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.