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Linguist wants to change the Basic Law in Germany

BERLIN. The linguist Luise F. Pusch has called for a gender-equitable reformulation of the Basic Law. The linguist complained to the Evangelical Press Service (epd) that using purely male terms such as “Federal Chancellor” or “Federal President” violated the current version of its own right to equal rights. With the planned deletion of the term “race” from the Basic Law, the so-called generic masculine could also be replaced, Pusch suggested.

Instead, both the male and the female form should be used in the Basic Law. Another possibility would be neutral or abstract terms.

Pusch: Women should not only be included
Psycholinguistic tests have repeatedly shown that women are only considered if they are explicitly mentioned, explained Pusch, who, according to epd, is one of the founders of feminist linguistics in Germany. Therefore the generic masculine is not gender neutral. Women claim to be “not only meant to be, but actually mentioned”.

Just recently, the Duden dictionary had announced that the online edition of the reference work would be supplemented by 12,000 job and person names in accordance with gender. For example, in future the meaning of schoolchildren will be: “adolescents attending school”.

Public broadcasting is also increasingly relying on gender speech in its news and information formats.

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