Re: sexist language in debian instructions/documentation
On Mon, 2 Aug 2004, Akkana Peck wrote:
> Nori Heikkinen writes:
> > Helen Faulkner writes:
> > > http://www.debian.org/devel/join/nm-advocate:
> > [...]
> > > 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!
> I have mixed feelings about it.
> I wish we (=women, feminists) could get past the language thing.
> I think we waste a lot of energy and good will on issues like
> language and lose momentum for the things that are really important.
I'm no woman, but I would think it can discourage other women to
participate in Debian, even more because some texts seem extreme as you
say it yourself:
> However, the example Helen gave seems fairly extreme: it almost
> seems as though the author went out of his (<- masculine pronoun,
> I think that's a safe assumption in this case!) way to use gendered
> pronouns even when there was no reason for it. Rewriting, as Carla
> and Helen have done, to minimize the need for such pronouns seems a
> much friendlier approach.
> Anyway, I still think we shouldn't waste a lot of time and emotion
> over sexist language. But in cases like the NM pages which seem
> to go to great lengths to thrust the masculine pronoun at us,
> filing a bug to rewrite it in a more neutral way is worthwhile.
I think it is important enough. I think it is as important as