The process of gender equality can be felt in many areas of everyday life. Even when reading and writing new rules must be observed. The term “gender” is understood to mean gender-equitable language, which from now on should also ensure equality for men, women and Co. in literature.
With its introduction, however, a great emotional debate was sparked at the same time, because not everyone finds its use useful.
Gendering now plays a major role, especially at the university. Questions like “Do I have to gender?” or “What is the right way to gender?” are probably already in the Google search history of many students.
An interpreting student at the University of Vienna has had enough. He insists on being allowed to use the generic masculine – using the masculine form and representing both genders – without affecting the grade. That is why he is now taking action against an alleged requirement to use gender-appropriate language in examinations and courses at the university.
His main concern is clarity with regard to the relevance of grades. While some professors require students to use gender-appropriate language and attribute this to an influence on grades, the student says that “no body at the University of Vienna is authorized to allow students to use ‘gender-appropriate language’ – whatever that may mean commit”.
In a statement, the University of Vienna writes: It is committed to using gender-appropriate language. However, the guidelines for “gender-fair language” are not mandatory. She points out that it depends on the individual demands of the teachers, who “decide within the framework of their academic expertise whether and – if so – in what form they use or specify gender-appropriate language”.
Klaus Kaindl, head of the study program at the Center for Translation Studies, says that the use can only have an impact on the grade in individual cases, for example if texts for the exercise have to be translated in a gender-appropriate manner.
The specification of the University of Vienna leaves a lot of leeway and is just as vague as the general provisions on the subject of gender.