Looking back, the former ZDF “heute” moderator Petra Gerster expressed shock at the reactions to her pauses in speaking when using gender-sensitive language. “To be insulted like that just before the gate closed shocked me,” said the 67-year-old, who moderated her last news program last year, the “Stern”.
The extreme reactions had shown her that there was actually more at stake. “Older men in particular are afraid that women and minorities want to have a say and have a say in our society,” she said.
In recent years, Gerster and other moderators on ZDF have switched to using the female form for groups of people and using a pause in speaking, the so-called glottis stop, before the ending to make it clear that both genders are meant.
Jana Pareigis, the successor Petra Gerster, also changed. This has brought her vehement criticism. The critics of gender language like to overlook that the use of language is individual and universal. Language belongs to everyone and nobody. Language, sensitive as it is, cannot be placed under gender-or-non-gender stewardship.
Therefore, gendering is a human right – certainly not the only one when it comes to language use. These remarks, which have been made here several times, provoke snorts of anger – which, however, does not change their truthfulness.
Everyone can talk privately as they want. However, if you read the news on the world’s most expensive pay-per-view television, the viewer has the right that the usual grammar rules are observed and that the language is understandable. Nobody from the Ostalb or from the Ore Mountains reads the news with the appropriate dialect, because it is a human right to speak the way you want.
Yes, gender divides where it is essentially intended to gather as many majorities as possible in a tolerance zone. That doesn’t work enough. It can be said that gender is one of the four biggest upsets at the moment: inflation, vaccination, masks and gender.
Everyone may decide for themselves where their tolerance becomes intolerance. I think it becomes worrying when this reversal occurs at three out of four points – that is, at all except inflation. But decide for yourself.