This week, non-binary actor Vico Ortiz criticized Argentina in a tweet, after he was announcement that a ban on the use of inclusive Spanish in schools would be in effect in the national capital, Buenos Aires. The capital’s head of government, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, announced the ban on Friday.
In a tweet posted on June 12, 2022, the actor, drag king and activist called for a ban on the use of inclusive expressions that include “e”, “x” or “@” in the South American country. .
Ortiz later clarified his stance in a follow-up video stating that the ban was implemented in Buenos Aires, not nationwide, while condemning the capital’s decision and pointing out The Argentinian LGBT Federationone of the organizations fighting the ban.
Nos tenemos mis amores ✊🏽 Agradecide por nuestra comunidad y luchando junto a ustedes siempre ❤️🔥 Estamos manifestando cosas bellas e intentionando una futura inclusiva para todes✨ se me infla la corazoncita pic.twitter.com/Mm0j0UmS3i
— Vico Ortiz (@V_Vico_Ortiz) June 13, 2022
With the Spanish language built on the use of gender to determine which words are used, such as “chicos” or “chicas”, this excludes those that exist outside of the gender binary. Therefore, using the letters ‘e’, ’x’ or ‘@’ changes this, creating a more inclusive language. Instead of “chicos” or “chicas,” which are masculine and feminine respectively, the word “chiques” comes as a gender-neutral option.
Non-sexist words like “bienvenidxs”, “nosotres”, “elle”, “todxs” and many others are commonly used by young Argentinians. They offer many LGBTQ people who do not identify with the gender binary the comfort of not being regularly abused. But the inclusive language ban in Buenos Aires changes that for a lot.
According to Rodriguez Larreta, the ban is a response to low test scores in Spanish language and literature. “We want to simplify the way children learn,” Rodríguez Larreta said at a press conference on Friday. Rodriguez Larreta, is considered a presidential hopeful of 2023 in Argentina and is a leader within the centre-right opposition Juntos por el Cambio.
The decision to ban inclusive language was sent to private and public schools in the nation’s capital via a resolution by the city’s Minister of Education, Soleda Acuña. But the decision comes with criticism from many people, including those in Argentina’s LGBTQ community and Argentina’s feminist movement, both of whom have pushed for the use of inclusive language.
Student centers and teachers’ unions have also said the ban goes against the nation Gender Identity Act 2012 and Complete sex education. A further pushback came from the country’s national education minister, Jaime Perczyk.
“We need to improve [levels] but [the way] is not to ban it,” he said for the Buenos Aires time. Instead, he called for “redoubled efforts so that children can learn in better conditions”.