Macho Mexican men get lesson in what not to say to women

March 25th, 2011 - 5:39 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Mar 25 (ANI): The interior ministry of Mexico has published a guide for public sector staff on how to avoid using sexist language in the workplace.

The 92-page lilac-and-white guide, entitled ‘The manual for the non-sexist use of language’, was written by a national body, which fights violence against women.

It has chapters on grammar and administrative language, and advises workers against using the masculine form of Spanish as a default, and to also not ask their female colleagues, “if you want to work, why did you have children?”

“It is very common for us to use the masculine without knowing the gender of the people we are referring to or… to use masculine adjectives or professional titles even when we know we are talking about a woman,” the Daily Mail quoted the guide as stating.

If the grammar lessons get too much, it also features cartoons against sexism, including one where a woman trips over a man seen gaping at her breasts.

The guide was written by the National Commission to Prevent and Eradicate Violence Against Women, Conavim, and describes itself as a “a tool to familiarise federal public workers with the use of non-sexist strategies in the Spanish language”.

It also discourages men from using phrases such as “you are prettier when you keep quiet” and proverbs like “the worth of a woman is in her children”.

And it instructs them not to refer to their female colleagues as possessions, in phrases such as “Pedro’s woman”.

It was published a fortnight after National Women’s Day, when Mexicans took to the streets to protest against the country’s treatment of women. (ANI)

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