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Carpe Diem
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Hi, I know this should probably go in the section where you can leave notes for Scarleteen staff and volunteers ("Staff Stuff"). However, when I tried to post there I got a message saying that I am unauthorized to do so. Because of this, I am posting this here.

It will seem like a very small thing, but I needed to say it.

In the “Emergencies and Crises” section of the boards, there is a post titled “Erection problem”. The last response was from OWL Dan, who said that the writer should see his doctor because “He is probably the best suited to evaluate any possibilities…”

I wanted to note that nowhere in the posts by the writer did he identify that his doctor was a male. It is my opinion that writing things like that (although I’m sure it was probably just done unconsciously) perpetuates the stereotype that males are suited for certain jobs, while females are suited for other jobs.

The poster’s doctor could in fact be male, could be female, or could identify as transgendered for all we know, so assuming that the doctor is a male is unnecessary and should be avoided.

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"Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain."
-Joseph Campbell

Posts: 210 | From: Canada | Registered: May 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Natalie H
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I don't this OWL Dan was perpetuating a stereotype. It's just a general rule that if you don't know the gender of someone you're talking about you use 'he.' And while that may be sexist to assume, it's just what people are used to. Using 's/he' is also not technically politically correct if you bring transgendered people into the mix.

So really, I don't think there's a correct or safe way to do this. 'He' is just the common phrase.

Also, by the way, users that aren't Staff can't post in the Staff section. I think that's where they have conversations about the site or when they need second opinions.

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Bicycle? I prefer a homocycle.

Posts: 118 | From: Houston | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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You know, I'm not going to speak overmuch for Dan -- who can speak for himself -- but I'm actually betting it was an oversight.

Natalie: I actually disagree about the use of he in this context and at this point in time, quite strongly, and I think happybunny's beef is a valid one. For the record, he and she are generally completely appropriate for trans gender (who generally very much do NOT like "transgendered") people, and wanted in use by trans people who most typically do ID as "he" or "she," though those are often pronouns gendernonconforming people who are not trans and don't identify that way don't use or prefer.

I think there is a correct and good way to do this, which is to either ditch gender at all, use "he or she" or use "they," which is totally gender-neutral.

Either way, it's always okay to call any staff or volunteers -- or users -- out on this stuff in a constructive way, which I think was done here, and these are conversations we should all always be willing to have.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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OWL Dan
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FYI everyone, I know that it sounded sexist that I used “he” when referring to the Dr in this case and I meant no ill by this. I mistakenly played the odds that most males would seek a male Dr. for situations like this. I apologize and by no means meant to be stereotypical that Drs are men.

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Dan

Posts: 842 | From: Ohio | Registered: Sep 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Carpe Diem
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I did think it was an oversight, I just thought I'd bring it up.

I also agree with Heather that gender-neutral pronouns are the way to go. I do not think that there is a general rule that if you don't know the gender of the person in question, you use "he".

It's important that we can all feel ok to constructively challenge each other, and I believe that doing so helps us all in our growth and understanding. Fer sure, if someone felt uncomfortable with something I said, I would want them to let me know, so I could clarify myself or take accountability in realizing what I said was inaccurate, and in turn grow from the situation.

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"Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain."
-Joseph Campbell

Posts: 210 | From: Canada | Registered: May 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Carpe Diem
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Member # 47124

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I did think it was an oversight, I just thought I'd bring it up.

I also agree with Heather that gender-neutral pronouns are the way to go. I do not think that there is a general rule that if you don't know the gender of the person in question, you use "he".

It's important that we can all feel ok to constructively challenge each other, and I believe that doing so helps us all in our growth and understanding. Fer sure, if someone felt uncomfortable with something I said, I would want them to let me know, so I could clarify myself or take accountability in realizing what I said was inaccurate, and in turn grow from the situation.

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"Find a place inside where there's joy, and the joy will burn out the pain."
-Joseph Campbell

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OWL Dan
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No problem Happybunny123! I totally agree that it is better to stay gender neutral as much as possible when the facts aren’t known.

I don’t think there is any formal rule, unfortunately society still holds on to the use of “he/him” (as a general unspoken rule) when the gender is not known for many jobs; just like things like ships are affectionately referred to as “she/her”. I don’t agree with it, but it is still embedded in our society.

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Dan

Posts: 842 | From: Ohio | Registered: Sep 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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