Imagine we have an article with following title

How to Recruit More Women to Your Company

On a first glance from perspective of gender inequality this article looks like an article that would help address a gender inequality in workspace especially given the major problems in some industries where major part of workers are made workers.

But I head about following way of testing if really have no subtle gender bias - by replacing a word that is possibly casting a bias by another one from the same bias.

So for example for article above the title would be

How to Recruit More Men to Your Company

Which in 2022 reality sounds like some kind of sexists hiring advice that would result in decrease of job opportunities for female employees

Since the phrase have a perceived gender inequality in it changed form and we threat all genders equally then original phrase have gender inequality too and after second look it makes a lot of sense: its an title for an article that can be seeing as advice about changing hiring decisions based on applicant sex (instead of changing underlying root cause making workspace equally friendly for every gender)

I heard there is such way(described above) to highlight possible discriminations in US court, but I have no idea what is the name of such approach and would like to know one.

PS. I'm not a lawyer and not even close to legal field I want to know more about this principle and it applicability limits but lack of ability search for it stopping me from even phrasing this question better that it is now

  • Even if the article is sexist, I don't understand how the article title or the contents itself would be illegal. Of course, if a manager reads that advice and implements that advice in a way that discriminates against a protected class (such as sex), that may be an illegal hiring practice.
    – Brandin
    Jan 17, 2023 at 12:50
  • @Brandin I was taking article title as an easy to understand self contained crude example of 'mechanics' in question, not as a call for action on deciding if article is illegal or not on their own right. So you 100% correct - title and article cant be illegal by any mean.
    – Igor B
    Jan 17, 2023 at 16:33
  • How do you know that in the (relatively small) number of fields that are disproportionately female, they are not trying to encourage more men to participate in those fields? I think the question is founded on a mistaken premise.
    – Obie 2.0
    Jan 18, 2023 at 15:33
  • @Obie2.0 well its flawed, no objection, but again the question wasnt about arguments for or against discrimination, the question is about googleable name of mechanics (for which 'framing' was quite helpful and yielded what wanted to see in google). I wanted a starting point to give myself some education and you know, starting point for a thing you not closely ever learned before is most hard things to phrase out without losing any sense.
    – Igor B
    Jan 19, 2023 at 21:13

1 Answer 1


The general issue raised is known as gender discrimination.

The device of substituting a different gender into the hypothetical is just a potentially sympathetic reframing. It is sometimes a helpful analytical, argumentative, pedagogical, or rhetorical strategy in order to tease out or highlight what distinctions matter (or should matter) in law.

The substitute hypothetical can also be called a counterfactual, or an alternative, or a comparator. There is no legal term of art here.

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