Politically correct vs. accurate

Subject: Politically correct vs. accurate
From: Cheryl Kidder <chekid -at- SYMIX -dot- COM>
Date: Wed, 6 Dec 1995 12:47:00 EST

I agree w/Tracy B.

... snip .....

I think politically correct/gender neutral language is an important
topic, but I was kind of disappointed in this particular way of
presenting it. To me, "blind study" is just not controversial enough
to argue about. Of course, I'm not blind (not totally, anyway), so I
may be making an incorrect assumption, but it seems to me that "blind
study" doesn't have the negative connotations that "blind luck" and
"blind alley" might possibly have, since it pretty much describes the
process. I'd rather get on a soapbox and talk about *my* pet
peeves... such as nursing textbooks that refer to all nurses as "she" and
doctors as "he." (grrrrr...)

..... end snip .....

The assumptions we all live under and write into our documents, be they
technical or otherwise, aren't weakened by close examination. Raising a
daughter in the world we live in makes you much more aware of how many
active verbs are associated w/males, passive verbs w/females, etc. Or how
many stereotypical positions we find a female taking in examples, demos,
line drawings.
Language, and those who know how to use it, is very powerful. It works on
us in subliminal ways we may not have ever questioned before. Why shouldn't
I, as a technical writer, incorporate my belief system, where appropriate
and applicable, to the work I'm doing? Why should I leave this up to
someone else? It's easy enough to include as many "she"s in my examples as

Cheryl D. Kidder
chekid -at- symix -dot- com
Symix, Inc.
Columbus, OH

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