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Language is not neutral. It is the most important part of the system of symbols of a society and reflects traditional values and norms. The hierarchical relationship between men and women is even now expressed, in the German language as in most other languages, in the dominance of masculine forms. The “generic masculine” is the norm, and for a long time this actually addressed and meant just men, who were the measure of the “free citizen” and “mankind in general”.

Gender equality is bringing about a shift in thinking and values. This is also having an effect on language. Generic masculine forms are increasingly being replaced by gender neutral terms which encompass female members of society as well and render them visible.

Gender-sensitive public relations work deals especially with the conscious use of language and choice of words. Its aim is not simply to let women “tag along”, but to represent human beings in all their diversity with equal rights and without stereotypes. There is legislation requiring this, but companies and other actors are also making efforts in this direction.

Here are several gender aspects which play an important part in relation to language.

erstellt von Administrator zuletzt verändert: 02.01.2010 20:07