One thing we've seen all too much this past election year is the disturbing language used to describe issues of importance to women (and men, too!). So, on that note, here are excerpts from Garbl's Editorial Style Manual on sex, sexism, and related topics, including sexual orientation.
Here are other examples: hours worked, staff hours or working hours for man-hours; people, men and women, human beings, the human race, civilization or humanity for mankind; physical strength, resources, human effort, staff, workers or work force for manpower; artificial, synthetic, manufactured or handmade for manmade; and large, big, generous or formidable for man-sized. Also, think about using sewer access, pipeline opening, utility maintenance hole or utility access hole for manhole. See man below.
Avoid writing about woman managers, male secretaries, men's work, women's interests such as recipe swapping, sewing and fashion. See chairman, chairperson, chairwoman below.
- Try dropping use of any pronoun.
- Substitute the articles a or the for the pronoun where suitable.
- Use the plural pronouns they and their with plural nouns: Workers ... they. Not The worker ... he. Using plural pronouns with singular nouns is not, yet, widely accepted: The worker ... they. See their, them, their below.
- Use he or she and his or hers--but don't overdo it. Alternate between using those phrases and other alternatives. See below: he or she, he/she; his, his/her.
- Repeat the original noun or use synonyms for second references to nouns like the worker or workers. But don't overdo that either. Make sure it's clear to readers the synonyms refer to the same person or people.
- Alternate male and female expressions and examples.