German petition calls for end to use of gender language in official institutes


Central Europe


A person holds up trans and gender diverse flag during a rally in support of homosexual and transexual rights on the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia in Berlin. Photo EPA, HAayoung Jeon

In Hamburg, an initiative was set up against the use of gender language in politics, administration and the media. According to the spokesperson for the petition, gender language does not contribute to more rights for women.

The petition “Speak our language – the German common language” wants an end to the “undermining of the natural language sensitivity of the citizens.” That is reported by Idea.

Currently, the trend in Germany is that official institutes attempt to write in a gender-neutral way. Originally masculine words are changed into gender-neutral terms. Therefore, Einwohner (male resident) changes into Einwohnende person (Residential person), for example.


However, politics, administrations, media and schools should speak the standard German language, the petition reads. According to the text, women want equality, but feminising language emphasises the differences. “It sexualises language in general, even where it is basically genderless and neutral and therefore includes everyone from the outset.”

Therefore, the concept of gender language is reactionary, the people behind the initiative state. According to them, it portrays women as victims and reduces minorities to linguistic signs.

In addition, gender language is forced upon people by institutions and thus undemocratic, the petition reads. According to the petition, 75 to 86 per cent of the population rejects gender language, as shown by various surveys.

On Monday morning, more than 48,000 people signed the petition. The goal is to receive 50,000 signatures.



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