Markus Söder at Markus Lanz: “This exaggerated gender divides”

ZDF talk
Markus Söder at Lanz: “I think it’s divisive, this exaggerated gendering”

Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder believes that school grades should not depend on gender

© Sven Hoppe / DPA

Bavaria’s Prime Minister Markus Söder wants to ban gender in schools in his state. ZDF presenter Markus Lanz now wanted to know why.

No gendering in Bavarian authorities and schools – that’s what the Prime Minister wants Markus Söder in his federal state. “With us there will be no compulsory gendering,” said the CSU leader on Tuesday. In the ZDF talk show, the presenter Markus Lanz asked Söder a spicy question. What threatens the “teacher who changes the morning with an oat milk cappuccino”? Söder initially avoided speaking outside the classroom as he pleased, but then added: “The question is whether it is taught” and whether the students’ grades depend on it. Bavaria’s Prime Minister said it couldn’t be the case that students who don’t gender themselves would be rated worse.

There is also a reason why a majority of Germans reject gender, said Söder, citing a current survey by the opinion research institute Civey. According to this, 80 percent of Germans reject gender stars and the like. A Forsa survey in the summer of 2023 revealed something similar. At the time, almost three quarters of Germans were annoyed by gender, and the majority advocated a ban on gender in administration.

Söder expressed understanding for the rejection and added: “I think it’s divisive, this exaggerated gendering.”

Markus Söder is not alone with the gender ban in schools

Markus Söder is not the first to publicly criticize gender. Internal I, underscore, gender asterisks and the like are a topic that is always controversially discussed across the country. Söder recently accused the traffic light government of going overboard with projects such as gender. “A little more reason and common sense would be good for everyone in Berlin,” said the Bavarian Prime Minister at Lanz, referring to the traffic light government.

Bavaria would not be the first federal state where gender in schools has a difficult time. In Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, corresponding language regulations in schools are also rejected. Instead, gender-neutral couple forms are recommended. Gendering in essays is seen as a mistake by Saxon teachers. In Saxony-Anhalt there is more leeway in the assessment. Gender asterisks etc. are still banned in schools.

There are no gender bans in North Rhine-Westphalia and Baden-Württemberg. However, the Ministry of Education in Düsseldorf refers to guidelines according to which gender-appropriate language must generally be used. This should be formulated gender-neutrally or in pairs, i.e. female and male. Baden-Württemberg’s Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann also doesn’t believe in gender in the classroom. However, the assessment and correction guidelines in his federal state do not contain any requirements for this.

The German Teachers’ Association, meanwhile, rejects gendering by teachers. Teachers should “adhere to the official rules and regulations and refrain from writing anything that is not intended,” said the President of the German Teachers’ Association, Heinz-Peter Meidinger, to the German Press Agency in April. However, they should be “tolerant and reserved” with students if they use “unofficial gender spellings” in essays and exams.

Sources:, X (formerly Twitter)DPA


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