RE: Write differently for women?

Subject: RE: Write differently for women?
From: "Lin Sims" <linda -dot- sims -at- verizon -dot- net>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 31 May 2001 17:12:48 -0400

Just getting rid of the his and her problem may not be enough.
Below is part of an answer made by Cecil Adams (The Straight
Dope) to a question about gender-neutral pronouns. Note the last
two sentences in the quotation. Now, generally speaking, I'm not
one of the PC-nazis. But that sentence DID make me stop and
think. I've done this. I know I have. So now I try to keep it in mind,
because, as Spider Robinson says, here's to unconscious
prejudice--the very worst kind.

> For what it's worth, you hear less and less of the old argument that
> "he" (and "man," for that matter) somehow "includes" women. Common
> sense suggests, and studies bear out, that when you see supposedly
> generic masculine terms you think first of males. But let's not
> pretend that the elimination of such problems would mean the end of
> sexist speech. As writer Deborah Cameron points out, the sentence "The
> man went berserk and killed his neighbor's wife" is unobjectionable on
> its surface. But stop to think: why "his neighbor's wife" instead of
> "one of his neighbors"?

On 31 May 2001, at 15:51, Karla Saari Kitalong wrote:

> 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.

Knowledge is Power.
Power Corrupts.
Study Hard. Be Evil.


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RE: Write differently for women?: From: Ehr, Meg
RE: Write differently for women?: From: Karla Saari Kitalong

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