The Atlantic

Can #MeToo Fix Spain’s Language Problem?

For the first time in history, Spain has a majority-female government. But feminists looking to change the country’s usage of machismo speech still face an uphill battle.
Source: Picsfive / Shutterstock / Arsh Raziuddin / The Atlantic

MADRID—As they were sworn into office on June 7, 2018, most of the ministers of the new Spanish government didn’t recite the exact text placed in front of them. Instead of uttering the prescribed consejo de ministros, or council of ministers, almost all of the leaders pledged to keep secret the deliberations of the consejo de ministras y ministros. It was a small but significant rebellion. Seventeen ministers were being sworn in, and 11 of them were women—a record-breaking percentage for. So despite the fact that the Spanish language calls for the masculine form of nouns to be used in plural settings regardless of the group’s gender makeup (in this case, ), the new cabinet members used their swearing-in to insert the feminine form and demonstrate a push for more inclusive language.

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