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The design of sexism: the case of an army maintenance manual

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1 Author(s)
Bernhardt, S.A. ; Dept. of English, New Mexico State Univ., Las Cruces, NM, USA

The author compares 1970 and 1990 versions of the US Army publication PS: The Preventive Maintenance Monthly. it is seen that visual communication becomes dated even more quickly than does textual communication. The later version of PS offers a visual design that has been toned down, tamed, subdued; what had been a visual rhetoric with clear (in hindsight) sexist assumptions has yielded to a rhetoric with more professional, more inter-racial, and more neutral assumptions that reflect the changed demands of contemporary culture. Nevertheless, it is asserted that a rhetoric of visual attractiveness will probably continue to exploit gender, and that attempts to neutralize gender bias are likely to fail (to some extent), for only the distance of time allows sexism to be seen

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Professional Communication, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:35 ,  Issue: 4 )