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Are there many `gendered` job names left?

(81 Posts)
DropYourSword Wed 16-Oct-13 09:06:24

Was thinking recently about this and the pointlessness of defining whether the worker is male or female.

Doctor, pilot, teacher, nurse etc aren't gendered (although I do appreciate that some people may assume the workers gender). I know we use headteacher now instead of headmistress / headmaster and stewardess is now flight attendant etc.

The only thing I can think of is waiter and waitress. I wad wondering if there were moreand what the suggestion would be for renaming it.

Takver Wed 16-Oct-13 09:21:57

Fireman - rarely hear Firefighter in the UK

Takver Wed 16-Oct-13 09:24:08

Also I think people tend on the whole to say Policeman / Policewoman rather than police officer if referring to a particular person

PenguinsDontEatPancakes Wed 16-Oct-13 09:36:37

Actress is still used a lot rather than actor.

wintersnight Wed 16-Oct-13 09:47:09

I teach an ESOL class and I really struggled with alternatives to repair man as repair person doesn't sound like natural English. Others were easier so gas man can be gas engineer etc. Dinner lady versus lunchtime supervisor was another tricky one. It's hard to find the balance between teaching the language people use and not using sexist language.

DropYourSword Wed 16-Oct-13 09:48:16

I've missed some really obvious ones blush

Takver Wed 16-Oct-13 09:50:28

I think lunchtime assistant / supervisor is pretty usual now, though - certainly at dd's primary that is what they were always called

IamGluezilla Wed 16-Oct-13 10:03:50

I've really noticed this in the opposite direction. I'm learning German and was struck by how jobs are still gendered including all those you mention in the OP.

FoxMulder Wed 16-Oct-13 10:06:27

midwife! Does that count?

kim147 Wed 16-Oct-13 10:06:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ChunkyPickle Wed 16-Oct-13 10:08:20

binman - any alternative is very cumbersome

It just occurred to me, do you think that places where they speak a gendered language have a harder time reducing sexism? eg. Spanish where a computer programmer is programador/programadora (defaulting to male)

ChunkyPickle Wed 16-Oct-13 10:10:22

ha - xpost IamGlueZilla

Cohenite Wed 16-Oct-13 10:11:34

I still hear manageress in retail......cringe!

CelticPromise Wed 16-Oct-13 10:16:14

Midwives can be male or female, there isn't a different term for a male one.

Takver Wed 16-Oct-13 10:16:25

Rubbish collector - lots of them are women here so binman would be a bit silly!

FoxMulder Wed 16-Oct-13 10:19:13

So if you're a male midwife, your job title is still 'midwife'? Interesting.

YoureBeingADick Wed 16-Oct-13 10:23:56

Midwife translates roughly as 'with woman/mother' the wife part is not a reference to the gender of the person attending the birth but a reference to the person giving birth. So yes midwife can be male or female

mrsbugsywugsy Wed 16-Oct-13 10:25:46


I noticed this yesterday when applying for dd's passport; the form said that the post man would require a signature.

Takver Wed 16-Oct-13 10:30:54

That is very true, Mrsbugsy - hadn't thought of that one. I tend to say postie anyway but not really good on official forms grin

sonlypuppyfat Wed 16-Oct-13 10:35:56

I always thought that midwife meant wifes helper nothing to do with the midwife being a wife if that makes sence.

sonlypuppyfat Wed 16-Oct-13 10:36:54

Sorry dick I didn't see your post

BerstieSpotts Wed 16-Oct-13 10:38:32

Yes I think it is different when the language is gendered.

I think waiter/waitress could be table staff or waiting staff, but that's more of a plural I suppose.

Actor/actress although I hear that actor is beginning to be used for both (similar to author).

wintersnight Wed 16-Oct-13 10:39:28

It's interesting how resistant we can be to new words. Lunchtime supervisor seems so cumbersome to me but it's only two more syllables than dinner lady and it's obviously a much better term. I guess it hasn't got the history or emotional associations for me.

DropYourSword Wed 16-Oct-13 10:40:16

Yep, male midwives are midwives.
Not friggin midhusbands, that so many `witty` men used to joke about when I used to work with male midwives

kim147 Wed 16-Oct-13 10:41:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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