well, he can do the job

So it started a few weeks ago when I was job hunting.

Actually I lied, it started years ago but for some reason it annoys me every time.

I guess we should go back to the job posting. I was looking for journalism jobs and at this point, I don’t even remember what the publication was for but I copy and pasted part of the posting to Facebook.

Well yes, this may seem a bit silly, especially to be annoyed but maybe I am alone on this one, why is it so hard to say he or she or they? The applicant, this journalist, the employee will blah blah blah. But no. He. Capital M. (I just threw a plug in for McClung’s spring 2011).

My friends encouraged me to email them and ask them if they wanted a female, but I laughed it off. Then today…it happened again. I went into training for elections and the entire manual had HE and the instructor kept saying HE. As I sat there, in a room at least half full with women, I thought to myself, does nobody else notice this? I couldn’t take the session seriously anymore, all I could think of was that job posting, my high school teachers who kept talking about the HE in all my business courses and stupid movie trailers that say IN THE BEGINNING OF MANKIND.

I am here, I am not a he and I am working for you. At least in journalism (we hope or I hope) we are never told to use “he” to represent a voter, a citizen or a single human being. I remember working at my internship and searching their style guide, even the Canadian Press style guide tells writers not to use he.

And as we are on this journalism topic, let me just throw it out there:
Firefighter = not fireman
Camera person = not camera man, because I can operate a damn camera as well
Mail Carrier, Mail person =not the mailman

Well maybe at the end of this you will just laugh, or even worse, use “he” every time you talk to me. But maybe, just maybe, there can be an attempt to be gender neutral…for humankind at least.


5 thoughts on “well, he can do the job

  1. Great Article Arti Patel! I agree there should be a stop towards this nonsense one-sided judgment, people are using to divide the attention focusing strictly on men. Hopefully your article will arise and the gender bending towards male will subside creating an equal voice for female as well!


    • *Sorry, I meant to say Blog not article. It has been a hectic week for me and my mind is shifting from wake and sleep mode.

  2. you know with historic events like the third wave feminism and international women’s day, which try to show the world that we as women are finally being heard and finally being seen as equal makes me feel proud. But after reading about your experience it makes me really mad because it seems like this is an ongoing struggle.Women work just as hard as men ….get it through your head people! educate yourself I think this entry is a great eyeopener on how inequality STILL exists in even advanced societies.


  3. Arti,

    It is these subtleties going unnoticed that continues to put women in a subordinate position to everyone else; simply because of the language people are choosing to use!
    I can`t believe this is still happening in 2011. Maybe it`s because we tend to surround ourselves with people who know that gender is a construction that helps control power….but more people need to speak up and say exactly what you`re saying…which is…actually…I`m not a he. No one is just a `he` or a `she.`

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