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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • "He" is not gender neutral.

    To put my pedant hat on, I must point out that dictionarys do in fact indicate a gender neutral definition for "he". My Concise Oxford, for example, says "a person ... of unspecified sex".

    I wouldn't deny for a moment that such meanings are considered dated now. It's pretty hard to overlook the obvious male bias in the word. As both you and Adam point out, the English language lacks a comfortable alternative. Perhaps you'd like to coin one?

    There's a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation with regard to women in the tech workplace. As long as there are few women in the environment, the young (often emotionally immature) males entering the profession will not have the one-on-one experiences they need to help them develop their interpersonal skills. If young males only hear contrary viewpoints from a lone woman in the workplace, they may dismiss it as only a single person's view.

    You'll be pleased to know that the chap responsible for the first of your quotes, was alerted to the error of his ways by the woman at the adjoining desk even before your email response :-) And as you surmised he did not intend to exclude women.

    It is also a fact though that while there have been a number of women attend meetings of the Perl Mongers group in question, only one has ever given a talk and that was a lightning talk - about PHP even :-).