Gender Postings

Subject: Gender Postings
From: Stuart Selber <sselber -at- MTU -dot- EDU>
Date: Thu, 7 Oct 1993 12:33:11 -0400

Tammy Williams writes:

[important stuff deleted]

>I would like to use this list as a tool to help me become a better
>technical writer. I would appreciate it if we could stick to
>technical communication issues that directly affect improving

I think one of the reasons various threads of discussion might find
resistence on this list stems from the assumptions we bring to reading in
this forum. Tammy, and with good reason, wants to discuss information that
will directly help her *improve* as a technical communicator and *improve*
her communication. I value that discussion too. And I think we all do. But
our sole aim as technical communicators, I would hope, is not to *improve*
communication at the expense of thinking about how that communication
broadly affects people. For example, if we improve on interface design to
the point of rendering human actions within those systems invisible, what
are the implications? If we develop and document e-mail systems to improve
office productivity, what are the trade-offs associated with that use--in
human and other terms?

If as technical communicators we *claim* to be *user advocates*, why the
resistance to discussing such issues? If technical communicators fail to
examine these and similar issues, who will?

Just a thought.....


Stuart A. Selber
Department of Humanities email: sselber -at- mtu -dot- edu
Michigan Technological University phone: 906-487-3252
Houghton, MI 49931 fax: 906-487-3347

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