“Dear Gentlemen…”

I’m not a diehard feminist by any means… but this annoyed me-

I’m on the city council for my town. My official title is “alderman”. Not “alderwoman” or “alderperson”. No. Alderman.
That’s not what annoys me…

What annoys me is when someone writes a letter to the city council and addresses it, “Dear Gentlemen.”

…Forgive me if I’m wrong, but isn’t there about a thousand different ways they could have started that letter? “Dear Gentleman” isn’t even that popular of a way to start a letter, not even when addressing a council such as the one I’m a part of.
“Dear City Council”, “To Whom It May Concern”, “Dear Members of the Council”… any of those would have been just peachy. I would haven been okay with “Dear Mayor and Aldermen of the City.”
But, “Dear Gentleman?”
That’s just annoying.
I’m one of two women on the council, and of course the other woman isn’t as nitpicky as I am, so it didn’t bother her… buuuut it just stuck with me.

I’m not writing this to make an example of sexism in small government organizations or anything like that… I’m just pointing out that, as a woman, it annoys me to be referred to as a gentleman.


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