Inclusive writing: Blanquer opposed to the pronoun “iel” in the Petit Robert

Inclusive writing Blanquer opposed to the pronoun iel in the

On Twitter, Jean-Michel Blanquer denounced the Petit Robert initiative, which includes the pronoun “iel” in his dictionary. “Inclusive writing is not the future of the French language,” recalled the Minister of Education.

The pronoun “iel” makes its entry into the Petit Robert

[Mise à jour du 17 novembre à 12h25]. The dictionary has chosen to define the pronoun “iel” or “iels” or “ielle”, “ielles” as “a personal pronoun, subject of the third person singular and plural, used to refer to a person of any gender”. Le Petit Robert also specifies “the use of the pronoun ial in inclusive communication”.

But the arrival of “iel” in the dictionary is not to everyone’s taste. Starting with the LREM deputy for Indre François Jolivet who believes that “the authors are activists of a cause that has nothing French about it: wokism“On Twitter, the Minister of National Education also reacted by recalling that “inclusive writing is not the future of the French language“. Jean-Michel Blanquer adds that” the students are in the process of consolidating their fundamental knowledge and cannot have this as a reference “.

Inclusive writing banned at school

Especially since theinclusive writing is banned in schools from a circular published on May 6 and addressed to academy rectors, directors of the central administration and staff of the Ministry of National Education. “It is an obstacle to reading and understanding writing (…) The impossibility of verbally transcribing texts using this type of writing hinders reading aloud as well as pronunciation, and consequently learning, especially for the youngest.“, specifies the circular. It also indicates that inclusive writing may prevent children with certain “disabilities or learning disabilities“to express oneself in French. In this document, the Minister of National Education nevertheless encourages the feminization of trades and functions. “The choice of examples or statements in a teaching situation must respect equality between girls and boys, both by the feminization of terms and by the fight against stereotypical representations“, explains Jean-Michel Blanquer who encourages members of National Education to participate in”the promotion and guarantee of equality between girls and boys“. A lively debate around this question also took place in the Senate on May 6 even if it did not follow up a vote. Nathalie Elimas, Secretary of State in charge of Priority Education, confirmed the publication of the circular ” outlawing the use of inclusive writing in teaching. The majority of senators expressed their opposition to this form of spelling.

The French language, the first French treasure

On May 2, Jean-Michel Blanquer spoke out against inclusive writing, and to preserve the French language as it is. “Our language is the first French treasure, the one which connects us all and makes our world power” he said in an interview with Sunday Newspaper. The Minister of National Education recalled that the French language “must not be triturated or damaged”. He also felt that “putting dots in the middle of words is a barrier to the transmission of our language for all, for example for dyslexic pupils“, while underlining the progress of the feminization of trades and professional functions. For him, it was out of the question to teach inclusive writing at school. He had in particular recalled the circular of Edouard Philippe dating from 2017, which prohibited inclusive writing in administrative uses. “We will clarify the fact that this is also true in our educational uses“, added the Minister of Education.

What is inclusive writing?

According to the definition of the Mots-Clés communication agency, which also published in 2016 the first manual on the subject, inclusive writing is a “set of graphic and syntactic attention to ensure equality of representations between men and women. “Its objective is to abolish the grammatical rule according to which “the masculine prevails over the feminine“, thus avoiding discriminating against individuals in the language, according to their gender. Inclusive writing thus proposes to combat sexist stereotypes and to put an end to the hierarchy between women and men.

What are the rules of inclusive writing?

Inclusive writing is based on several rules:

  • Grant gender names of functions, ranks, trades and titles. Ex: professor, president, writer, agent etc.
  • Use the feminine and masculine, whether by listing in alphabetical order (“All and all” but “those and those”), the use of a midpoint, or the use of epicene or neutral terms (pronoun or an adjective that does not vary according to the genre such as artist, executive, member). Ex: this head, the one, he, she, many, actors, engineers, “They went on a trip“applied students.
  • Stop using the antonomases of the common names “Woman” and “Man”. “The spelling “Male” is problematic, because “Male” is often used as a generic masculine, for example in the expression ‘Human Rights‘”, specifies the inclusive writing manual.

Is inclusive writing mandatory and what does the law say?

The use of inclusive writing is not compulsory, neither at school before May 6, nor elsewhere. In 2015, the High Council for Equality published a “Practical Guide for public communication without gender stereotypes”. Among its 10 recommendations, the HCE notably proposed “to use the feminine and the masculine in the messages addressed to all“,”to use alphabetical order when enumerating “,” to accord the names of trades, titles, ranks and functions.Many ministries, institutions, communities but also universities have made a commitment to apply these recommendations.. In a circular issued on November 21, 2017 on “the rules of feminization”, the former Prime Minister Édouard Philippe had however “guest“his ministers,”in particular for texts intended for publication in the Official Journal, not to use so-called inclusive writing “.

Inclusive writing at school: the concern of parents of dyslexic children

Among the parents of students, opinions differ. While some are radically opposed to teaching inclusive writing at school, others are more measured. On the other hand, parents of dyslexic children have expressed concern, believing that inclusive writing could cause trouble. Without being in any way opposed, the French Federation of Dys published in September 2020 a series of recommendations so that the needs of “dys” children are taken into account within the framework of the teaching of inclusive writing. The association explains in particular that “for beginner readers, who have not automated word recognition, and for whom the explicit decoding of each syllable requires a considerable effort of attention, the disturbance of spelling marks, with the insertion of punctuation, will represent a difficulty additional. “The French Federation of Dys therefore recommends, as a first step, to limit oneself to the first two rules of inclusive writing, but also to”be careful not to expose young readers to inclusive writing until they have automated reading“.