Rolf Zuckowski: That bothers him about gender language

Rolf Zuckowski (75) is one of the most commercially successful artists in Germany and, as a children's song composer, created a real Christmas classic with "In der Weihnachtsbäckerei".

Rolf Zuckowski: That bothers him about gender language

Rolf Zuckowski (75) is one of the most commercially successful artists in Germany and, as a children's song composer, created a real Christmas classic with "In der Weihnachtsbäckerei". In the past, the musician has already commented on gender-appropriate language and the problematic implementation in his songs. In the podcast "The Pioneer Briefing" by Gabor Steingart (60), the musician has once again been critical of gender language. The fact that there are thoughts about making gender diversity visible in the cultural sector leaves him with "physical restlessness". "Today I often have to classify myself in linguistic things that I find unaesthetic. Some of which I also find unnecessary," says the musician.

Double mentioning, for example, is often not entirely unproblematic. "When you talk about residents and don't mean residents, that's all of them. That really upsets me internally." In other contexts, where misunderstandings are possible or where you want to emphasize it, he thinks it's important to make it clear that it's not just about men.

"But if you make music with children and I don't think only for children, then the double naming and even more so the gender asterisk spelling is musically a catastrophe. You can't write songs like that. Maybe you can rap them, but I'm not one Rapper. I'm a melody person," explains Zuckowski. He also often thinks that "we teach the children the language and that the language is part of a flowing culture. That you can express yourself freely."

He does not know where the development will go and he is watching this with excitement. "But I haven't found anyone who could really convince me that our language needs to be fundamentally changed." He thinks it's right and appropriate in certain aspects, "but someone who's changed so thoroughly often doesn't find my ear anymore, for example. I no longer read some newsletters that are so gendered because I just can't stand them."

When asked whether there was a dispute or a debate on the subject in his family, Zuckowski said: "Little debate because we all think that way. Maybe because we are family people who live with music and an informal togetherness." But of course this could still happen, according to the musician, since it is a topic for the younger generation. "We have a granddaughter who will go to university at some point and who may bring the topic into the house. [...] All I know is that I will not live to see the end of this development. And that worries me, because I I would really like to see that there is a kind of consensus in society, a certain peace of language. And I have no prospect of that."

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