What is inclusive writing?

Qu'est-ce que l'écriture inclusive ?

Elia is a brand of menstrual lingerie. In our DNA, we aim to offer panties that allow all menstruating people to wear them (yes, some men wear our panties!). Inclusive writing is very important to us. You often ask us what it is. Here are some explanations :)

What is inclusive writing?

Inclusive writing is to make sure that the famous rule "the masculine prevails over the feminine in the plural" is no longer true, and that both sexes are put on an equal footing thanks to a set of periods. It is a feminist fight that aims to fight sexist stereotypes and change mentalities through the French language for a visible impact on society.

Indeed, there was a time when the French language was more egalitarian than today and feminine nouns (such as "autrice", "professeures", ...), or the proximity agreement (to grant to the gender and number of the closest word) existed. It is from the XVIIth century that the choice to agree according to "the noblest gender", and thus to masculinize the French language, was made.

How to write in inclusive writing?

Inclusive writing is based on 3 principles of spelling to emphasize the feminine.

1) First principle Stop applying the grammar rule "the masculine takes precedence over the feminine", in favor of proximity agreement (agreeing the adjective with the closest subject).

For example: Men and women are equal / Women and men are equal.

2) Second principle 2) Second principle: agree in gender the ranks, functions, jobs and titles.

Example: we will no longer say a fireman, but a firewoman.

In addition, using double flexion or the midpoint to mark the gender of words allows for the inclusion of both sexes.

For example: The candidates will take the competition. Or again: Les candidats.e.s vont passer le concours.

3) Third principle Avoid using the words "man" and "woman", but prefer more universal terms.

For example: instead of saying human rights, we prefer human rights.

However, inclusive writing still raises a lot of reticence. These come in particular from certain defenders of the French language, because according to them the words interspersed with points make the sentence unreadable. For others, this writing cannot be implemented orally, and therefore has no meaning in writing. However, inclusive writing, which is not compulsory, is strongly encouraged by the High Council for Equality between Women and Men, which has even published a "guide for public communication without gender stereotypes". France is also a resistor, as in many Western countries, language including women has been a concern for the past thirty years.

For a more in-depth look at the issue, you can also watch Marinette's video:

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