Re: A NEW TOPIC (you can read this)

Subject: Re: A NEW TOPIC (you can read this)
From: Michael McClatchey <mmm -at- AISINC -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 28 Apr 1993 16:14:54 -0500

Okay, about unsubscribing...

Seriously, folks...

Kate M. Jarsulic" <kjarsuli -at- CCD -dot- HARRIS -dot- COM> posted:
>I am curious if any of the other women
>technical writers have had a difficult time getting respect from their
>male co-workers (writers or otherwise). We have found that is difficult to
>communicate the idea that we are writers -- not "typers"

I work with engineers, too, and sexist as some of them may be, I suspect that
their prejudice against tech writing runs deeper than gender (if that's
possible, it may just be on a different track). In any case, there are a few
reasons/motives I see signs of.

1. They don't like to document their own stuff for anyone else, so writing

for an audience has unpleasant associations.

2. They didn't have fun in English class for a *long* time.

3. They make a soft science/hard science dichotomy for work in the world,
and we fall on the soft side. It's not that they necessarily dislike

psychology, etc., they just consider it secondary. They make things
happen, and they see us as less than that. *We* know that something,
can be terrific, but if someone can't actually *use* it, it isn't much

good. They don't seem to look at it that way.

As to suggestions, well, that has a lot to do with a specific situation. I've
had a lot of resistance to "soft" discussions - look and feel stuff. My
alternative is just to act like I know I'm right and stake out the look and
feel territory. That's worked ok over the last couple of years. I now am in at
the inception of new projects, I'm consulted on interface issues all the time
(it's less of a pain than changing things after the fact 8^), I can document
using my own video production setup rather than just being locked into print.
It has helped to repeat myself about naming conventions, usability, rather than
just roll over when I get snubbed. Naturally, there's a fine line anywhere...

In the interest of short messages, that's all folks. I'm *very* curious to know
what other people think. This is a *big* deal for me in my work.


Michael McClatchey
Senior Technical Writer
Applied Intelligent Systems, Inc.
110 Parkland Plaza,

313-995-2035 / FAX 313-995-2138 Ann Arbor, MI 48103

(NeXTMail welcome)

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