So, is the French language sexist? That’s the question Eliane Viennot will explore in her talk:
For the last 40 years or so, French-speaking countries have been thinking about their language, so as to move forward with the march toward the equality of the sexist that they say they are taking part in. Here and there, this work has produced guides, memorandums, laws, new uses… What explains the forcefulness of the arguments that this movement has sometimes provoked? In which domains of language (vocabulary, grammar…) can we take action? What should we recommend? Is the Académie française still an obstacle?
This talk will show that the French language doesn’t so much need to be feminized as it needs to be de-masculinized, because it was deliberately masculinized since the 17th century – despite protests from its users. The talk will show that, far from being a complex question best left to specialists, the language is a common good about which everyone should reflect and take action, as citizens.