RE: Write differently for women?

Subject: RE: Write differently for women?
From: Karla Saari Kitalong <kitalong -at- pegasus -dot- cc -dot- ucf -dot- edu>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 31 May 2001 15:51:17 -0400 (EDT)

On Thu, 31 May 2001, Ehr, Meg wrote:

> Okay, dumb (or not-so-) question time: what exactly does "writ[ing]
> differently if women are you[r] main audience" mean in the world of tech
> comm (as opposed to marketing/advertising)? How would you target a female
> audience in a technical doc, assuming you wanted to do so?

Well, this example is more how NOT to target a specific gender, Meg, but
here goes anyway...

I once reviewed the manual for a labor union local whose members were
clerical and secretarial workers and therefore mostly women. The authors
had seen fit to use "she" and "her" throughout instead of making it gender
neutral. To me as a reader, it appeared that the group was restricted to
women. It brought home to me in a vivid way how important gender neutral
language really is, even when the audience gender composition is known. In
male- and female-dominated professions, it's obvious to me that it's
important to include members of the non-dominant gender.

Karla Saari Kitalong, PhD U. of Central Florida
kitalong -at- pegasus -dot- cc -dot- ucf -dot- edu karla -at- kitalong -dot- net
Voice 407-823-6257 Fax 775-665-7949
Laillansa kukin kirnuaa, ja jokainen voita saa. (Each
one churns in his/her own way, and everyone gets butter.)
-- Finnish proverb


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RE: Write differently for women?: From: Ehr, Meg

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