Vico Ortiz denounces the government of Buenos Aires for gendered language
The head of government of Buenos Aires, Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, announced on Friday that he would ban the use of the inclusive Spanish language in schools in the Argentine capital, the Buenos Aires time reports.
The move drew an immediate backlash from proponents of inclusive language, which is currently widely used by schools and young people in the city. Among critics of Larreta’s decision is the non-binary actor and star of the HBO series Our flag means deathVic Ortiz.
Go to Twitter, Ortiz wrote an impassioned message addressed to the Argentine government.
“The Argentine government has succeeded [illegal] use or educate about inclusive language in schools. I’m disappointed. By making an inclusive language in Spanish [illegal] they repeat the same vicious and violent circle of silencing our existence, my existence. By doing this [illegal], they leave a door open for anyone to feel they can ‘legally’ ignore who I am. I breathe. My heart is beating. I think. I feel. I EXIST. With this ‘law’ you have chosen, it is easier not to recognize my humanity,” they wrote. “Fasten your seat belts. Because my community and I… will never be forgotten.
At a press conference on Friday, Larreta – who is a likely presidential hopeful in the 2023 elections for the center-right opposition Juntos por el Cambio coalition – justified his decision to “simplify the way children learn”, due to poor results in recent tests in the fields of Spanish literature and language.
“Teachers must respect the rules of the Spanish language because children must master the language as it is,” Larreta said.
This means that using gender-inclusive language like “e” to mean using non-binary gender is no longer accepted, nor is “x” or “@” in writing, according to the minister of Education of the city, Soledad Acuña.
National Education Minister Jaime Perczyk pushed back on the move, saying: “There is a need to improve [levels] but [the way] is not to ban it. Instead, he called for “redoubled efforts so that children can learn in better conditions”, according to the Time.
Surely this won’t be the last we hear of this story, as proponents of an inclusive language will continue their campaign for a more inclusive language in the country – as will Ortiz, who tweeted a call to action .
“The Argentine government has chosen to prohibit the growth and expansion of the Spanish language rather than challenge its stagnant structure,” they wrote, adding, “It’s time to make some noise, okay? “