why language matters
It's interesting that we have to explain why certain language is sexist. Am I
right in assuming that it's the non-native English speakers who aren't
getting it? I know that English grammar books teach that the male pronouns
are generic, and include women. Well, the books may say so, but in the real
world male pronouns = male. Period. Most of the English-speaking world
understands this, at least in the US, and attempts to use inclusive language.
Language is powerful- it shapes thoughts and perceptions. It really does
matter, and I think it's within the scope of Debian-Women to take on a task
like this. It's pretty simple- one of the biggest perceptions we're trying to
overcome is that Debian is a big ole boy's club, that doesn't want any stinky
old girls. When documents like the one Helen cited only talk to men, it
reinforces the boy's club perception.
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