All and all, friends, alumnxs, compañer @ s … Surely you have encountered this type of expression on more than one occasion, and is that every time there are more people, groups and even brands that choose to express themselves using an inclusive language . buy youtube views
Why does inclusive language emerge? It’s a fashion? Is its use justified? To answer these questions, let’s see exactly what it is and what role it can play within your digital marketing .
What is inclusive language?
Inclusive language is a use of the language that actively seeks to include people of all genders , and it is suggested that current standards are not sufficient for this.
Traditionally, in Castilian it is considered that the masculine one includes all the sorts. Thus, to include a group of ten women, we say “all”, but if the group has only one man, the norm dictates that we should say “all”.
People who advocate inclusive language think that considering masculine as the default gender makes more than half of the population invisible, as well as giving rise to confusion: when we say “students”, are we talking about a composite group? exclusively by men, or are there people from other genres?
To solve this situation, inclusive language proposes different alternatives: there is not a single inclusive language, nor a single “correct” way to use it. Let’s see what the options are and what pros and cons each has.
1 # Unfold the genres
This alternative consists of including both the female and male gender , either separating the endings with a bar (“children”) or including both words (“ministers and ministers”). It is one of the most used and we have been listening to it for years (there is more to think about the well-known “ladies and gentlemen, ladies and gentlemen …”).
With her, there is no doubt that both men and women are included. But in return, it can be cumbersome and difficult to read (imagine how heavy it can become to unfold all the words in a text where a group is referenced).
Another criticism of this resource is that it starts from a binary conception of gender, that is, that it only recognizes the possibility that there are men or women. To this day, many people consider that gender is not a matter of “white or black” and they identify with other options (non-binary, fluid gender, etc.). Therefore, they may feel that this option also excludes them.
2 # Replace the gender mark with “x” or “@”
This option also has its years, and is used mostly in the most activist environments. It consists of replacing the letter that marks the genre (the “o” or “a”) by another character that includes both:
- The arroba (if you look closely, is composed of an “o” that surrounds an “a”). Eg “All” or “alumni”.
- The x (since all people have the x chromosome). Thus, we would speak of “niñxs”.
Using the arroba or the x makes it possible to make the inclusive language very effective, but it also has its drawbacks: it is impossible to pronounce it out loud, so it is a resource that only serves for written language . In addition, screen readers (such as those used by people with visual impairments) do not recognize these spellings, so we may be creating problems for another group.
3 # Replace the gender mark with an e
This tool of inclusive language has been gaining strength in recent years and is one of the simplest: instead of using an “o” or an “a” to mark the gender, we replace it with an “e” , which in theory covers all genres: friends, companions, children …
Unlike the previous option, this option can be pronounced and read perfectly, and also includes all gender identities. Its only drawback is that it continues to provoke rejection in some people, who consider that it does not sound natural . Although it could always be asked if the rejection of these people is not towards the idea of inclusive language in general and not to this alternative in particular.
4 # Talking in feminine
Here it is proposed to directly turn the tortilla and make generic plurals in feminine: “all” . It is a good way to visualize the problem and see what happens if we do the opposite of what we usually do: why is it so weird to think that the feminine can include all people?
Precisely this summer David Tomás proposed us to use the feminine to talk about management , that is, to say “the general director” or “the CEO” when we refer to these positions in generic terms. The idea is to change our mental image of the person who occupies these positions and thus make it easier for women to reach positions of power in the future.
5 # Use inclusive formulas within the rules of the RAE
Finally, we have the option to use our imagination to find formulas that fall within the norms of the RAE without having to resort to the generic masculine (Spanish can be much more flexible than we think!). Here are some examples:
- “Hello everybody!” instead of “Hello everyone!”
- Use collective names such as “the teaching staff”, “the student body” or “the team”.
- Talk about “people who” or “who”, instead of using masculine names like “users”.
- Give a return to the phrases: “come and try our new ice cream” instead of “you are all invited to try …”.
If you squeeze a little neurons, you will see how in many cases you can find a solution.
This option achieves, on the one hand, being inclusive and, on the other, respecting the current norms of Spanish , so in a certain sense it combines the best of both worlds. In addition, to be discreet, does not generate rejection (to which you have not even realized that we have not used generic males in this text?). The drawback is precisely this invisibility: by going more unnoticed, we do not call attention to the claims that are behind inclusive language.
Why incorporate inclusive language into your digital marketing?
Each brand must decide how to communicate with its audience based on its objectives and personality. That said, I think there are very good reasons to consider incorporating inclusive language into your digital marketing:
- Because the way a brand communicates reflects its values . Each brand has its own style, and this is reflected in the language. There are brands that treat the public of you or of you, more or less colloquial, with or without anglicisms … and all that conveys a story about who is behind. Using an inclusive language speaks to us of a modern brand that cares about gender equality and gives women the role they deserve.
- Because every time has greater acceptance . We are in the 21st century, and luckily we are increasingly aware of social inequalities. In recent years we see more and more stories about women and other oppressed groups and more concern about their needs. Given that inclusive language is a reflection of all this, it is increasingly common to see media, individual and collective people using it when it comes to expressing themselves.
- Because language evolves with speakers . Many people put their hands to their heads when thinking of contradicting the norms of the RAE, but the certain thing is that the own dictionary and the rules of spelling are updated regularly and many words are changing their meaning and their way of writing. For example, a few centuries ago “airplane” meant “bird”. Oh, and I’m sorry to tell you the dictionary of the SAR includes the word “almóndiga” …
- Because there are already brands that use it . Zity, Operación Triunfo or even Citroën have already used inclusive language in their digital marketing. It may be noted that some pioneers have won some criticism, but certainly also praise.
- Because it helps connect with a conscious public . In a natural way, we connect with the brands that reflect our values and way of thinking. Using inclusive language is a very clear way to distinguish and position yourself as a brand that cares about the rights of minority groups, so people who have this kind of values will not fail to take note of it.
Besides encouraging you to use inclusive language if you think it’s right for your brand, I also want to end by reminding you that the way to communicate is just one more ingredient in the fight for equality. There are many things we can do in companies to improve the situation of the most disadvantaged groups: implement a policy of equal contracting, put in place measures to promote work and family reconciliation or include people from different groups in our advertising images. Let’s start now to create a better world!