invisibilizing, excluding or segregating". But within that consensus there are different points of view. Aliaga says that there are those who make an analysis from the merely formal: "I and many other colleagues think it's inappropriate, we have to look at the words in relation to the discourse and the roles of those who broadcast it." Believe that each text has particular circumstances and taking into account that, "we must choose those words that do not discriminate and ensure the equal presence of men and women."

This requires a certain "effort" to which not everyone is willing. "You need some technical training and then make a review of what you write or say each day, sometimes without noticing it. "As it is written in the guide," a conscious and critical reflection on deeply rooted, own and other people's verbal habits, and an internalization of the alternatives of use based on the conviction of the role played by the language. in the maintenance of status quo (or, in the opposite direction, in its modification) ".

To the proposal of that modification almost always reactions occur: "From organizations like the UN to the Town Council of the smallest town they have already assumed that language can generate spaces of discrimination, just as it can create them of coexistence and equality". This, he says, is not new. And remember the Cantar del Mío Cid: "They went out to see women and men, bourgeois and bourgeois through the windows are, crying from the eyes, so much they felt the pain!".

Feminism has been an important part of linguistics for decades, which demonstrated decades ago how it is capable of generating reality. "And then there's all this disclosure trying to discredit that, but that's not different from the reaction in any other field when there's a feminist proposal," the expert sums up. "With each advance, the opposite response of that part of society that refuses to walk towards equality." And it does not surprise you.

The rebellious words

Professor José Luis Aliaga explains that "there are certain uses that present controversy, that are not classifiable and belong to the margin of creativity in each concrete moment". For example, the use of the "e" to refer to the genre – "the students were enchanted with the excursion"-, the arroba to synthesize the masculine and the feminine – "came to all @ s @ s @ s @ s or the X," which puts on the table the problem of gender binarism and the correlation with the grammar ", -" collective de vegnxs aragonesxs "- And it alludes to literature and poetry as well as ways of shaping the lidioma." The written and spoken word has always been a weapon of protest on the part of all collectives, also as a way to resist change or generate art".

Although these "transgressions" can not have a place in the documents of the Administration, "they are protected by the freedom of any speaker to express themselves in the provocative manner that they consider appropriate for the communicative purposes pursued." In any case, it concludes that the flexibility of the language to adapt to new realities (and conform them) is as necessary for progress as in any other field. As he writes in the guide, "the protocols of the cultured norm are not a fossil or word of divine revelation, but, within their relative fixation, they present a sufficient degree of flexibility to accommodate many variants of use".

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