I had a long talk with an angry male reader recently He’s angry because he feels NAILS Magazine is discriminating against male nail technicians. He pointed out that, when we talk about nail technicians, we always use feminine pronouns. For example, in our December 1989 issue, in the cover story, I wrote, “Today’s nail technician is proud of her profession and eager to advance her industry.” (Italics added by me.)
I’ve never thought of myself as sexist, but I have to admit my caller has a valid point. And I, along with all women, have experienced what he is talking about most of my life. When newspapers or magazines refer to doctors or lawyers generically, they nearly always refer to the doctor or lawyer as “he.” I don’t like it, and I don’t want to perpetuate it, but I don’t know what to do about it.
In my own defense, I must point out that, according to our recent reader survey, nearly 98 percent of our readers are female. Therefore, if we have to make a decision to address our readers on the whole as either male or female, logic dictates that we address you as female.
Imagine how awkward it would be if every time we referred to “the nail technician” we used “he/she” or “him/her.”
Our reader survey, which was published in the June 1990 NAILS Magazine Fact Book & Buyers Directory, provided us with a wealth of information, which will help us in deciding what kinds of articles will benefit you most. For example, most of you (slightly over 50 percent) work in full-service beauty salons and nearly as many (slightly under 50 percent) are the only nail technician in your salon. This indicates to us that we need to address the needs of the individual technician whose co-workers are not dealing with the same situations as he or she is. Of course, we have no intention of neglecting those of you who work in nails-only salons either, or in larger full-service salons.
In the future, we will be conducting more reader surveys, some extensive like the one published in the Fact Book and other, smaller ones, just to keep our finger on the pulse of the industry. We encourage you to respond to our surveys, as your responses are necessary to give us an accurate view of what’s going on. We also invite you, as always, to write to us and let us know what’s happening in your area, what you like and don’t like about NAILS, and to suggest any survey questions you think need to be addressed.
This is your magazine! If there’s something you feel strongly about, we want to hear about it!