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I'm going to suggest something a bit different - others have hinted at this, but really there are two activities here that are being terribly conflated and should really be addressed completely separately.

As far as this specific review goes, I would completely drop it. The issue is not relevant to the review whatsoever and there are enough unknowns here to preclude your knowing the author acted out of malice (which, in fact, it is most likely the opposite case - that they wrote this with your identity being no more than an anonymous talking head and without giving it a second thought). This is issue one.

The second issue is your desire to raise awareness about gender issues in academia generally. This is doubly so the case if we default to the assumption that the original author was not being malicious but rather just defaulting to a perfectly normal standard of language which appears to be falling out of popular favour (and which you would like to change).

Consider now the second goal and the things you might do to effectively achieve that goal. What will it achieve to write a letter to the author? The editor? Probably close to nothing, and you risk introducing confusion and uncertainty into the review process.   Going straight back to the author or editor here is a high-controversy, low-impact action. You won't change many peoples' ideas and you risk exposing yourself to blowback.

If this is an issue that is important to you I would suggest that you take this up as a completely separate activity entirely disconnected from this specific review. If it's an issue with one journal, surely it must be an issue with all journals and reviewers and authors in the field. Do you want to spend time and effort changing one author's mind? Or one journal's? Or do you want to actually do something effective to promote this type of change across the field?

I feel your efforts would be better rewarded by focusing them away from this specific review - why not completely independently make contact with all of the major journals in your field? Raise it as an issue on its own and pursue it on its own merits - this turns it into a general issue rather than a specific one (which you might be seen to have a conflict of interest regarding the particular review in question).

I'm going to suggest something a bit different - others have hinted at this, but really there are two activities here that are being terribly conflated and should really be addressed completely separately.

As far as this specific review goes, I would completely drop it. The issue is not relevant to the review whatsoever and there are enough unknowns here to preclude your knowing the author acted out of malice (which, in fact, it is most likely the opposite case - that they wrote this without giving it a second thought). This is issue one.

The second issue is your desire to raise awareness about gender issues in academia generally. This is doubly so the case if we default to the assumption that the original author was not being malicious but rather just defaulting to a perfectly normal standard of language which appears to be falling out of popular favour (and which you would like to change).

Consider now the second goal and the things you might do to effectively achieve that goal. What will it achieve to write a letter to the author? The editor? Probably close to nothing, and you risk introducing confusion and uncertainty into the review process.  

If this is an issue that is important to you I would suggest that you take this up as a completely separate activity entirely disconnected from this specific review. If it's an issue with one journal, surely it must be an issue with all journals and reviewers and authors in the field. Do you want to spend time and effort changing one author's mind? Or one journal's? Or do you want to actually do something effective to promote this type of change across the field?

I feel your efforts would be better rewarded by focusing them away from this specific review - why not completely independently make contact with all of the major journals in your field? Raise it as an issue on its own and pursue it on its own merits - this turns it into a general issue rather than a specific one (which you might be seen to have a conflict of interest regarding the particular review in question).

I'm going to suggest something a bit different - others have hinted at this, but really there are two activities here that are being terribly conflated and should really be addressed completely separately.

As far as this specific review goes, I would completely drop it. The issue is not relevant to the review whatsoever and there are enough unknowns here to preclude your knowing the author acted out of malice (which, in fact, it is most likely the opposite case - that they wrote this with your identity being no more than an anonymous talking head and without giving it a second thought). This is issue one.

The second issue is your desire to raise awareness about gender issues in academia generally. This is doubly so the case if we default to the assumption that the original author was not being malicious but rather just defaulting to a perfectly normal standard of language which appears to be falling out of popular favour (and which you would like to change).

Consider now the second goal and the things you might do to effectively achieve that goal. What will it achieve to write a letter to the author? The editor? Probably close to nothing, and you risk introducing confusion and uncertainty into the review process. Going straight back to the author or editor here is a high-controversy, low-impact action. You won't change many peoples' ideas and you risk exposing yourself to blowback.

If this is an issue that is important to you I would suggest that you take this up as a completely separate activity entirely disconnected from this specific review. If it's an issue with one journal, surely it must be an issue with all journals and reviewers and authors in the field. Do you want to spend time and effort changing one author's mind? Or one journal's? Or do you want to actually do something effective to promote this type of change across the field?

I feel your efforts would be better rewarded by focusing them away from this specific review - why not completely independently make contact with all of the major journals in your field? Raise it as an issue on its own and pursue it on its own merits - this turns it into a general issue rather than a specific one (which you might be seen to have a conflict of interest regarding the particular review in question).

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source | link

I'm going to suggest something a bit different - others have hinted at this, but really there are two activities here that are being terribly conflated and should really be addressed completely separately.

As far as this specific review goes, I would completely drop it. The issue is not relevant to the review whatsoever and there are enough unknowns here to preclude your knowing the author acted out of malice (which, in fact, it is most likely the opposite case - that they wrote this without giving it a second thought). This is issue one.

The second issue is your desire to raise awareness about gender issues in academia generally. This is doubly so the case if we default to the assumption that the original author was not being malicious but rather just defaulting to a perfectly normal standard of language which appears to be falling out of popular favour (and which you would like to change).

Consider now the second goal and the things you might do to effectively achieve that goal. What will it achieve to write a letter to the author? The editor? Probably close to nothing, and you risk introducing confusion and uncertainty into the review process.

If this is an issue that is important to you I would suggest that you take this up as a completely separate activity entirely disconnected from this specific review. If it's an issue with one journal, surely it must be an issue with all journals and reviewers and authors in the field. Do you want to spend time and effort changing one author's mind? Or one journal's? Or do you want to actually do something effective to promote this type of change across the field?

I feel your efforts would be better rewarded by focusing them away from this specific review - why not completely independently make contact with all of the major journals in your field? Raise it as an issue on its own and pursue it on its own merits - this turns it into a general issue rather than a specific one (which you might be seen to have a conflict of interest regarding the particular review in question).