January 15, 2021

Inclusive language: Intelligence excluded | Culture

Inclusive language: Intelligence excluded | Culture



On June 9, 2016 the name of Steffen Königer, Member of Alternative for Germany, Eurosceptic party founded in 2013, became a viral phenomenon on the Internet thanks to an intervention in which the parliamentarian expressed his dissatisfaction with the Green Party, which had presented a bill for the acceptance of sexual diversity and self-determination. The disagreement was manifested through the enumeration of several dozen self-attributions of gender with which Königer machine-gunned for almost two minutes to the House where it was presented: "Dear homosexuals, esteemed lesbians, androgynous estimates, esteemed big …" At the end of this list there was only one sentence addressed to the greens: "The Alternative party for Germany rejects its proposal". Act of Kafkaesque borders, the non-speech of the deputy exhibited the discursive poverty of those who try to be correct at any cost and confuse the richness of the word with the verbiage.

For a language to be truly inclusive, it must appeal to intelligence instead of excluding it

I refer to the example of Königer because I think it clearly illustrates the excesses and extremes to which political correctness can lead, that cancer that is metastasizing in the language and causing collateral damage as the so-called inclusive or inclusive language, whose first symptoms are go back to the sixties. In a recent interview Conception Company, academic of the language and member of El Colegio Nacional in Mexico, said: "[El lenguaje incluyente] it is nonsense; Well, quietly. In the first place, it is not gender equity but sex, the gender is the grammar […] It also seems to me that inclusive language is uneconomic, I can not imagine a creator saying: 'Dear comrades and dear comrades.' For the sake of this equity we are losing balance, elegance in the language, and we can make grammatical errors […] What we have to change is society. "The controversy, of course, did not wait, especially because The National College, which Company belongs since 2016, has received criticism for sexism from various fronts, as in 75 years of History has counted among its members with 103 men and only four women. Although for some it is radical, the position of Company is necessary and sensible at a time when the foolishness and the inquisitorial spirit predominate in public exchange especially in the field of social networks, those platforms in which superficial overload prevents the true deepening in topics of relevance.

Among those issues are evidently machismo and ginopia, a neologism with which the invisibility of the female perspective is named, especially in situations of violence. To give greater visibility to this perspective has emerged the #MeToo movement, which last August suffered a severe setback when the Italian actress and director Asia Argento, one of its main spokespersons, was accused of sexual abuse by the child examiner Jimmy Bennett. Contrary to many fanatical opinions, I argue that this denunciation does not invalidate the new feminist consolidation at all; What it does do is put the finger on an obvious but not less painful wound: sexual abuse depends on the exercise of power and not on the gender of the abuser. In The Power (2016), a great dystopian novel that dialogues with The story of the maid (1985) Margaret Atwood, Naomi Alderman writes: "Gender is a game of where the ball is. What is a man? Everything that is not a woman. What is a woman? Everything that is not a man. Hit and it will sound hollow. Look under the cup: there's nothing there. "Sample refined feminist science fiction, The Power It poses a not so distant future in which women take control of the world helped by the powerful electric power they generate. The narrative device created by the author is as shrewd as it is provocative: the book we read is the transcription of a "historical novel" signed by Neil Adam Armon, a member of the Men Writers Association whose name is an anagram of Naomi Alderman. Where, in fact, is the little ball of the genre?

Gender equity is why ultimately the inclusive language struggles. In this respect Concepción Company points: "[La batalla por la equidad] it does not occur in grammar, it occurs in society. When societies are egalitarian, I am very sure that grammatical habits will change. " It may be that this idea sounds too utopian, since society has not altered its decidedly androcentric inclination in several centuries. It may be that inclusive language is a first step towards a change of perspective. The truth is that using "@", "e" or "x" denotes not so much the desire to abolish the prevailing sexism and include both genders ("esteem", "esteem", "esteem") as an expressive indigence , the inability and in many cases the frank laziness to go to the vast possibilities offered by the Spanish language to expose, discuss and argue. For a language to be truly inclusive, it must appeal to intelligence instead of excluding it and replacing it with the use of politically correct idioms and resources that damage and hinder our primary vehicle of communication.

Mauricio Montiel Figueiras He is a Mexican writer and editor.

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