Home » Bavaria gets a gender ban – a conservative retrofitting decision to cancel culture? – Health check

Bavaria gets a gender ban – a conservative retrofitting decision to cancel culture? – Health check

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Bavaria gets a gender ban – a conservative retrofitting decision to cancel culture?  – Health check

There is now to be a “gender ban” in Bavaria. The Bavarian Prime Minister in his government statement yesterday:

“For Bavaria I can say: With us there will be no compulsory gender. On the contrary: we will even prohibit gender in schools and administration.”

What does that mean? Will only the gender asterisk be banned or will we not be allowed to refer to “citizens” in official documents in the future? In implementation of the Bavarian Equality Act, “Guidelines for the performance and organization of public tasks as well as for legislation in the Free State of Bavaria” were issued. It says under point 2.5.4:

“Legal and administrative regulations, templates, forms, letters and the like should be formulated in such a way that they address each gender equally. However, any linguistic artificiality or language teaching tendency must be avoided. No. 3.4 of the editorial guidelines applies accordingly.”

And in No. 3.4 of the “Guidelines for the drafting of legal provisions” it says:

“Legal and administrative regulations should be formulated in such a way that they address each gender equally, for example through pair formulas or gender-neutral formulations. However, any linguistic artificiality or language teaching tendency must be avoided. The decisive guideline is the common language reality, easy comprehensibility and concise content. Sparse spellings and special characters to describe gender are not permitted. Excessive pair formation should be avoided, as should consciously sought descriptions that go beyond the lived reality of language. Gender-independent generalized masculine formulations are permissible according to natural language usage, where it corresponds to everyday language and promotes comprehensibility.

The gender asterisk is already banned. Citizens are not covered by legislation either. This raises a lot of questions for the lawyers, and perhaps also the women lawyers, who have to draft the new regulation. Will “citizens” or “doctors” be considered “excessive pairing” in the future? What will become of the “students”? Will the new regulations also bind universities with their guidelines on gender-appropriate language? What about cities like Munich? As the media write, Munich has allegedly anchored gender-equitable language in its administrative regulations since 1991. Are lawsuits against unequal treatment to be expected because large companies continue to use gender-fair language in their internal company guidelines?

From a socio-political point of view, one may also ask what is going on in our rulers. Is this a kind of conservative decision to retrofit the much-quoted “cancel culture” in order to expand the identity politics arsenal beyond beer festivals, cruise decrees and traditional costume cult? Or just linguistic self-defense against the mayor’s office or unpleasant attempts to gender activities like “gardening”? On this occasion: Is “medical” actually a masculine form?

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Of course, you can also ask the Bavarian Prime Minister a politically strategic question: “Don’t we have any other problems in Germany?”, a question from the same government statement. A few more important problems occurred to me.

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