Today we’re looking at the pronouns Ele vs Elle. Ele (pronounced el•eh) and Elle (pronounced eh•yeh) are both gender-neutral pronouns used by advocates in Spanish. However, Ele and Elle have been used by some to directly substitute for El (masc) and Ella (fem). This is problematic because the use of direct replacements continues the emphasis on gender and a difference or distinction between masculine and feminine.
Two direct substitutes for gendered pronouns negates the intention behind the move for a gender-neutral option. For this reason, Elle has quickly become a replacement for both, making it a true gender-neutral option, without regard to the replacement of a masculine or feminine pronoun.
While Elle has become the most commonly used gender-neutral pronoun, at Call me Latine we present both options to our audience because language is evolving and the use of a pronoun is a personal decision. It should be noted however, that at the end of 2020, the Real Academia Española (RAE), the premier academic institution charged with preserving the Spanish language, recognized Elle as an official gender-neutral option.
What do you think? Would you use Elle, Ele, or something else?
Call me Latine is a resource dedicated to addressing gender and heteronormative bias in Hispanic and Latino culture. Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter @callmelatine.
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