Buenos Aires Bans Gender-Neutral Language

Read World Politics Review writer Graciela Monteagudo’s piece, “Argentina’s Feminist Backlash Takes Aim at Inclusive Spanish,” (July 19, 2022), which tackles the ongoing struggle for Latin American educators to adopt gender neutral language within the restrictive masculine/feminine designations that Spanish harbors. This past June, the city government in Buenos Aires banned teachers from including any gender-neutral language in the classroom or in communications with parents, insisting such language violated the grammatical rules of Spanish and put students’ “reading comprehension” in jeopardy.

Here is an excerpt:

In what could be seen as petty revenge for Argentina’s legalization of abortion in 2020, Horacio Rodriguez Larreta, the chief of government of the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina’s capital, has banned gender-inclusive language in the city’s public schools.
The decision, which was announced at the end of June, is the latest development in what many consider a widening war on feminism in Argentina. The main advocates of the ban, the Royal Spanish Academy and the Argentine Academy of Letters, have argued that changing the Spanish language to accommodate gender neutrality would be confusing and, in any case, unnecessary. As Alicia Zorrilla, president of the Argentine Academy of Letters, explained, “The grammatical masculine is already inclusive [and] covers that function as an unmarked term of the gender opposition.

Read the complete World Politics Review article here, accompanied by New York Times writer Ana Lankes’s recent piece contextualizing the struggle for the acceptance of gender neutral terms in Romance languages in her work, “​​In Argentina, One of the World’s First Bans on Gender-Neutral Language,” (July 20, 2022).


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