#Simple2Go 4: #Simple2Backstage - Why do we gender?
Dear "Besucher:innen" (visitors)!
Why do we write a colon followed by the feminine ending? We used to write: "Dear visitors", in the masculine form. Didn't that include everyone?
We want to connect different people in the audience, on stage and behind the scenes.
You can see that in the way we write. And this is how it works!
We overlook people when we speak and write.
The word "Besucher" means men, women and all other genders of people.
But there are people who say: you only mean men. For example, there are Agender people. They don't feel addressed at all. Women also want us to mention them clearly. Because then we notice where they are still missing.
Studies show: language changes our prejudices.
So now we use language that shows: We mean diverse people. We mean all genders. This is called "gendering".
The gender-inclusive language
The German word "Gendern" is derived from English and is pronounced softly 'dschendern'. It literally means 'we gender'. We show the diversity of genders. When speaking and when writing.
Some people gender "Besucherinnen und Besucher". Intersex, agender and non-binary people say: but I'm not him or her.
So we write "Besucher:innen". The colon and the pause in speech say: We are talking to and about people who are not men or women.
We sometimes write neutral words: not "Besucher:innen", but "visitors" in the neutral form (Besuchende), or simply "the audience". Sometimes these words are difficult. But everyone knows: I am also included.
We want the gender spelling to be easy for everyone to read. So we write a colon: "Besucher:innen".
We speak the gender sign as a short pause: "Besucher innen".
What do language editions for blind and visually impaired people do? They get along best with the colon. That's why we don't use the other signs.
For us, gendering is normal language!
And for you? Feel free to let us know!