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Re: sexist language in debian instructions/documentation

On Mon, Aug 02, 2004 at 08:28:01PM +0100, Helen Faulkner wrote:
> Count the "he"s.  I get 13.  This doesn't seem to be, based on the stuff 
> I've been flicking through, particularly unusual.  And people wonder why 
> women find debian unfriendly to them!  It's certainly discouraging to me.
> I'm sure that this is not _intended_ to be unfriendly, or even sexist. 
> Maybe the people who wrote it, don't even realise why using such 
> language is a problem.  But it can't be that hard to automatically go 

I want to emphasize that. IME, except for political environments there
isn't any awareness of such problems in most parts of the population,
so please don't expect it in a bunch of male geeks (it took me about
six or seven months after beginning of my involvement in Debian to
notice a female developer and I looked (not too intensive) for them,
today the visibility is much higher). Also please notice that it
makes (at least to me) a difference that many of us are writing texts
in a language that isn't our mother tongue. I usually spot things
like this in German texts (due to excessive training in political
comittees) but I miss them in English ones (perhaps because I have to
concentrate on other things).

> through the webpages, search for occurances of "he" and change them into 
> "she/he", and change "him" into "him/her" etc.  Does anyone on this 
> mailing list doubt that such things do matter?

In reaction to
http://lists.debian.org/debian-devel/2004/08/msg00072.html I got at
least one personal mail that urged me not to do this...

> What can we do to get this sort of thing fixed?  Preferably quickly :) 
> I am happy to write to people personally and ask that they fix up such 
> language when I see it, especially if anyone can suggest who to write 
> to.  But maybe there is a better way to approach the problem.

If there is a consensus on this list to ask for a change please file
a bug against www.debian.org, best with a list of offending pages
(most of them should not contain texts where the problem occours).
Further discussion about the technical solution can then discussed

Frank Lichtenheld <djpig@debian.org>
www: http://www.djpig.de/

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