Gender & Tech Writing

Subject: Gender & Tech Writing
From: doug montalbano <doug_montalbano -at- CC -dot- CHIRON -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 12 Apr 1994 12:48:37 PST

The problems mentioned in this thread remind me of a remark made by Ed
Tufte. Speaking of the relationship between the speaker and the audience,
he pointed out the implications of a famous scene in the movie "Cool Hand
Luke": The chain-gang boss, after having the hero knocked to the ground,
says, "What we've got here is a failure to communicate."

The moral Tufte drew from this scene is that too often, communication is a
thinly-veiled power relationship, with all the power on one side. One
important goal as technical communicators, I would hope, is to try to make
that power relationship as equally balanced as possible.

As some of you have already pointed out (I've had trouble posting earlier
incarnations of this note to the List), it's a question of behavior (speech
is behavior), not of sexual biology or orientation.

My $ .02 worth, as the Listers are wont to say....

Doug_Montalbano -at- cc -dot- chiron -dot- com
Doug Montalbano <> an editor ... comes down from
Technical Writer <> the mountain after a battle
Chiron Corporation <> and shoots the wounded....
510/601-2862 (voice/tty) <> --Rita Mae Brown, _Bingo_

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