and writing should reflect each other. Since women are often at
the forefront of the business world, this should be
reflected in formal writing. In this study, we attempt to
improve people's knowledge of these rules. Through hieghtening
the awarness, we hope businesses will make an effort to inform thier
employees. In research done in the past, scholars have revealed
that masculine pronouns and sex-marked job titles: 1) "suggests the
superiority of the masculine over the femine" (Gastil, 1990;
Hyde, 1984), 2)"creates masculine images or confusion in the minds of
the recievers" (Bodine, 1975; Hamilton, 1988), and 3) "can subtly
affect the self-concepts of both men and women" (Mackay, 1980; Nilsen,
1977). As a result, academics generally agree that sexist
exclusive language perpetuates the favored status of males and should
be reformed ( Henly, 1989).
|In this article we will further the
knowledge of gender biased usage in the field of Technical Writing.
Hopefully we will get responses
from our Web audience. This audience includes technical writing
professors and students along with the general public. With the
input we gain, we know we are contributing by educating others.
Businesses and corporations of any scale may read our article
and find it necessary to hold classes to bring their
employees up-to-date in their writing styles.
This article will not only enhance the writng techniques of the business person, but will also discuss the origin of gender biases. When communicating with others, using proper etiquette will work in your favor and the favor of your business.
Gender bias is a societal epidemic which developed as a backlash on some individuals. The different clichés and stereotypes society has inculcated on us as individuals, sometimes show in the way we deliver presentations, proposals, and the way we communicate with others. A good writer should be able to disguise his or her identity without an audience having to suggest their gender, race, age, socioeconomic stature from their work. As students of Business and Technical Writing, it is our obligation to educate the public about the inappropriate clichés, stereotypes, and language biases which are used to deride others. A technical communicator’s style of writing is not like other writing styles. His or her writing is presided over by rules and regulation which acknowledge the need for creating precise, distinctive messages in respect to others. A communicator that does not follow these rules is bound to encounter difficulty with not just colleagues and supervisors in the labor market, but also with friends and family members. Fairness in language is what good communication is all about because it respects individual honor, decorum, and shows their significance. It is too easy to use fair language in communication because it improves communication. But one wonders why it is so difficult for others to adhere to these rules. It is sad to note that every gender, race, age and socio-economic classification is guilty of being gender bias.
The fact is gender bias is based upon cultural stereotypes, which in most situations are wrong. Gender bias in language, spoken and written, is always in favor of the dominant group. If the situation was different from what it is today, gender biases might not have been too obvious compared to what we have today. Nevertheless, it would not be absent either. For example, using “his” before “her” in a sentence, this is due to the fact that in the past, men were the dominant among the genders. This clarifies fact about dominance. It is strange if that if the sentence was switched around, even to women, it would sound funny and incorrect because of how long society has made us idealize the concept of the man being the dominant one among the two genders.
||Business person/people, people
in business, executive, merchant,
industrialist, entrepreneur, manager
||Camera operator, photographer
||Chairperson, Chair, moderator,
leader, department head, presiding officer
Delivery Driver/clerk, porter, deliverer, courier, messenger
spokesperson, advocate, proponent
handbuilt, hand made, synthetic, simulated, machine-made
|Dr. Suresh Persad
|""I think that the firemen and the
policemen were the true heroes of the tragic event."
|"The policemen and the volunteers
from the street were the main people who should be recognized."
|"I believe the firefighters and the
policemen were on the site the quickest."
|""The heroes were the firemen and the
citizens that donated so much of their time to clean up the mess."
|"All the families of the firemen,
that risked their lives, should be rewarded for their sacrifices."