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Bavaria Bans Gender-Inclusive Language, Sparks Nationwide Debate

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Wojciech Zylm
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Bavaria Bans Gender-Inclusive Language, Sparks Nationwide Debate

Bayern's Ministerpräsident Markus Söder has declared a ban on gender-inclusive language in schools and public administration. This decision was announced during his first government declaration in the new legislative session in the state parliament. Söder has also criticized certain federal government projects, such as cannabis legalization, the usage of gender-inclusive language, and self-determination rights, inciting a debate on whether Germany is focusing on the right issues.

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Bavaria's Stand Against Gender-Inclusive Language

The ban in Bavaria aims to prohibit gender-inclusive language in schools and administration. This move is seen as an effort to focus on what are deemed more pressing issues than the 'genderization' of language. Söder's criticism of the federal government's focus on projects like cannabis legalization, gender-inclusive language, and the right to self-determination, raises questions about the priorities of the government and the issues they choose to address.

Similar Measures in Other German States

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The measure taken by Bavaria is not an isolated incident. Other German states like Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt have also implemented similar guidelines. Saxony extended similar instructions to its partners earlier in the summer, while Saxony-Anhalt went a step further by banning the use of gender-inclusive grammar symbols such as the gender star, underscore, and colon in schools.

Implications on German Orthography

These measures align with the official rules of German orthography, which reject gender-neutral language symbols in official documents, parent letters, and teaching materials. The ban in Saxony-Anhalt is comprehensive, applying to both teaching and official correspondence. It explicitly forbids grammar symbols internal to words that aim to address all genders, including constructions like 'Lehrer:innen' (teachers) and 'Schüler_innen' (students).

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