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Reader Objects To "Sexist" Comment.

March 15, 2002

First, I like the redo of the site! It's much easier to read and navigate.

I have feedback on John Ashbury's recent article, "Who's In ! Who's Out! In The Commissioners Race."

In that article, he wrote "Meta Nash, who narrowly lost a bid for the Democratic nomination in the Frederick City mayor's race last summer, is saying she won't run for commissioner or delegate in the newly constituted District 3A. But, remember, women are engendered with the right to change their minds."

What a sexist statement! As if only women change their minds. Why did you feel it necessary to add this remark? Wouldn't it have been just as effective to write, "But anyone can change his or her mind"?

Every major style book cautions against using sexist language. In particular, the AP Stylebook (2000) says, "Women should receive the same treatment as men in all areas of coverage. Physical descriptions, sexist references, demeaning stereotypes and condescending phrases should not be used. ... In other words, treatment of the sexes should be evenhanded and free of assumptions and stereotypes" (p. 276).

I doubt Mr. Ashbury would have made the same remark about a male candidate.

Patti Wolf, Frederick


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