France is continuing to crackdown on far-left attempts to make the country woke by banning the use of gender-neutral language in schools, saying that the push was a threat to the French language altogether and could push people to learn English instead.
“The country’s education ministry issued the ruling last week after a push to include full stops in the middle of written words – dubbed ‘midpoints’ – which allow both male and female forms to be represented simultaneously,” the Daily Mail reported. “In French grammar, nouns take on the gender of the subject to which they refer, with male preferred over female in mixed settings.”
The Académie Française, a nearly 400-year-old institution that guards the French language, pushed back on the attempt to make the language woke, saying that it is “harmful to the practice and understanding of [French.]”
Nathalie Elimas, the State Secretary for Priority Education, said on Thursday that the attempts to make the language woke were “a danger for our country” and “the death knell for the use of French in the world.”
Elimas said that the move would not make the language more popular and instead would drive people to learn English instead. “With the spread of inclusive writing, the English language – already quasi-hegemonic across the world – would certainly and perhaps forever defeat the French language,” she said.
Jean-Michel Blanquer, France’s education minister, said that the proposed changes to the language would make it harder for people with learning disabilities to learn French.
France’s leftist teacher’s union, the SUD Education Union, issued a statement attacking the ban and called on schools to ignore it.
“”SUD Education demands from the Minister that he stop trying to impose his backwardness on the educational community,” the statement said. “SUD calls on staff to take no account of these instructions from another time, and to exercise as they wish, depending on professional situations, the full use of their pedagogical freedom.”
Top French politicians, journalists, and intellectuals have started to warn in recent months that far-left woke culture from the United States was a threat to France.
“Emboldened by these comments, prominent intellectuals have banded together against what they regard as contamination by the out-of-control woke leftism of American campuses and its attendant cancel culture,” The New York Times reported in February. “With its echoes of the American culture wars, the battle began inside French universities but is being played out increasingly in the media. Politicians have been weighing in more and more, especially following a turbulent year during which a series of events called into question tenets of French society.”
The Times’ report notes that some of Macron’s remarks were made in a speech that he gave late last year. The Times surmised Macron’s speech as warning that American “woke leftism” was an “existential” threat to France that “fuels secessionism,” “abets Islamism,” “gnaws at national unity,” and “attacks France’s intellectual and cultural heritage.”