Will the masculine gender disappear?
<1><2><3><4> <5> It would seem that there could be further from politics than linguistic issues! But not in Germany, where a fashionable debate about a "gender-equal" language that began several years ago has become a hot topic of the pre-election campaign. In the Landtag of Hesse, two parties at once spoke out against "violence against German grammar" and in defense of the masculine gender, which was under attack – the ruling CDU and the opposition "Alternative for Germany". But as soon as the Christian Democrats realized that they were at one with the AfD, they opposed their own convictions. This convoluted incident was shared by Spiegel Online. <6> <7> <8> <9> <10> <11> Let us remind you that the topic of "gender equality" in the language of Schiller and Goethe began to be actively promoted by the "Greens" and "Lefts". Some politicians from these parties propose to prohibit government agencies, schools and other institutions from using the generally accepted masculine plural form of nouns in relation to citizens. <12><13> So, the innocent treatment of "respected teachers" according to this logic is considered impolite, politically incorrect and generally outrageous, since it discriminates not only teachers, but also persons of the "third sex", which has recently been officially recognized in Germany. <14> <15> To eliminate injustice, adherents of linguo-gender equality urge not only to use all sorts of cumbersome tricks in writing – for example, every time to add female suffixes with an asterisk, but also come up with neologisms like "teaching", so God forbid not to indicate a specific gender. Although some philologists in Germany, not afraid to pass for retrogrades, openly call such tricks gambles, they already penetrate the pages of German dictionaries, and – at the suggestion of politicians – into real life. <16><17> The Senate of Hamburg recently passed amendments to the 1995 "Administrative Language" Act. Now local officials are obliged to use both masculine and feminine forms in the plural form of nouns (instead of generalizing masculine), and even better – to select formulations "without indicating gender identity." But in Hesse, conservative politicians opposed such a progressive approach. First, the Christian Democratic Union faction submitted a petition to the Landtag "For German Grammar – Against Gender Coercion". <18><19> "In private life, everyone can speak and write as he pleases. But when the authorities start to encourage an illiterate style for no reason at all, it smacks of leftist ideology that swallows up the language," the CDU said in a statement. Only when the "Alternative for Germany" made exactly the same statement, word for word, the Christian Democrats got scared that they would be considered like-minded people, and … voted against. <20><21> By the way, this topic, surprisingly exciting the minds of the Germans, did not arise yesterday. With the filing of unknown wits, the aphorism "dear women and women" (liebe Frauen und Fraurinnen), ridiculing the fashion for the abuse of feminitives, left the people. And the German media also wrote about pensioner Marlies Kremer from the Saarland, who had been in litigation with her bank for many years, who in correspondence called her "client", "account holder" and "depositor". The old feminist, clearly not suffering from a lack of free time, went all the way to the Federal Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe, which dismissed her complaint. True, then the lady promised to go to the ECHR. <22> <23>