17.423 gender-testing

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty@kcl.ac.uk)
Date: Wed Dec 03 2003 - 05:21:26 EST

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                   Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 17, No. 423.
           Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                         Submit to: humanist@princeton.edu

       [1] From: Aimée Morrison (32)
             Subject: RE: 17.419 gender-testing

       [2] From: Stephen Clark <srlclark@liverpool.ac.uk> (10)
             Subject: Re: 17.419 gender-testing

             Date: Wed, 03 Dec 2003 07:55:08 +0000
             From: Aimée Morrison <aimee.morrison@ualberta.ca>
             Subject: RE: 17.419 gender-testing

    hello again,

    the link to the online prose gender-tester made the rounds of the student-list
    (a public email forum devoted to topics of general interest) here at the
    orlando project (a group, as you all undoubtedly know, writing an electronic,
    encoded, history of women's writing in the british isles).

    all the orlandians came out as he-man prose-writers. hilarious. let me just
    stress this is not an orlando-related research question, but that most of the
    team tried it out for fun. i, apparently, have a more manly prose style than
    isobel grundy (that is, according to the site's measures, although isobel
    disputes this ;->). ultimately, we all concluded that academic prose is
    skewed male--especially as the site was intended to analyse fiction.

    this insight about academic prose as a genre bearing more markers of
    'maleness' than other kinds of writing, i think, we can link to malcom
    haward's study's finding that female readers (what about the men?) have a bias
    toward attributing authorship to men. i find this bias quite interesting--is
    this a matter of perceived expertise? perceived authority? maybe this is why
    academic prose skews 'manly' in the online tester. hm.

    anyhow, this topic has caught the attention of the lay populace:
    non-canadians may not have seen an opinion recent piece in the globe and mail,
    a national newspaper--in the style section, no less--on the issue.
    (regrettably, the article does not seem to be available on the paper's web


    . ++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Aimée Morrison Office: 4-14 Humanities Ctr.
    PhD Candidate, Dept. of English Phone: (780) 492-0298
    University of Alberta Fax: (780) 492-8102
    T6G 2E5 Email: ahm@ualberta.ca

    "If we examine the Lives of all the Poets, we shall find that they have all
    been miserable."
                                           -- Susanna Watts, c1802

             Date: Wed, 03 Dec 2003 08:00:51 +0000
             From: Stephen Clark <srlclark@liverpool.ac.uk>
             Subject: Re: 17.419 gender-testing

    > The more I worked on the topic, the more I realized how complex the
    > reading-writing-gender issue is. One might have guessed that genre would
    > have a role (detective novels a male realm? for example), but that did not
    > seem to work, and the case of Dick Francis that Koppel and the others
    > mention confirms that.

    Dick Francis's work is written in close collaboration with his wife. See

    Stephen Clark
    Dept of Philosophy
    University of Liverpool

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