Two books just came through the bunker that raised issues of sex, or gender. From what I understand, “sex” is the preferred nomenclature for what I thought used to refer to "gender." I'm talking here not really about men and women, the original title of the post, but about men-without-women and women-not-without-men.
A legal guide. The book was written entirely in the male gender, except for the occasional example. In running text, every plaintiff, defendant, judge, arbitrator, and innocent bystander was referred to as “he.”
I changed as much as I could, given the time and money constraints. Sometimes I see books like this from much older writers, but this author graduated law school in the late eighties. No evidence of a prior career. Younger than me, which is getting older all the time.
I always hate woefully underbidding jobs, but I might have learned something on this one. The rate sheet might soon reflect my charging more for not keying in editorial changes rather than less. That’s another blog post.
A history of a women’s club in a major metropolitan area. Not until the very late chapters does a reader see any club member referred to as other than, for example, Mrs. John Smith. Often with such books, at least by the 1970s the author is referring to the women by their own first names.
This approach has always stunned me, and invariably the author is a woman. I mean, this isn’t a history of the Gotham Wives’ Club. These women are making positive contributions to society and living lives of their own, and I don’t need to know their husbands’ names.
One could say, “Finding out those names would take a lot of research.”Yes, it would. Tell that to the author of the 900-page family history I recently finished, who managed to track wives’ first names back 300 and 400 years. And not refer to them as Mrs. Caleb Smith.