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Re: sexist language in debian instructions/documentation

On Tue, 2004-08-03 at 06:04, Frank Lichtenheld wrote:
> On Mon, Aug 02, 2004 at 08:28:01PM +0100, Helen Faulkner wrote:

> > 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,


I remember when a technical book was published a few years back that
used 'she' exclusively. I hear that Slashdot (naturally) went crazy
about it. 'How dare they?'

> 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
> there.

I suspect such a list would be, itself, many pages long.

O'Reilly uses 'he' and 'she' interchangeably. O'R authors and editors
make a point to roughly alternate during examples.

In "Essential CVS", I would go through one example with a male project
lead and a female programmer, then swap for the next example, then swap
again for the example after ... or rather, I'd roughly do that. A strict
analysis would probably show something like 47% of my programmers male,
or 46% of my sysadmins female, or some other 'not quite 50/50' thing.

I've received no complaints about my gender bias. It is a solution which
seems to suit everyone.

Jenn V.
    "Do you ever wonder if there's a whole section of geek culture 
        	you miss out on by being a geek?" - Dancer.
   My book 'Essential CVS': published by O'Reilly in June 2003.
jenn@anthill.echidna.id.au     http://anthill.echidna.id.au/~jenn/

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