France’s education ministry just dealt a blow to left-wing equality advocates seeking to normalize gender-neutral spellings of words in schools. The Biden administration would be wise to take a lesson from the French government.
The Academie Francaise issued a ruling last week banning schools from “using gender neutral spellings,” which it said are “a threat to the French language,” according to the Daily Mail.
The education ministry is “responsible for guarding the French language” and considers the activists’ efforts to normalize gender-neutral spellings to be “harmful to the practice and understanding of French,” the report said.
Gender equality advocates argue that “full stops in the middle of written words — dubbed ‘midpoints’ — which allow both male and female forms to be represented simultaneously” should be required, the Daily Mail reported.
Because English is a non-gendered language, the article explained, the word “friends” refers to individuals of either gender. In French grammar, however, “nouns take on the gender of the subject to which they refer, with male preferred over female in mixed settings. Therefore, a group of friends with four women and one man is referred to using the masculine ‘amis.'”
Advocates of gender equality propose the addition of “midpoints” to neutralize a word. For example, the report said, “the written word becomes ‘ami.e.s’, including the feminine ‘e’ ending — though it would still be pronounced the same when spoken.” The advocates claim this would make the language “more inclusive.”
Those opposed to making this change believe the “differences between written and spoken French would make the language harder to learn and threaten its entire existence,” according to the Daily Mail.
Nathalie Elimas, France’s state secretary for priority education, said the use of midpoints would do nothing to increase the use of the French language but instead would push more people to learn English.
“With the spread of inclusive writing, the English language — already quasi-hegemonic across the world — would certainly and perhaps forever defeat the French language,” Elimas said.
In an interview with Le Journal du Dimanche, Jean-Michel Blanquer, France’s education minister, said “the use of dots in the middle of words” would make it more difficult for individuals “with learning disabilities, such as dyslexia.”
The Daily Mail reported that one of France’s largest teachers unions, the leftist Solidaires Unitaires Démocratiques, called “on teachers to ignore the ruling.” The union issued a statement saying that Blanquer must “stop trying to impose his backwardness on the education community.”
In America, the teachers union would have had the last word.
According to the report, the French ruling provided some concessions.
“Certain job titles should change forms when the person holding the role is female,” the Daily Mail reported. “For example, a female president would be referred to as ‘présidente.’ Job application forms should also include both male and female titles to encourage more women to apply, the decree added.”
This development proves that, in contrast to the ruling class in America, there are still some sane individuals inside the French government.
It might surprise members of the Biden administration to hear that not all foreign governments approve of the woketopia they’ve tried to create in the United States.
According to an editorial in The New York Times, many French “politicians and prominent intellectuals” believe that America’s new woke culture has gone too far and now poses an existential threat to the French republic and identity.
Specifically, they are concerned about the dangerous social theories on “race, gender and post-colonialism,” which they view as forms of separatism.
The article cites an October speech delivered by French President Emmanuel Macron in which he warned that the threat to French culture lies in “[c]ertain social science theories entirely imported from the United States.”
Macron is absolutely correct.
In recent years, the emboldened left has tried to force Americans into adopting its radical, divisive ideas. Leftists have tried to convince every white person that he or she is racist and must atone for it.
The French president sees what’s happening in America and knows the uncertainty we face. He wants to make sure that it stays out of France.
On some level, he may take pleasure in our current troubles. On the other hand, he knows the world has suddenly become a far more dangerous place.
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This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.