Monday, October 27, 2014

Sexist Writing and Libel

So this week is all about sexist writing and libel.  In this day and age we want to put sexist writing to bed.  Throughout history there's always been this misogynist tone in many societies.  The only thing that's good for is division of people, and it's time to get over it.  I do have a couple questions though.  On our assignment "Eliminating Sexist Language" this week there were a couple terms that I didn't think held any sexist weight at all, but apparently do.  The first is janitor.  I thought that "janitor" was just a universal term used for anyone that cleans places.  The second was waiter.  I racked my brain over this one for FAR too long because I had always thought that waiter was the unisex word for someone on the wait staff.  I can see how waitress holds a sexist connotation because of the -ess at the end of it.  But just as someone who operates something is an operator, or someone who drafts something is a drafter, I would dare say that someone who waits on people are waiters regardless of sex.  Just like the term actress is sexist, but actor is not.  I don't quite get that one.

Another question that i have pertains to a copywriting class that I'm currently taking.  The other day I learned that using the male connotation for any non-described single person is actually correct, and to remedy this would be to rewrite the sentence in a plural fashion so that it applies to everybody.  This is probably an old rule of thumb, but regardless, there are a lot of rules in today's grammar game and I just wonder if it's possible that some could be inconsistent from others.

This has been a tremendously crazy week for me, but i've been keeping an eye out to try and find a grammar fail that has to do with sexist language or libel in my travels but to no avail.  I think that these rules in particular are are getting a lot of correction before print or broadcast.

1 comment:

  1. I agree with your comments about waiters. I don't see why waiter just can't be for both sexes as actor can be used for both as well. One word I looked up in the AP Stylebook I found interesting was "foreman" and I was shocked to learn there was a word "forewoman" too. I have never heard that title used before and honestly before having read about that I would have just used the word "supervisor" for a female in that situation.