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Discussion on: Ten Tips for How YOU Can Make Your Workplace Friendlier for Women

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Ben Sinclair

A lot of free software uses "she" and "her" in its examples.

I have to say it's weird that it still jumps off the page to me when I read it because it's so uncommon in other documentation. We want to reach the point where people don't notice it one way or the other, of course.

I notice that the use of male pronouns is almost universal in people for whom English is a second language, and I don't pretend to know whether that's from a cultural standpoint or because "he" is still taught as being the literary equivalent of a unisex t-shirt.

Personally I don't understand why gender is part of language in the first place, I mean we don't have different words to refer to people who are different heights or who were born on even-numbered days. They/them/their is the only option that makes sense.

The one convention I can think of that does use "she" is communications and cryptography - which traditionally use "Alice" and "Bob" as the two ends of a channel.