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La grammaire française est-elle sexiste?

Article de Philippe Jacqué tiré du Monde 4.5.11

"Après la création d’un « langage féministe non sexiste », les féministes mènent une nouvelle bataille contre la « langue française sexiste ». Une pétition intitulée « Que les hommes et les femmes soient belles ! » vient d’être lancée pour en finir avec la règle qui veut que « le masculin l’emporte sur le féminin ».
Selon le texte de la pétition, « cette règle de grammaire apprise dès l’enfance sur les bancs de l’école façonne un monde de représentations dans lequel le masculin est considéré comme supérieur au féminin. En 1676, le père Bouhours, l’un des grammairiens qui a œuvré à ce que cette règle devienne exclusive de toute autre, la justifiait ainsi : “lorsque les deux genres se rencontrent, il faut que le plus noble l’emporte.” »
Pourtant, poursuit la pétition, « avant le XVIIIe siècle, la langue française usait d’une grande liberté. Un adjectif qui se rapportait à plusieurs noms, pouvait s’accorder avec le nom le plus proche. Cette règle de proximité remonte à l’Antiquité : en latin et en grec ancien, elle s’employait couramment. »
Pour la règle de la proximité
Citant la linguiste Josette Rey-Debove, le texte appelle à utiliser la « règle de la proximité”, c’est-à-dire « mettre le verbe et l’adjectif au féminin quand il est après le féminin, même s’il y avait plusieurs masculins devant » afin que les hommes et les femmes apparaissent belles…
henriette-zoughebi.1304518324.jpgLes auteur(e)s de cette pétition déjà signée par près de 500 personnes, dont la vice-présidente du conseil régional d’Ile-de-France, Henriette Zoughebi, ou la chercheuse Jacqueline Costa-Lascoux, demandent à « chacun-e de révolutionner les écrits, les correcteurs d’orthographe et nos habitudes en appliquant la règle de proximité. Nous demandons à l’Académie française de considérer comme correcte cette règle qui dé-hiérarchise le masculin et le féminin et permet à la langue une plus grande de liberté créatrice ».
Philippe Jacqué


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