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 <email@example.com>