Apprendre à nous écrire

Background

Making change by changing language

Even after several suggestions, since the 1970s, for changes to the French language to make it more inclusive, such as feminization, epicene writing, the use of symbols, and the creation of neologisms, French continues to perpetuate patterns of oppression by erasing certain groups, notably women and gender-diverse people.

“But how does one write inclusively?” The bad news: despite the collective efforts of various Francophone groups, the linguistic authorities haven’t yet proposed a standardized or comprehensive set of rules. The good news: inclusive language is a social project in which everyone can get involved.

Strategy

Cultivating an inclusive language

Sick and tired of hearing the broken record of hackneyed expressions such as “the masculine prevails over the feminine” or “inclusive writing is cluttering,” the Club launched headfirst into the world of publishing, in partnership with Les 3 sex*.

Huzzah! The two organizations, who were working in parallel on inclusive guidelines, decided to pool their respective strengths to make their knowledge accessible to a greater number of people by offering the first comprehensive and up-to-date guide on the market.

Realization

Several tools for discrimination-free writing

Together, the two organizations edited and published Apprendre à nous écrire, an inclusive writing guide that can be displayed proudly on your coffee table.

Behind the pretty cover of this super practical guide hides a historical portrait of the French language, everything you need to know about the three main types of inclusive writing—epicene, feminization, and nonbinary writing—practical word banks, and a comprehensive lexicon.

By rendering inclusive writing tools accessible, the guide finally deconstructs the idea that inclusive writing clutters or complicates the French language. To further share this valuable knowledge and support people in learning inclusive writing, Apprendre à nous écrire is complemented by a workshop specially designed for workplaces.

Results

Enthusiasm that doesn’t run out of steam

Apprendre à nous écrire, both the guide and the workshop, have been—and continue to be—a great success. With thousands of copies sold, in particular to the Office québécoise de la langue française (OQLF) and the Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec (BAnQ), and nearly a hundred workshops delivered,we can say without a doubt that this initiative has facilitated the spread of inclusive writing in La Belle Province.

Companies that have taken the workshop include Sid Lee, Republik, Kabane, the McCord Stewart Museum, the PHI Centre, Omnicom, the Canada Media Fund, the Student Federation of the Université de Sherbrooke, and the Royal Military College.

470

presale copies ordered

2000+

copies sold

76

workshops given

2000+

people trained