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Appendix B

Appendix B: Ways to Avoid Sexist Language


Use gender-neutral terms.

If you know the gender of someone who holds a certain job, use the appropriate pronoun: The director voted to raise her salary 50 percent. The nurse checked his watch.

When a first name could refer to a man or woman, make his or her gender clear to the person you're informing. That will avoid incorrect usage of "he" or "she" in further references.

If possible, recast your sentence in the plural: Each student must meet with his professor becomes Students must meet with their professor. Don't say: Each student must meet with their professor.

In more casual writing, address your readers in the second person: The applicant should submit his employment record by Nov. 1 becomes Submit your employment record by Nov. 1.

Eliminate the third-person singular possessive: Each child scribbled on his pad of paper becomes Each child scribbled on a pad of paper.


Instead of, use:

mankind: people, humanity

manpower: staff, employees

mothering: caring, nuturing

to man: to run, to operate, to staff

foreman: supervisor

mailman: postal worker, letter carrier

fireman: firefighter

fisherman: angler