"The teachers' objection was not just philosophical; it was philological. The rule, they said in the French version of Slate, was a parvenu (it was enunciated in the 17th century and became widely taught only in the 19th century) and politically motivated (it buttressed French laws that denied women equal rights). ... In its place, the teachers suggested using 'the rule of proximity,' in which the adjective matches the gender of the noun closest to it, which was common practice for centuries."
Article source here:The Arts Journal