"To say 'the judge' is to identify with feminism"

The journalist Álex Grijelmo claims the conciliation between language and equality in his new book.

Journalist Alex Grijelmo (Burgos, 63 years) is aware that he has gotten on slippery ground with his new book, Proposal for an agreement on inclusive language (Taurus). However, how do you have “by a conciliatory person, close to the demands of feminism and, at once, passionate about language”, hope you have mixed your two realities well.

The most striking thing about this work is the historical explanation of why the generic masculine obtained an inclusive value, that allows to speak of people of both sexes when it is said, for example, “the Spanish”. Denies, against what is held in feminism, that this masculine is due to the inheritance of a patriarchal society. “In Indo-European, which is the mother of most of the languages ​​of our environment, there was a gender to point to people (the animated) and another to point out the inanimate. The first was used to name people of either sex. But thousands of years ago the feminine gender was born due to the need to name women before the primary role they acquired in families. The genders are thus created and the one that was previously valid for all was unfolded as masculine without losing its original inclusive function”.

“The problem”, keep it going, “comes from classical Greece, when they began to reflect on language and talk about the male gender, instead of talking about a genre of the animated. If it had been done like this, we would understand today why there is a gender that works for all people and one for women”.

Precisely, Grijelmo insists in his book that “What is not named, it does exist” and not for that reason he is discriminated against. “Hence, in Spanish there is the implication, the presupposition… An example is the expression ‘gender violence’. It does not name what gender it is, but we all understand from the context that it is a violence that men exert. Do not confuse absence with invisibility”. And you prefer the expression “sexist violence” a “gender violence” because this last “does not condemn what it names; for example it says ‘gender policies’ and there is a positive word”.

Sexist violence

Director of the UAM-EL PAÍS School of Journalism and author of 10 books about language, Grijelmo includes advice on how the media should report cases of sexist violence (or gender). In addition to banishing expressions like “crime of passion”, warns that the woman should not be treated as guilty for not reporting previous abuse. “You have to think about the threatening environment in which you have lived, filing a complaint is not easy”.

In a book full of examples and in which its author flees from all dogmatism, The report that the Government of Pedro Sánchez entrusted to the Royal Spanish Academy is addressed to decide whether the Constitution must be changed to a more egalitarian language with women. “Would this reform change the rights of women? I think not. The Constitution, except in the succession of the Crown, grants equal rights to men and women”. However, “we must consider as positive the value of complaint that implies speaking like this, with duplications”.

In that line, deals with words that feminism has incorporated or wants to be used. “Say ‘the judge’ or 'the judge’ transmits the same information, but there is an identity connotation in the second. Who says' the judge’ identifies with feminism, but the risk is that whoever says' the judge’ he is a macho”. Grijelmo abounds in that this type of duplication is applied for the positive or the neutral, but not for the negative: “It is said the Spanish and the Spanish, the deputies and the deputies, but not the rich and the rich, or the criminal and the criminal”. And there are words that end in a consonant to which the a for the feminine, but in others yes, What capitana. “This shows how random Spanish is and that there is no sexist design in it.”.

This conciliatory tone book includes a section on non-sexist language guides. “It is a dangerous name because if you don't follow them, it follows that you use sexist language. What you have to do is count on feminist philologists for these texts., with which I usually agree, but little attention is paid to them”.

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