All women can be called women

Gender equitable language

Our language does not objectively depict reality, but helps to construct it: How we study, work, teach or research, what we find important and what we overlook, how we think - all of this finds its expression in language and is at the same time made by it influenced. With the language we learn the values ​​and norms of society and reproduce them at the same time.

Language is a very fine instrument that meets the needs of communication and understanding. But language is also an instrument for exercising power and for exclusion. The language that is written and spoken in a university should be a language of democracy and equality.

On January 24th, 2017 the Academic Senate of ASH Berlin decided to use the so-called static gender gap (e.g. employees) in all new statutes and regulations of ASH Berlin. It was also decided to add the so-called gender asterisk (*) to terms such as women, men, female, male etc. (e.g. women *).

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Gender gap

An underscore indicates a gap between the masculine form and the feminine ending of a word. The blank symbolizes space for people who cannot find themselves in a system that only knows women and men, such as B. inter *, trans * and non-binary people. This avoids bisexual spellings that exclude people who do not want to or cannot clearly assign themselves as female and male.

The gender gap is communicated in the spoken language with a micro pause.

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Gender asterisk

The gender asterisk (*) after a word serves as a reference to the constructive nature of "gender". "Women *", for example, refers to all people who define themselves, are defined and / or see themselves made visible under the name "woman".

For example, the women * commissioned by ASH Berlin uses the gender asterisk to indicate that not only cis-gender women are meant. Your responsibility with regard to sexist discrimination also applies to people who cannot or do not want to locate themselves in the norm of dual sex.

Usually the gender asterisk (*) is not pronounced.

Note: The gender asterisk can also be used in another way, just like the underscore ('students').


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Gender-sensitive certificates and notifications

There were already resolutions that support the anchoring of gender-sensitive language at ASH Berlin. For example:

· Gender-sensitive certificates and notifications (Decision of the Academic Senate July 16, 2013). Previously, notices and certificates from the university were issued with the salutation "Ms." or "Mr." But there are people who are neither one nor the other or feel restricted by these gender ascriptions. With a phrase like "Hello Eren Schmidt" everyone can feel addressed.

·         Specifically name women * (Women’s advancement guideline 1996 §6) Forms, documents, guidelines, ID cards etc. of the ASH Berlin must be formulated in such a way that women * are expressly mentioned in them.

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Feminine form for regulations, statutes and guidelines

On January 24th, 2017, the Academic Senate of ASH Berlin decided to use the so-called statistical gender gap (e.g. employees) in all new statutes and regulations of ASH Berlin. In addition, it was decided to add the so-called gender asterisk (*) in the typeface for terms such as women, men, female, male, etc. (e.g. women *).

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Advice and recommendations for gender-equitable language at ASH Berlin

These recommendations provide an orientation for all members of the ASH Berlin, i.e. students, teachers and employees. If you have any further suggestions or questions about fair formulations or if you want to order the “Notes and Recommendations” to be distributed in a seminar, please do not hesitate to contact the ASH Berlin women representatives.

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ASH resolutions

On January 24th, 2017, the Academic Senate of ASH Berlin decided to use the gender gap and the gender asterisk (*) in all new statutes and regulations.

* The gender asterisk (*) serves as a reference to the constructional nature of "gender". The asterisk behind "women" is intended to make it clear that it refers to all people who define themselves, are defined and / or see themselves made visible under the designation "woman". With regard to discrimination and sexist discrimination against people who cannot or do not want to locate themselves in the norm of bisexuality, the team of women * officers at ASH Berlin also sees its responsibility towards trans *, inter * and non-binary people here. We are aware that the classification of gender diversity under the term "women *" is a repetition of discriminatory violence and can therefore not be understood as a solution, but only as a process.

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More resources

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