Re: generic "he"

Subject: Re: generic "he"
From: Matt Hicks <matt -at- UNIDATA -dot- UCAR -dot- EDU>
Date: Tue, 22 Nov 1994 20:14:47 -0700

Jane Torpie wrote:

> >jobs. Wherever possible, we used gender-neutral language and tried to
> >balance examples using "he" with those using "she." You never know when
> >your work may play a marketing role. It pays to be careful.

Then, Dave Meek's wrote:

> I agree with you completely. The generic "he" and "she" should
> be used interchangeably. My point is that the generic "he" is
> not inherently sexist, anymore so than the generic "she."

Dave, look at what you just wrote. Obviously, neither "he" nor "she" is
in the least bit generic, or there would be no need to alternate them.
The outstanding example of " give birth, he ..." demonstrates
clearly that "he" suffers from inherent maleness. There is not now, nor
has there ever been a generic "she"; "she" is used only to balance "he".

And I'm sick of people calling this a "PC" issue. This issue predates the
current PC trend by many years. Most PC issues just rode in on the
coattails of feminism. The use of "he" is not merely an issue of
offending women (though the possibility should always be a consideration)
but more importantly it is an insidious form of linguistic disenfranchise-

Matt Hicks, Tech. Writer, Unidata * I may not agree with what you
Boulder, CO, (303)497-8676, ******* say, but I'll defend to the
matt -at- unidata -dot- ucar -dot- edu ************* death my right to mock you.

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