It turns out that German has the same kinds of discussions about gender inclusiveness as English, and you can read something about them in this review by Tracy Wearn of Hildegard Gorny’s “Feministische Sprachkritik”:
Gorny’s article focusses on sexistische Sprachgebrauch, i.e. looking at semantic, structural and patriarchal markers in language use, as opposed to the different ways in which men and women use language. Feminist linguistics doesn’t see language as a gender-neutral mode of communication, but as reflecting social reality… Feminist linguists do not simply want to describe language use but to criticise and modify it.
What particularly strikes me is the Binnen-I (German link), as in RadfahrerInnen ‘bicycle riders,’ where the interior capital I (“Binnen-I”) indicates it’s to be taken as Radfahrer und Radfahrerinnen ‘male and female bicycle riders.’ It’s apparently quite controversial, and I can see why, but it seems like a fairly elegant solution in a language that already strews capital letters around freely.
Incidentally, I forget where I ran across this Binnen-I thing; if you recently wrote me about it or blogged about it, let me know and I’ll be glad to credit you.