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Reader comment on Christopher Alexander's passage ...

Aliveness and Harmony


On Jan 7, 2014 jodi wrote:

 i am sorry but the incessant use of "the man," "him," "his," etc. completely ruins this article for me.  i rewrote it for myself using "person," "one," and "she/her."   how lazy to not include half your readers!  you either don't care very much about what you're saying or you don't care about how this makes women feel.  personally, i feel disrespected and excluded and angry.  also, your punctuation is poor enough to make the writing confusing at times.  one's surroundings include the language in which one couches their opinions and thoughts.  as such, the "surroundings" of this article, the relentless exclusionary language, prevented me being in harmony with it or even from taking it in until i rewrote it.  (please excuse lack of capitals, i have a broken hand...an indication of how strongly i feel is that i took time to respond with one-handed typing.)


On Jan 7, 2014 Somik Raha wrote:

Jodi, unfortunately, when this was written (in 1979), it wasn't politically incorrect to use the male gender for generalizing humanity. This is true for many thinkers and writers who wrote earlier than a decade(for instance, Martin Luther King Jr, Mahatma Gandhi and others). Kudos to you for taking the time to rewrite it in a way that made it more resonant for you.

 
On Jan 21, 2014 Cliff Flanders wrote:

Thank you so much, Jodi, for your post.  While I am sure no offense to women was meant, it really is important to remember that women are more than half the world (53%, I believe) and that use of the generic masculine is offensive and exclusionary--and because women are the majority, it really makes more sense to use the generic feminine instead!  In any case, it's so easily fixed when writers are mindful of the fact that slightly more than half their readers are female.  I hope your hand heals soon.

 

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