Shaping the media
Gender- and diversity-friendly communication means making people with all their differences visible even in the language. If women and men are meant and should be addressed, women and men must be explicitly mentioned. Women and men should be equally and symmetrically present in language.
Despite many opinions to the contrary, mere "Mitmeinen" of women or so-called general clauses, such as "The following text means women and men equally, due to readability the masculine form is used.", are not gender-appropriate and should be avoided.
If you want to address women and men equally and address messages to both genders, you have to name both explicitly.
Reading Tip: Psychological studies by the University of Freiburg prove the consciousness-raising role of the Sparache.
Language socializes, creates reality, sets signals and has a role model effect. Communication is an interplay between sender and receiver. It works well when recipients of a message (= your target group) are "picked up".
Therefore, it is essential to address female and male users equally – as customers, as employees, as clients, as multipliers. Address women and men in their diversity, so you are better able to attract them to your organization/company.
Gender-equitable language use is thus about making all acting persons – women AND men – visible in speech and writing, as well as creating symmetry between women and men. There is no patent remedy for this, creative formulation is and remains required.
- Language means creativity. Gender-appropriate language means using a creative approach to making visible which people are being written or spoken about.
- Always think of women AND men when formulating the texts.
- Avoid language images that reproduce stereotypical ideas about women and men. This applies to written text as well as to pictures used to illustrate text.
- Avoid derogatory terms ("Fraulein") and do not depict women as dependent on men ("Dem Hans Krankl seiner Frau ihr Stadion").
- Avoid comparisons between people and animals ("two saucy bees" "they’re chattering"). Do not present people as objects ("The men are at the feet of the dancers").
- Different forms of gendered language within a text are possible – make sure it is easy to read.
- Make sure that function designations are also formulated in a gender-appropriate way.
- Check your finished texts by reading them aloud if possible. How to tell if the text reads well and flows smoothly.
There are specific guidelines and language guides from ministries, administrative units, large organizations and companies on gender-sensitive language use.
To make women and men linguistically "visible to make, there are the following possibilities of gender-fair spelling:
Full paired form
By using the complete pair form, women and men are mentioned equally next to each other. The female form is always mentioned first (z. B. head of department, applicant, citizen, etc.; "We are still looking for a student for library service").
Full paired form with slash
Make feminine and masculine form visible with slash (z. B. the head of department).
Shortened pair form with slash
The feminine ending of a word is appended directly with a slash. This form can be used when the conjunctions "and"/"or" are omitted from the complete pair form for reasons of space (z. B. "head of department", "the person submitting the application must sign").
short form with indented I
Feminine and masculine forms are made visible by using the so-called capital "I" (indented I) (e.g. B. "Sender", "Representative", "Technician", "Engineer", etc.).
For the shortened pair form with slash and for the short form with the indented I, always make the Omission sample: When omitting the slash resp. of "in" or "inside" must still be a meaningful, grammatically correct word. While you are at it, also check that all required items are being used correctly.