Purdue Online Writing Lab, a citation website provided by Purdue University and available free to the general public, recently updated its writing guidelines to indicate avoiding “stereotypes and biased language.”
“Writing in a non-sexist and unbiased manner is both ethical and effective,” say the authors of the Purdue OWL site. “Gender neutral writing is necessary for most audiences; if you write in a sexist way and keep a large portion of your audience away from your discussion, your writing will be much less effective.
Warning writers to “[avoid] using stereotypical or biased language in any way, ”Purdue OWL describes that the general use of“ male ”as well as its use in professional titles are no longer considered a formal or professional writing style.
Although man in his original sense carries the double meaning of adult man and adult man, its meaning has become so closely identified with adult man that the generic use of MAN and other words with male markers should be avoided, ”says the site. .
Formal recommendations include replacing “mankind” with “mankind,” “man-made” with “synthetic or machine-made”, “common man” with “average person” and ” the man of the part “by” the stock of the part “. ”
Additionally, writers should avoid the use of “man” for professional terms such as mailman, congressman, policeman, and firefighter.
Even professional terms once deemed politically correct, such as flight attendant and flight attendant, police officer, are also taboo. The replacements for these now “gendered” terms are flight attendant and police officer.
The Purdue OWL site exceeded 410 million pageviews in 2016, a 30% increase in traffic. Generally viewed as an authoritative, non-politicized source of information for writing and citation guidelines, Purdue OWL is frequented by college and graduate students, professionals, and anyone seeking writing advice.
Kate Hardiman is pursuing a master’s degree in education at Notre Dame University and teaches English and religion at a high school in Chicago.