Implementation of gender symmetry principle in posts on German political internet forums

Applied Linguistics

The article examines how the gender symmetry principle, which is expressed through the usage of alternatives to the generic masculine, is implemented in texts of posts on German political internet forums. The authors deal with gender symmetric forms that have been able to establish themselves in German political internet discourse for several decades since first publications containing proposals for the non-sexist use of the German language: full and shortened splitting form, gender-neutral terms, impersonal job titles and names of the departments, phrases without gendered nouns. The observations made during the analysis of the posts show how successful the efforts of feminist linguists have been in this segment of the Internet discourse to reform the German language in order to eliminate sexism in it. As a result of the study of texts on political Internet forums, it was found that gender symmetry has not yet become an integral part of political discourse.