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Re: sexist language in debian instructions/documentation

Hi Carla,

With a bit of thought, there is usually a way to reword stuff like this to make it gender-neutral:

"There is a checklist of what a NM has to do. The NM needs a GPG key signed by a developer, then has to answer some Philosophy and Procedures questions. The Tasks and Skills test proves that the NM has the experience to be a good Debian developer."

That's nearly exactly what I just drafted, before getting diverted on a websearch for stuff that explains to people who don't understand (especially non-native English speakers) why it's a problem. The following is interesting, though there are possibly better examples out there:


Actually, the entire document, which is about why there are so few women in computer science, may be of interest to people, if they haven't seen it before.

For the parts where it's too awkward to avoid using pronouns, it's a little more difficult. And getting sucked into a world of alternating paragraphs, or carefully counting each incidence of each pronoun, is a seriously awful thing to contemplate. I vote for a "him or her" or "him/her" type of construct. That's not too annoying if it's not used very much, which it shouldn't be, as my example shows

I completely agree with that.


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