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Letters to the Editor – Weekly Issue of July 4, 2011

Readers write in on the wolf wars, women's career equality, and techno-gadget overload.

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On wolves and sexism

The June 6 Focus story, "Can there be peace in the wolf wars?," repeatedly uses the word "man" as a generic term, meaning human being. It may seem a small matter to take issue with, but there has been a general backsliding from gender-neutral language recently, which, I fear, necessarily reflects a similar backsliding in the way women and men are viewed in the world at large.

I was heartened that in this same issue, the Monitor ran a commentary piece by Courtney E. Martin on the status of women in professions ("Why women still can't make it up the career ladder"). Kate Swift, one of the pioneers in creating genderless language and drawing attention to the way language shapes our perceptions of women and men was a close friend of mine. I'd be interested in a piece that takes stock of where we are now with language.

 

Regarding Ms. Martin's commentary, one institution that since the 1940s has given equal opportunity, pay, and benefits for women is organized labor. This fact is underreported as many Republicans and some corporate-owned media outlets blame organized labor for our economic ills – not Wall Street, where opportunity for women is still virtually nonexistent.

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