Argentina: Milei bans 'inclusive language' and references to 'gender issue' in public administration

The Argentine government will make it obligatory to respect the rules of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) in all government documents and processes.

Javier Milei's government banned Tuesday the use of "inclusive language" and references to "the gender issue" in public documents, institutions and processes. The first body to take this decision was the Ministry of Defense, on Monday, to be applied to the Armed Forces with the aim of avoiding misinterpretations in its transmissions.

The measure requires public institutions to follow the rules of the Royal Spanish Academy (RAE) so as not to fall into a "deviation or denaturation of non-standardized Spanish nor endorsed by a corresponding legal plexus," so "the correct use of the Spanish language is imposed, which are the guidelines that have been used for the framing and guidance of all regulations, manuals and writing and symbology documents of the army."

In the resolution signed last Friday by Minister of Defense Luis Petri, the Argentine government includes that anyone who fails to comply with the given guidelines "will be liable to incur responsibility in their respective areas," meaning they will be penalized.

"The objective is to eliminate incorrect forms of language that can generate an erroneous interpretation of what is desired, affecting the execution of orders and the development of military operations," wrote the Argentine Ministry of Defense in the same post.

In this way, the use of terms that contain the letter "x" or incorrect uses of the letter "e" or "a" to signify gender will be prohibited. "Soldadxs" or "soldades," "sargentxs" or "sargentes" and "generalxs" or "generalas" are some examples.

Prohibition throughout public institutions

Luis Petri's Ministry of Defense was the first to announce the change on Tuesday, but shortly after, the spokesman for the Argentine president, Manuel Adorni, added that the same measure will be taken in all Argentine public institutions. It will affect, as with the Ministry of Defense, all documents and public processes.

In addition to the use of formal and real language, as stipulated by the Royal Spanish Academy, references to the "gender issue" are also prohibited in public institutions. "The Castilian language [Spanish] contemplates all sectors, I do not see the need for the new structure. It is a debate in which we are not going to participate because we consider that the gender issue has also been used as a political business, that is not a matter of discussion," clarified the spokesman, according to Argentine outlet Clarín.