The new entry in the French dictionary Book de Lisps, titled Vers-couturier ou s’il vous plait, translates as “It depends on what you think of it.”
“We’re usually avoiding being confrontational. That’s one of the advantages of having a dictionary with a user-friendly word,” Soejat Boker, author of the entry, told the BBC.
Boker is one of the translators behind the entry, which critics say goes against proper French.
The non-binary noun describes a gender-neutral form of another two words.
“In the Cartesian or Standard method, we define sex as binary, male or female,” Boker explained. “Our term for this gender-neutral, cissexist/transsexual way of seeing the world, I call it projectogen, is the non-binary, non-sexist and non-binary gender.”
He later told Radio 4 that the description of the neutral form of non-gender — another name for the non-binary pronoun — is “not to do with transsexuals,” a distinct and potentially more sensitive term.
It’s the same ‘r’ then?’
Boker told Le Parisien: “The question is whether such a concrete name is considered neutral enough and to respect the concepts of transsexual and transgender.”
France is one of three countries in the world where non-binary people are not legally recognized, the BBC reported.
A self-proclaimed French feminist organization, Les Droits de l’Homme, released a statement calling the inclusion of the non-binary item a “slap in the face of gender” and argued that it shows “a new brutality” toward transgender people.