The top court in Brazil, Supreme Federal Tribunal (STF), is not playing around when it comes to the education of their children. They overturned a lower court ruling that banned “gender-neutral” language in public or private schools, as well as other local educational institutions. The law would have also applied to private companies as well as public tender notices were initially suspended back in 2021.
The STF suspension of the law back in 2021 came via injunction from STF Minister Edson Fachin almost immediately after it was passed. Fachin was also the acting rapporteur in the overturning. All the STF judges voted in favor of the overturn. As the 11 judges saw it, Brazil’s education union needs to set the teaching standards, so this law was a violation of the Brazilian Constitution.
Portuguese, like many other Latin or “romance” based languages, use masculine and feminine genders, meaning nouns, pronouns, articles, and adjectives. These words are also spelled in certain ways based on their classification as masculine or feminine words. Mind you, some of these words can go both ways; for example, adjectives, or nouns describing groups of people that can be modified to feminine when all the members of the group in question are female.
The idea of languages becoming “gender neutral” or “inclusive” is something the left has been pushing to make a reality for ages. Their idea is that by doing this, they then make the language something everyone can use, as those who don’t conform to the usual genders aren’t being left out (in their eyes).
As Breitbart explains, “in the case of the Portuguese language, it is done by replacing the “gendered” vowels in a noun, such as “o” or “a,” with “neutral” ones such as “e” or “u.” In some extreme cases, the letter “x” or the “@” symbol is used to replace the gender-assigning vowels — which make the changed words unpronounceable in their respective languages and unreadable by text-to-speech accessibility systems often used by blind people.”
The left has been working hard to make this a reality. One of their biggest motions was to try and force English speakers to use the “gender neutral” term “Latinx” instead of “Latino” or “Latina”. This idea has roundly fallen flat on its face with many, especially in the Latino and Hispanic cultures (yes they are different). For a brief moment, they attempted to use Hispanic as a “Latinx” alternative before being informed that the word was already in use and used properly.
Brazil’s National Confederation of Workers in Teaching Establishments (CONTEE) has been involved with this since the onset and introduced the initial injunction that was used to suspend the law in 2021. “Whoever gives himself to the elementary and necessary care of seeking to understand the neutral language, from its insertion in social reality, patient, alive and insusceptible to be imprisoned, of course, without the breastplate of intolerance, hatred, and denial of diversity, will surely reach the conclusion that it contains nothing of fad, partisan and ideological character.”
Even former Brazilian Congressman Eyder Brasil, who helped write the law, defended the law on February 10th, saying that “gender neutral” language only “distanced people even more” and its use was responsible for “polarizing our society.”
For Brazil, this kind of division just doesn’t work. While the nation has seen 45 bills against gender-neutral language between January 2020 and February 2022, the fight against woke ideology is not over by a long shot. Given how open and “progressive” Brazil has been regarded as being, they are ground zero for testing out these new ideas. Thankfully, many of them come up short, and they don’t catch on.