Re: S/he, "you," etc.

Subject: Re: S/he, "you," etc.
From: Tracy Boyington <trlyboyi -at- GENESIS -dot- ODVTE -dot- STATE -dot- OK -dot- US>
Date: Tue, 19 Dec 1995 09:43:16 +0000

Gwen Barnes wrote:
> I have also, in the past, run across instances where female readers were
> offended to see "she" rather than "he" in a discussion (even though
> that was exactly opposite to the writer's intention), because it
> implied, to them, that the procedure itself was less important, and the
> use of "she" implied that it was "women's work". Go figger.

This is what I was talking about much earlier (Tracy said with a
twinge of guilt, realizing that she held some responsibility for
starting this thread). My original comment was about nursing
textbooks that called all doctors "he" and called all nurses "she."
And I defy any of you to validate this practice. I agree that "he" as
a faux-neutral term is an accepted practice, and I can live with
that (although it's easy enough to work around, and I always do).
But consistently calling doctors, bosses, and students "he" while
calling nurses, secretaries, and teachers "she" is a reprehensible
practice that benefits no one and cannot be excused by saying "it
doesn't bother my readers" or "everybody knows what I really mean."

Off my soapbox now.

Tracy Boyington
Technical Communication Specialist
Oklahoma Department of Vocational & Technical Education
Stillwater, Oklahoma

I never express opinions, but if one slips out, it belongs
to me and not ODVTE.

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