Re: A NEW TOPIC (you can read this)

Subject: Re: A NEW TOPIC (you can read this)
From: Jerry Blackerby <exujbl -at- EXU -dot- ERICSSON -dot- SE>
Date: Fri, 30 Apr 1993 12:56:03 CDT

This has been quite a diverse topic, everything from sexism in the
workplace, respect, to doing typing.

I have been a technical writer since 1956. I remember the first
female technical writer that I met. She had a degree in Aeronautical
Engineering and had been a WASP (a group of women pilots) during WWII.
She was brilliant. She never had any problem getting respect and I do
not mean that as a put down to the non-technical people in our field
today. She just stood out in everything she did and earned respect
from everyone, regardless of gender.

I have met many female technical writers that I classify as some of the
best in the business today. I also know several males that should not
call themselves technical writers. They are a disgrace to the field.

I have been asked to do typing even in recent years. I don't
particularly like it, but usually ignore the connotation of being
a secretary and just figure that I am sure being paid a lot to do
typing. Thank goodness, I don't get asked to do it very often.

When I started technical writing, many departments did not understand
the need for usable documents. They still do not. This is a problem
that we have fought forever. Most engineers and programmers cannot
write clearly, but do not realize it. They automatically assume that
we cannot write about their product because we did not design it. We
have to prove ourselves over and over, even after as many years as I
have been doing this.

I am truly sorry to see that some of you are not being respected because
of your gender or "soft degree", because that is wrong. I really think
it is just the same old technical writer vs. engineer concept. I do not
think it is really gender or degree. It takes time and sometimes doesn't
change. I try to do the best I can regardless.

Welcome to the club.


|| Jerry Blackerby || | ~~ || Practice random kindness ||
|| 214-907-7810 (w) || \, _} || and senseless acts of ||
|| exujbl -at- exu -dot- ericsson -dot- se || \( || beauty. ||

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