In France, in addition to the pandemic and the presidential elections, there is also discussion of the inclusion of the neutral pronoun “iel” in the digital edition of the Petit Robert dictionary, announced in a press release by the director of the publishing house, Charles Bimbenet, and relaunched by local media .
“We have seen that the” iel “is increasingly used,” explained Bimbenet. For now, the neuter pronoun will not be present in any paper dictionary, but the discussion that has arisen has also involved the central government.
Equal Opportunities Minister Elisabeth Moreno called Le Robert’s move “progress for people who want to recognize themselves in this pronoun. I don’t understand what it can take away from those who don’t use it ». instead for Jean-Michel Blanquer, the Minister of Education: «Feminism is a just cause, but we must not shred the French language, which is already complex enough as it is. It is okay to feminize the names of professions, but sudden changes are not good ».
For Macron’s wife, Brigitte, “the binary division of pronouns is fine.” But within the party of the French president there are those, like Francois Jolivet, who are strongly opposed and have sent a letter to the French academy to urge it to express itself on the issue.
The “iel” is a neologism invented at the beginning of the 2010s by people who define themselves as non-binary and therefore do not recognize themselves in the masculine or even in the feminine pronoun.