What is inclusive writing?

Qu'est-ce que l'écriture inclusive ?

Elia is a menstrual lingerie brand. 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's all about. Here are a few explanations :)

What is inclusive writing?

Inclusive writing is about ensuring that the famous rule "the masculine takes precedence 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 rules. It's a feminist battle to combat sexist stereotypes and change mentalities through the French language, with visible repercussions on society.

In fact, there was a time when the French language was more egalitarian than it is today, and feminine nouns (such as autrice, professeures, etc.) and proximity agreement (granting the gender and number of the closest word) existed. It was only in the 17th century that the decision was made to accord according to the "noblest gender", and thus to masculinize the French language.

How do I write in inclusive script?

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

1) First principle The first principle is to 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 Gender agreement for ranks, functions, professions and titles.

Example: we no longer say une pompier, but une pompière.

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

For example: Les candidats et les candidats vont passer le concours. Or again: Les candidats.e.s vont passer le concours.

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

For example, instead of saying "human rights", we prefer "droits humains".

Even so, inclusive writing still gives rise to a great deal of reticence. In particular, some defenders of the French language believe that words interspersed with dots make sentences unreadable. For others, this form of writing cannot be used orally, and therefore makes no sense in writing. Nevertheless, inclusive writing, which is not compulsory, is strongly encouraged by the Haut Conseil à l'égalité entre les femmes et les hommes, which has even published a "guide pour une communication publique sans stéréotype de sexe". In fact, France is leading the resistance, as in many Western countries, gender-inclusive language has been a concern for some thirty years.

If you'd like to find out more, take a look at Marinette's video:

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The information contained in the articles on www-elia-lingerie.com is general information only. Although reviewed by health professionals, this information is not error-free, does not constitute health advice or consultation, and is not intended to provide a diagnosis or suggest a course of treatment. Under no circumstances may this information be used as a substitute for medical advice or consultation with a healthcare professional. If you have any questions, please consult your doctor.