Re: Gender Issues in Technical Communication

Subject: Re: Gender Issues in Technical Communication
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- progeny -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 21 Apr 2001 19:11:13 -0700

Sexism in tech writing? Big surprise - in places where there's
insecurity, there's going to be sexism. And I don't think there are many
people more insecure than the average tech-writer (or the average
hi-tech worker, for that matter).

But what I'm curious about is this: is sexism greater or less in tech
writing than anywhere else? And, as a sub-question, are the geeks whose
work you interpret for everyone else more or less sexist than the norm?

My own - admittedly male perceptions (forgive me, it's my genes) - is
that tech-writing and geeks aren't perfect, but tend to be somewhat
freer than the greater society. As proof, I cite the fact that, when
margins of error are calculated, tech writing has a small gender gap in

With geeks, the perspective is more subjective; I can only suggest that,
being a meritocracy, geekdom might occasionally try to live up its
ideals and accept anyone who is proven competent.

Still, I don't know first hand. Any thoughts?

Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177 bbyfield -at- progeny -dot- com

"Rose bouquet, wedding band,
Their recipe for romance might have come out of a can."
- The Mollies, "I Don't Wanna Go to Bed"


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RE: Gender Issues in Technical Communication: From: Heather Hacker

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