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Fwd: Re: Gender neutral documentation

From: Miguel
Subject: Fwd: Re: Gender neutral documentation
Date: Tue, 30 Jul 2019 23:40:03 +0000

Sorry, I knew something will go wrong (twice)... Fixed here:

-------- Mensaje Original --------
De: Miguel <address@hidden>
Enviado: July 30, 2019 11:34:42 PM UTC
Para: address@hidden, Wilson Bustos <address@hidden>
Asunto: Re: Gender neutral documentation

Hello, Wilson!

Thank you for your interest in this awesome community. From my side, I've been 
taking more than expected to finish the translation and send some other 
patches, sorry for that. I hope to do it soon, but I only can answer with my 
phone at this moment.

I'll try to answer your questions inline, let's see...

El July 30, 2019 10:10:21 PM UTC, Wilson Bustos <address@hidden> escribió:
>Hello everyone!
>I would like to help to make guix packages,
>I'm also reading documentation and watching videos about this.
>But I have some questions.
>1- Do you have some document which explain what means 'gender neutral'
>and how that works in different languages such as Spanish?

The use of the feminine gender as neutral in the Spanish translation is 
intended as explained here:

>2- Reading the the Spanish version of the GNU manual in several pages
>this one:
>Has female sentence instead a 'normal' - 'neutral' sentence.
>LIKE: `Opera en los perfiles de usuaria, y puede ser usada *con
>de usuaria normal*.`
>which say 'usuaria' to refer to the user, but that words is only used
>refer to a woman.
>but 'usuario' can be used to refer to a man or woman.

As written in the footnote, It's perfectly reasonable to say in Spanish "la 
persona" and "las personas" (person/people in English), whose grammatical 
gender is feminine, to refer anyone without making any reference to their 
preferred gender, so it should be any problem to use that grammatical gender 
instead of the usual "neutral" one. From Latin's neutral case we have words 
like "el/la estudiante", "el/la marchante [de arte]", but the selection of the 
masculine as the default/neutral form is arguably biased towards one end. 

>Using this all the time it becomes confusing to read for me, due to
>this I
>change to the english manual.

I understand that it can be tiresome, specially if you've been socialized as a 
male as I've been. On the other hand, more than a half of the Spanish speakers 
don't have to make any effort in order to understand it. I suppose that the 
same effort probably have been the done (usually beforehand) by people 
socialized as females when they read a document claiming (implicitly, as any 
language construct) that "usuario" applies to them too, but I only have 
anecdotical evidence... and the fact that women are really underrepresented (at 
least) in the development and free software community, so I try to take a 
feminist stance as my grain of sand to move this actual mountain.

>I completely respect your job I want to be part of the community and
>I know this is a really delicate topic and I don't want to make a flame
>or something like that.

My approach is far from perfect: there are people who don't identify neither as 
male nor female, so the dissonance is still there, but I'm open to any new idea 
but using male gender as neutral one for the reasons I exposed there and here.

Personally, I think it needs to be openly talked, it shouldn't be a flame war 
each time somebody mentions it. The conflict is already there, not speaking 
"about the elephant" doesn't make it disappear and only delays the possible 

Best regards,

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