Re: Gender Issues

Subject: Re: Gender Issues
From: Scott Herron <sherr19 -at- IDT -dot- NET>
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 1997 00:13:27 -0400

Tom Phillips wrote:

> Is it right to take a famous quote, such as "From each according to his
> abilities, to each according to his needs," (Karl Marx) and change it
> to "From each of us according to our abilities, to each of us
> according to our needs?" Is it right to take a famous passage from oh
> say Shakespeare and change it?

Ron Jenkins added:

> As the one who originally posted those revised historical
> quotations, I agree with Tom's objection to rewriting other's words,
> which is revisionist (in the bad sense) and anachronistic.


A former coworker used to use gender-neutralized famous quotations such
as this -- the specific example I recall is Lincoln's Gettysburg Address
-- as "dummy text" in docs [we were too poor for greeking.]

I calmly [I think] suggested that it was unlikely to improve our image
with management. I do hope he or she is following this thread. [S/he is
a subscriber -- please don't flame either of us. It won't help.]


Only tangentially related, a bit of humor.
Please bear with me:

Miller & Swift's _The Handbook of Nonsexist Writing_ cites
[unattributed, of course] a scholarly paper entitled
"Development of the Uterus in Rats, Guinea Pigs, and Men."

If written in 1957 - It probably raised few eyebrows.
If written in 1977 - It served as an absurd example.
If written in 1997 - It could well have something to do with genetic

Scott Herron | sherr19 -at- idt -dot- net

"O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us,
To see oursels as ithers see us."
-- R. Burns

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