Re: Technology & Gendered Language

Linda Purrington (
Tue, 19 May 1998 09:15:10 -0700

The answer is yes, of course, unless you want to continue the current
deep, gendered schism in society. When McGraw-Hill first issued its
nonsexist writing guidelines, textbook writers resisted. There were a
few awkward wordings, and some facts about gender differences were
masked inappropriately by gender-neutral language. But the books are
definitely more accessible to students of both genders than say, 20
years ago. When I was a child you could count the books featuring stong
women characters on the fingers of one hand; the math examples were
incomprehensible and boring to me, because I was not allowed to work on
the car or use my father's carpentry tools or cameras, and money was
never discussed with women or children. If we cannot construct a
language about technology that speaks to both genders, then we will have
access to only half our labor pool (to take the unsentimental view).
Linda Purrington

John Meyer wrote:
> Okay then, do we have two math curriculums and two operating systems--one
> male and one female? Or do we try for an "in-between", I'm not going to
> offend anyone curriculum?

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